America’s Cup Wayback Machine

6 Feb

The 1987 America's Cup off Perth was one of the great contests. And the America's Cup YouTube Channel is now featuring some great video of that epic, big wind, big seas, battle. 

Can the upcoming 2013 catfight be as exciting? Maybe the speed will have its own charisma. But hard to imagine that the sailing will be as interesting and tactical.

Here's DC and Stars & Stripes versus CD and Kiwi Magic, the Plastic Fantastic, in the LV Cup finals. 



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Is There Any Dinghy More Dramatic Than A Moth?

6 Feb

Or more exhilarating? 

I don't think so, and the images don't lie. Thierry Martinez won the 2011 Photo Of The Year for the above shot of Nathan Outteridge being ejected by his Moth at the 2011 World Championships. Here's another (and the full sequence is right here).

And while photos are one way to try and grasp the true nature of a Moth, you have to go to video to

understand the true, mesmerizing, essence of the thing.

So go sailing with one for a few minutes:

Phew. I need a smoke....

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Open 60 Insanity: The “Keel Walk”

2 Feb

Alex Thompson may not win many races, but he and his Hugo Boss team are insanely creative and daring when it comes to marketing. I mean, who comes up with the idea that prodcues a picture like this?

I doubt that the keel walk will become a regular feature of canting keel racing programs everywhere. Yes, it is James Bond-cool and may deliver a global marketing bonanza. But pulling it off looks seriously, seriously, hairy (see video after the jump)…

The absolutely key factor in this stunt: trusting the driver and trimmer aboard Hugo Boss. Because they are in charge ...

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Camper Agonistes

31 Jan

Is it just me or does the crew on Camper seem particularly dispirited?

Not sure any boat would be a happy boat after getting creamed, and left behind, by the Strait Of Malacca. But these guys just don't seem very into it.

Unusual to see a  Team New Zealand crew struggling like this.

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Singapore Strait Pinball

30 Jan

The above is a plot of all the ships around PUMA in the Singapore Strait. How many ocean races look like that?

Here's a good tour of all the dangers and frustrations–in addition to shipping–that have bombarded the Volvo Ocean Race fleet in these waters:

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Don’t Forget The Global Ocean Race

30 Jan

If you are tired of the coastal racing going on in Asia (where fishing nets can make or break a team), and long for the open ocean–the Southern Ocean!–then I'm glad to tell you there is an alternative.

For there is a race–the Global Ocean Race–which is, um, global, and, er, spans oceans and spends most of its time on the vast watery spaces of our planet. In fact, the five Class 40s competing, have just departed Wellington to start Leg 3, and even now are plunging toward the big winds and big waves of The South. Check ...

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Malacca Caning

28 Jan

Well, the pain of naviagting the crowded, shifty, current-plagued Malacca Strait is well underway

Who survives to lead the feelt into the South China Sea is anyone's guess.

Here's the assessment from Groupama:

It's an area where there isn't a lot of wind: it's very hot and very humid since we're close to the equator (2° North) and there are some tidal currents which can reach five knots, in addition to the general current generated by the monsoon and hence running against us. It'll be a tedious navigation with a great deal of shipping, pirates and lots of rubbish

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VOR Turning Point: The Misery Of Malacca

26 Jan

The fleet is fast approaching a sharp right turn at the Strait Of Malacca. Sailing through it will be a nerve-wracking, sleepless, hell of endless windshifts, unyielding shipping, and a minefield of fishing gear. Sounds like fun, right?

Here's how it sets up:

And here's how VOR Race HQ describes what awaits:

At around 500 nautical miles from north to south the Malacca Strait is the longest in the world used for international navigation. Linking the Indian Ocean with the China Sea the strait is the preferred route for bulk of large scale commercial shipping in the region with

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Chi-Mac Autopsy: Anatomy Of A Deadly Storm

26 Jan

In 2011, the storied Chicago-Mackinac Race experienced its first weather-related fatalities when 2 sailors died after their sailboat, Wiingnuts, was capsized by a powerrful thunderstorm

For the weather-geeks among you, the website LakeErieWx has released a highly detailed analysis of the explosive thunderstorm cells which swept the fleet. 

It's an interesting report which emphasizes the fact that any offshore racing boat needs to be ready for pretty


The conclusion (full report is here):

The data from the base reflectivity and base velocity radar imagery suggests that the waters west of Charlevoix, MI were buffeted by

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