shift

We too often fail to tap into the essence of our sport. I think this helps... Like any seasoned sailor worth his own salt, I'd been to the most of the wind meccas of the world. Maui, Garda, Hood River, Baja, Tarifa and beyond. I'd raced in world championships, Olympic...

getting dirty

Nice work from 11th Hour Racing. Did you know that Americans throw away 200 million pounds of turkey (NRDC) on...

looks good to us

VPLP, who already draws Astus 16.5 and 20.5, has just drawn 22.5 for the same yard. And this one appears...

latest posts

new windsurf world record


The traditional Lüderitz (Namibia) Speed Challenge has been underway for a month now with excellent wind conditions on the speed channel during the past days. —– With 53,33kn, Vincent Valkenaers BEL succeeded to improve the Windsurf World Record of Antoine Albeau FRA by 0,06kn, the day before yesterday. —– First-ranked interim in the women is Heidi Ulrich SUI with 46,1kn. —– For the coming weekend, even fresher winds of up to 60kn have been announced and it remains to be seen, whether the Kite record of Rob Douglas USA (55,65kn) will fall. —– The rankings and the event facebook page with videos.

it can sting


Multihuill Phil Clark checks in from his latest project. Enjoy.

I don’t only sail catamarans down here in the land of the great white cloud. We are currently working up our Elliott 1050 for the Rounfd North Island race in February . The pic is us boosting off the start with the kite up. Snipers white island race. For what was meant to be a light airs race it was looking pretty windy as we approached North head after our motor up from Gulf Harbour.

The pre-race discussion centered around a fractional kite ( our big one, not the wee flat thing in a sock) and a reef in the main. Max’s logic was this is our qualifier first and a race second, finishing the race and getting to know the Sniper were the priorities of the race. That sounded like a pretty good plan to me.

The sail choice turned out to be a pretty good one as both Galeforce and Kick wiped out around us spectacularly and quickly replaced their big gear with smaller gear. [...]

Read On

gnarly

Thank christ our vigilant San Diego storm watchers are doing their jobs….

Careful out there folks.  We’ve got a southerly on the way, with sustained winds of over 15 knots, gusting up to 25.  Dogs will be blown off chains.  Apparently water will fall from the sky.  As a conscientious mariner I took the unprecedented step of removing the stand-up paddleboard from my foredeck and stowing it in my cabin.

I also made sure that I had remembered to fasten my vessel to the dock with lines.  I suggest you all take similar precautions.

Jump in the thread and share the misery…

wait a fucking minute

Isn’t this the douche who allegedly ran into the Formula 18 catamaran, resulting in the death of Sandra Tartaglino? And then he disappeared after? (I’m sure in no possible was alcohol involved.)

“Alex Byczko of Ontario, Canada, was sitting on the left pontoon of the catamaran, the port side, while Sandra Tartaglino of Tiverton, was on the right pontoon, starboard, as they traveled south on a port tack towards the center span of the Pell Bridge, according to a state Department of Environmental Management incident report.

“Without warning a power vessel traveling west struck the sailboat on its port side, at approximately a 90-degree angle, and rode over the sailboat, causing it to spin 180 degrees to port,” Byczko told DEM Environmental Police Officer Anthony Esposito, according to Esposito’s report of the fatal accident that killed Tartaglino on Aug. 11, a Sunday afternoon, around 2:45 p.m.

Tartaglino disappeared from sight at the time of the collision, Byczko told the officer.”

But he says he is not at fault?  Read this piece of work.

We don’t know shit about legal matters (duh), but fuck me.  What say you?

the edge of glory?

Brian Hancock is one of our best contributors here at SA, and perhaps you don’t know that he indeed works in the industry. Here’s what he is up to:

Many sailmakers are advertising “filmless membrane” sails as the latest and greatest thing to happen to the industry, but few are explaining why it’s better than, well membrane sails that have a mylar film at their core. So here goes with an explanation.

Up until the late 70’s sailcloth was made by weaving fibers on a loom and then stabilizing the fabric with different kinds of resins. This worked well except when a load came on the bias of the fabric which was not supported directly by fibers causing the sail to stretch which in turn distorted its shape. Fabric makers started looking for new ways to make sailcloth.

One way was to laminate fibers to a Mylar film. The Mylar is extruded and is therefore equally strong in all directions meaning that it added support to bias loads. This was a huge jump forward. It meant that [...]

Read On

500

Celebrating the release of their 500th video, our friends at OffCenterHarbor.com are giving Anarchists free access to this kick-ass video on a very fast Australian couta boat.

Their 500-plus videos now available to members range from close-ups on legendary boats to technical “how-to” lessons on sail trim, paint, epoxy and even diesel engines – all featuring seasoned professionals at the top of their field. These guys roam the globe with their cameras capturing deep maritime cultures along the shore, bouncing comfortably between age-old skills and modern techniques. There’s just nothing else like it on the web.

We asked them for a link where Anarchists could get a free membership for a couple of weeks, so you can CLICK HERE to learn more and get a 14-day free trial.

pay to watch?

Call us crazy, but in a world of free everything on the interwebs – especially videos – we are fairly surprised that these guys are pimpin’  paid subscription videos to watch some sailboats races. For real?

Granted, we are not talking a lot of money tosubscribe:  “SidelineApp’s world championship package will be released for the early bird price of 9.95 euros for all LIVE and On Demand coverage including tracking, 2D and 3D gfx, commentary with analysts and sailing experts, special guests and interviews from the sailing world. 

After November 30 the package is available worldwide for 14.95 euros. *Geoblocked territories, if any, will be confirmed prior.”

We know that the cost of doing high quality sailing videos ain’t cheap, but we can’t possibly see how they can get enough sub money to not only cover costs, but actually make any money. We say good luck.

can’t live without ’em…

I have always been a fan of women in sailing. Some of the very best sailors that I have sailed with have been women and they were all a darn sight better than many of the men that I have sailed with. My fondness goes all the way back to Clare Francis who skippered ADC Accutrac in the 77/78 Whitbread Race.

Claire, it could be said, loved to chat on the phone, well back then it was the single-sideband radio and all conversations were broadcast for all to hear over the air weaves. Clare was married to a Frenchman who raced as part of her crew. One evening she was gabbing on the radio and experiencing a bit of congestion. She was constantly clearing her throat. “Sorry,” she announced to all tuned in, “I have a frog in my throat.” I have always loved her for that comment as well as for her sailing ability. She solo’d across the Atlantic twice. She went on to become a prolific author but sadly these days she suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome.

I was there from the very beginning when Tracy Edwards announced that she was going to put together an all-female crew for the 89/90 [...]

Read On

limping


Maxi Edmond de Rothschild continues to lead on the Brest Atlantiques race passing Gough Island at 12.45 am and is now progressing with a series of gybes between the high pressure system and the Ice Exclusion Zone.

MACIF just behind continues to chase while Sodebo Ultim 3 is slowed down due to the breakage of her starboard rudder giving Actual Leader a chance to make up ground.

Despite leading since the race reshuffle in Rio, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, who clocked up some high speeds between Sunday and Monday morning, has been slowed down as it races in the lower latitudes of the forties. This is due to a high that is positioned quite far south and giving fairly light wind (10-15 knots) from the west. Whilst the leaders would like to head further south to get the stronger winds, there is an ice exclusion zone they must avoid limiting the room for manoeuvre and options.

This allows MACIF, who passed the longitude of Gough Island Monday at 0730am a chance to make up a few miles in the coming hours, however François Gabart and Gwénolé Gahinet should in turn, be slowed down by this area of high pressure. Behind, Sodebo Ultim 3 has been compromised following a collision at 11:30 pm last night with an unidentified floating object, which caused the starboard rudder to break. While Thomas Coville and Jean-Luc Nélias are logically losing ground compared to their competitors, they are still however, able to maintain speeds of 20-25 knots, proving that the sea conditions have improved considerably since last night, allowing the boat, despite being weakened, to remain quite manoeuvrable.

Sodebo Ultim 3 is expected to reach the longitude of Gough Island around 6-7pm, closely followed by Actual Leader (Yves Le Blevec/Alex Pella). The two boats were just 30 miles apart on the 3pm report and should both then benefit as the high weather system gradually moves north giving them a more direct route in stronger wind to Cape Town.

Cape Town will be the second and last point of passage as a mark on the “Brest Atlantiques”, which, according to the latest routing, Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is expected to pass on Wednesday evening.

What is the “Ice Exclusion Zone”? Jacques Caraës describes it as: “A dangerous area in which trimarans must not enter and which there is the danger of encountering “growlers” – large chunks of ice that have broken off icebergs. In water of about 10-12 degrees, it quickly splits into a multitude of growlers. We have identified some in the western part of Gough Island, where the first boats left to starboard on Monday. This pushed us to raise the “Ice Exclusion Zone” by a few degrees to 37°60 on the western part of Gough Island. After Gough Island, this limit drops to 43° South because there are no further risks.”

the future is bleak?

From our Fab Forums, brought to you by Marlow Ropes

Running an informal study of RC demographics trying to learn what other clubs and circuits are facing in terms of RC volunteerism and/or turnover.

My eyeballs tell me a lot of places are facing an unpleasant near future as volunteers retire from the RC roles.   Jump in and vote in the poll

maxi taxis

This was already a special year, it being the 40th anniversary of the International Maxi Association and the 30th edition of the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup, held as usual in the idyllic waters of northeast Sardinia under the aegis of our longterm partners the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda and Rolex.

We had a record entry of just over 50 Maxis to contend with and a very wide variety of beautiful yachts to try to organise into classes where the priority was their getting enjoyable boat-on-boat competition. Read on.

why it happens


The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), the British authority responsible for the study of accidents at sea, has published its report on the capsizing of the Tyger of London sailboat. The British ship, a Comet 45 from the Italian yard Comar, lost its keel in December 2017 off Tenerife. The crew members were then recovered by a nearby ship.

The results of the investigation revealed defects in the manufacture of the lead keel and its junction system with the hull bottom, which does not conform to the plan. Read on.

smashing


Two years to the day after winning his second Mini Transat, 38-year old Ian Lipinski and his 35-year old co-skipper Adrien Hardy came cruising into Salvador de Bahia, Brazil on a three-month old Class 40, Crédit Mutuel, comfortably at the front of the Transat Jacques Vabre’s Class 40 fleet.

Sailing a brand-new, one-off boat that just seemed to perform better and better as the race went on and the conditions got heavier, the new Mini-inspired scow-bowed Class 40 has not only claimed victory but has decimated the class’ existing 24-hour record along the way, clocking up a gaudy 415 miles in 24 hours.

Sure, the old record was relatively soft and waiting to fall, but the new Crédit Mutuel is quite obviously the fastest Class 40 ever built and was placed in just the right hands to work her magic. Everything that Lipinski touched in the Mini Class turned to gold, and as a rookie in the Class 40’s he has picked up right where he left off, especially alongside top Figaro sailor and [...]

Read On

money, money, money

There has been much in the way of debate about the route of The Ocean Race, should be a blast around the planet like the ‘good old days’ or be more commercially focused taking the race to where the money is.

“Show me the money” may be the line from an old sports marketing movie but it is certainly relevant in today’s world of sport with virtually every high end event requiring sponsorship to even get off the start-line.

(So Far) The Ocean Race doesn’t have a billionaire backer like SailGP’s Larry Ellison to bank roll the event so it has to be largely down to the teams to fund their own entries. Did I say largely? I meant to say totally. 

As there are few individuals who have the time or urgency to race round the world in uncomfortable racing machines that funding will likely have to come from corporate sponsors and of course along with corporate spend comes the need for Return on Investment, that dreaded ROI that sports marketers are always talking about. 

I know of at least one in the mix that would be much more enthusiastic about writing a cheque if China was on the map while perhaps another [...]

Read On

‘it’s hell”


” It’s hell. We are shaken. You mistreat the boat, there is no pleasure to navigate in these conditions. I refuse to go faster in these conditions …

Impressive the session with Yves Le Blevec, skipper of the trimaran Ultim Actual Leader, engaged on Brest Atlantiques! Here is his transcript in full. Where it is about extreme sport, limits not to be exceeded and sea of ​​dismounted face … Read on

everybody’s doing it

If you’re the sort of sailor who has tried a cruising catamaran and loved the living space but found the actual sailing experience rather joyless and unrewarding – no feel in the helm, a lack of lines to tweak, no real sense of speed or acceleration – then it’s time to take another look.

For the first time in many years there’s a new range of cats on the market that do have lightweight hulls and large, powerful rigs, but aren’t skittish or fragile and don’t cost millions. They’re designed specifically to appeal to experienced sailors and engineered to deliver the same amount of pleasure, engagement and deep satisfaction that you get from sailing a well-tuned monohull.

With its new Excess range of catamarans, Beneteau Groupe is on a mission to put the fun back into mainstream multihull cruising. Read on.

hustlers

Whatever the language, it is interesting to see how the Macif pit stop goes down

3d for thee?

Launched in 2017 by MORFRAC Systems, the MORFBLOCK is the first commercially available 3D printed sailing block.

Since its launch MORFBLOCKS have been sailing in some of the best and most demanding racing boats: TP52 (TP52 Super Series 2018/2019), Class 40 (Route du Rhumb/ TJV), IMOCA (TJV) and MINI 650 (Transat 650) to name a few.

MORFBLOCKs are smart, simple, light and safe. Stripped down to its basic components: cheeks, bearing, sheave and loop; and designed to avoid metal fasteners in their assembly these blocks are among the lightest and strongest blocks in the market.

The patented AGB system is the key behind its efficiency and high performance. While very simple at plain sight, the engineering behind it and bearing material choice enables the MORFBLOCK to improve its efficiency as the load increases, outperforming “classic” blocks.

MORFBLOCKS are very safe and they are designed to remain connected even if braking loads are exceeded. MORFBLOCKs are available in two ranges, MB and MBXL. The MB range characterizes for being very compact and goes from SWL 125kg (3 grams) to 4.5 tons (266 grams).

The MBXL offers a larger diameter sheave for better handling and it is available from 1000kg to 3000kg with aluminium sheaves. With the resent introduction of the MB Ti, and by the use of titanium sheaves, the XL range expands up to 15 tons (and above as custom). MORFBLOCK is also available with wooden CNC machined cheeks in XL and Ti range, as well as custom colours and custom applications. 

MORFBLOCKs are available in “high load” or “performance” configuration according to the bearing choice. High load bearings are ideal for high semi static loads such as mast base lead blocks, halyards, runners and high load lines where constant trimming is not required.

Performance bearings display a lower coefficient of friction and can be run at higher RPM than high load bearings. They are ideal for more demanding applications such as sheet blocks, control lines where blocks are in constant movement.

 METS TRADE 2019

As every year since its launch MORFRAC Systems will be present in METS, the largest B2B exhibition for the marine leisure industry, and this year will be no different, we have many new things to show: MBXL 2020 edition, soft grip and the new MB Titanium. If you happen to be at Amsterdam next week, don’t miss our products on Stand 07.216 !

To take a look at our products, visit our  webstore.

restart

What a day of twists and turns for “Brest Atlantiques”! Maxi Edmond de Rothschild were the first to pass through the Cagarras Islands today at 12:16, followed by Actual Leader in second.

Sodebo Ultim 3, who at one point had taken the lead, were thinking long-term and decided to alter their course in order to better preserve their boat. MACIF, docked in Rio since Wednesday evening for a pitstop, set sail once again at 16:10. More.

that girl


There is nothing that we don’t love about what Greta Thunberg is doing to help raise awareness (and hopefully action) on global climate change. Sure, the thick-skulled, knuckle dragging Trumpian cultists in the USA love to bitch about her, but then again, they are threatened by any woman with half a brain.

Here is an update on Greta, thanks to NPR.

Two and a half months after she arrived in New York Harbor, Greta Thunberg set sail back to Europe. The 16-year-old Swede’s visit to the U.S. was a barnstorming tour for our time: She had demanded of world leaders at the United Nations, “You all come to us young people for hope. How dare you?” She had marched alongside millions in the Global Climate Strike. She had rallied with thousands of fellow students in places like Iowa City. She had stood with Native American activists at Standing Rock.

And she experienced life in the U.S., a country she says plays an “incredibly important” role in fighting climate change.

“You are such a big country,” she told NPR in September. “In Sweden, when we demand politicians to do something, they say, ‘It doesn’t matter what we do — because just look at the U.S.’

“I think you have an enormous responsibility” to lead climate efforts, she added. “You have a moral responsibility to do that.” Read on.

keeping it up

So I don’t want to start another thread arguing and complaining that sailing is dying but there has to be a solution that’s not “It’s too expensive” or “millennials don’t care”

I’ve worked at the junior level and seen plenty of young kids sign start at 8-10 but very few of them stick around until high school. I’ve also been on a land locked college team in the North East that has at least 60 members every year, many of which are first time sailors, and stick with the sport all 4 years but don’t continue after graduation.

So I believe the number of people interested in sailing is there. The real problem is how do we keep these sailors in the sport, especially since sailing can be a life long sport. Maybe we’re burning kids out too fast at the junior level and not guiding them to finding a passion for the sport. At the college level I think there needs to be a better variety of racing, competing almost entirely on a boat that has no avenue after graduation won’t inspire many young adults to continue after. Especially since I think may of them would love traveling to a few keelboat/offshore regattas (especially the ones with parties) a year with their friends.

How can we get young sailors to invest in the sport for life? Jump in and discuss.

just so cool


Katwinchar, originally built in 1904, at Watneys Brewery in London. The 32 foot Ketch (sure looks like a yawl. – ed) started its first race in 64 years in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Cabbage Tree Island Race, which was a qualifying race for the pending Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Conditions claimed a lost of high profile scalps,including the well documented Wild Oats XI breakdown. Katwinchar emerged largely unscathed. It just underwent a painstaking 2 year long rebuild and refit under the watchful eye of Maritimo principal and  Katwinchar owner Bill Barry-Cotter, who returns to Yacht Racing after a decades on the Offshore Power Boat Circuit.

Despite only beating one boat for Line Honours, Katwinchar corrected out to a solid 9th on IRC which is perhaps somewhat flattering and inflated as  she was one  of the very few boats to carry a Spinnaker without mishap most of the night. Next port of call for Katwinchar is hopefully Hobart! -Anarchist Michael.

setting out


Gitana’s Charles Caudrelier: Right now, we’re setting out behind two of our rivals, so inevitably that’s difficult. However, we’re staying very positive! There’s still a long way to go. The upcoming weather situation is quite clear and there look to be a few opportunities on the cards over the coming days. Together with Franck, we’re going to try not to pay too much attention to the rankings and to sail the best possible course.”

if it ain’t broke

Ten years ago this month we offered an unheard of deal for the holidays. That deal allowed you to show appreciation for your crew with premium customized gear:  UPF 50+ Pro-Tech shirts for under $25 INCLUDING THE LEFT CHEST LOGO. That same deal is back, but if you would like something different we have more to offer now with hats, jackets, bagsfleece & hoodies Pinnies and more.

Performance hoodies for men and women under $18. Performance ¼ zip tech shirts are just $18.50. Customized Neck Gaiters for under $20*. Use coupon code “BEST CREW 25” when ordering ten pieces or more.

We will even create your logo for you for FREE if you don’t have one. Just place your order and then email [email protected] with art or just an idea for art and let our design team make your team feel appreciated. Click here for team gear ideas: http://dryuv.com/DryUV_Team_Designs.htm

get the tires ready


This morning at 9:18am, the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild arrived at Salvador de Bahia where Gitana’s technical team has been working to repair its daggerboard. MACIF has now taken the lead in the “Brest Atlantiques”, but will also have to make a technical pitstop on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro, to replace its central hull rudder (on loan from Banque Populaire). Sodebo Ultim 3 should then be able to take the lead ahead of Actual Leader. Every Tuesday, Sébastien Josse, who is consulting for the Brest Atlantiques race organisers, will review the previous week of racing.

First question Seb, let’s look at the start of “Brest Atlantiques” and the descent into the Bay of Biscay, how did it go for the four trimarans?

As expected, they all sailed safely, leaving with one or two reefs in the main and no headsail; they didn’t have much choice. They knew that there were six tricky hours to come – and in tough conditions to boot. The difference with the Route du Rhum last year is that it was more open, so less demanding for the boats. However, they still set off at a fast pace, at an average speed of 28 knots. They remained bunched initially, but after four or five hours, MACIF unfurled its headsail and immediately gained 4-5 knots of boat speed. The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild was fast to follow, being the competitors they all are.

Then there were different routes to choose, why do you think that was?

Yes, well Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and Actual Leader chose to sail inside the TSS (traffic separation scheme), which wasn’t necessarily the best choice. The route taken by MACIF – to the west – was actually more favourable. I think that choosing this inside course was partly due to the sea’s state; it was a slightly safer choice.

After that, there was a gybing battle….

Yes, and in winds that were actually a lot more erratic than what was forecast. The Maxi Edmond de Rothschild gybed first, and then made two further gybes. I think they tried to escape from a squall which they got caught up in. Here again, they were heading in a more westerly direction, but the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild crossed in front, as the fastest boat in the fleet. They’re always able to keep a little extra in the tank: always a little faster, and a little lower. We saw this happen on the Route du Rhum and in training this year. Which is to be expected, because even though MACIF has had a refit to be more efficient, Gitana 17 is a newer and bigger boat. The MACIF trimaran is 2 metres shorter (30 metres compared to 32).

What about crossing the Doldrums?

I think they all took into account what happened on the Transat Jacques Vabre. Maxi Edmond de Rothschild did well. I think that when going at slower speeds, the damage to MACIF’s rudder has been a disadvantage, as it will have become more difficult to manoeuvre the boat. They may even have lost control at times and perhaps made some 360 turns. At high speeds however, above 25 knots, it’s actually an advantage to not have a central rudder, because it means there’s less drag.

Do you think that Maxi Edmond de Rothschild suffered as a result of the damage to their daggerboard?

Yes, I think that between the Doldrums and Bahia, they should have been going at an average speed of 35 knots or even higher. In reality, they rarely went above 30 knots.

Will these two technical stopovers create enough distance to favour Sodebo Ultim 3 and Actual?

It obviously depends on how long the stopovers take; but yes, of course. As these boats are sailing at over 25 knots at any given time, which means that a pitstop allows those behind to catch up quickly. So, Sodebo will be able to take the lead if they don’t end up having to make any stops. We know that this race will be full of surprises, and these pit stops are just a part of it.

How do you rate the track record of Sodebo Ultim 3 and Actual Leader so far?

We have always known that Actual Leader is a slower boat than the others, and this came to play a part at the start of the race, where she sailed further downwind compared to the others. Looking ahead to the rest of the course in the South Atlantic, it’s going to be a different story. If they make no stops – and everyone else does – they could win. As for Sodebo Ultim 3, we can see that it’s going a little slower than the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild and Trimaran MACIF at certain speeds. I remember hearing Thomas say two years ago that he’d designed this boat for the solo round-the-world attempt originally planned for the end of this year, and because of that, he preferred to have above all a reliable boat. For the time being, it’s proved to be a good decision, since he looks like he’s going to take the lead.

Let’s talk about the rest of the program: what’s the route to Cape Town in the South Atlantic looking like?

Complicated! For the moment, this route will see the boats having to contend with the St. Helena High. The best option will be to pass to the north of the high with upwind conditions for a while. For now, it looks like there’s going to be some upwind sailing between Rio and Cape Town.

And upwind sailing is not very pleasant…

Not necessarily. Today, when these boats are in flight mode, you can sail upwind at 28-30 knots offshore. They’re fitted with shock absorbers, so in terms of comfort, it’s actually not that unpleasant; the boats sail pretty flat. It will be less comfortable for Actual Leader, who doesn’t fly like the others. Otherwise, the disadvantage of upwind sailing is that it puts a little more strain on the boats.

lucky duckys


After two races last Sunday a few of the 18s took some kids for a spin on Sydney Harbour. Each year a selection of sailing clubs are invited to send a few kids for a day watching the 18s from the spectator ferry then a ride…..

Smiles from ear to ear……. what an experience.

viva la frogs

Right now there are three major ocean races taking place in the Northern Hemisphere, the Transat Jacques Vabre, the Mini Transat and the Brest Atlantiques and they all have one thing in common; they all started from France. Either there is something in the water over there or their love for racing sailboats has seeped into their blood but the French people can’t seem to get enough of it.

The lead boats in the Transat Jacques Vabre finished in Bahia, Brazil over the weekend, the Mini Transat fleet is approaching their finish in Martinique and the four Ultime maxi’s are hurtling down the South Atlantic toward their first turning mark off Rio de Janiero. Earlier this year I was commissioned to write an article for Seahorse Magazine to try and explain what it is about the French that make them so passionate about sailing, especially solo or short-handed sailing. It’s a fairly long article but I include it here for your, if not enjoyment, at least interest.

 La Transat Anglaise is no more and with its end comes the end of an era. [...]

Read On

shut ’em down


For the second time, Australia’s offshore oil and gas authority NOPSEMA has rejected Norwegian oil-giant Equinor’s proposal to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight.

NOPSEMA issued a notice to Equinor requiring it to modify and resubmit its environment plan. Equinor must provide NOPSEMA with further information about matters relating to consultation, source control and oil spill risk. “The opportunity to modify and resubmit does not represent a refusal or rejection of the environment plan,” says NOPSEMA. NOPSEMA is required by law to provide titleholders a reasonable opportunity to modify and resubmit their plan if it doesn’t meet the regulatory requirements for acceptance.

Research undertaken by The Australia Institute research which was released this week indicates that South Australia stands to gain just one tenth of one percent of total state revenues from the project over its 40 year lifetime. Modelling based on industry projections of basin wide oil reserves shows the Norwegian Government would receive estimated profits (in net present terms) of A$8.1 billion if Equinor were to develop the base case scenario. The South Australian Government would receive just A$0.3 billion and the Australian Government would receive A$7.4 billion. Read on.

Title inspiration thanks to Public Enemy.

woxi woes


It just went ‘Bang!’ After three days of wild speculation, the real story of what happened to
Wild Oats XI in last weekend’s Cabbage Tree Island Race has emerged.

The first early picture taken inside the 100-footer showed what looked like a ring-frame fracture caused by extreme side-load on the deck as the mast sagged to leeward. Dockside pundits reasoned that some form of standing rigging failure, or sudden excessive sail force, must have caused the damage. There was talk of reaching strut breakage or chainplates ripping up through the gunnels. 

Not so. Sailing Anarchy can confirm that it was mast failure, pure and simple.

WOXI was charging along the mid-coast of New South Wales under two headsails and a full main (they’d just shaken out the reef). The supermaxi was sailing at top speed with a reaching strut set to open up the sheeting angle on their huge genoa. Everything seemed fine.

Without any indication that a failure was imminent the mast collapsed with a loud bang, low down inside the hull. (The shattered end can be seen in the photo above.) Somehow the rig stayed upright, but as the spar fell through the boat the lugs for attaching the reaching struts crashed into the deck. It was that down force that caused the internal damage and a nasty crack in the deck, not side-force as originally thought.

Through a combination of quick thinking, luck and good seamanship the crew was able to save the flailing rig and limp into Newcastle, the safest port of refuge under the prevailing conditions. With the towering spar leaning hard to one side they used WOXI’s canting keel to balance the boat.

Whether the mast failure was a result of extreme torsion or compression is yet to be established. No doubt the team from Southern Spars, who have already begun planning the repair, will come to their own conclusions. There has, as yet, been no decision as to whether they will need to build a new lower section or simply graft on the existing ‘stump’. 

Meanwhile, the boat was lifted out at Woolwich Dock early this morning (0730 Tuesday, Sydney time). The keel comes off and the hull will be parked in the nearby shed while a small army of shipwrights from McConaghy’s race to complete the repairs before the Sydney-Hobart start. They have 44 days.

Wild Oats XI was just one of 23 retirements from the Cabbage Tree Island race. There was widespread sail damage, steering failure, structural issues and a few injuries. Conditions were tough but far from extreme, yet almost a third of the fleet were DNF. Those dramas overshadowed the remarkable performance of the TP52 Gweilo which took first place in every handicap category – IRC, ORCi and PHS. 

 – anarchist David

been there, doing that

As the quest for more and more extreme performance in sailboat racing continues, designers and builders face ever increasing challenges. While advanced composite construction is taken to the limits, the need for in-depth, expert quality testing of build parts – hulls, decks, appendages, rigs – plays an increasingly crucial role.

Over the last 20 years, QI Composites has become the globally accepted expert for NDT (nondestructive testing) and evaluation of technical build specifications and their practical execution. ‘We have been involved in all America’s Cups since 2001, in 2007 working for nine teams; also in all Volvo Ocean Races since 2007, official NDT supplier for entire V65 fleet for past two editions and Ferrari F1 consultant since 2012.

We have also partly or entirely checked the majority of composite superyachts made in the last 15 years,’ says Stefano Beltrando, CEO. QI Composites’ clients include renowned builders who use the firm to validate their work and for R&D activity, yacht owners seeking to protect their investment, racing teams as in the America’s Cup and insurance companies who use QI for damage assessment. Read on.

kids are fast


2019 Nacra 15 North Americans
November 9th – 10th, 2019
Hosted by Sarasota Youth Sailing – Sarasota, Florida 

The 2019 Nacra 15 North American Championships were sailed in Sarasota, Florida with twelve teams from all across the country and would be settled in the final race of an eight race series. 

Jack Sutter and Charlotte Versavel from St. Francis/Richmond Yacht Club were regatta favorites having won the US Youth World’s Qualifiers in 2018 and coming off a recent strong performance at the 80 boat Nacra 15 World Championships in France.  Leading after the first day in their favored windier conditions they remained steady throughout the regatta despite the wind settling to light and shifty at times. 

J.J. Smith and Will Murray from Sarasota Youth Sailing sailed a very consistent regatta starting the regatta with two dominating wins followed by a 10th leaving no room for another poor race.  Will showed up Sunday morning with a cold and started the day with an 9th making their hopes of winning the regatta a bit unrealistic. In spite of this, in a strong effort with a 2nd and 3rd in the next two races, they finished just two points out of first.  

Meanwhile, while the top two performers from day one battled it out, Matthew King and Mia Hanes also from Sarasota Youth Sailing sailed smart to keep them sneakily in the hunt. Seemingly the most in tune with the shifty conditions and consistently towards the front of the fleet through the entire event.  

Luke Melvin and Marianna Shand from Alamitos Bay Yacht Club/Mission Bay Yacht Club found their stride winning the last two races in commanding fashion moving them up to fourth overall. However, with super tight scores in a regatta where no one was the clear leader, there was a battle behind them.

In the final race, at the first windward mark Jack Sutter and Charlotte Versavel rounded in fourth securing them in position for the overall win, during the last downwind found themselves in a tight of the next second boat.  At the finish this group were so tight Race Committee couldn’t even record finish times, and Jack & Charlotte found themselves in the back of the group in 8th place.

With this tight finish changing nearly every position in the regatta, Matthew King and Mia Hanes in the same fashion they sailed their entire event, sailed smartly in the last downwind leg battle take 2nd, wining the regatta on a tiebreaker.  

The Nacra 15 is the Youth Official Youth Multihull of World Sailing. To qualify for the Youth World’s teams must sail with mix gender, any combination may be sailed in Nacra 15 Class events.  The next major event in the USA is the Midwinters West April 10th-12th in Long Beach, California which serves as the first US Youth World’s Team Qualifier.  

Full scheduleFull Results.

the doldrums

They are a lot different on this thing than they are on more conventional boats, that’s for sure.