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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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in bloom

In 2019 and 2020, bushfires razed more than 18 million hectares of land in Australia. For weeks, smoke-choked major cities, leading to almost 450 deaths, and even circumnavigated the southern hemisphere. As the aerosols billowed across the oceans many thousands of kilometers away from the fires, microscopic marine algae called phytoplankton had an unexpected windfall: they received a boost of iron. Our research, published September 15 in Nature, found this caused phytoplankton concentrations to double between New Zealand and South America until the bloom area became bigger than Australia. And it lasted for four months. This enormous, unprecedented algal bloom could have profound implications for carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere and for the marine ecosystem. But so far, the impact is still unclear. Read on....

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frisco fest!

Now that the no longer "Big Boat" Series is underway, we thought to suggest a new name - one that the local yokels will surely love, and one that will delight and amuse others - "Frisco Fest"! There are no longer "Big Boats" in this series, save the aged Lee 68 Merlin. The next largest boat appears to be a Santa Cruz 52,  and a "Big Boat" series they do not make. But whatever, times change and we'd guess the sphincter clutched at StFYC have not helped much, but there is no denying the series ain't what it once was. But, for the 79 mostly one-design boats and scattered others, it looks like a typical frisco fest. Good times! Photo by Sharon Green. Note USA 7676, the very well sailed Melges 32 Kuai looking good among a gaggle of larger boats and currently tied for first in ORR B. Results...

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needs a blooper

It's January 2019, and despite it being the middle of the summer in the Southern Hemisphere, Antarctica's freezing winds are blowing 80 mph and producing 50-foot waves. The world's first wind- and solar-powered autonomous sailing vessel, the 23-foot Saildrone Explorer, endured the extreme weather while surviving collisions with giant icebergs on its 196-day, 12,000-nautical-mile mission to circumnavigate Antarctica. It deployed a total of four drones on a scientific mission to survey krill abundance, track tagged penguins and seals, and measure the rate of CO2 absorption in the Southern Ocean for the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and NASA. Read on....

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cross over

We thought y'all might enjoy this look at sail crossover... Sail crossover is a term used to refer to a boat’s combination of sails for all conditions. Each sail has a range of use, beyond which a smaller sail will replace it. The points where the first sail needs to be replaced for the second indicate sail changes. The crossover diagram shows us the overlap points between the sails and the appropriate moments for sail changes. At the crossover point of the sails, we will have situations where two alternative sail combinations are valid. Changes must be made if we expect conditions to vary in favor of one combination or the other. Read on....

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