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smiles abounded

One of the few major sailing events to actually go ahead, over 17th to 20th September on the water off Wu Yuan Bay, Xiamen the 16th China Club Challenge Match, fleet racing element was contested in J-80s by 41 teams from across China in what was, for the third year running, the largest one design keelboat event in Asia as well as the oldest such event in China. The ‘Club Cup’ as it is often known started as a challenge between Iron Rock Sailing Club of Xiamen and Zhuhai Sailing Club in two very beat up J-24s. Over the years the event has been sailed in Flying Tiger 10s, FT 7.5s and for the past few years the J-80.  With the cancellation of this year’s China Cup in Shenzhen due to that event being largely dependent on foreign charter crews and visiting yachts this also placed the event as the largest keelboat event of the year in China by a significant margin. As boats headed out to the race area the light wind and strong tidal current led to many boats being swept down tide as they attempted to reach the racing area. The PRO however sensibly (and sensitively) delayed the start until all boats managed to sail up towards the line in the gradually strengthening breeze. The strong current pushing boat back from the line mean no early takers but for one of the most crowed committee boat ends I have seen – so many boat so close and not a single red flag in evidence. Partly shyness perhaps but also the sort of spirit this regatta has become known for. By the start of race 2 the current had eased catching out an inordinate number of teams leading to the first extra 2 toots of the event, a...

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it’s a lock

The Alphalock brand is a relative newcomer on the sailing hardware scene but its CEO, Eric Hall – founder of Hall Spars and inventor of their renowned Hall Autolocks - is anything but “the new kid on the block”! Eric has taken all his years’ experience and channeled them into producing an ultra-simple, lightweight and adaptable halyard locking mechanism. Upffront.com sat down with Eric to discuss his new technology and he started by describing where the name came from. “I was throwing around a few ideas but then it just hit me: ‘Alpha’, which means ‘dominant’ or ‘leader of the pack’ ….…. which is exactly what we are aiming to be. It also gets you at the top of any alphabetical list, which is a bonus!” Read on....

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a new look

It looks pretty dull compared to the craft we've been seeing of late, but it is no doubt a missile... The brand new Arkema 4 was launched in the water this morning outside the Lalou Multi Composite shipyard in Port Bloc in the Gironde region, after one year of painstaking work. This Multi50 is the result of close and intense technical collaboration between the Arkema Group and Lalou Multi, partners for now 8 years. With recyclable resins, new adhesives, clean energy..., many innovative materials and technical solutions complement bold architectural choices. Adorned with blue and grey with a touch of red, the new Multi50 is now ready in the run-up to the initial tests and a swift and efficient handover, thanks to a busy and varied sports program. From the Lalou Multi Composite shipyard to the salt water of the Gironde estuary is just a few steps. The crane did not have to extend its boom very far this morning to lower Arkema 4 into the water. Risen from the ground just a year ago for the construction of the new Multi50, the Lalou Multi Composite shipyard literally lies at the water’s edge, and only had to open its doors wide for the public to finally catch a glimpse of this new machine. Arkema 4 unveiled its stylish look and contemporary design, before being lifted to don its deep central rudder....

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no signal

The United States issued a renewed warning to mariners of multiple instances of significant GPS interference. According to the U.S. Maritime Advisory, this interference is resulting in lost or inaccurate GPS signals affecting bridge navigation, GPS-based timing, and communications equipment. Satellite communications equipment they warn may also be impacted. This renewed warning is non-specific to an area of the globe, but it notes over the last year, areas from which multiple instances have been reported include the eastern and central Mediterranean Sea, the Persian Gulf, and multiple Chinese ports.  Read on....

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no excuses

“The first sailing race that I can recollect as having taken part in was on Boxing Day 1878. The dinghy I sailed was about 15’ long, 4’6” in beam, 2’ deep, fitted with a fixed fin. Centreboards were only to be found in very few boats in those days. She was rigged with a sprit sail, bamboos being used for spars – partly for lightness, but principally because they grew in great numbers in Wally Bennett’s old home in Shell Cove. Our victory was mainly due to the fact that most of the others in the race capsized. It was quite the usual thing to do if you could not win. It was a kind of excuse. I never did hold this view, and although I have been in many races since, I have never been in the ‘drink’. Perhaps I am lucky.” -Stanley Spain – Beginnings (1958) (Stan Spain was a stalwart of the Sydney sailing community and won many championships in his 22-foot open boat Mischief. He was an active member of the Sydney Amateur Sailing Club for 64 continuous years – a club record. Spain died in 1967.)...

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all about the glue

Think of a color that best represents advanced yacht construction and it is hard not to see black. But while carbon composite technology has dominated the sharp end of the sport for many years, when it comes to the range of resins that have been a part of that development, there’s little that West System epoxy hasn’t seen or been involved with in this field. But it hasn’t just been carbon that has allowed builders to push at the boundaries, some have been combining the latest composites with the oldest of building materials, wood. As one of the UK's longest running users of West System epoxy, Spirit Yachts is a perfect example. Famous for producing their distinctive range of elegant yachts, one of the key elements in their appeal and success has been the way in which they have blended a traditional style and approach to building with modern techniques and materials. ‘Every one of the 74 yachts they have built has used West System epoxy,’ explains Wessex Resins & Adhesives’ sales director Dave Johnson. ‘And during that time the design and engineering has not just evolved, but Spirit Yachts has been adapting and embracing new materials and techniques. Read on....

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rollin’

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SnCE_1SdbpA&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR37zX5nl_oB8W0bLp6DIiO_sDLDSXCFntfs66qjuXZhgyJ4r1cC8Cy6Vno Fulcrum Speedworks, creator, builder and global dealer of the UFO has bucked the trend of hard times and just keeps getting people high.. in the air. "It's been an incredibly rough year, but we've been perpetually heartened by our new customers. While the world seems to be getting dark, delivering flying machines to so many people starting out on the fun new adventure of learning to fly has been a welcome beam of light. Being busy in the face of rough times is one thing. Being busy and bringing joy to people who really need some source of joy is a whole extra level of satisfaction. Fulcrum rolled into the fall still booked out four weeks, which is frankly rare for us. Rarer still, as of today, we are suddenly booked out eight weeks. How? We just booked production of another container load of UFOs for Foiling UFO Australia. They have a couple still in stock, so jump on them NOW. The next shipload of boats will be arriving before Christmas. Merry Christmas, Australia! Jump on the shipload ASAP as well before they sell out. While there are definitely pangs of survivors guilt, I'm proud to say that the Fulcrum family is resoundingly healthy and happy. We're looking forward to making you a UFO soon so we can put your home movies in New Invaders, Summer 2021. Love to you all. We can't thank our awesome customers enough. They are our North Star. " -Dave Clark, President, Fulcrum Speedworks llc...

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