tough love

Apologies for the rough translation... For a year, Julian has been sailing on his Jeanneau Mélody, a 10.50 m sailboat . He...

buy it

L. Francis designed a number of boats he called Maine Day Boats. Aramenta and Quite Tune were a couple. Big...

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new bow/old bow

Check the bow on that ship. Are sailboats copying warships or is it the reverse? Regardless, this is the new Carkeek penned destroyer…kidding.

tailored to perfection

It’s not just top race boats that require customized line solutions.

Marlow Ropes’ Grand Prix series has revolutionized the way sailors specify their high-performance running rigging. Whatever kind of boat you sail, you want ropes that help you operate at the highest possible level around the racecourse. Marlow’s technical team works closely with its global network of specialist grand prix riggers and customers to find the right combinations of high-performance materials to achieve the desired qualities for any cover or core.

Knowledge, passion, and obsession with innovation have led to partnerships with the industry’s best across all aspects of the racing circuit. Learn more about the Grand Prix series here.

’round they go

Big boats, small boats, fast boats, slow boats, old boats, new boats, pro sailors, and families on their only racing jaunt of the season, The Round the Island Race. One hull, two, and even a few trimarans all headed off on what is Britain’s biggest sailing race of the year. Throw in the Solent and a decent breeze and what do you have? Of course, it is the Isle of Wight Round the Island run by the Island Sailing Club. Start and finish at Cowes, the UK’s yachting Mecca, and leave the big lump of chalk to port all the...

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what’s in a name?

There’s a chance that you won’t have heard of Arcona Yachts and even if you have, you still might struggle to describe them. After all, this is a company that has enjoyed 40 years of success, but where much of it has been conducted away from the international spotlight.

It is a company that has never set its primary goal as winning races and yet has delivered some impressive results nonetheless. It’s also a company that has produced nearly 1,000 boats in 40 years and has achieved cult status among those who have discovered the marque.

But the focus of attention right now is the news that the co-founder of one of the biggest names in performance production boatbuilding and a former competitor has joined forces with Arcona. For Swedes, the fact that he’s a Dane may raise a wry smile, but to the rest of us Niels Jeppesen’s achievements with X-Yachts, the company he co-founded, along with his reputation on the racecourse, means that his views get taken seriously. Read on.

never make it

Y’all have probably seen this, but it is worth another look at the insanity…

kyiv libre!

I was a guest at Noroton YC during the Viper 640 Women’s Atlantic Coast Championship last weekend.  This bar menu at the Bombay Sapphire cocktail party caught my Eye and reminded me of a story that I overheard at the Bacardi Cup in March.  Many of you know me as Eye Sailor, outspoken on some issues, silent on others. I am not a schill for Bacardi. This is just a shout-out for a company that in an age of corporate anonymity is still family-owned, has supported a legendary sailing event for 95 consecutive years and has never forgotten what it is like...

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personalized

Champion race boat designers Carkeek Design Partners thought they were drawing a new one-off world cruising cat for an experienced yacht builder’s personal use. Things didn’t quite turn out that way…

Some of the best yachts are created when a race boat builder wants to go off cruising with his family and has a boat designed for personal use. Thus it was (initially at least) for the Carkeek-designed Seaquest 46, which has exactly the right sort of pedigree. It’s built by Mike Eaton, whose highly-regarded racing monohulls such as the Prima 38 and RP36 have proven themselves to be excellent all-rounders. Shaun Carkeek’s wide-ranging successes across many strands of high-performance sailing are already well-known to most…

However, instead of going off cruising himself, Eaton has put those plans on hold and put the Seaquest 46 into production. It’s the first model in a new range of catamarans, built in Dubai where his shipyard has been based for most of the last 20 years. Before he’d even started, the first two Seaquest 46s had already been sold off plan. Read on.

the eyes of summer

Leading Polarized Lens Maker Tajima Direct is kicking off summer and wants you to get back on the water with clear, sharp vision by offering all Anarchists 20% off any new pair of polarized lensesincluding Rx, this weekend only.

These are seriously the best polarized lenses I’ve ever worn. Use Code SASUMMER20 at checkout for a fresh new view in your favorite sunglasses.

green heaven

Snagged this fab picture of the TP 52 Platoon and their friendly accomplice. It immediately made me think of The Red Hot Chili Peppers’ song of the same name. Be sure to read the lyrics as the song goes along…
Photo thanks to Morgan Reeser.

22 knots in that?

You better believe it! Read it here: Winning the largest division in the race, the St. David’s Lighthouse Division with 108 boats, is Illusion, a Cal 40 owned by Sally and Stan Honey (Palo Alto, California). Illusion’s victory is the fourth time a Cal 40 has won the St. David’s Lighthouse Division, following on from Vincent Learson’s Thunderbird in 1966 and Peter Rebovich, Sr.’s Sinn Fein in 2006 and ’08. Racing with 1984 Olympic Gold medalist Carl Buchan (Seattle, Wash.), fellow Cal 40 owner Don Jesberg (Belvedere, Calif.) and multi-tasker Jonathan “Bird” Livingston (Richmond, Calif.) as bowman, Illusion completed the...

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grumpy old man alert

Watched the Saturday Sail GP ‘races’ (quotes intentional, explained later), held Saturday/Sunday in Chicago on a patch of Lake Michigan water off Navy Pier. Yes the speeds were impressive, yes the course and boundaries brought the ‘action’ (also intentional) close to the fleet of spectator boats anchored on the perimeter or seated in the VIP stands on the Pier.

But these positives couldn’t overcome the Big Negative: each race was boring; a parade following the boat that won the start. Perhaps there was some intrigue to see who finished 2, 3, or 4th. Very few port/starboard encounters, the narrow width of the course minimized “inside vs outside” pressure decisions. Forget about ‘overtaking’ and the gates largely eliminated any ‘rounding rules’.

The TV coverage, trying hard to crank up the hype machine (thanks to Todd Harris’ hyperventilated announcing), never addressed why the American boat sat for 45-minutes as the other 8 boats buzzed around, dialing in their numbers, with at least 2 visits by a chase boat. What happened? What broke? Why? What was the ‘quick fix’? Nothing.

Something must have broken, cuz even though they started each race Saturday, the USA boat had to race hard each race to avoid finishing DFL, barely successful. At least they didn’t use a winch to induce loads not designed, like a certain Aussie boat, that broke in half and sank.

The overall impression is that in a large part these were boring as hell IMO, One Design on steroids; win the start, make no mistakes, win the race in less than 12- minutes, mill about, start, repeat.  Ugh.

Grumpy Old Man out…

angle of the dangle

Funny that what once seemed weird, is still weird. New Carkeek/Neo Yachts getting shaken down…

break it down

Do you take the time to debrief the race at the end of the day? We all know we should do it. Some of us do it better.

One slide is enough to convey key improvement areas. It takes a few minutes to prepare. You will look smart. You might even win a few more races!

Our friends at ChartedSails have compiled some great examples.  Take a look – and let us know in the forum how you debrief with your crew. Comment here.

in an uncomfortable trimaran

The Royal Western Yacht Club Round Britain and Ireland race started in 1966 and was reportedly described by Robin Knox Johnston who has won it twice as one of the hardest races in Northern Europe. The race takes place every 4 years and now has 3 48 hr stopovers. Galway in Ireland, Lerwick in Shetland and Blyth in North East England. This year for the first time the race allowed both 2-handed and 4-handed entries, previously only 2-handed entries were permitted. We entered Morpheus, a 39’ carbon trimaran designed by John and Orion Shuttleworth and launched in 2018. The boat...

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anarchy 6 for sale

A change in plans and the realization that owning 3 boats is simply too much, (and much too stupid), I am regrettably putting Anarchy 6 on the market. This is, without question,  the most trick Hobie 33 anywhere, and I do hate to move it, but reality bites.

Reimagined by the owner, reengineered by Alan Andrews, and rebuilt by Dennis Choate, the result is a faster, stronger, and way more fun boat to sail than a stock 33.  Tall double spreader carbon rig,  a redesigned and new cockpit, deck layout, new custom rudder, restructured interior and layout, and is super clean and minimalist looking. Read on.

your oyster?

The new Oyster 595 takes many features – technical and styling – from its bigger sisters to create an exceptional mid-size yacht that feels much larger and more comfortable than the sum of the parts

Some boats stand out as milestones for their builders and the Oyster 595 looks set to be one of those. The second new model launched since Oyster was bought by the tech entrepreneur Richard Hadida, the 595 is already being recognized as far more than simply a scaled-up version of the 565. While each might share the same distinctive modern looks, climbing aboard them makes it easier to see what sets them apart.

Read on.

slow/fast magic

What a bitchin shot of Magic Carpet Cubed by Carlo Borlenghi as she ghosts to first to finish in the modified Rolex Giraglia course. Nice job getting the weight forward!

it’s dangerous out there

We regret to report that our Fleet Communications Office for the 52nd Bermuda Race received a report of a crew overboard on the racecourse this afternoon.

The crew of the yacht Morgan of Marietta, a 42-foot sloop, reported that its captain, Colin Golder of New Providence, N.J., went overboard early this afternoon in strong winds, approximately 325 miles from Bermuda, and did not survive.

After extended effort, Mr. Golder’s body was recovered by the vessel’s crew, and the vessel is returning to the mainland. Next of kin have been informed.

The Bermuda Race Organizing Committee, the Cruising Club of America, and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club wish to express sincere condolences to the family and crew of Mr. Golder.

Further details will be provided as they become available.

happy to sad

The big bad 80′ maxi trimaran ultimemotion has indeed gone through some emotions as they dropped their rig last night in the Newport to Bermuda race. Track the fleet here. Photo credit to Daniel Forster.

neutralized?

The deterioration of the weather conditions in the North Atlantic have forced the Organization of the Vendée Arctique – Les Sables d’Olonne race to make a difficult decision. The race will be neutralized after passing through the virtual gate located in the southeast of Iceland.

The leading skipper should make this passage in the middle of this Thursday night or early morning Friday. Thereafter the skippers will be able to take shelter and wait for this depression to pass. The terms of the resumption of the race are currently under discussion and will soon be formalized. Read on.

what would dave do?

From our friends at Tajima Direct

Growing up in Maine, then moving to Miami to chase his racing dreams, two-time Olympian and multiple class world champion Dave Hughes, learned the importance of properly identifying details of wind direction and velocity on capricious Biscayne Bay.

A place where pressure and angle are not necessarily consistent from one edge of a puff to the other.  Reading wind via texture and subtle color tones on the water’s surface is more an art form than a science. But what if science, via superior lens technology, could aid in reading subtle and hard to see detail?

Hughes sits down with Tajima-Direct.com co-founder and polarized lens developer Steve Rosenberg to discuss why he’s been a Tajima Direct Lens loyalist and what he looks for and prefers in his polarized lens technology.

Tajima Direct: Tell us a little bit about where you grew up and when you realized you had the “sailing bug.”

Dave Hughes: I really cut my teeth off the coast of Maine. As a kid I sailed any boat I could get my hands on … Blue Jays, 14s, Lasers, J24s, 420s, Etchells, Interclubs … you name it. I was equally excited by both dinghies and keelboats – buoy racing and offshore.  I credit a huge amount of my approach to sailing from having balanced those disciplines at a young age.

TD:  Has sunglass use always been part of your sailing and daily eye protection?  How important is superior polarized lens technology to you and why?

DH: I’m religious about protecting my eyes. With the number of days I spend on the water year after year, I can’t afford not to be. A crisp and clear lens that can carry me through a range of conditions is the gold standard. Read on.

big wheel keeps on turnin’

From the creative R2AK people…

The third day of Stage One saw a Strait of Juan de Fuca that was unrecognizable from the violence it wrought on Day One. Wind went from 30 to nearly negative, seas were non-existent; Godzilla downgraded to Geico Gecko. Starting with the 0430, Coast Guard approved crossing, the wind waned from pleasant to what the uncouth might classify as “gnat’s fart.” (Not us, the uncouth. We’d never say that. We’re classy.)

Read on.

in principle…

A joint research project focusing on enhancing the performance of large cargo vessels is reporting a significant energy reduction resulting in the awarding of its first Approval in Principle from Lloyd’s Register.

Launched in 2020, the project is bringing together naval architects with the OEM, ship owner, and classification society to develop a series of energy-efficient vessel designs incorporating rotor sails. Read on.

ghost ship

Not really, it’s the recreation of the San Salvador, the first European vessel to reach San Diego in 1542. While grabbing line honors, there is no word on how she did on corrected time… Photo thanks to my girlfriend.

it’s rough out there

On Monday, the U.S. Coast Guard rescued three sailors in the Strait of Juan de Fuca after two competing sailboats capsized in rough conditions.

The boats were under way in a larger flotilla for the annual Race to Alaska, and they were transiting the easternmost stretch of the strait from Port Townsend to Victoria. A gale warning and small craft advisory were in effect, and organizers described the conditions as “between seasick and dangerous” before departure. Water temperature in the strait was in the range of 50 degrees F, as is typical for the time of year.  Read on.

gone wrong

There are some pretty crazy rumors around the death of the famous sailor Eric Tabarly. Yet, now more than 20 years ago, the crew’s full and detailed account tells a mundane tale of a sea gone wrong.

On the night of June 12 to 13, 1998, more than 20 years ago, Eric Tabarly disappeared at sea. Sailing aboard his Pen Duick , which he was transporting as a crew to Scotland to take part in a gathering of sailboats designed by the naval architect William Fife , father of the Pen Duick .

Read on.

ugly early

No one ever said the Race to Alaska was gonna be easy…

First, most important: everyone is ok. Us, you, 100% of this year’s racers, and the brave men and women of the US Coast Guard and R2AK support vessels that affected four rescues in the Race’s first four hours. Everyone is ok.

Bruised egos, dashed dreams, but body and souls intact. Breathe in, exhale slowly. Everyone is ok.

Level set/spoiler complete, the first 24 hours of this Race to Alaska started 12 hours before the starting gun. Yes, people showed up in the hundreds to cheer the teams across the starting line to the rousing chorus of the Ukrainian National Anthem. It was calm, community-spirited, and topically resonant. It felt great to be rousing again after almost three years of paranoid shrinking. More here.

4 x the oil?

The Environment

Faced with the need to come up with $144 million to remove oil from the decaying FSO Safer and buy a new replacement vessel for Yemen’s Houthi rebels, the United Nations has turned to crowdfunding. The UN has launched a social media campaign to help fund the high-stakes project, which has taken on more urgency every year since the Yemeni civil war broke out in 2015.

The UN warns that the Safer could pollute a wide swath of the Red Sea if its million-plus barrels of oil were released. The ancient single-hull FSO contains about four times as much crude as the amount spilled in the Exxon Valdez disaster, and it is at high risk of a casualty. It was last drydocked in 1987; it has barely been maintained since the start of the war; tank inerting ceased years ago; and it has already suffered water ingress once in its engine room.

The UN has secured pledges totaling $60 million from donor nations, but it will need at least $80 million to carry out the task of offloading the FSO’s oil and cleaning its tanks – not counting the extra $64 million it will need to satisfy the full terms of its deal with the Houthis. The crowdfunding plan aims to collect $5 million to help fill the $20 million gap between current nation-state pledges and the cost of salvage.  Read on.

have a hobie day?

Don’t know much about this photo, other than they apparently didn’t sink.

Thank the lord for small mercies – hahaha!

freshly dead

The Environment

From a distance, a seal appears to be napping on the rust-colored rocks; members of its small colony grunt at one another as sea spray brings some respite from the searing midsummer heat. But on closer inspection, one of the seal’s eyes is open and pointing vacantly at the sky.

Tess Gridley bends over the dead animal, and instructs her university students and volunteers to check for parasites. Fewer bugs means a fresher carcass, which is what these researchers are looking for. Binoculars pressed to her face, Gridley scans the rocky outcrop and finds five more bodies, which the students line up on the rocks in a funereal procession. “A colony of this size, you wouldn’t expect to see so many freshly dead,” she says. Read on.

axisymmetric

In a new study on ocean wave breaking, researchers have demonstrated that the breaking behavior of axisymmetric “spike waves” is quite different to the long-established theories on the breaking of traveling waves.

Traveling waves break when waves become so steep that the crest is no longer stable. This leads to a breakdown of wave motion and energy loss. As a result, the height of the wave is limited by the breaking process.

“Much of our understanding of wave breaking is routed in theories developed and experiments carried out in two dimensions when waves are moving in one direction,” explained lead author Dr. Mark McAllister, Department of Engineering Science, University of Oxford. “However, wave breaking in the ocean is a three-dimensional process.” Read on.

the boys are back in town

Lookie here who’s just turned up at Woolwich Dock in Sydney. The yacht formerly known as Comanche – now re-named andoo – has arrived on her third visit to Australia since her launch in 2015.

The VPLP/Verdier supermaxi completed the delivery voyage from Antigua with just one pit stop in Tahiti. Now chartered to local sailor John Winning Jnr (reportedly for two years, with an option to buy) the 100-footer will contest the major East Coast offshore races, including the Sydney-Hobart.

At the welcoming function, observers noted that champion Australian yachtsman Iain Murray attended wearing andoo livery. Murray has been associated with Wild Oats XI campaigns for more than a decade but now appears to have jumped ship. 

Space alongside at the Woolwich Dock facility will soon be at a premium. Another 100-footer, LawConnect, already lives there and Wild Oats XI is due to come out of the shed in preparation for the trip North to the Hamilton Island Regatta.

Black Jack makes up the quartet of supermaxis who will now compete for line honors glory in the Australian offshore racing program. 

(Title inspiration thanks to Thin Lizzy)

a shot in the dark

AIS tracking partnership Global Fishing Watch has expanded its reach with what it believes to be the first ever publicly-available worldwide map of “undetected dark fleets” – vessels that do not broadcast AIS.

Using synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-1 satellites, coupled with machine learning algorithms, Global Fishing Watch has figured out how to automatically track vessels without the use of satellite AIS. By analyzing the entire archive of Sentinel-1 radar imagery, Global Fishing Watch has isolated 20 million data points showing the movements of sea-going vessels over about 30 feet in length. It matched up these radar returns to 100 billion GPS position data points from vessels broadcasting their position over AIS. By correlating the two, the NGO’s system is able to track many vessels even after they “go dark” and attempt to evade detection. Read on.