its all about the kidz

Two races were completed today at the 2022 ILCA 4 Youth World Championships, hosted by Vilamoura Sailing. Another day of excellent sailing conditions, the sea breeze held 12–16 knots for all six fleets to successfully get off their races. More....

that’s some hoax

The Environment Do you remember when Mango Mussolini called global warming "a hoax"?  We sure as fuck do... While attention...

it’s getting hot out there, too

The Environment As sea ice vanishes, Greenland melts, and wildfires scorch the planet's northernmost forests, new research confirms what scientists...

latest posts

steppin’ up

“Would you want to take my Open 50 and race it around the world, non-stop and solo next year?”. That was the question that was being asked of me. Without hesitation, I agreed. When the phone call came, I was working as the Media Director for the Pacific Cup Yacht Race in Hawaii. I was on a Day 17 of a 23 day media push, which was immediately followed by a 16-day delivery back across the Pacific as the delivery captain of the Santa Cruz 52 ‘City Lights’. While at sea, I had countless hours to ponder life and plan out exactly how I was going to make this program work so that I could hit the ground running.

Three days after sailing under the Golden Gate and reaching terra firma, I’ve got an LLC being formed, a web developer hired, a sailing crew hired, a media guy and some plane tickets to Maine. I’ve cobbled together some used TP52 kites to supplement our downwind inventory and pulled the trigger on a couple of final preparation projects at the yard.

We are already aligned with the Veteran’s sailing non-profit US Patriot Sailing and have a tax-deductible means of accepting campaign contributions. I started a GoFund Me account to raise some seed money and we have raised more than $13,000 in less than a day. Not bad for a few days of work. We have a boat, a fundraising and sailing team apparatus taking shape and a bit of cash to get off the dock. But the real work starts now.

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their cup runneth over

It is time to speak the unspeakable. 

The cohort of sailors, designers, engineers, builders and assorted hangers-on who have made the America’s Cup their lucrative private honey-pot, have lost the plot. 

They are so myopically focused on their own ambitions that none have apparently paused to consider the destructive impact their actions are having on the most revered event in the sport of sailing.

Let us count the ways. (more…)

maxi taxis

Big Pimpin’

At last, we are getting back to near normal post-pandemic with most of the Maxi race fleet returning with full programs. The IMA team has been very active in supporting all the regattas with which we have become involved over the past few years and from which we have created several IMA Maxi Challenge series.

Rather tentatively we introduced a Caribbean Maxi Challenge this year even though we realized that it would be difficult for many teams to commit to getting there. The number of Maxis participating in the RORC/IMA Transatlantic Race in January was encouraging and many stayed on for at least one of the local regattas as well as the RORC Caribbean 600. We have now linked the 600, St Maarten Heineken Regatta, Les Voiles de St Barth and Antigua Week to make up the series. We expect it to flourish.

More here.

muckle flugga!

Best new pretend swear words I’ve heard all day…

Monday 15 August, 2022: After nine days of racing 21 teams are still competing in the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race. All bar three of those teams have rounded St Kilda, the isolated Scottish archipelago in the North Atlantic. Pip Hare’s IMOCA Medallia has rounded Muckle Flugga, the most northern extremity of the course. The international fleet is forecast to experience low pressure for the first time in the race; a building northerly wind is expected to arrive tonight. After nine days and nights of sweltering heat and little wind the teams are preparing themselves for stronger winds to come. The majority of the teams are past the midway 900-mile waypoint and there is optimism for a faster second half of the race.

At 1000 BST on Monday 15 August, Stuart Greenfield’s S&S 34 Morning After was ranked as the overall leader after IRC time correction. Richard Palmer’s JPK 1010 Jangada was ranked second and Rob Craigie’s Sun Fast 3600 Bellino ranked third.  © Rick Tomlinson/https://www.rick-tomlinson.com/

IMOCA Medallia rounds Muckle Flugga

Pip Hare’s IMOCA Medallia was the first boat to round Muckle Flugga on the eighth day of the Sevenstar Round Britain & Ireland Race (14th August 17:09:33:31). Described by Medallia’s watch leader Paul Larsen as the ‘Cape of the North’. The crew of Medallia were elated to be finally turning south and looking forward to the possibility of fast downwind conditions in the North Sea.

 

the tall rig

The Environment

Mitsui O.S.K. Lines and Oshima Shipbuilding Co. signed a contract for the construction of a second bulk carrier to be equipped with the companies’ hard sail wind propulsion device. The companies are moving forward expanding the deployment of wind-assisted propulsion even before the first bulker fitted with the Wind Challenger enters service. In addition, they plan to explore combining the sail with other technologies to further improve the vessel’s ability to reduce fuel use and emissions.

The new vessel, which will be approximately 69,000 dwt, will be built for MOL. The Japanese shipping company will operate the vessel for Enviva, a leading producer of sustainable wood bioenergy. Due to enter service in 2024, the new ship will transport wood pellets. More here.

scotw

It is perhaps true that “Anyone can build a Sharpie” but it still takes a great sailor to win a championship in one.

Last year, for the first time in history the Tasmania Lightweight Sharpie State Championship was won by a female helm, Kirsty Salter, crewed by her husband Julian and his Uncle Stephen. The Lightweight Sharpie is just under twenty feet long and has a crew of three, with one on the wire and sports a symmetrical spinnaker.

Kirsty’s achievement followed being top female helm at the Australian National Sharpie Championship in Western Australia and an earlier top female helm at the B14 Worlds.

These achievements led Kristy, mom of two, who also heads a digital design business, to be named ‘Tasmanian Female Sailor of the Year’.

“get off the bow!”

“oh, wait…. never mind!”

The end of the second round of this 9th edition of Les Sables – Les Açores – Les Sables is definitely full of suspense! Despite the 450 miles that separate the most extreme competitors to the south and north, the game is still very open on this seventh day of racing. In the check-in this Thursday, Pierre Le Roy (1019 – TeamWork), the winner of the first leg with more than 20 hours ahead of his runner-up, took control of the fleet but, 190 miles to his north, Jacques Delcroix (753 – Actual) remains, for the time being, faster in VMG.

So whose stage victory is this weekend?

the mountain and muhammed

Big Pimpin’

For many years they have been fastidiously creating some of the world’s finest yachts. One small drawback is that for many clients Baltic Yachts has always been rather a long way away geographically. Not any more…

There are big advantages to building yachts on the west coast of Finland. For the last 50 years, it has been a centre of excellence where a talented workforce of shipwrights, joiners, composite builders, and many other specialists produce some of the finest sailing yachts in the world, accumulating a vast pool of knowledge, experience and skills. There’s just one snag with the location – it’s a very long way, especially by sea, from the places where most owners choose to sail and keep their yachts. The solution for Baltic Yachts was to set up a service and refit hub in the epicenter of the Mediterranean yachting scene.

‘We started down here with warranty projects,’ says Matthew Lester, Baltic Yachts’ head of aftersales service who leads their steadily growing operation in Palma, Mallorca which is based in and around the STP shipyard in the heart of the city’s old harbour. ‘We were always coming here and we opened a workshop so we didn’t have to work out of our suitcases all of the time. And we were increasingly being asked to work on other boats. In 2014 we decided to staff the company here and we’ve never looked back.’ More here.

it’s getting hot out there

The Environment

The falling water levels on the Rhine River are getting critically low, according to German officials, and could severely restrict traffic between the Lower and Upper Rhine at the town of Kaub as early as Friday. The low water is already putting a drag on German commerce due to reduced draft for inland traffic; a partial shutdown at Kaub would put more drag on Germany’s economy, which is already heavily affected by sky-high natural gas prices and the prospect of an impending cutoff of Russian energy.

The Rhine carries a substantial share of Germany’s petchem, crude and coal cargoes, among other commodities, and it provides a vital connection to the Port of Rotterdam, the largest seaport in Europe. Barges on the Lower Rhine deliver bulk materials to the industrial heartland of Germany, the Rhine-Ruhr region. The port of Duisberg, which serves this trade, is the largest inland port in Europe. Read on.

floating saucer

The distinctive lines of a Mark Mills design – in this case it is Michael Berghorn’s Mills 45 Custom HALBTROCKEN 4.5  that enjoyed success with a clean sweep of victories today for a 5.0 point total after four races in the ORCi Euro Ahamps. More here.

chillin’

Young sailors at Etobicoke Yacht Club (Toronto, Ontario) waiting for the wind and learning how to love the water. Photo credit instructor Mélodie Phillips.

resurgent

Big Pimpin’

There may not be an offshore medal on the menu at Paris 2024 but one of the favorites to be selected as the platform for the next Olympic Regatta has dusted itself down and is now steaming back into international prominence.

How many yachts can you think of that combine 20-knot plus performance and one-design racing in decent-sized fleets with Category A offshore certification and weekend accommodation for four people, but can also be trailed behind an average car? And how many of those can be rigged and launched by two people in a couple of hours, without needing a crane? When Rodion Luka went looking for a boat that could do all that, he couldn’t find anything suitable in production. There was a gap in the market, which he decided to fill and thus the L30 was born.

You may have heard about the L30 in 2019, when it was selected by World Sailing for the double-handed mixed offshore world championships and widely assumed to be a shoo-in for the (subsequently abandoned) offshore event at the 2024 Paris Olympics. But there’s a lot more to this nine-meter Swiss Army knife of a boat than that. Continue.

how it’s done

Fifty-two International Fourteen from six nations attended the 2022 World Championships hosted by the FSC Club in Flensburg, Germany. After a 12-month delay due to COVID, the Championships faced an additional challenge due to the global costs of containers, preventing USA and Australian fleets from attending. The event showcased the growth of the class in Germany with 30 boats from the host nation, many of whom were attending their first i14 championship.

As a development class, the i14 is well known for introducing new technologies to sailboat racing. This year, the fleet focused more on refinement with no significant innovations. The B6 virtual one design from Ovington was to be joined by a new production run of Hollom 3’s built in Germany. Both boats offer race-winning levels of performance off-the-shelf, which will be vital to attracting newcomers to the class in the build-up to Garda 2024.

The number of female helms and crews at the championship was a real talking point. Flora Preisinger (GER), Lauren Laventure (Can), Katie Nurton (GBR) and Angela Denninger (GER) would all be competing for a top 10 result. Under-25 Teams from Canada and Hawaii also participated in their first world championship.

Defending champions Archie Massey and Harvey Hillary dominated Race-1 in very unstable conditions. Having engaged shift-o-matic, the team lead from start to finish with Andy Shaw and Rob Stuckett in a solid second and UK National Champions Glenn Truswell & Ed Fitzgerald recovering to third.

Conditions were similar on Day 2, with an unstable, bandy south-westerly making for a shift and position day. Off the line, German National Champions Dennis Gehrlein and Lasse Nielandt showed a good turn of speed before Massey and Hillary took the lead, having mastered the positioning on the course. Shaw-Struckett and Truswell-Fitzgerald rounded in second and third and set out to close the gap to the leader. Downwind pressure bands created the opportunity to gain or make massive losses. Truswell used this to great effect, closing on the downwind legs and setting up a tight beat to the finish. Massey maintained a loose cover to take the win.

After abandoned racing on day three, two races were scheduled for day four. Massey and Hillary again lead at the windward mark, followed by Peter Bromley, Hugh McLaren, Oliver Voss, and Eike Ehrig. Shaw-Struckett made significant gains downwind to take second and put pressure on the leaders at the final leeward mark. A taking battle ensued with Massey-Hillary pulling out to take another win. Behind George Borkenstein and Eike Dietrich sailed brilliantly to work through to third

The day’s second race saw Massey-Hillary take a 100m lead at the 1st mark after playing dot to dot with the pressure bands. Behind Voss and Ehrig (GER) rounded an impressive second with Shaw and Truswell. Massey finally showed a chink in his armour and missed a band of pressure to allow Truswell to take the lead, which he maintained to the finish. Shaw and Stuckett finished in 3rd to stay locked in a tight battle for the podium places.

After the lay day and the dangers of the Tiki Bar, the fleet returned to racing with a more stable but still patchy south-westerly. With wind on the edges of the course, Truswell approached the 1st mark from the right, and Massey-Hillary took one more hit into the top left. In the end, the left was stronger, Massey led again, with Truswell second and Voss third. An aggressive gybe set from Truswell and capsize from Vos pulled Shaw back into second and Truswell recovering to third.

Day Six was the opportunity for Massey and Hillary to take the title. Finally, they had to settle for second at the weather mark with George and Jack Yeoman sailing an incredible windward le with Pattison and Tait in 2nd. Having led for a lap, Yeoman positioned himself ready for the forecasted right shift and lost out to Pattison and Massey. On the next beat, the right shift came in, and Massey again read the conditions best to take the lead. Massey and Hillary took their 5th bullet and the World Title at the line with Pattison in 2nd, and a fantastic third place finish for George and Jack Yeoman.

The final race set up a battle royal between Andy Shaw & Rob Struckett and Glenn Truswell & Ed Fitzgerald – level on points with the latter ahead on countback. Sadly, the forecasted wind failed to arrive before the cut-off time and the race was abandoned.

1st Female Helm Katie Nurton
1st competitor over 50 – Oli Voss

Overall, the FSC and German fleet hosted an exceptional event. The i14 Class will cost their 2023 Europeans in Lake Como and a 2024 Worlds in Torbole. Foreteens are Forever.

Results – https://www.manage2sail.com/en-US/event/int14worlds2022#!/results?classId=International14Individuals
Images – https://www.fsc.de/regatten/bilder-regatten/?tx_yag_pi1%5Broot%2FBildergalerien%2F80%5D%5BgalleryUid%5D=96&tx_yag_pi1%5Baction%5D=index&tx_yag_pi1%5Bcontroller%5D=Gallery&cHash=27342abb43ce91168bbebf250fae86f2

USA CLASS – http://www.i14usa.org/

that was the week that was

Continuing on from our look at the weekend racing of the 2022 Cowes Week.

The first thing I would say is that this cannot be a full and complete report as with 30+ classes racing for 7 days would take a book. For those who would to see a fuller report on the week’s activities and racing they should visit www.cowesweek.co.uk.

Planet Sail produced excellent daily video round-ups while Cowes Week official writer Rupert Holmes produced an excellent daily summary broken down to an overview followed by a more detailed account of the day’s racing.

An extremely well-oiled machine where much of the year-long effort to produce such an outstanding regatta is fuelled by enthusiastic volunteers producing an extremely professional event. They even have VAR on some start lines to identify early starters avoiding the dreaded third gun and a general recall. And they are guns on the Squadron line, miniature cannons so there is no excuse for not hearing them.

The 2022 event, just four years short of their centenary – yes the first Cowes Week was 1826 – was by Cowes Week standards a relatively small affair with JUST 450 or so boats competing but for all that was as competitive as ever. (Big years give quadruple figures a fright.) (more…)

hella smoke

The Environment

The fire at Cuba’s Matanzas tank farm has spread to two more giant storage tanks, bringing the total to four and increasing the complexity and challenge of the firefighting response.

The fire started with a lightning strike on one tank at the Matanzas Supertanker Base east of Havana on Friday night. On Saturday morning, the heat and fire from the burning tank ignited the adjacent tank, causing a massive explosion that left more than 120 injured and 17 missing.

Late Sunday night, the second tank collapsed after about 40 hours of burning, leading to a sudden release of fuel and an accelerated rate of combustion. The light from the explosion could be seen as far away as the Havana boardwalk, according to social media posts. More here.

when soft is good

Big Pimpin’

Basically, just a fiber strop with an eye at one end and a Diamond knot at the other, soft shackles have incredible characteristics that defy their simple design. Soft shackles are stronger, safer, and last as long as their stainless-steel counterparts at a fraction of the weight.

They can replace stainless steel shackles to connect virtually everything that needs joining – halyards to sails, sheets to sails, sails to a stay, snubber lines to anchor chains, etc.

Learn about the benefits of Marlow’s factory spliced D12 /HMPE soft shackles or find out how to make your own!

rank and file

This vid has got to be representative of a lot of areas that have small fleets, no pros,  decent but not great boats., and enthusiastic sailors.  This is how it is for many, and we salute you.

you can’t

We think this boat looks really cool in almost every way. We hope it’s fast and that the designer and builder can sell a few more.

However, you cannot call a boat with a cockpit like this “A gentleman’s racer/cruiser”. Ya just can’t! There is nothing, even by the skinniest definitions, anything remotely gentlemanly or cruising about it. Where are the bench seats (long enough to lay on, btw)?  Winch islands to help keep the cockpit semi-dry? A locker or three, accessible from the cockpit? No footholds or really anything to grab onto?

Listen, we get it, and if we were doing a boat cockpit it would look a lot like this, but we sure as hell wouldn’t call it a cruiser. There is a ton more info here.

formulaic

Big Pimpin’

How do you make the follow-up to an ORC World Championship-winning design even better? Cantiere Del Pardo pulled out all the stops…

If it looks right, it probably is right. Generations of sailors, boatbuilders and yacht designers used to swear by that simple rule of thumb. Even today, when the science of CFD modeling has completely replaced the instinct of the designer’s eye, the shape that looks best is still sometimes the fastest. Witness the graceful, swooping curves in the topsides and aft quarters of Matteo Polli’s Grand Soleil 40. Two of the great 20th-century designers, Kim Holman and Olin Stephens, would no doubt approve.

The naval architecture of Polli’s contemporary racer-cruisers, like the GS 40 and GS 44, has very little in common with the hull shapes drawn 60 years ago by Holman and Stephens, but they share the same very strong focus – unlike many other sailing yachts back then and also right now – on maintaining the hull’s balance of volume through a wide range of heel angles. That’s why they handle so well and often win races despite being less aggressively endowed with sail area and form stability than some of their rivals. Less rudder action means less drag as well as a more controllable and enjoyable boat to steer. More here.

bad bow

You have got to be kidding…

The Turkish builder Soyaslan presents the CAT63, a luxurious 20m catamaran built using the cold molding technique.

This is one of the largest models made with this method of construction. On the cruising and long crossing program with a generous sail plan.

Read on.

dirty deeds done dirt cheap

From the Los Angeles Times, this is their second feature on this unbelievably blatant pollution…

After an exhaustive historical investigation into the barrels of DDT waste reportedly dumped decades ago near Catalina Island, federal regulators concluded that the toxic pollution in the deep ocean could be far worse — and far more sweeping — than what scientists anticipated.

In internal memos made public recently, officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency determined that acid waste from the nation’s largest manufacturer of DDT — a pesticide so powerful it poisoned birds and fish — had not been contained in hundreds of thousands of sealed barrels.

Most of the waste, according to newly unearthed information, had been poured directly into the ocean from massive tank barges. Read on.

here come the rooster

Big Pimpin’

After 10 years of supporting the sailing scene in the US, Rooster is set to take another huge flight by launching a brand new website where you can shop for all your favorite Rooster products.

Founded by Steve Cockerill in November 1999, emerging from salty seas and shoreside conversation across the world; combining his passion for developing water sports kit that performs with his enthusiasm for sharing the knowledge amassed from two Olympic Campaigns. Our very origin is innovation and challenging the systems, not just a brand; but practices delivered from determined effort, thorough research, and passion for the outdoors.

Check their new site out here.

Title inspiration thanks to Alice In Chains.

living in a bubble

A 62-year-old Frenchman survived for 16 hours in an air bubble inside his capsized sailing boat in the Atlantic Ocean before being rescued by Spanish coastguard divers in what they described as an operation “verging on the impossible”.

The 12-metre (40ft) Jeanne Solo Sailor sent out a distress signal at 8.23pm on Monday 14 miles from the Sisargas Islands off Spain’s north-western Galicia region, the coastguard said. Tracking data shows it had set sail from the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, on Sunday morning. Jump in the thread.

cowes & cats

Last Saturday saw the first day of racing in Cowes Week on the Solent which is recognised as one of the most challenging waters to race on while a relatively short distance away in Plymouth, 9 SailGP catamarans did battle in the UK event on their calendar.

I have to admit to being somewhat mystified why the SailGP organisation would choose to hold their event on the same weekend as the opening weekend of one of Europe’s, if not the world’s largest and most well-known regattas, surely their calendar is not so restricted that a different date couldn’t be chosen although I am sure they had their reasons.

One could argue about the relative merits of the two events but without being too long-winded, one serves the public with a show while the other is a competitive event for the sailors who would rather do than watch.

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fools gold

The Sydney-Gold Coast Race was the first offshore event in Australia in which two-handed and fully crewed boats competed within the same divisions. Conditions were light, and the results not quite as expected. 

It’s natural to think that the heavier the conditions the more disadvantaged a two-handed boat should be racing against fully crewed entrants. 

But the 384nm Sydney-Gold Coast Race just completed in predominantly light winds on the Australian east coast might indicate the opposite. The two-handers, who would have given many of the conventional yachts a decent fight on IRC and ORCi during the medium-to-fresh Sydney-Hobart in December, struggled to sail to their handicaps.

Constant sail changes and the energy-sapping need to chase every puff of wind clearly took their toll. It’s also probable that in drifting conditions on a lumpy sea their autohelms weren’t sufficiently responsive. Hand-steering for long watches on cold winter nights can be frustrating – and exhausting. Every mile is hard won. 

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old loves die hard

One of my favorite Doug Peterson boats, the 41′ Love Machine 5 (LM5) is for sale. I had the good fortune to steer it for a bit back in the summer of…1996? It was good-looking and a fucking rocket in light air.

If I wanted to blow some of that internet money, I’d get it, cherry it, race it… – ed. Props to Danny for the head’s up.

who will save your sole?

Greenpeace is warning of the effects of industrial longline fishing on shark populations after its activists confiscated fishing gear from two vessels in the North Atlantic, one of which was operating in a Marine Protected Area.

The NGO announced that its activists aboard the Arctic Sunrise operating in the North Atlantic waters confiscated 30 kilometers of industrial fishing gear and 286 hooks from two European industrial longline fishing vessels, Segundo Ribel and Siempre Perla.

The longliner vessels from Spain were fishing for sharks and swordfish. Past analysis of total catches of swordfish and blue sharks in the North Atlantic shows that the approximate ratio of blue shark catches compared to swordfish is one swordfish for every five blue sharks. More here.

swan od

There is no denying how cool it is to see a fleet of 50′ od boats going at it. And they sure are beautiful. From the Copa del Rey by Max Ranchi. More here.

culture club

As the legendary boat builder Carl Eichenlaub used to say, the Buffalo Canoe Club is a funny place, it’s not Buffalo, and it doesn’t have any canoes.  What it does have is a culture of nurturing talent that goes back generations.

This past weekend the BCC hosted their annual Lightning Youth Invitational Regatta.  The purpose of the regatta is to give one last push the weekend before the Junior Lightning NA’s.  The format is different than what is found in most youth events.  The older teenagers typically compete with their normal crew, but the younger kids are allowed to have one adult on the boat, who can’t steer. This builds the fleet and allows for close competition while giving younger a great learning experience. 

(more…)

scotw

Eve McMahon wins Gold hat-trick for Ireland

Irish sailor Eve McMahon has delivered a dream outcome to her 2022 season by retaining her youth world championship title in Houston, Texas tonight after delivering more race wins on the final day of the series.

Competing in the single-handed ILCA6 class (formerly known as the Laser Radial), the Howth Yacht Club sailor has added this second world title to Gold medals at the Youth Sailing World Championships in the Netherlands and the Youth ILCA6 European Championships in Greece.

After the weather halted the event schedule on Friday, three races were sailed on Saturday with multiple wins for the Irish sailor who has comprehensively won the championship. The 18-year-old sailor set a pre-season goal of ‘three from three’ title wins and also managed to sit her Leaving Certificate school exams.

In 30 races across all three events, McMahon finished in the top three places in all but five races, averaging around third place as an indication of impressive consistency.

By way of warm-up, earlier in the season, she won the Irish Sailing Youth National Championships as she tried to make up for lost competition time due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

McMahon opened the qualification round in Texas by laying down an unprecedented set of six straight wins.  In the Gold fleet final series, she took podium places that enabled to her to maintain a good lead over her nearest challengers. Germany’s Linda Hendel and Croatia’s Tea Peteh both proved tough adversaries as the front-runners in the 50-boat fleet all showed form that didn’t give the Irish sailor an easy contest.

“Eve’s determination, resilience and ambition to pull off this incredible triumvirate of major regatta victories is quite outstanding,” commented James O’Callaghan, Irish Sailing’s Performance Director.  “Eve’s Mum, Dad and brothers have been a big part of her success not forgetting the club support and efforts of multiple coaches in the Irish Sailing programme.  It’s a day all Irish sailors can be proud of.”

A home-coming welcome is planned for Dublin Airport on Monday morning (1 August) for the full Irish team when they return from Texas after an intense round of regattas. Also returning from Texas on Monday will be coach Liam Glynn with Sophie Kilmartin, Fiachra McDonnell, Rocco Wright, Oisin Hughes and Luke Turvey.

Wright was recently part of Ireland double-Gold victory at the Youth Worlds along with McMahon when – on his first major regatta since leaving the junior Optimist class – he won the male single-handed Youth Sailing World Championship in the ILCA6 class.

Both sailors will have an eye toward the Irish Sailing Senior Squad and their recent performances mark them as future Olympic contenders. Photo thanks to Eric Andresen.

its complicated

The officials and staff of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia have probably had more issues than they cared to deal with before Saturday’s start of the Sydney-Gold Coast Race. Rarely will an Organising Authority be more relieved to send an offshore racing fleet on its way. The club is accustomed to the usual last-minute scramble of boats rushing to file late paperwork or complete their safety inspections. But there were a number of added complications this year concerning the two-handed entrants. For the Sydney-Hobart race last December, the two-handers competed in separate divisions. These were in parallel – but...

Read On

believe it

Big Pimpin’

Today’s top-end lines from Teufelberger deliver performance vs weight qualities that even 10-15 years ago the typical racing sailor would have found hard to believe. But believe it they should…

What do you do when even top-grade Dyneema has too much stretch to keep your luff straight? You ask a ropemaker for something even better. Sometimes, though, it works the other way round. Teufelberger, the parent company of Robline and New England Ropes, has a very proactive approach to product development and puts great emphasis on forging close relationships with its most demanding users – including some of the world’s best sailors – to drive its R&D.

Ideas for new products come from conversations with sailors about the shortcomings of existing equipment. These are then fed back to the ropemaker’s engineers, who develop cordage for 20 different market sectors. Often, a solution already exists in-house. Crane ropes, Alpine cableways and yacht halyards, for example, have a lot in common so technology and know-how are often transferred between them. More here.

move it

When ya got a boat with a large booty, ya stack ’em forward in the light. That’s Commanche, currently in second place behind Black Jack in the Gold Coast race down unda. . Track ’em here.

cry me a river

The Environment

For the past two weeks, mainstream media headlines have been awash with news of sweltering temperatures ravaging Europe and parts of North America. At least one segment – the recent record-setting heatwave in the UK – was made 10 times more likely due to climate change, according to the well-regarded World Weather Attribution group.

Quite noteworthy is the declining water level of major rivers, lakes and inland seas across the globe. These water bodies are a link to power, transportation, shipping and recreational activities for millions of people.

The Colorado River drought in the US is a classic case of falling dominoes in a country’s inland water system. Albeit overuse of the Colorado River basin is among several factors leading to its decline, climate change has exacerbated the situation. As the atmosphere becomes warmer, the Rocky Mountain snowpack that feeds the river is diminishing over time. Less water flow in the Colorado River basin means the $1.4 trillion economy it drives is in perils. More here.