July 15, 2014 – The breeze is on and many of the fifty-five boats racing in the 2014 Pacific Cup are posting double-digit speeds and 200-nautical-mile-plus days. At this pace, Kaneohe Bay could be welcoming the first finisher as early as this Friday, July 18.
Venture, a Jeanneau 49 skippered by Michael Chobotov and leading the Holo Holo Cruising Division, has the bit in her teeth again and is starting to smell the Hawaiian plumeria with less than 600 nautical miles to go. She’ll want to keep an eye on the rear-view mirror as Invisible Hand, a Reichel/Pugh 63 skippered by Frank Slootman, is lit up and gaining fast at 16+ knots.… Read More
Charlotte and Eric Kaufman, who brought the Wrath of the Mass Media down on their heads when they evacuated their Hans Christian 36 Rebel Heart back in April, have filed suit in San Diego against Whenever Communications LLC (doing business as Satellite Phone Store), their Iridium satellite phone service provider. As they described in their radio interview with Ira Glass on This American Life in May, they were using their phone to seek medical advice for their sick 1-year-old daughter when their service was intentionally terminated by the provider. Believing their HF radio had been disabled by a deck leak and that they had no other means of seeking help for their daughter, they set off their EPIRB and so ignited the chain of events that has since made them notorious.… Read More
At Smith Creek Playa, Nevada, the world of landsailing has gathered to play. Some drove in, towing trailers. Some flew in and chartered “boats.” Containers have arrived from far-flung parts of the globe, and a German contingent of nine, the Frog Sails team, shipped their bus to Baltimore, then took off across the country, cooking in parking lots along the way. Here is team captain Kai-Uwe Ilts barbecuing for the team in a Wal-Mark parking lot in Pittsburg. Now, that’s how to see America, on the way to the Wild West, at that.
From a slow start in sputtering winds, things picked up early this week, and the venue is paying off.… Read More
Stuart Alexander, writing in The Independent, recounts a weekend meeting in Los Angeles between Oracle Racing and the six committed, or would-be committed, challengers for America’s Cup 35. The challengerslaid down a number of peeves.
The lack of an announced venue.
The lack of San Francisco.
The lack of an announced PRO.
The plan to split the venue, possibly between hemispheres.
The absence of (my words) adult supervision of the process, with a deadline for entries mere weeks away and all the above making planning and fundraising harder than they have to be.
Stuart is a consummate veteran of Cup matters, and his information comes by way of his contacts at Ben Ainslie Racing.… Read More
To anybody that’s been near a sailboat, today’s guest needs no introduction. John Rousmaniere is a legendary sailor/writer whose been in the thick of the sport for over 40 years. He’s logged over 40,000 sailing miles, mostly offshore, raced at the highest levels of the sport, and written 15 books and counting on the subject. Andy met John at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club following the Newport-Bermuda Race a few weeks ago. John has been in charge of media for the past three editions of the race, and reprised his role in 2014. Then he jumped aboard the McCurdy & Rhodes designed ‘Selkie’ and sailed back to Newport!… Read More
Written by Ben Ellison on Jul 14, 2014 for Panbo, The Marine Electronics Hub
A brief test of the new Inmarsat IsatPhone 2 showed it to be quite a good satellite phone. Compared to the original IsatPhone Pro I tested in 2010, the new phone locks onto both GPS and Inmarsat satellites noticably faster and the voice calls seem to sound better. I also found the screen quite readable in most conditions including direct sun, and the user interface struck me as fast and easy to get the hang of. However, if you sense some “buts” coming, you are correct.… Read More
Point Richmond, CA, July 11, 2014
Today was the fifth and last start for the 2014 Pacific Cup race, so all 56 competitors are on their way. The boats now heading toward Hawaii run the spectrum: Moore 24’s and the Nelson/Marek 92; double-handers and a boats with ten or more crew; first-timers like Shearwater competing with veterans like Sweet Okole and Green Buffalo; amateur sailors and professionals.
The wind conditions for the fleets are looking a little bleak at this time. The high has decided to slide south, dropping all the way down to a latitude even with San Diego and making the passage to Hawaii suitable for water skiing.… Read More
There are many things I love about my boat. It is a comfortable home. It sails beautifully in heavy weather. It is very pretty. But even Papillon has its flaws.
The girls and I were playing a game in the cockpit. Stylish rolled, and the die skittered off the table. All of us shrieked and grabbed for it, but it was too late. It fell through the cockpit floor.
What, you might wonder, is the big deal? Our floor is painted aluminum with a teak grid overlay. It is a good concept: when water gets into the cockpit, it falls through the grate and disappears down the drains in the corners.… Read More
July 11, 2014
Defending champion Stephanie Roble of Wisconsin won five races straight in a brilliant opening day contesting the Women’s Match Race Championship at Oakcliff Sailing on Long Island Sound. Winds were light, and further racing was packed in as the air went calm.
Racing continues through Sunday. The prize is the Allegra Knapp Mertz Trophy plus an invitation to the open US Match Racing Championship on San Francisco Bay in October.
In second is SF Bay sailor Nicole Breault, who has past women’s world champion riding shotguh. Breault finished the day with a strong count of four wins and a loss.… Read More
What’s the difference between a drifter, a gennaker, a code zero, and a screecher? Where does a spinnaker fit in? And if you’re a cruiser, what sail should you use for downwind sailing, anyway?
There is no single “best,” because everything on a boat is a compromise, and individual styles/needs vary, but we have some opinions on the optimal choice for most cruisers.
This question came up on a women’s sailing forum I participate in recently. Because Jamie is a sailmaker, I asked him for help with a response that would be useful to differentiate the options for downwind sails. Differences between these sails aren’t difficult to understand, but get confusing because the names are mixed up or misused.… Read More