Major bummer here. D. Randy West, the well known West Indies multihull maven, is struggling to salvage his new ride, the Peter Spronk-designed Cat Ppalu (see photo above), which he bought and renovated last year after a 20-year quest.
Major coincidence here, too, as Randy was in St. Maarten racing on the Gunboat 62 Tribe at the Heineken Regatta with, among others, Tribe‘s creator and original owner, Peter Johnstone, who has been resolutely ignoring some e-mails I sent him last week asking questions about the new Gunboat 60. I had just figured out where Peter was, and why he wasn’t answering e-mail, when I got word from Paul Gelder, ex-editor of Yachting Monthly in the UK, that Ppalu was in trouble.…
Who wouldn’t want to be Alex Thomson? He’s suave and sophisticated and has enjoyed the longest running full-on sponsorship in professional sailing. Hugo Boss has been financing his racing career since 2003 and recently re-upped with a new four-year deal. Alex was so pleased he scored a fancy new suit and went for a walk:
I don’t really follow fashion, so maybe someone out there can tell me what kind of suit it is. I think I’d like one just like it. ;)
I’ll take one of those boats, too. What really blows my mind is what a good job they do sailing it literally on its ear while Alex sashays up the spar.…
Posted February 24 by Kimball Livingston
So the boys at Oracle Racing built themselves the fastest AC72 in the galaxy, and they learned how to sail it, just in time. Otherwise we wouldn’t be speculating about another Cup-n-SF vs. San Diego, Long Beach, Newport, Hawaii.
Two weeks before the 2013 match, the Oracle crew was struggling to achieve consistent, replicable settings for daggerboard rake.
And, as Mr. Natural says, whatever’s happening keeps right on happening.
Or not happening.
Tiny adjustments were critical. When you’re pushing foils through the water at near-freeway speeds—water being rather more resistant than air—Preferred Angle of Attack is significantly different from Preferred Angle of Attack Plus or Minus a Freckle.…
Well informed sports fans will recall that SAIL‘s publisher, Josh Adams, abandoned his career in sailing journalism back in August 2012 to assume command of the U.S. Olympic sailing team. Our loss was the Olympic team’s gain, and they seem to be recovering nicely from their zero-medal performance in the 2012 London games. Last month they scored six podium finishes at the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami regatta, including a gold medal for Paige Railey in the Laser Radial class.
Following the recent U.S. Sailing Leadership Forum in San Diego, Josh was cornered and interrogated by Sailing Anarchy‘s Alan Block (a.k.a.…
Photo by Lloyd Images
When you know that it was variable, 5 knots to 25 knots, you know how the latest Extreme 40 race could go wrong.
Aberdeen closing on Groupama in a light spot.
Both closing on the finish.
Then Aberdeen caught the biggest gust of the day, lost control, and, Groupama skipper Franck Cammas said, “I had absolutely no idea it was coming, other than a shadow.”
Those who could, jumped overboard, and the one injured crewman, Tanguy Cariou, may or may not be aboard if overnight repairs successfully return Groupama to the course for next day’s racing in Singapore.…
“Platform aerodynamics, I think, made the difference between the American boat and the Kiwi boat.” Tom Speer, wing designer, Oracle Racing
By Kimball Livingston
We could have titled this, Six Extra Feet of Wing, But Do You Know How to Use It?
The way “Fresh” Burns tells the story, and he should know, having been head of performance for Oracle Team USA, there were multiple turning points in Oracle’s desperate, early losing days of the San Francisco America’s Cup. The American boat was losing on every tack, every gybe. Then the Mere Grinders came to the Mighty Chiefs and said something like, “Look, we can tell when the boards are loaded and when they’re not loaded.…
Time to put a US Sailing decal on the car.
My rides have long flown a US Sailing logo, but somehow I never got around to adding one of those decals to the little white car. Now, coming out of the Leadership Forum in San Diego, I’m feeling so good that I have to make the add. Four days of upbeat energy. Six hundred attendees plus. A full notebook and hours of recordings in the bank.
Here’s a sampler. Full disclosure: All “quotes” are approximate.
Bill Lee on the Universal Measurement System, in development, to make it possible to get your boat measured once and then sail under any handicap system:
“You’ll only have to go to the dentist once.”
Peter Harken on the sartorial habits of the yachtsman:
“Yachting casual is a lot like yachting formal.…
Photo © Xinhua
Nominations are open now and through May 31 for the National Sailing Hall of Fame, class of 2014. My pick is no secret.
What Nick Scandone did was unique.
Even by the standards of world competition.
Even by “normal” standards of overcoming adversity.
Statistically, Nick should have been dead of ALS years before he won his Paralympic gold medal in Qingdao. For six years beyond a diagnosis of severe, progressive, irreversible, fatal neurodegeneration, he kept himself going, just barely, and just barely long enough to fulfill a dream that had begun when it was the Olympics, not the Paralympics, that called him.…
Even if you leave out the America’s Cup, there’s no way you can say sailboat racing is boring these days. The fastest boats are now so powerful and so fragile, you never know what’s going to happen. Witness this year’s holiday season disaster in which Bernard Stamm and Damien Guillou were rescued off the British coast on Christmas Eve after their Open 60 Cheminees Poujoulat broke in half and sank. Stamm and Guillou, who just finished fourth in the Transat Jaques Vabre, were delivering the boat back to France and were sailing conservatively in a 45-knot gale when the hull slammed off a steep wave and cracked open just forward of its daggerboards.…
Editor’s Note: Tis the season. The dreaded materialistic frenzy that is Christmas is nearly upon us, to be immediately followed (thank God) by the big race to Hobart. The early forecast this year is for a downwind sleigh ride, and Bob Oatley’s super-maxi Wild Oats XI may have a good chance at breaking her course record, set just last year, of 1 day, 18 hours, and change. Course records aren’t that easy to come by in this race, and two in successive years would be a notable achievement. So I’ll be watching developments with interest. Meanwhile, I thought I’d share this account of my one-and-only Sydney-Hobart experience, circa year 2000.…