Scot

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there are no dumb questions

Hey you know how our "Ask Ullman" feature goes, right? You have a question that you want a real answer to, not some made-up bullshit? Send it right here and Dave Ullman will answer it. Here are the latest Q and A's... Q - Thirty years ago you wrote an article in "Yacht, Racing & Cruising" entitled "Get the Pros out of Sailing". What the heck happened? A - That’s a fair question and one that deserves a fair answer. That article was aimed mainly at PHRF and I still believe that pros should be limited from sailing PHRF. The PHRF rule was created to keep the sport affordable and for amateurs. The ’87 America’s Cup was a pivotal point in sailing. Dennis Connor upped the game with the level of professionalism he brought to his campaign and the sport was forever changed. I now think it’s acceptable to have pros in upper level Grand Prix , some One Design and big boats. All sports have changed and there is an important role for pros. It’s also important to limit some classes to keep sailing affordable and for weekend warriors. Q - With the growth in square top mains with adjustable full-length battens up top, what do you look for to set the batten tension for various conditions? A – Setting batten tension is no different in a Square Top mainsail than a regular mainsail. In medium conditions you want to have just enough tension on the battens to take the wrinkles out of the sail. As the wind builds you want to have more tension on the battens. Tighter battens actually induces camber. It also moves the draft forward which is precisely what you want. In light conditions you have to have them fairly loose in the pocket, even...

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Uncategorized

forward thinking

It’s always good to keep moving forward. Forward with a plan, forward with a dream, it doesn’t really matter so long as the direction is forward. SpeedDream is moving forward, in fact SpeedDream is poised to take a huge leap into the future. In a collaborative effort with our technology partner Yandex we are about to start building a new, oceangoing prototype; SpeedDream II. The boat will be able to test out the innovative ideas incorporated in the smaller SpeedDream27 in a true, offshore environment, a significant step along the path of our quest to build the world’s fastest sailboat. For the last year we have put SpeedDream27 through its paces in a variety of conditions, and while we will continue testing and learning more from the first prototype, the SpeedDream design team of Vlad Murnikov, Rodger Martin and Ross Weene are now convinced that our concept's innovative design ideas all work well together. The wave piercing bow, athwartship step in the hull and flying keel all work in harmony to produce a balanced boat that has shown some blazing speed. Now it’s time to see how well these design ideas will work in true offshore conditions. SpeedDream is not about building the fastest sailboat; SpeedDream is about building the fastest sailboat that can take on ocean going records. We will leave the inshore mile to Sail Rocket and the America’s Cup to those amazing flying catamarans. Our dream is go beyond the horizon in search of blue water speed records. Along the way we have recruited a secret weapon in the form of Vendée Globe legend Mike Golding. SpeedDream’s original skipper, Cam Lewis, is still very much a part of the team and will continue to optimize SpeedDream27, while Mike Golding will help guide the new boat toward offshore...

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Sailor Chick Of The Week

starlet

Like Colin Kaepernick in the frozen Midwest last week, Sailor Chick of the Week Laura Beigel (Annapolis, MD) shows off her guns despite a chilly and wet Saturday at Star Winter Series event number 3.  Beigel, along with her aunt and longtime Star skipper/Class Exec Barbara Vosbury-Beigel pulled a nice midfleet finish of 14/22 on the weekend despite tipping the scales at about half the weight of most of the fleet.  One-legged Brazilian badass Lars Grael/Sam Goncalves finally knocked Augie Diaz off the top spot in a regatta, but only on a tie-break; Augie continues to dominate the Series as the biggest event - the 26-boat, 8-nation, world champ and medal-filled Midwinters kicks off on Thursday.  Hit up the Series Facebook Page for event reporting from our boy Clean, with more photos like this one from Meredith Block.  ...

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Big Pimpin'

the easy button for caribbean sailing

Big Pimpin' The 41st St. THOMAS INTERNATIONAL REGATTA is set to once again provide some of the best racing in the Caribbean, with warm water, hot racing action, and most importantly - a truly EASY regatta to come and sail. Based out of the legendary STYC inside Cowpet Bay, there are tons of apartments, condos, and hotels within walking distance or a short drive away, and rental cars are cheap and easy to pick up when you fly into the airport - which is an easy hop from Miami or dozens of other direct US cities. If you've done the logistics for St. Barths, St. Maarten, or even the BVI you know it can be a challenge to get everything sorted out on time and on budget, but not in St. Thomas; it's just easier here! With a strong big boat lineup planned and consistently awesome racing for beach cats, IC24s, and cruiser/racers in the 30-45 foot range on CSA handicap, we've also got big boat legends like the Kerr 46 Tonnerre De Breskins 3 on the list as well as already three TP52s: Highland Fling of Monac0, Near Miss from SUI/FRA, and the Aussie Scarlet Runner, currently racing over from Cape Town. Get your 52 or other IRC weapon on the list right away and take advantage of some of the best race courses anywhere in the world; we've got flat water and swells, the awesome Pillsbury Sound between St. John and the West End, the exciting race to Charlotte Amalie, and more 'round the rocks' action; everything a real racer wants from their Caribbean fling. Want to have some REAL FUN with your J/70? Ship it down from Florida with the special deal arranged by Kestrel Shipping, with a simple roll-on/roll-off from Palm Beach to Roadtown in the...

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Uncategorized

the hangover part 2

Ronnie Simpson checks back in with Part 2 of his Sydney-Hobart adventure.  You can read Part One here, and check back on this page for a final and probably debaucherous Hobart wrap-up later this week from the inimitable Mr. Clean. Back to a non-poled out jib top in 40 knots, I remained on the helm and we managed more 16-18 knot surfs, but at horrible angles with the poor reaching jib flogging itself to death in the lee of the main. As the breeze dropped slightly, we hoisted the A3 and eventually chose to go back to the A2 around dinner time. I was off watch and down below when I heard the crew preparing for the peel. With just one tack line on the bow-sprit, we can not do proper kite peels and must douse and then re-hoist the new kite. Hoisting bareheaded the A2 wrapped itself around the headstay in what became the worst kite wrap i’ve ever personally seen. In one of those moments when a racing sailor sheds a tear of compassion for both the boat and the owner, we sent Ben up the rig to cut away the kite while myself and Rod “Fergo” Ferguson cut away the kite at the bottom. Eventually, we got the remains of the kite down into the forward hatch. More time lost. Things were going from bad to worse and the wheels were falling off for One for the Road and her crew. Back into the A3, we were under-wicked and slow, gybing dead downwind to remain where we thought we wanted to be. Watching the barometer continue its rapid decline, we were expecting the breeze to go light and then instantly shift to the W-SW and quickly build with a forecast 50-60 knots on the leading edge of the...

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it goes to 11

The Sydney 18 footer freaks continue to astound and amaze; and they've knocked together a replica of the iconic and dominating 18 footer Myra Too from the 50s,  splashed a couple of days ago for her maiden sail above.  Myra was built with the help of of the Aussie National Maritime Museum - take a look at some of their excellent research and photos here. Myra Too will join the Flying Squadron's Historic 18 fleet, which (quite incredibly) sails constantly though the summer out of the squaddie.  She'll bring their number to an amazing 11, including a replica of Britannia, the first 'modern' 18 footer, whose original lives at the museum and is worth a visit from any sailor worth their salt.  We'll have shitloads more news on the "eyedeens" over the next few weeks leading up to the fully live video coverage of the modern 18'ers World Champs, where 30 of the bastards will go for J.J. Giltinan's gold. For a really cool look at the fleet in the 60s, check out Sports Illustrated's old files here for "A Bloody Way To Go Sailing."  A great read, and you can actually see the original, as-printed story in the e-mag here (click forward to page 58).  ...

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Lost

new day, bad day

António João Bartolomeu has been identified as the deceased sailor from the dismasted Bavaria 54 Bille.  From Pierre at Vsail.info: The 47-year old from Angola's capital city of Luanda wasn’t a sailing “rockstar”. In fact, he wasn’t even a professional sailor, his day job being sound technician at the National Radio of Angola. However, the sea and the ocean were his big passion since early childhood. At the age of 9 he joined the Sailing Academy of the Angola Sailing Federation at Ihla de Luanda. Five years later, he moved to the Vaurien class, a simple and affordable two-person racing dinghy, popular in Africa. He was one of his country’s best sailors in the class and had an equally successful number of races in various regattas in bigger, cruising yachts. Read the rest here.    ...

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Race ReportUncategorized

30 to 1

Anthony Kotoun continued to chip away at the faster Bora Gulari in their continued duel in the US Moth fleet this weekend, with the Newport pro beating Detroit's finest in the first Moth Winter event of the year.  The pair makes up the winner list of almost every major US event over the past couple of years, and born just a few days apart (and not particularly recently), it was Bora who brought Anthony into the fleet back in 2010.   With Bora taking his second World Title last October in Kaneohe Bay, he got the right to fly the coveted "USA 1" sail number for the year while Kotoun barely broke into the top 30, but last weekend it was Anthony's turn to strike back in the 16-boat fleet at the Upper Keys Sailing Club in Key Largo. Located about an hour south of Miami and a bit of a secret spot for those outside the SE catamaran racing circuit, the venue is perfect for fast little boats: Clear, warm, and board-flat water coming over the Keys, a small club with members dedicated to sailing, and a broad range of talent across the fleet to make sure everyone had someone to race against.  It was a common sight throughout the weekend to see class veterans helping the newer Moth sailors get rigged and tuned up, sharing gear and tips and of course, trash talk.    The fun continued off the water where the sailors shared a huge house down the road; just another way the Mothies keep costs down and the fun factor up, allowing a solid travel schedule and strong fleets despite few of 'em having three nickels to rub together. Day 1 was the slalom, and Anthony came out of the gate hot, winning each of the qualifying...

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Race Reportvideo

cape of destruction

The start of the bi-annual Cape Town-Rio De Janeiro Race may have been warm and ultra-light as the Maserati Turbo Volvo 70's video shows, but the 34-boat fleet knew it was in for a major hammering from a deep cold front and its associated low pressure system at the start.  No one chose to sit out the start and delay a day or two, though many of the boats chose to sail North rather than West into less breeze and easier seas; amongst those that didn't was the Bavaria 54 Bille, which paid the ultimate price; one unnamed crew was killed, the skipper and another crew injured, and all crew have now been taken off onto South African rescue vessel Islawana.   Various other boats have sustained major damage; rudders, engines, flooding, and we're sure there's plenty more, but at the moment, everyone is accounted for and most of the fleet continues on its way to South America.  As a CAT 1 classified ocean race of thousands of miles, the fleet needs to be able to weather this kind of storm, but questions are already arising about the Royal Cape and whether, with the well-forecast front, they should have postponed the start, as we increasingly see in even the most hardcore of offshore races.  We're still on the fence; a delay can easily turn into a budget-busting, month-long drama like the Mini Transat fleet saw in November and can make skippers complacent about their ultimate responsibility, but it's hard to argue that a human life is worth more than all that.  One thing is for certain:  This race is yet another reinforcement that robust trackers like the Xtra-Link stuff used by much of the commercial shipping industry is no longer an option, but an absolute necessity for any major race; only thanks to...

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what is it/where is it

win oystein’s money

This might be the best "Where Is It" we've ever featured.  Someone called "oystein" on a WordPress site and "Catatumbo" in the forums is offering a USD$3000 reward for info on the above boat.  Our lawyers tell us this is actually a type of legally binding offer, and if you help, you will probably be able to get the money, or at least a judgment that someone owes it to you. Cash for a 'Where Is It" is certainly a first for SA, and given the likely conclusion that the Anarchists will find it as quickly as y'all usually do, post the info here and let us know when you do.  Here's the rest of the information and contact address, and if you don't get the title reference, you missed one of  history's best game shows.  ...

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