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cool cats

We are pleased to announce our newest advertiser... NY based Aeroyacht Ltd. have been known to focus their passion on getting good cruising multis to the people. Scanning their listing we have discovered some very significant catamarans such as the legendary Victorinox, a 2004 KKG Novara 50 Class racer-cruiser, which has several Route de Rhums under her belt. Noteworthy is Aeroyacht’s new line of McConaghy multihulls, such as the McConaghy MC50 and MC60. It’s worth checking out these ultra-high tech centerboard lux-cruisers…...

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not so junior

Bow14-Lawrence Luke / Alexey Selivanov American sailor Luke Lawrence is, with crew Alexey Selivanov, the first Star Junior World Champion Under 30 after a six race regatta in the water of Biscayne Bay in Miami, Florida, successfully hosted by the Coral Reef Yacht Club and organized by the International Star Class. The championship started off well for the team who won the inaugural race of the series on Monday, then handed the lead last night to Charlie Buckingham and Austin Sperry (USA) and even today, on the last downwind they were second to Tomas Hornos (USA) and Pedro Trouche (BRA). But the finish line was upwind and they managed to pass a couple of boats, all they needed to conquer the first ever Star Junior World Championship title. “We had a great time, we worked very well together and we had much fun – said an enthusiastic Luke Lawrence – We have to thank doctor Jim Revkin without whom this would not have happened if he hadn’t called me five days before the event and told me Alexey was ready to crew for me and gave us the boat  8507 and new sails. He went straight to the point of this event, he helped the new guys enter the class and keep them going. There are a lot of Star sailors who gave their boats and helped this event become possible, we have 36 boats here! I am now planning to stay in the class and race more, maybe attend the SSL Finals and I will train for that!” Read on....

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it’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon

Just back from the 42nd Windsurfer Class Australian Championships at Toronto on Lake Macquarie, NSW (1.5 hours north of Sydney). 107 registered competitors – 10 course races, funky freestyle, double elimination slalom and a mega marathon – all in four days! Great racing, fantastic fun vibe with music and commentary and top socials. Youngest competitor 12 years, oldest 72. Raced on the recently released Windsurfer 'LT' – a modern update to the original Windsurfer that hundreds of thousands learnt to sailboard on – the package features a lightweight epoxy hull with enhanced volume driven by a simple but highly tuneable rig. It delivers good performance whilst supporting inexpensive one design racing, where the emphasis is on skill and tactics rather than equipment. The fleet was red hot with Olympians and World Champions mixing it with up-and- comers from RSX/Techno as well as some pretty handy weekend warriors. Men's fleet is divided evenly into 4 weight groups to account for one rig size for all. No upwind pumping keeps the older crew in it and makes the racing much more even and strategic. A 'Cruiser' division allows returning and novice racers a great option to get on the racetrack with shorter courses. In 9 months more than 300 LT's have been sold in Australia and over 1,000 worldwide – with big fleets already in Europe and Asia. The USA is just firing up. The Class received World Sailing recognition in November (after a 20 year gap) and will host its first official Worlds on Lake Garda late July. More than 200 competitors expected. In a great move to drive junior participation the Australian Class Association and local distributor announced annual Scholarships to the top performed female and male Youths at the Nationals providing funding for them to attend the Worlds. The...

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choppy waters

The European Commission has recently requested further information1 from World Sailing over its choice to select a single manufacturer for its one-design sailing craft. This is the preliminary step in an EU antitrust investigation. This follows news2 that Devoti Sailing, an Italian manufacturer of sailing craft, had obtained a legal opinion stating that World Sailing was in contravention of EU competition law. Initially the matter was referred to the Italian Competition authorities, but due to the pan-EU impact of the investigation the Commission has now taken over. This article explains the background to the investigation, the legal framework, and gives the authors’ views on the arguments that are likely to be raised. BACKGROUND TO WORLD SAILING’S POLICY World Sailing is alleged to have adopted practices that prohibit competition between suppliers and makers of various Olympic class boats. Historically, the body which governed Olympic sailing would specify a class of boat to be used for each individual Olympic event, and manufacturers and competitors would have to build and use boats which complied with strict technical guidelines. However, in recent times, World Sailing has moved towards a model whereby a single manufacturer of a very specific boat is chosen for each event. Competitors must enter the event in that specific class of boat. Whilst other manufacturers could build that same boat, they would need a licence from the original manufacturer to do so, as the original manufacturer owns the intellectual and industrial property rights in the design and manufacture of that boat. It is contended that the manufacturers concerned have not been licensing their rights on commercially reasonable terms.3 Read on...

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forget the frostbite

I am the definition of a fair weather sailor. You can keep your Frostbite series and I’ll see you in the spring. I get it that temperatures vary and some Frostbites actually end up in the 60s, but I’m no chancer. So where? I first read about the Cape 31, a one design by Mark Mills first launched during the 2017 Volvo Ocean Cape Town Stopover, sitting in the cold at Christmas. The Southern Hemisphere seemed due far enough south. Now in Cape Town, excitement is growing as 11 teams prepare to race the Cape 31 Invitational Regatta this weekend, February 8-10. The event kicked off today with the handing over of the charter boats, followed by an afternoon wine tour of sponsor Durbanville Hills wine farm (yes, I manage to write this!). Tomorrow will see practice races and a tech talk, and three days of races will start Friday morning after weigh-ins. Go here to follow results: http://cape31.co.za/cape-31-invitational-regatta/ The boats are moored in V&A Waterfront with racing set to take place in Table Bay. A total of 11 teams are racing, including three international teams who will be sailing in Cape Town waters for the first time. The international teams, from Sweden, Hong Kong and the UK, arrived today. “Some are out in Table Bay practicing already,” said Hylton Hale, managing director of Worldsport Sailing. The visitors will race against some of South Africa’s top sailing talent including Olympic sailors, world champions, and Volvo Ocean Race sailors. America’s Cup Shozoloza campaigner Mark Sadler is sailing on Team Orion from Hong Kong; Anthony Spillebean, multiple Volvo Ocean Race campaigner and Fast40 circuit sailor is also on Team Orion; multiple international dinghy champion David Rae is sailing Nitro; Olympic campaigner Roger Hudson on Magic, TP52 campaigners Tina Plattner and Tony Norris...

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food for thought

Hey! Americans! Let’s show ‘em what happens when we put our heads together. Traditional America’s Cup challenges have amassed resources first, to facilitate attempts to corner the experience and innovation markets: (as if!). What if we just assume that, by democratizing discussions of the class rule – worthwhile design ideas will percolate to the surface of their own merit, and the process of heating the brew will be fun? And, if we do a good enough job, the ideas themselves and not the capital hoarded to promote their birth will spring to the surface like dandelions growing out of sandy cracks. Here’s an example to get us started, concerning AC75 mainsail design. I find rule 19.26 very interesting. 19.26  The mainsail shall be equipped with solid buoyant material or inflated air bags in order to provide positive buoyancy near the top of the mast. There shall be at least 300 kgs of buoyancy from all combined mainsail buoyancy systems when submersed in salt water with an assumed water density of 1025 kg/m3 and the combined weight of these systems shall be at least 3kgs. The centre of volume of all mainsail buoyancy systems shall be within 1.5 m from the uppermost head of the mainsail and if this centre of volume is greater than 0.5 m from the uppermost head then the minimum buoyancy and minimum weight of the combined buoyancy systems shall be increased by 100kg and 1kg respectively per metre below beyond this limit. Any ballast required to meet the minimum weight requirement of this rule shall be added at the same height above MRP on the mast tube as the centre of volume of the combined buoyancy systems. 
 Looking at the shape of the back of the mast, this seems like precisely where I’d hide my...

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more food

The final months of 2018 will be recorded in the history of the International Finn class as when World Sailing chose to replace the class for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games with a new and un-tried Mixed Offshore Keelboat event. In truth the Finn wasn't so much voted out as lost in the process to secure gender equality within the 10-medal format. However a trawl through the WS committee minutes reveals that the real reason for the switch was more to do with money - specifically growing the revenues of the ailing World Sailing coffers. The minutes of the Equipment committee meeting reveal that one of the prime movers behind the vote was Matt Allen, President of Australian Sailing and a renowned offshore owner, (not a member of the Equipment Committee but was somehow allowed to speak as a substitute for Chairman of the Oceanic and Offshore Committee, Stan Honey from USA). Allen's pitch was that 'the event had the potential to meet the demands from the IOC hopefully enabling World Sailing to move from group D to groups C or B. The importance of the number of viewers for the IOC was acknowledged and the event was presented as a unique opportunity to meet these demands'. For London 2012, Athletics in Group A was awarded $47 million, Group B Sports $22 million and sailing in group D just $14 million - so it is all about the money! Much of what Matt Allen says is laudable - to grow sailing and its media penetration but much of his views are based on the strong media coverage achieved by the last Volvo Ocean Race. Assuming that the same level of resources and media rights sales can be achieved with Olympic sailing is a rash and unfounded jump too far. Each...

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shark bong???

  We can't possibly make this level of bullshit up. Holy Fucking Christ.  A fisherman and moderator of a popular Facebook group has used the body of a dead shark as a bong, prompting widespread criticism on social media. The shocking video, which appears on popular group Fried Fishing Australia, shows the man holding the lifeless body of a small shark with a pipe stuck in its head and another pipe protruding from below its fin. The man then lights the pipe, sucking from it before exhaling, appearing to laugh speak, while the “Baby Shark” kids song plays. Read on....

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