We all know how this goes: the very worst thing you can have on a boat–worse than women, bananas, or priests even–is a schedule. Yet most of us sail to a schedule, for various reasons, and sometimes suffer as a result. This fall has been particularly interesting, as the usual gamut of cruising rallies here in the U.S. and shorthanded ocean races over in Europe have sought to evade the clutches of the coming winter.
Exhibit A: the Caribbean 1500. For the second year in a row my SAILfeed compadre Andy Schell, who now wrangles the rally for the World Cruising Club, has had the cojones not to postpone the rally start, but to “prepone” it (so to speak) by setting his ducks loose upon the waters a day before the scheduled start (on November 2 instead of November 3) so as not to miss a promising weather window.…
Once upon a time, the path to finding a cure for leukemia looked just about as murky as San Francisco Bay on the morning of October 20, 2013.
Now the story at the Leukemia and Lymphona Society is rising success rates. And tragic failures. And did we mention, rising success rates, thanks to research and the funding that keeps research going.
The San Francisco Yacht Club version of the now-widespread Leukemia Cup network continues to set records as the top-grossing regatta in the country. Some $800,000 this year, and the numbers are still moving. And how can you top a story like that of Gary Jobson, who devoted himself 21 years ago to fundraising, and encouraging sailors to add charity to their lineup of events—and only later discovered that he would have his own bout with the disease, and benefit from the continuing and even astounding output of new therapies.…
America’s Cup racing rang enough bells to become part of the Nova program, Making Things Fast, that runs Wednesday evening, October 16, on PBS. Dirk Kramers, engineer and design executive for Oracle Team USA, is the go-to guy for David Pogue as Nova explores the techniques and implications of moving humans and machines ever faster. Pogue asks, “Is it possible to go too fast? Have we hit a point where innovation outpaces our ability to keep up?”
Recognizing an opportunity for a conversation with Dirk, I interrupted his packing up post-America’s Cup 34—goodbye, Tiburon CA, hello Newport RI and home—to talk foils and wings and boats and how dramatically the America’s Cup catamarans made leeway.…
Where two weeks ago the big cats went foiling . . .
Photo © KL
Just when raceboards hit a design plateau and kite design settled down—for five minutes—along came foils that work on all points of sail. Speeds at the California Foilboard Championship on San Francisco Bay over the weekend were more than 20 percent faster than they would have been on raceboards skimming the surface. But, no surprise, Rolex US Yachtsman of the Year Johnny “it must be yachting” Heineken set the pace and won 10 races out of 12. American Bryan Lake, a foiling pioneer, and French riders Jean-Guillaume Rivaud and Hervé Rousseau at times pushed him hard.…
Random thoughts on a hasty Thursday—
Photo via Laurie Fullerton, Argo Group Gold Cup
Is it perhaps ironic that Ian Williams came out on top of his go-at with Ben Ainslie in Bermuda in the Argo Group Gold Cup, though both have advanced to the quarter finals? Ainslie is of course the guy who has medaled in the last five Olympiads—I’ll save you the arithmetic, that’s a 20-year run—and is just coming off a stint as tactician in AC34, while Williams set out very publicly, years ago, to win his way into an America’s Cup campaign through results on the match racing circuit.…
Congratulations to anyone whose Facebook account has not been hammered with postings about an alleged, illegal, computer-driven hydrofoil-stability system aboard Oracle Team USA. Once these things get loose, you can’t kill them.
Photo by Jan Pehrson
But, if you want to get a grip on reality, there are two ready touchpoints.
On Friday, Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton told the New Zealand Herald that he had no thought of legal action.
And, you can read the International Jury’s Public Interpretation No. 49 (read it here: PI-49) which was dated August 8. At ETNZ’s request, the Jury—including one Kiwi and zero Americans—considered the legality of the board-control system installed on the US defender.…
Written by Ben Ellison on Sep 26, 2013 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
“Pretty cool…ESPN says one of the greatest upsets in sports history!” my brother-in-law emailed me last night, and he’s a guy who knows who pitched World Series games decades ago and how well, but bupkis about the America’s Cup. Yes, indeed, AC34 was incredibly unpredictable and exciting, but I’ll argue that the winners all along were the teams who made the race management, umpiring, and broadcasting so innovative and so effective…
Consider, for instance, those huge floating race marks that showed up so well on TV and must have been easily visible to the racers even as they flew at 40 knots with gale-like spray in their faces.…
For the sport of sailing, Race 17 of the America’s Cup was going to be a big win, whichever boat crossed the line first.
Oracle Team USA got the gun—a bit delayed, Spithill says he was thinking, “Come on, fire the thing”—and that made it a big win for San Francisco.
In 2010 I was convinced that the 34th match for America’s Cup would be sailed on San Francisco Bay because that was the right thing to do. Now it’s 2013, and I have the same feeling about the 35th match. It was always part of the equation that keeping the Cup would be the big payoff for San Francisco and the Bay Area.…
Let’s sing along with Jimmy Spithill :
(one of the greatest comebacks of all time).
I remember Newport, 1983 on the eve of Race Seven, the decider. Australia II, which should have taken the match 4-0, had come back from down 1-3 to a 3-all tie. You could hear a badly-sung Waltzing Matilda in any bar on Thames Street, and I was just as nerved up then as I am now. Dennis Conner and company were on the verge of defending the America’s Cup in a match against a faster boat. Or losing it.
This time out, I measure the defender as the faster boat, most of the time, and that would be Oracle Team USA.…
OH. MY. GOD. I can’t believe this madness hasn’t ended yet. I was certain Team New Zealand was going to win one of the races yesterday, as the Oracle crew had yet to do better than split decisions on days when two races were sailed. But now Oracle has in fact won four in a row and “only” needs four more.
This is starting to seem almost feasible. And I think Dean Barker is starting to think the same thing. He hasn’t been looking too happy at press conferences lately.
Here’s the video for yesterday, in case you haven’t stumbled across it elsewhere:
Both wins were wire-to-wire, but the Kiwis got very close for a while in the first race.…