By Kimball Livingston
Posted February 23, 2016
Adapted from “The Old Man and the Old Man and the Sea” published in SAIL, December, 2001
Lead photo of Wander Bird by Ben Mendlowitz
Eighty-three years ago, aboard one of the storied schooners of the age, a father was performing chores on the topmast rigging, up where the seabirds fly. Suddenly he discovered he was not alone there, with 60 feet of air between his feet and the hard.
It was a heart-stopping moment.
Then Warwick M. Tompkins, Sr. said something like, “Well, hi there son. I didn’t know you were coming ... Read More
By Kimball Livingston
It’s such a common phrase that we take it for granted. The romance of the sea. Even those who dwell far from the sea are not immune to it. Red sails in the sunset. The very notion of sailing away to paradise. Those who heed the call, those who love the sea and sailing, will not find it strange that a sailor would choose to send a Valentine to the sport.
Once upon a time there lived a young man so enamored of sailboat racing that he couldn’t look out from the deck of one raceboat to ... Read More
Story and Photos by Kimball Livingston
Published September 23, 2015
At our shoreside celebration on Huahine, one bright gazelle of a female child dashed to and fro, to and fro, leaping to the beat of the drums, infectious joy trailing in her wake. Was she a French local, in from Papeete for Tahiti’s annual gathering of the sailing tribes, the Pearl Regatta? Did she come by way of a long distance cruiser, with parents not satisfied to merely pass through but seizing the opportunity to play sailing games along the way? Did she come from one of the boats ... Read More
From the nice folks at DORADE.ORG
Defying critics who said it couldn’t be done, Dorade has completed a four-year campaign to repeat all of the major ocean races she won in the 1930s, finishing up on the podium at the 2015 Rolex Fastnet Race, where she took second in IRC Class 4 and seventh overall out of 356 boats. A 52’ wooden yawl built in 1930 by Olin and Rod Stephens, Dorade was the oldest boat to compete in this year’s Fastnet and took home three of the event’s most prestigious trophies: the Sparkman & Stephens Trophy, the Iolaire Block, ... Read More
As reported by the Finn Class regarding a problem area of the sport of dinghy racing. Posted June 29, 2015
A three day Rule 42 clinic was run by the Finn Class just before the Silver Cup in Valencia. Around 20 sailors competed at some point including the Juniors preparing for the week ahead as well as some seniors who were in Valencia for training.
Four on-the-water sessions were carried out along with de-briefings with videos from each day with detailed explanations from the judges. The clinic ended with two umpired medal races to give the sailors some experience of ... Read More
Posted June 29, 2015 by KL
Most boats making 12+ knots down the Transpac course to Diamond Head would be making good time.
But when it’s Hydroptere, doing the zig-zag thing, it’s not a good look.
For two years, Alain Thébault has been chasing his dream of a Transpac course record. Chasing, that is, the sponsorship to take a shot at what could almost have been a slam dunk, had the tradewinds of the Pacific provided the horsepower.
Alain’s enthusiasm is infectious, and he has a great group aboard. I can’t help feeling disappointed for them and for Alain, ... Read More
By Kimball Livingston Posted June 22, 2015
Care to crack a guess at what resides at 33.698825 – 118.291682 ?
If you said Point Fermin Lighted Whistle Buoy 6PF you’d be spot on, and you’d be right in tune with the folks from Transpac Yacht Club who set up a station today, ashore, at the Point Fermin Lighthouse planning to draw a bead on the buoy and thereby establish a starting line for Hydroptere’s run at the course record, Los Angeles to Honolulu, Point Fermin to Diamond Head.
Imasgine their surprise when –
Out of the breakwater and past Angel’s ... Read More
By Kimball Livingston Posted June 13, 2015
I saw only one helmet aboard the trimaran, Lending Club. That’s because only one person at a time goes up the mast. I didn’t notice any divots . . .
The lead photograph comes from Lending Club Sailing, btw. The other snaps are mine.
Originally a Groupama, later one of the Banque Populaires, Lending Club has a hole in the calendar after setting a new 635-mile Newport to Bermuda record that lops 15 hours off the old mark. Next in the racing sked comes a start on July 18 in the Transpac, ... Read More
By Kimball Livingston Posted April 27, 2015
Convergence is a book about sailing to Tahiti, and sailing in Tahiti, and breathing in a lifetime of dreams and tales, glittering imaginings, gritty realities, and indelible wanderings.
I read the book, or a lot of it, at 36,000 feet flying the opposite direction from California, en route to the Caribbean and St. Barth. Maybe that’s backwards, but hey, time happens on a plane.
Being acquainted with Sally-Christine Rodgers, the author, and with Convergence, the 66-foot Wylie-designed cat ketch that she sailed to Tahiti along with three children and three other adults, ... Read More
Posted April 22, 2015 by KL
The long tidal slough known as False River is a popular, scenic shortcut for mariners traveling on the San Joaquin River in California’s Delta country. Its shallow spots are the stuff of legends, and having a personal (perhaps secret) route through is the mark of a river veteran.
By the way, there is more than one way to do it right, and there are many, many, many ways to do it wrong.
But that will not matter, apparently, in the summer of ’15. The California Department of Water Resources, concerned that False River is ... Read More