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not here, there

The island Saaremaa in Estonia, announced last Saturday as DN European Championship venue, was hit by a snow storm on the same day, and with the ice now covered with snow, another location had to be selected. The Europeans will start tomorrow on the ?niardwy Lake in Poland. The news....

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get in it

The 3rd RS Aero World Championships is set to enjoy the Australian summer as a climatic end to the 2019 season, set over New Year at Black Rock YC, Melbourne. The two previous World Championships started out with 100 RS Aeros at Carnac, France, in 2017 and then doubled in size to over 200 RS Aeros at Weymouth, UK, in 2018. The first southern hemisphere worlds recognises the rapidly growing Australian RS Aero fleet and makes an exciting step for the International Class. The World Championships will take place between 28th December 2019 and 4th January with the 28th and 29th reserved for training and registration. A lay day is scheduled for New Year’s Day for some mid championship rest and relaxation, taking in the local sights! A large charter fleet of some sixty RS Aeros will be available with the support of RS Sailing and Sailing Raceboats of Australia and charter RS Aeros are now available for booking. International visitors can book charters via RS Sailing and Australian charterers can book via Sailing Raceboats Australia....

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pool before you

A nice piece of imagination  and thinking outside the box from Glenmore Sailing Club in Alberta especially as the outside temperature is more conducive to Ice Yachting right now with temperatures of around -7C right now. Just shows what can be done by even a small club to promote or continue interest in our sport out of season with a bit of effort. Excellent initiative. It reminds me of when, back in the day the Paris Salon Boat Show used to have Indoor Yachting at Versey although on a much bigger pool and budget. It was even televised on Eurosport much to the delight of those sailing fans starved of coverage of our sport back then – way before the advent of Youtube of course. If you can find it on line it may bring a smile to your face given the youthful look of Sir Russel Coutts and Peter Gilmour with even rules guru Dave Dellenbaugh in the mix. See, he doesn’t just write about the rules . Some pretty aggressive match racing to boot. Apologies about the quality of the screen grab, this was way before HDTV. - SS....

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crossroads

TIME TO UN-RIG AND TAKE A PAUSE: THE LASER AT THE CROSSROADS Major developments have come to the fore in the past weeks relating to the Laser - so far the most successful one-design sailboat ever, with the Optimist. These developments, including the announcement of not less than 5 new rigs, come at a time when the Laser is being evaluated against 3 other single-handed dinghies for the 2024 Olympics. These developments are complex and hard to fully understand. Yet one thing is clear is that the thousands and thousands of Laser sailors around the world have not been consulted. Those in charge of the class, along with the manufacturers, are making decisions that, although in theory well-intended,  may have huge repercussions, including adverse ones. The Laser is at the crossroads. The future of the Laser is in fact at stake. So the message of this article is that it’s time to pull the plug, to put all these 5 new rigs and other changes on the back burner until the Olympic future of the Laser is known, for the class to reconnect with its membership, and then to make the right decisions for the class, will it remain Olympic or not. What did we learn in the past weeks? three new rigs have been announced in Australia - called C5, C7 and C8 - intended to ultimately replace the 4.7, the Radial and the Standard — these rigs have been in development for several years by Julian Bethwaite, who was also behind the design of the 29er and the 49er. The publicly available pictures and videos of the c5 rigs show lots of resemblance with the 29er: no vang but a gnav instead; an apparently non-adjustable outhaul, a mylar sail; and carbon/composite mast and booms. The prices of these...

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40 boy!

At the beginning of this century there was a proliferation of new designs and new classes, all trying to find their niche in the growing competitive world of inshore big-boat racing. The last generation of offshore boats were no longer interesting to a new culture of inshore racers. They now wanted the athletic and tactical skills required to excel in multiple short races held on the same day in sailing venues where good weather during the day at sea and at night onshore made for a positive experience for all. Coupled with increasingly generous support from sponsors, there was a strong appetite for competitive onedesigns like the Soto 40s and, at higher prices, box rule boats such as the GP 42 and TP 52 classes. The boats were racing in well-managed and organised circuits like the MedCup, which eventually evolved into the only racing these boats did, losing their connection to racing under handicap in other races and regattas. Except for the one-designs, the pace of development was fast, with the newest designs inevitably having an edge over anyone in the existing fleet. The 52SuperSeries has survived and thrived since the crisis-era demise of the MedCup, under the guidance and leadership of professional class management and visionary owners. And, after the start of interest in high performance 40-footers began in the US with the HPR rule a few years ago, this prompted a keen group in the Solent to develop their own local circuit called Fast 40+, which is now in its third successful season. However, until now there’s been no similar development of an inshore race circuit based in the Med for high-performance 40-ish footers. The boats are often just sitting on the hard, awaiting an opportunity to get out again and enjoy great, closely matched racing. They just...

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college stuff

If fleet racing is a zen-like endeavor where sailors compete mainly against themselves while the opposition is a secondary consideration, team racing is a one-on-one match where your squad must work together in perfect harmony to take down the opponents. It is match racing multiplied by three. Read on....

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pool time!

The first event of the Glenmore Sailing Club's 60th anniversary year is "Indoor Sailing"… in January… in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. This is an introduction to sailing event with a wall of industrial fans along the length of the pool providing the wind for a fleet of Optis in the pool. Details at www.glenmoresailingclub.com/IndoorSailing. Props to Anarchist Nollind.  ...

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ya dare?

If at first you don’t succeed, sail, sail again. That’s the mantra of dinghy adventure sailor Ken Fowler who is back on the water with his latest “dizzy adventure”.  Back in 2017 he took his 12 foot RS Aero dinghy along the length of Great Britain, covering 865 miles of action filled sailing in his “Race To Scotland”. Fog banks, nuclear submarine exercises, giant whirlpools and surf beach landings typified the roller coaster ride of taking on this challenging route. Having pushed his body to the limit with 10-12 hour days in the dinghy he managed to raise a staggering £37,000 for two cancer charities. Most sailors would give themselves a pat on the back; say “Well done” and walk away feeling “Mission Accomplished”.  But not Ken. For Ken and Yoda (his RS Aero dinghy) it was more a feeling of “Unfinished Business” having set themselves the target of raising £50,000 for cancer charities and come up short. So in order to finish the job Ken came up with the equally crazy idea of becoming the first dinghy to sail around all the islands in England and Wales. This turned out to be a bigger challenge than he thought, once he started discovering more and more islands!  So far the count is up to 183 islands and over 1000 miles of sailing - but who knows what the final totals might be? The 183 islands vary in size from the 120 miles around Anglesey in Wales to the multitude of stunning “Caribbean”  islands of the Isles of Scilly, some of which are only around 30m in length! Each island has its own intriguing history such as “Deadman’s Island” – full of coffins and bones that are visible at low tide and the Napoleonic forts guarding the home of the British...

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