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waist deep in the promised land

Imagine your favorite pillow. White and fluffy and as soft as a baby lamb's coat. Rolling contours envelope the surface creating a personal palace for your head to sink into. Now imagine the same landscape but instead of a pillow, it's a wide open winter wonderland of snow covered meadows, subtle valleys and endless terrain. You are just a spec on it's surface. Instead of your head sinking in, you're able to effortless glide across the terrain, riding in and out of valleys, across ridges and floating over streams below. This is snow kiting. No waiting in lift lines. No over priced lift tickets. Just you, the kite and a pair of skis or snowboard. Happiness can be found at the end of a kite. This years mid winter adventure took me to the Big Horn mountains of Wyoming- east of Yellowstone National Park for the 2019 Snowkite Masters. It was a gathering of like minded kiters from the Rocky Mountains & East and West coasts at North America's premiere snow kite lodge- Wyoming High Country lodge. Snow kiting combines the best of snowboarding, sking and kiting. It allows you to ride practically anywhere- up and down the mountain, across powder filled meadows, rolling terrain, gullies and ridges. You can glide down the face of the mountain as the updraft provides continuous lift for the kite. You can ride for miles in any direction exploring endless powder. However, it ain't as easy as it sounds. Just getting there and setting up in the cold weather can be a feat Huffing around to set up kites and snow gear with 5 layers of clothes on and an harness at 9500' elevation takes it toll. So does postholing through the powder to get set up. I'm not gonna lie. It was cold....

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pretty good?

Let me make no secret of it – I really want SailGP to be successful. I think any effort to bring our sport to the masses in an exciting and dynamic way should be applauded and not vilified as some seem to want to do. I am also biased towards Team China – c’mon, my screen name is Shanghai Sailor after all.   Add to that I know, and count as friends many members of the team, Bruno, the Chinese Guys on the boat and the shore and backup teams. In fact we have known recent joiner Wang Jue since he helped us run some racing in Shanghai over 10 years ago. Even then he could lift the anchor with one hand that it took me all my strength to lift with two. He can now bench press 150% of his own weight. The man is a bear and still as cool a guy as ever – AND he sails a Finn when he wants to go slower. I think there is a clear ‘home advantage’ for the two Aussie skippers of AUS & JPN as the race course had more holes than a sting vest and at just the wrong wind speed to mean foiling/ non foiling. Could be wrong and I do not intend to take away from their performance with especially Japan’s consistency throughout the afternoon. (Just my opinion but home advantage usually counts for something) We had 5 screens going at one point – My wife watching the English feed, and commentary which by many accounts was, I am told, dire but that’s what you get when you have a non-specialist commentator. It hear it was like Peter Montgomery or Ken Reid commentating on synchronised swimming. I was watching the QQ or Tencent feed fed on...

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sail fu

We tried watching a couple races of the barely talked about Sail GP Series and found it almost unwatchable. How they manage to take these fairly quick cats and make the racing so uninteresting is a mystery Perhaps its much like F1 racing - the cars get separated very quickly, with little wheel to wheel combat, often almost no passing, with the races ending up as snoozers for fans. This was that. We think they should race these things in 15 knots of breeze at a minimum. How the hell else are fans going to get stoked to see a bit of a racing spectacle? Why is NASCAR so much better than F-1? Because there are 40 cars, running wheel to wheel. F-1 has 21 cars spread out by minutes in some races. So if you can't have wheel to wheel, or hull to hull, then you've got to turn these things loose in breeze. Otherwise, you are saddled with something that is just not very compelling.  - ed. Jump in the thread here....

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sail on

Saw on the RL24 Faceboook page that Rob Legg passed.  He was the designer/builder of the great RL24 trailer sailor.  On the RLYACHTS.NET site there is a great series of articles telling his story getting into sailing and building boats. I just acquired one of these and am readying it for next year, but those articles are great history including him getting on the wrong side of Uffa Fox!  Worth heading over there for a read under "The RL Story".  Jump in the thread....

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strictly classified

Our classified section is better than ever. Easier to see and browse all listings, a visible photo associated with each listing, and the same awesome variety of boats and gear for sale. At just $25 bucks per month, it remains a great deal. Go!...

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max fibre

Future Fibres traveled to Saint Tropez to talk to Danny Gallichan, captain of Magic Carpet 3.The high performance superyacht was recently fitted with the new Future Fibres AEROsix rigging as well as a new Southern Spars mast and boom, for a perfectly integrated aero rig package. AEROsix is the next generation high performance rigging system developed by Future Fibres for grand prix racing and superyachts. It combines both the reliability and strength of multi-strand rigging with the performance attributes of solid carbon, to create the ultimate rigging option on the market. The rigging was successfully tested on the yacht during Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez in 2018, where Magic Carpet 3 showed excellent form to finish 1st out of the competing Wallycentos and 2nd overall in the class. With the yacht sailing to a high performance, and experiencing no rigging vibration, Danny told Future Fibres how happy he was with his decision to upgrade to AEROsix.  ...

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what is it?

SailGP. Ever heard of it?  I didn’t think so but get ready to hear a lot more about it in the next few months. In my opinion it’s the most exciting sailing event to come around in decades. If you enjoyed the last America’s Cup in Bermuda then you are going to love SailGP.  It’s the America’s Cup on steroids and the first race is set to take place this Friday in Sydney, Australia. Larry Elisson, after taking a bit of a drumming in the last America’s Cup at the hands of Team New Zealand, seems to have decided to create his own event which I am sure he believes will be more exciting than the Cup races. He purchased all the existing AC 50 catamarans and have refitted them to be One Design. Word has it that he turbo-charged them as well but I have no specific details about that. They were already pretty turbo-charged. Elisson, along with Russel Coutts, his long time right hand man in all things sailing related, came up with the idea of fleet racing these boats. From their website. “SailGP was created to engage and excite global sports fans year-round in a supercharged, fast-paced version of sailing aimed at increasing its mainstream popularity, introducing the next generation to the sport and creating a career path for extraordinary athletes.” I thought that it was pretty extraordinary to watch just two boat duke it out in Bermuda but imagine six of them on the same race course closing at speeds approaching 80 miles an hour. The format works like this. For each race, teams will be scored from 10 points for a win, through to five points for sixth place. Then, for the final race of each event, only the top two teams will face each...

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