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x marks their spot

Never huge in the states, but here is a look at the history of X-Yachts... Faithful to Scandinavian principles, the Danish shipyard X-Yachts has been manufacturing fast and elegant sailboats for more than 40 years. A look back at the history and evolution of the famous Danish monohulls. Read on....

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the front fell off

Picture this: you’re racing doublehanded around the world and you’ve just rounded Cape Horn in the lead. After a brief stopover at the bottom of the earth in Argentina to celebrate your leg victory and prepare for the next leg, you begin the next leg and you’re absolutely launched and pointed north towards the next finish in Brazil. You’ve got boat speed for days and you and your co-skipper are perfectly in sync; you’ve played the weather card right and were the first to reach the new breeze. You extend on your rivals. Conditions are getting warmer and milder and you’re finally able to shed layers and shake the reefs after the long, cold, and windy southern ocean legs. Life is good. Really good.  Then, BOOM! You’ve just slammed into an unidentified floating object and the boat comes to a screeching, grinding, bulkhead-popping stop. The extent of the damage is unclear, but one thing is for certain; the boat is broken and you now need to get to port to make repairs. In an instant, you’re no longer racing and are in a survival situation and unexpectedly headed to port. Once you reach port, you haul the boat to discover a laundry list of damage, but nothing fatal to the boat or your prospects of at least finishing the race. Your race around the world has now become a race against the clock to get the boat fixed and get re-started.  That’s exactly the situation that MILAI skipper Masa Suzuki (JPN) and co-skipper Estelle Greck (FRA) have found themselves in during the 6th of 8 legs in the inaugural Globe 40 race. Now in Mar del Plata, Argentina, the team is well underway on completing repairs before they sail to Grenada to attempt to re-join the race for it’s final...

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what is it?

Now that's what we're talkin' bout! Add a couple babes back there, plug in the blender, crank some Travis Scott, and you got it goin' on, G! Now, what is it?...

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what can be done?

Community Thirty-five years ago, a young college graduate took over a sailing school in Colchester, Vermont.  Robin Doyle grew up on the Connecticut coast in a racing sailing family, and her love of sailing made her want to share the sport with others who would never have even dreamed of world-class sailing so far from an ocean. She, with the help of her beloved dad, gathered a small fleet of Solings and a few pocket cruisers in need of rescuing, fixed them up, and started teaching.  She now has an ASA-award-winning school and club, welcoming beginners, cruisers, racers, club members (boat owners or not), and students from all over the US and Canada and even farther. She has mentored more than one teenage kid looking to learn by doing; she offers programs to underserved youth and through the local parks and rec department, to people who wouldn’t have the means to try sailing.  She has created a community of like-minded club members who are interested in developing their skills and helping others develop theirs. Robin sets up and runs countless races, having repurposed her own trophies to commemorate these series.  She is generous with her time and knowledge and is “Mama Duck” watching over all her little ducklings as they learn to venture farther from their home port. Her business of owning and maintaining boats for club use allows people to sail without having to worry about doing all that for themselves until they’re ready.  When her students pass their Learn To Sail, the cost of renting boats to keep practicing is the best deal going.  Hers is a no-frills, pure sailing experience.  She teaches her students to SAIL on and off a mooring, not flip a switch and drive off.  One protege started the sailing club at the University...

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nurdle

The Environment Environmental authorities in France are livid over a wave of plastic nurdles washing up on the pristine shores of Brittany, where the tiny white pellets have become known as the "white tide" or "mermaid's tears." The source vessel is unknown, but local and national officials have asked prosecutors to find and charge the anonymous perpetrator. Nurdle pollution can interfere with tourism and fishing, and it has been linked to deformities in marine life. The problem is widespread, but it gained attention after the sinking of the feeder X-Press Pearl off the coast of Sri Lanka in 2021. That accident released nearly 1,700 tonnes of white plastic pellets - raw ingredients for the manufacturing of plastic goods - which washed up in drifts along the island's western shores. It was by far the largest spill of its kind in history, and the long-term damage to marine life, fisheries and tourism will likely cost Sri Lanka billions of dollars. More here....

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uh-oh

The Environment A Chinese freighter has gone aground on a giant coral reef just off the Japanese island of Ishigaki, an outpost in Okinawa Prefecture located some 125 nm to the east of Taiwan. The freighter Xin Hai Zhou 2 lost power between Ishigaki and Kohama Island on Tuesday morning, and the crew requested assistance from the Japan Coast Guard at 0905 hours. However, high winds were causing the ship to drift, and it grounded on a reef at about 0930 hours. According to NHK, Xin Hai Zhou's location is at the edge of Sekisei Lagoon, the largest coral reef in Japan. The area is known for its reefs, diving destinations and seaside resorts, and while no pollution has been reported, any potential fuel spill from the vessel could have an outsize impact. More here....

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it just gets better

Big Pimpin' With its mix of competitive offshore and inshore racing held in a gorgeous springtime Mediterranean setting, coupled with a deep heritage in event management excellence now in its 68th year, Circolo del Remo e della Vela Italia’s Tre Golfi Sailing Week sponsored by Rolex is one of the best events in the race week genre. Nearly 140 entries from over a dozen countries participated in 2022, with more expected when the event offers some new formats and features for 2023. First, the start of the legendary 150-mile Tre Golfi Race on Friday 12 May will not be at midnight as it has been a tradition for many years past. While this is a dramatic start to a classic race with silhouettes of the fleet backlit by the night lights of Napoli, there is also the difficulty of usually having very light wind conditions. The reflections of the fleet and the reflected glow of the lights on the glassy water make for great art photography, but not for very great progress on the racecourse. Read on....

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sam speaks

Sure, some of you are griping about our extended coverage on this, but so what? Go read something else if you don't like it. We think it remains a compelling story. - ed. Sam Haynes, the owner/skipper of Celestial, has now responded to an invitation to comment on coverage of the yacht’s IRC handicap issues following the recent Sydney-Hobart race. This is the entire, unedited text of Haynes’ written response:  “Celestial was weighed, with seven other IRC yachts in early December (after the Cabbage Tree Island Race).  The measurement process included weighing the bulb.  The yacht was inclined and her overhangs measured in the water.  “All the sails were measured by an accredited independent measuring authority.  The data, which completed a full measurement for IRC and ORCI, was collated by an accredited measurer and submitted to Australian Sailing (our IRC Authority) who submitted to the RORC IRC certification office.  The certificate is endorsed and is one of the most up-to-date certificates carried in the 2022 RSHYR.” Those words are carefully chosen and still leave considerable room for speculation. But it is important – and fair – that Haynes has had the opportunity to place his response on the record. Meanwhile, the indefatigable Mr. Russell Beale in the UK is soldiering on with his requests to the RORC and Australian Sailing for a rating review of Celestial.  The RORC Rating Office declined his request on the basis that Beale did not have a “valid interest” in the matter. In response, he points out (in a second email) that as there is no definition of an “interested party” in the IRC Rules, he has the right to seek a review. Further, he wrote: “I believe that the integrity of the sport is under threat and as part of the organisation that monitors...

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