As the summer season kicks into full swing, so do the cameras, and man, have we got a lot of video for you to check out this week!
The sexy Arbor 26, a wooden performance yacht, designed by Simon Rodgers. We like!
On the VOR front, We are warming up rapidly to the Franco-Swiss-Sino Team Dongfeng vibe. For the first time in modern memory, a major race entry from a nontraditional sailing nation (though China would argue that one) has more than one or two crew from the home nation, and in fact Wolf, Leo, Horace and Kit epitomize the Wechat/Facebook generation of young Chinese. They’re incredible ambassadors, capable of blowing away a lot of stereotypes, and if the team can do decently well, they will undoubtedly have hundreds of millions of rabid fans. And with four Chinese under 30 aboard, their power and speed might just make up for a lot of experience, especially with a couple of Groupama 70 vets, several Figaro masters, and even some RTW multihull record holders aboard.
Will they win? We have no idea, and we don’t think it likely. Might they finally nail that holy grail that the VOR, WMRT, America’s Cup, and every other sailing series has failed miserably at over the past decade – the fan-ization and opening up of sailing to the world’s largest population? They have the best chance yet. Another great piece of work from Sam Greenfield – if you only watch one of these, watch this one.
Here’s something you don’t see every day: A nighttime delivery of the ETNZ Extreme 40 through the heart of St. Petersburg in advance of the first-ever ESS in Mother Russia. Blair Tuke helmed ETNZ to the final podium spot (with Glenn Ashby replaced by Ray Davies, while Gash was off winning his 4,000th A-Cat Worlds), just ahead of Big Ben and Pals, while the sole American at the event, Morgan Larson, continued to show his skills off, beating two-time ESS champion Leigh Macmillian again and cementing Alinghi’s lead over the fleet. The racing on the final day was some of the most bizarre we’ve seen; legs of less than a quarter mile – about a minute – with breeze to 20 knots made things well worth watching. Is it similar to your racing? Probably not. But it ain’t bad. Watch thefinal day of racing at this link.
The Big One
2014’s biggest event for ultra-performane sailing happens in just a couple of weeks, and with nearly 130 Moths registered for the Hayling Island Moth Worlds, there’s plenty of spectating ahead in what will undoubtedly be the biggest Moth World Championship in the 80+ year history of the class. Current World Champ Bora Gulari has been tight-lipped about whether he can get away from the drawing board at Luna Rossa Challenge and still hasn’t registered for the event, though LR stablemate Chris Draper is on the list, and should be a factor if the South Coast breeze is off. And with the emergence of the Exocet Moth as a very quick alternative to the long-dominant Mach 2, we may yet see someone fast enough to beat Nathan Outerridge, the cream of the current Mach 2 crop. A nice promo from Beau “Bangin The Corner” Outerridge is above; the smack talking is over here.
Big Ben’s Neighborhood
As exciting as it is to see China’s possibilities in the biggest crewed offshore race in the world, it’s just as cool that Ben Ainslie is leading the UK back to the America’s Cup. No nation has a more important history with the AC, no nation cares more about its yacht racing, and if you’re looking for rabid, knowledgable fans and a great pool of national sailing resources, Britain is the place for it. We’re stoked for Ben, stoked for his team, and stoked for Portsmouth, which announced around US$ 13 Million in funding and a site plan approval for Ben’s ambitious new America’s Cup base. Here’s a quick animation of how it’ll look; hit the announcement for all the details (and chat about Team UK in the thread here.)
What’s prettier than a perfectly restored wooden boat? Not much. This slideshow comes from last weekend’s Master Mariners Wooden Boat Show at Corithian YC in Tiburon, California this past weekend. Thanks to Anarchist Black Jack for the tip, and there’s a thread here.
Anyone who’s done a few ocean miles has come into contact with a big ship offshore; a usually quite cool and occasionally terrifying experience. In this video, Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi team gets buzzed by a yachting captain aboard the Queen Mary 2 in the middle of the Atlantic. Bonus fact: Walker’s great-grandfather was a tugboat captain for the original Queen Mary.