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get out the beating stick

Good one from the Fabulous Forums, brought to you by Marlow Ropes. Ok here goes... Racing in Detroit in a nice little 6 mile jaunt around the cans, we always get a little fleet compression at one of the marks with a range of Cal 25's, sport boats and some old IOR type boats.  It’s fun and interesting to maneuver thru with my bigger than most boat. The issue is that there is this guy - who cut inside the fleet on new breeze, failing to give room (to me) and then says, "It’s a beer can race what’s the big deal?"  Sort of like those guys who barge at starts . BTW he’s not in my class, but it’s going to happen again he is the type.  Is a protest the only remedy? What say you?...

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unlike trump, we apologize

 It may be that we have been somewhat premature in calling The Ocean Race postponed until next year and for that we apologize. The world is going through massive uncertainties with concerns for the “second wave” of COVID-19.  Will countries open up in a complete enough manner,  will some stopover countries still have some form of quarantine in place and so on. Perhaps just a simple question of how close to the ‘old normal’ will the much talked about ‘new normal’ be. However given the standard challenges of raising sponsorship in the sport of sailing which will have certainly been exacerbated by the COVID-19 and the resultant economic meltdown, raising funds for a race around the world have certainly not got any easier with some companies considered good sponsor prospects already having laid off thousands of workers. One thing that is incontrovertible is that the sponsor pool has just shrunk. As many teams in the past have found, it is sometimes much harder to get to the actual start line than to compete in the race itself,  and COVID-19 has just put that challenge up a notch or two. No matter what, we continue to hope for the best for The Ocean Race as one of the pinnacles of our sport, perhaps the toughest challenge in any sport, and the only fully crewed race around the world, as the first edition put it,  “Leaving Cape Horn to Port” Perhaps a bit like Monty Python’s Holy Grail where in one scene people were being called to “Bring out Your Dead”. One person thrown on the cart says in a quiet voice “I’m not dead” and we don’t think The Ocean Race is either. We think the race is in good hands and we are sure correct decisions will be made to...

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divine

“To one unaccustomed to such scenes, this is a very striking time on shipboard. The gloom through which the great black mass holds its direct and certain course; the rushing water, plainly heard, but dimly seen; the broad, white, glistening track that follows in the vessel’s wake; the men on the lookout forward; the helmsman at the wheel, with the illuminated card before him, shining, a speck of light amidst darkness, like something sentient and of Divine intelligence; the melancholy sighing of the wind through block, and rope, and chain; the gleaming forth of light from every crevice, nook, and tiny piece of glass about the deck as though the ship were filled with fire in hiding.” Charles Dickens – American Notes: The Voyage Out (1842) (Dickens made two trips to America – a rather unhappy visit in 1842 and a longer, and highly lucrative, speaking tour in 1867-68. Mark Twain saw him perform in New York.)...

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sim world

VPLP GETS ITS OWN SIMULATOR In the ultra-competitive world of naval architecture for racing boats, the simulator is fast becoming an essential if not strategic tool. “Dynamic simulation for calculating stresses is playing an ever-increasing role in design. Simulators are now par for the course, and without one, you can’t really work on offshore racing projects,” says Xavier Guisnel of VPLP’s engineering department. “Even velocity prediction programs are now of secondary importance compared to a simulator.” The market is currently dominated by Gomboc, a simulator developed by Swiss engineer and member of Emirates Team New Zealand, Jean-Claude Monnin. VPLP has acquired a licence and also uses the software developed by Artemis Racing. “The problem with tools like these is they are always locked when you rent them,” says Vincent Lauriot-Prevost. “It’s a risk for a business like ours to be dependent on a single supplier,” adds Xavier Guisnel. Which is why VPLP has over the last three years been investing in its own simulator. The aim is, in the words of Vincent Lauriot-Prévost, “to have control over the development of a tool which is equal to our ambitions.” This development role has been entrusted to Paul Kerdraon who joined the firm with the express intention of working on the project. Graduate of the École Polytechnique, he will be defending a thesis on the subject as part of a government-sponsored programme in partnership with the École Centrale Nantes. “Existing simulators are designed primarily for the America’s Cup, which takes place on a smooth sea. We need to take into account the effect of the swell in the stress analysis so we can model the vessel’s sea-keeping properties.” This sophisticated tool, whose models were validated by a month’s worth of tank tests, will be used not only for designing, but also for fine-tuning the boats before they go in the water, which saves considerable time upstream. “The idea...

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no big mac for you

Another bummer for another big race The Chicago Yacht Club and the Race to Mackinac Committee announced today that it has made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Race to Mackinac due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There is one cool thing in that race organizers are asking invited competitors to consider donating all or a portion of their 2020 entry fee to the Mackinac Island Community Foundation Essential Needs COVID-19 Response fund. More here....

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not so simple

“For the newcomer, navigation can be a trial and a disappointment. Fresh from the winter navigation classes, where dead reckoning, estimated positions and fixes march in ordered progression across the chart, he finds that things are not so simple at sea. His observations never seem to match up with his estimated position; landfalls never appear when and where expected; and conspicuous objects on shore might be printed on a different chart for all the help they are to him. And whilst it is easy to stop a car and ask the way of a passing stranger, it is more difficult (and embarrassing) to do the same at sea. There are few navigators who can truthfully claim never to have experienced the sickening feeling of being lost.” (Norman Dahl served in the Royal Navy on destroyers, cruisers and submarines. On retirement he was President of the Royal Institute of Navigation. An active offshore yachtsman he later moved to Australia and died in Brisbane in 2018.) Norman Dahl – The Yacht Navigator’s Handbook, 1983...

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say it brother

A pretty strong and bold statement from Stephens Waring Yacht Design. We support them 100%. With all that is going on in the world, now is not the time to talk about boats. While much of our industry, our livelihoods and our neighborhoods have been insulated from the impact of recent days, what is happening matters to us and we want to take a stand in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. It is clear that much needs to be done. We have decided to start with educating ourselves and would like to share with you some of the resources we've found and are going to use. We thought you might find these helpful as well. Going forward, we pledge to do better. We all must work to dismantle the systemic inequities brought on by white supremacy.  Here are some ways to begin....

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