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the new norm?

We bet you have a comment on this... Looking for insight and feedback.  I had a recent discussion with sailing friends regarding what I'd call "pay to play" with crew for races.   The boats I play with as crew it was the norm to BYOB, and perhaps contribute snacks and lunch or such. Labor for maintenance was desired but not demanded. Transitioning into distance and ocean races I'm hearing more about owners "requesting" contributions, sometimes significant amounts of cash to get on a boat, cash for new sails, more significant entry fees, bottom jobs, yadda yadda.    Thought being if crew forks over bucks. They're more "invested" in the event.  Is this now the new norm? Jump on in....

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moving up

As a postscript to Smiles Abound, the event has just learned that it has been granted Grade3 status by World Sailing, the first such grading for a Match Racing event in China. Be careful, if the Doughtard finds out, he'll declare war on China. - ed....

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waaa

This is one of the most laughable and retarded things I've seen in a while:  the biggest whiner about the mighty A4 is at it again, this time adding a  a bizarre declaration to their entry for this weekend's first Hot Rum series. Check it out in the entry for perennial second-tier Abacus by expanding the picture. First of all, the bitch about not being able to have a code zero  does not apply to this series. There is no "One Design" PHRF rating here, all handicaps are modified from PHRF slightly by Bruce Nelson with, according to Bruce, "Past race results, ORR, ORCi, IRC, PHRF, Portsmouth Number, whatever is out there", and he turns them into a TCF number rather than a standard format PHRF number.  Nelson knows we are carrying a zero, as I have informed him of that, and he will factor that into our final rating, which again, is not a PHRF rating or a "One Design" rating. These are the same dopes who tried to protest our class win last year for the same thing, only to lose, again. Maybe try doing some research next time before you embarrass yourselves in front of the entire fleet. - ed....

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time flies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXKGHylRHa8 Interesting to see how much has changed in 11 years. The video looks dated, the boat looks old, the faces look young. But one thing hasn't changed: Lewis Hamilton's F1 dominance!...

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fix it

You know, if you bought a washing machine that leaked every time you put a load of washing in you would not waste much time in calling the retailer and complaining or contacting a consumer watchdog to warn about the product. What has that to do with sailing? Well I am specifically thinking about handheld VHF radios. Almost by definition they are meant, or at least intended to be used on deck, often in less than favourable conditions. In fact there are a number of models that are splash proof, will withstand immersion or even float. Now that is all very commendable but it is very rare to find a hand held VHF which has the most important facility of all built in to it.  I am talking about a wind cut filter which considering where they are used – outside where, in an emergency there is likely to be a lot of wind. I have seen people with those pukka waterproof backs to put them in (not needed if the radio is immersion proof), electrical tape across the mike, a plastic bag or piece of plastic over the mic/speaker, or cup your hand over the mike Why do the waterborne users, of what may be a vital piece of safety gear have to put up with such a crazy omission on a piece of equipment used outside in generally windy conditions when the transmission is soften garbled because of wind noise. I have just completed 2 days at a match race event and this was one of the biggest bugbears, wind noise on the VHF with the umpire calling the wing not being understood becasue a borrowed radio didn’thave a cover – wake up manufacturers, surely a windcut filter would not increase  the overall manufacturers cost's a great deal....

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stop ’em

On Monday, a law enforcement team from Coast Guard Station Portland, Oregon worked with local law enforcement officers to remove what the USCG described as "uncooperative protesters" from Port of Vancouver's Berth 9. The activists were hanging from hammocks at the pier and chaining themselves to the pilings to block the freighter Patagonia, which is carrying pipe material for the controversial Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project. Read on....

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overcome

How getting afloat can make a difference to people living with MS The year before he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2010, Nick Jarvis, bought a wheelchair on eBay. The pain in his legs was so bad he couldn’t walk properly. The wheelchair gave him a bit more freedom, some of his life back. Seven years later he independently walked off a yacht in Turkey with one crutch. It was, he insists, impossible. And yet it happened. So how does sailing promote independence and confidence in people with MS? “For me MS dimmed the lights,” explains Robert Munns, founder of Oceans of Hope UK, a charity that offers people from all over the world the opportunity to sail alongside others with MS. “MS affects your life on a daily basis; it takes your identity away, you feel isolated and fear the unknown and loss of possibilities. “For seven years after my diagnosis I’d not been committing to life. Everything felt pointless; I didn’t know how I was going to feel tomorrow let alone in six months. By making them realise what’s possible, sailing gives people with MS the opportunity to achieve their own form of greatness. The lights go back on.” Read on....

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fantastique

As evidenced by the very nicely done videos of the start that are currently on the front page, the long awaited Brest Atlantiques race has finally begun. A few days late mind you, to allow the passage of Storm Amelie, the race started in fresh to frightening conditions. With the big Ultim 32/23 class maxi trimarans looking at a blistering crossing of the Bay of Biscay, François Gabart’s MACIF has jumped out to an early, and fairly unsurprising, lead, though Maxi Edmond de Rothschild is slowly reeling MACIF back in. A race that many thought would never happen - a handful of large multihulls fully foiling offshore - is now underway, and we are all about to be witnesses. The longest doublehanded race ever staged for multihulls, no matter what happens, history will be made. As well as the boats themselves, perhaps the aspect that makes the inaugural Brest Atlantiques race so extraordinary is the incredible media coverage that should come from it. Unlike other shorthanded races, the race has incorporated a media man onto each trimaran, just like in the fully crewed ‘Ocean Race’.  In this day and age of social media, smartphones in our pockets and constant content creation, the race’s organizers are again pushing the envelope of offshore yacht racing. Multi-time ‘Ocean Race’ OBR Yann Riou will be onboard Maxi Edmond de Rothschild, which is co-skippered by Volvo Ocean Race winning skippers Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier. Riou in particular has been on the forefront of onboard sailing media for years. His pre-start campaign teaser is simply next level and must certainly be considered a favorite to win the upcoming Mirabaud Sailing Video Award for 2019, documenting the near destruction and hard-earned resurrection of what is the first built-from-the-ground-up fully foiling offshore multihull the world has ever...

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a bit crowded, isn’t it?

Like most sailing areas these days, the San Diego racing market is very stale. Yes there are usual Etchells, and assorted small OD classes, but big boat handicap racing is slowly dying. No new boats - A used Soto 40 hardly counts - and no real enthusiasm for the same old events. Oh sure, The Hot Rum Series gets a lot of boats, as do the Noods, but besides that, there is a shrinking number of boats that actually race very much. You'd think that this town would be very robust, especially given that we sail year 'round, but it isn't. That begs the question, in a market dominated by North, with Quantum, Ullman and UK all fighting for the leftovers, why in the hell would Doyle open a loft here? In a shrinking pie, there just aren't that many slices to go around. Five major sailmakers in Dago? I don't think so. - ed....

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