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the blue amazon

The Environment You might not have heard of the Blue Amazon, but it’s the part of the ocean owned by Brazil. Otherwise known as Brazil’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), it covers an area of 3.6 million square kilometers, equivalent to half of the Amazon rainforest. Much like the Amazon itself, it is abundant in natural and mineral wealth, and this has aroused great interest in Brazil, given the country’s special rights to such resources within its EEZ. Beyond the EEZ, there is also ever-intensifying attention – and ongoing negotiations – on deep-sea mining in international waters. Brazil wants to expand its jurisdiction to explore for and potentially exploit minerals beyond the confines of its Atlantic coastline. But experts warn that, given the lack of studies and specific legislation currently in place, such activities could cause serious damage to the ocean environment. More....

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art for art’s sake

Hi SA, I have a sailboat turned sculpture that might interest your readers. It is on view now as part of Miami Beach Art Basel Week. It's called Angle of Vanishing Stability with more info here. Anarchist Justin. We dig it, and here is the song that you've never heard which inspired the title...

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Featured Slot 2

set adrift

When Abigail Danian walked into her kitchen and saw the empty packaging of a burner cell phone on the counter, she knew Isaac had gone. It was Sept. 7, 2020, and she had been out of town for Labor Day. All weekend, her 20-year-old son, Isaac, had been calling her from the family home in Grand Rapids, Mich. He needed money for a “great opportunity” in Hawaii, but that was all he would say. Read on....

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bow wow wow

The recent report in SA on the re-emergence of Wild Oats XI after a two-year Covid hibernation has brought out all the gawking rubber-neckers. The supermaxi is always a sentimental favorite for the Sydney-Hobart Race and the local offshore sailing fans love to eyeball the boat searching for the latest changes. To recap, here’s how WOXI looked in her original state more than a decade ago: Back then the forestay terminated just aft of the plumb stem and the pulpit sat in a conventional position at the limit of the boat’s maximum 100-foot LOA allowed under the eligibility rule. The headsail was soft-hanked to the forestay. Then, in late 2016, a re-configured Wild Oats XI emerged after a major re-build: Now, the boat had a clipper bow and the pulpit was re-positioned well forward of the point where an imaginary vertical line from the stem would meet the deck. The forestay remained in its original relative position.  At the time there was plenty of dockside agitation from other competitors over those changes. Many believed the new bow and pulpit broke the 100-foot LOA maximum.  They argued that the curved clipper bow was integral to the hull and therefore not part of a bowsprit (which, by definition, should be an actual spar). Further, they pointed out that the forward stanchions of the pulpit must establish one end of the “working deck” area, which would clearly now be longer than the 100-foot limit.     This year the bow configuration of Wild Oats XI has been modified yet again: Spot the difference? The forestay now terminates beyond that imaginary point where an extension of the stem line would meet the deck at the 100-foot LOA limit. As it happens, that forestay is probably only there to help keep the mast up. Most supermaxis now...

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heritage

Germany’s North Sea Week is celebrating its comeback to the international race calendars. Once a major hub of the international offshore elite and a unique stage for spectacularly exciting One Ton Cups and Admiral’s Cup trials, Germany’s only real offshore regatta series in the North Sea today has developed into a multi-faceted event with a modern face. The 100-year-old “Nordseewoche” is back on course for a bright future. Part of its success is the sailing marathon Pantaenius Round Skagen Race. Held every two years, the challenging 510-mile course is among the oldest and most popular offshore races the sailing world has to offer. Just seven years younger than the famous Rolex Fastnet Race and 13 years older than the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, the course of the Pantaenius Round Skagen Race takes its fleet through three completely different stretches of water. Starting against the backdrop of the red rock of Germany’s only true high seas island, Helgoland, the race also tests its competitors in the notorious Skagerrak and finishes in the Baltic Sea port of Kiel, the “City of Sails” and the home of Kiel Week. Read on....

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over and out

At 1920hrs this Wednesday, November 23, the race management of the 12th edition of La Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe received a message from CROSS Antilles to tell them that Gilles Buekenhout (JESS) had triggered his distress beacon. Buekenhout was the long-time leader of the Rhum Multi Class on the Martin Fischer-Benoit Cabaret-designed 12m trimaran. The skipper contacted Race Direction some seven minutes later to say that he had capsized 225 miles NE of the Tête à l'Anglais. The Belgian skipper is on board and reported that he is not injured. After speaking with their skipper the JESS technical told race management at 1950hrs that the 60 year old skipper is fine. His backup Iridium phone is working. Two cargo ships have been diverted by the CROSS Antilles Guyane, as well as competitors Loïc Escoffier (Lodigroup) and Roland Jourdain (We Explore) as requested by race management. More here....

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wham bam!

French skipper Yoann Richomme joined the very elite group of solo ocean racers to have twice won their class on the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe today when he brought the new build Lombard Lift 40 V2 Paprec-Arkea through the finish line of the 12th edition this Wednesday afternoon at 16:23:40 UTC to win in the Class40 from a record entry of 55 boats. Richomme repeats his 2018 Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe title success in the class with a facsimile program, launching his latest new boat in the same season as the race, optimizing and making the boat reliable over a compressed period before going on to win comfortably. More here....

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david v goliath

The Environment Greenpeace activists from Mexico and New Zealand renewed their protests over deep-sea mining again targeting the drill ship Hidden Gem, as it returned from its first test mission in the Pacific. The vessel has been the target of past previous environmentalists’ protests over the controversial practice of extracting precious minerals from the deep sea. The Hidden Gem (61,000 dwt) is a converted drill ship, operated by Swiss company Allseas and commissioned by Canadian miner The Metals Company. While the vessel was undergoing its conversion in Rotterdam in preparation for the new role it was targeted, and again at the end of last week as it arrived off the coast of Manzanillo, México after eight weeks of test mining. Activists from Greenpeace protested in kayaks holding banners that read “Stop Deep Sea Mining,” as the vessel reached Mexico. Greenpeace Aotearoa campaigner James Hita, onboard a small vessel off the Manzanillo coast, also delivered a message of protest to the captain of the Hidden Gem via radio. The protest was mostly symbolic to draw attention to their cause. Read on....

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unspoken credo

There is a certain understanding among mariners of all stripes, no matter creed, culture, country, or religion. If there is a fellow mariner in distress you stop where you are going, divert to where you are needed, and lend assistance. This unspoken credo has saved many lives over the years and, thankfully, it saved the life of one of the competitors competing in the Golden Globe Race.  The GGR is a solo, non-stop circumnavigation in retro boats retracing the route (and spirit) of the original Golden Globe race that took place in 1968. This past Friday the Finnish sailor Tapio Lehtinen activated his EPIRB. He was among the leaders when on a perfect summer sailing day (his words) in the Southern Ocean, his boat hit something and within five minutes the water was up to deck level and twenty minutes later it had sunk. Tapio was able to inflate his liferaft, grab his emergency grab bag and watch his beloved yacht slip slowly beneath the waves; every sailor's nightmare.  The pre-race preparations for the Golden Globe Race are rigorous and the boats are well prepared. Tapio was lucky, if you can call it that. Two other competitors and a Hong Kong-flagged bulk carrier, the Darya Gayatri were in the vicinity. In a coordinated effort between the GGR Crisis Management team in France along with Race Founder Don McIntyre who was in Cape Town at the time, and with support from the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center, also in Cape Town and CROSS Griz-Nez in France, they managed to rescue Tapio.  First they diverted South African sailor Kirsten Neuschafer and Indian sailor Abhilash Tomy while at the same time communicating with the captain of the Darya Gayatri. A kite more than 24 hours after his boat sank, Kristen hauled Tapio on board. They shared...

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