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a mouthful

Offshore racing yacht owners in south-east Queensland looking to qualify for major events, including the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race, have had their task made much easier via a new event organised by Southport Yacht Club. Titled the South-East Queensland Ocean Racing Qualifier, the 220-nautical-mile passage race will start on Moreton Bay on November 12. The course is designed to test sailing and navigation skills in smooth water and rough plus varying tidal conditions by day and night. “The need for this race became apparent at the recent South-East Queensland Offshore Yacht Owners Forum hosted by Southport Yacht Club,” said the club’s Vice Commodore, Drew Jones. “We worked closely with officials from Queensland Cruising Yacht Club in the planning stage and It was decided that we should have a single streamlined event that will qualify yachts for all major events on the Queensland coast, plus passage races like the Rolex Sydney-Hobart race. It will also give yacht owners and crews the chance to hone their skills in readiness for Southport Yacht Club’s Quoin Sail Paradise Series which will be staged from January 3-6, 2022. NOTE: The first entry for the Southeast Queensland Ocean Racing Qualifier came from high profile Southport Yacht Club member Bill Barry-Cotter with his 16.5 metre long offshore racer, “Maritimo”. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: Simon Turpin – Sailing Operations Manager – Southport Yacht Club PH: +61 400 558 917 – email: [email protected]

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presumption of entitlement

My colleague, Shanghai Sailor, has offered a characteristically optimistic take on the chaotic negotiations over which city might host the next America’s Cup. But his analysis misses a fundamental point: the assumption that the Cup must proceed in its current form is false.  Grant Dalton and Team New Zealand are in a difficult position of their own making. They have enjoyed their privileged little AC bubble of elite professional sailing for so long that they can see no other way. From the outside looking in, asking for more and more millions to fund a few weeks of extreme sailing seems like the presumption of entitlement.  The city authorities and politicians who’ve been funding the excesses of the America’s Cup for so long are finally crunching the hard numbers. The old extravagant estimates of economic benefits and TV audiences are being re-assessed. Sponsors and governments are now making cool-headed calculations as to how much real bang they are likely to get for their bucks. At the core, the problem is that AC campaigns have become far too large and expensive. The teams – both defenders and challengers – demand levels of direct funding and infrastructure support that are grotesquely out of proportion with the tangible value of the event.  No doubt this might all seems quite normal to Dalton and his team but to the rest of the world (and its taxpayers) it borders on obscenity. It’s worth noting that Australia, the nation that first defeated the Americans back in 1983, hasn’t participated in the Cup for 25 years. No club, syndicate or corporation ‘Down Under’ has been prepared to fund a challenge. The government wouldn’t dream of contributing a cent to an AC campaign, or bidding for host city rights.  In my view, to bring the Cup back within reasonable...

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change is good

The MC52 might be the smallest multihull in the McConaghy range, but this cat is no kitten.  The design of the MC52 has benefitted from further design refinements of late, and the new version features a fantastic foredeck lounge and a larger aft deck, which provides a desirable al fresco dining space. The spacious saloon offers a versatile living area that is exceptionally light, and there’s direct access to the aft deck via full-height glass doors.  The galley is arranged open-plan and the arrangement is particularly well suited to socializing and family living. The MC52 has dual helm positions on the flybridge, allowing for unencumbered sightlines and an elevated operational position – making her an ideal choice for those new to multihull cruising.  Clients can opt for an even larger flybridge setup - just one example of the many customization options offered by McConaghy. There are two accommodation layouts to choose from; a four-cabin layout (all en suite) or a three-cabin layout that features a large master suite, complete with private study, in the starboard hull Carbon rig, furler running rigging, hydraulic aft platform, hydraulic centreboards, LI batteries and more are included in the base boat, price at USD 1.65m. This is a high spec yacht that performs!...

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poker star

One thing I have learned is that if I ever played poker other than I wouldn’t have a clue as to the rules is don’t play against Grant Dalton.  The delay over the venue decision is not only sensible but the fact an overseas defense was being considered has brought a home defense, if not quite onto the table closer to a possibility. As the other potential venues appear to have had challenges, the Irish concerns about affordability or financial return exacerbated by political moves, the Valencia site becoming a ‘Spanish National Effort’ and the reported human rights concerns of a Saudi Arabian Cup venue the demands by Mark Dunphy that any funding from him and his mates would be dependent on the removal of ‘Dalts’ from his team leader position appear to have been removed from the ‘condition list’. Such an idea would have been, let’s just say, idiotic. “I’ll give the team money if you sack the driver behind the Bermuda victory and the AC36 defense.” Can you imagine the reaction if, having just won the Rugby World Cup there had been a demand to sack the All Blacks manager? It would be just another factor that would make an AC37 a non-defense.  Just the same as if Team New Zealand doesn’t have the budget to match the R & D and team quality of the likely Challengers - INEOS and whoever joins in - then the so-called Defence would likely be no more than a capitulation.   Even Sit Stephen Tindall, long-time sponsor (not a last-minute dangler of cash) of the Kiwi America’s Cup efforts has publicly declared that without Grant Dalton New Zealand won’t win the America’s Cup. The recent report that New Zealand only saw a return of 73 cents on the dollar from AC36 may...

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in house

Forty-five years ago Royal Huisman went looking for a new spar building partner, ideally one also able to supply the latest superyacht sail handling and hydraulic systems... In the end they did not have to travel very far... How do you source the rig and sail-handling systems optimized for that particular superyacht? It boils down to a binary choice between two very different approaches. You can commission it piecemeal from a dozen suppliers or more and then knit it all together as a full custom rigging project. Or, if you want the convenience, performance and reliability of a high-end sophisticated, fully integrated, sail-handling package with the interface to the yacht, you can give the whole job to Rondal. Until quite recently, most of the top sailing superyacht shipyards made their own masts and built their own winches. Over the last 15 years or so, the speed of innovation has led to leading experts in spar making, rigging, deck hardware, hydraulics and various other specialisms migrating from major shipyards, where they used to work in house, to specialist suppliers that serve the whole industry. Read on....

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bad sign

Given that we all know that windmills cause cancer, this comes as no surprise... After reporting mixed financial results in the second quarter, with rising revenue but slim margins, wind turbine manufacturer Vestas has announced that it is closing three of its factories in Europe, including a facility that makes power components for one of its largest offshore models. Vestas is the leading manufacturer in the onshore wind turbine market, and it has a portfolio of offshore turbine models as well, including a new 15 GW giant with the largest swept area in the industry. Scale is key in offshore wind project developments, and Vestas' leap forward from 9.5 to 15 GW at the high end of its range will help it to keep pace with competitor Siemens Gamesa and GE, which have recently boosted the top end of their respective lineups to 14 GW. Vestas’ factory in Esbjerg, Denmark makes power conversion modules for two previous generations of offshore wind turbine, the V164 and the 9.5 GW V174. The factory employs about 75 people, and it is on the list for closure. "As demand for these modules will gradually shift to markets primarily outside of Europe and be delivered via more localized manufacturing facilities, Vestas expects to conclude production of power conversion modules in Esbjerg during the first half of 2022," the company said. Read on....

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it was a good day

Another good race for Charlie Dalin and Paul Meilhat on the IMOCA 60 Apivia, who displayed utter dominance over the rest of the fleet on the 500-mile offshore tune-up race that is the crown jewel of the Defi Azimut regatta. Showing superior boat speed upwind in the light at the start, the duo would only continue to build their lead throughout the race as they won by the substantial margin of 2 hours in a race that took the leaders only 1 day and around 16 hours to complete. With a course that consisted of upwind, downwind and hard reaching - with conditions from very light to the passage of a front with its associated big breeze - this Defi Azimut 48 hour race was a complete test of both man and machine. Behind them was the constantly improving, and impressive, duo of Justine Mettraux and Simon Fisher on 11th Hour’s ‘B’ boat Alaka’i. Locked into a fascinating battle with the other podium contenders, we’ve gotta give props to ‘Si-Fi’ and Justine’s tactical and navigational prowess for taking a flyer to the south to gain more breeze and a better angle on the VMG run and then moving into second place over Thomas Ruyant and Morgan Lagravière onboard LinkedOut.  It was a weekend of ups and downs for the American team 11th Hour Racing, however, as they took out the relative drifter of a ‘Speed Run’ with their new boat Mãlama, though were forced to retire from the 48-hour test with a broken tiller arm. Despite some minor teething issues of a brand new build, the team has to feel good about their chances with both boats and doublehanded duos looking on point headed into November’s TJV. After a dominant run-away performance in both the Rolex Fastnet race and the Defi Azimut’s offshore race, Apivia has to...

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the wrong way completely

From our Fabulous Forums, brought to you by Marlow Ropes. This really happened in today's race.  The SI (for reasons that made sense to nobody but the RC) specified a starboard rounding.  WTF?  Unfortunately, one boat didn't read the SI carefully enough and thought they were doing a port rounding. As far as I can tell, rule 18 applies; both boats are required to leave the mark on the same side (regardless of the fact that one of them doesn't know that) and they're both in the zone.  None of the exceptions in 18.1(a)-(d) apply.  They're clearly overlapped, so 18.2 applies but beats me which boat is inside or outside.  The next mark was upwind, so proper course to the next mark for S would be to harden up to close-hauled on starboard, not that I think that matters to the rule. Any idea what rules actually apply here?  In reality, S hailed to P that this was a starboard rounding and P headed up to round the proper way, several boat-lengths behind P, and got to chat about it back at the bar.  I was the skipper of S.  Last I saw, the skipper of P was looking for the RC chair to give him shit about putting starboard roundings in the SI. Jump in. Title inspiration can be found here....

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it broke

From the G32 Alinghi... Every year, at the start of the season, we do NDT (non-destructive testing), an ultrasound of all the carbon parts - the hulls, foils, beams and mast. This scanner allows us to check the state of wear of the boat, to identify and repair any initial cracks. We did not observe anything during the last scan and no signs of wear have been visible to the naked eye since, unlike a rope or block, which show weaknesses visually. More here....

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