ROUND BARBADOS RACE: 140 Gallons of Rum

26 Jan

Round Barbados Race

YES, sports fans… the number is ONE FOUR ZERO. Gallons. That’s about how much Extra Old rum I reckon the folks at Mt. Gay had to dole out at the conclusion of the Mt. Gay Rum Round Barbados Race last Saturday. Conditions for the race, now in its second year, were pretty much ideal and by the end of the day no fewer than six different boats had set course records of one description or another. Mt. Gay had pledged to award each record-setting boat its skipper’s weight in rum, which means each boat received about 23.3 gallons of rum ...

Read More

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

much ANYTHING.

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

... Read More

Our Only Real Scare During an Entire Circumnavigation

26 Jan

Back in 2005, during our sail around the world, everything was new to us, including river bars. They seemed harmless enough, especially after that first one in Australia that was smooth as glass. Well, the second one caught us. The Clarence River Bar. i'll never forget that one. It very nearly ended our trip and has given Ali an unconditional fear of following seas. If I have to hear one more time how the six-foot following seas are "huge!" I'm going to do something drastic, like have her hypnotized and her Clarence River memory permanently erased. If hypnosis doesn't work ...

Read More

Dock Line Death Test

25 Jan

In the book The Bad Girl, by Mario Vargas Llosa, a character named Arquimedes has a preternatural ability to tell where breakwaters and groins should be built. He can tell just by meditating on the sea whether the breakwater will serve its purpose or make matters worse. The best hydrologists and engineers in Lima always hired Arquimedes, because if they didn't their projects often ended up as expensive failures.

Pier 39 Marina, where I keep my boat in San Francisco, did not hire Arquimedes. It's hard to figure out the mechanics, because there are breakwaters and sea walls every which ...

Read More

Pirate Smackdown! (Grab Your Popcorn)

25 Jan

Courtesy of the US and Royal Navies.

It's hard to know what the Volvo Ocean Race suits were so worried about, when you have these guys on the scene. Check out this video of the RN Fort Victoria and the USS Carney forcefully putting a gang of Somali pirates out of business. (Note to pirates: a hail of bullets means "STOP")

I have to admit the the determination of the pirates in the face of machine gun fire and two warships is pretty

impressive. But this was never a fair fight, and the result was 13 pirates retired to ...

Read More

10-0 Vote But . . .

25 Jan

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday night voted 10-0 to reject two appeals against the America’s Cup Environmental Impact Review.

Though not until the AC Event Authority agree do re-site its JumboTron from a barge anchored in Aquatic Park – where swim clubs argued it would stir up toxic silt – to a spot on land instead.

The vote does not preclude civil action, but I note that certain parties to the appeal, such as the Sierra Club, are on record as wanting the America’s Cup to be sailed on San Francisco Bay. Things need to get moving ...

Read More

The Foul Taste of Antifouling Legislation

24 Jan

So I’m a little behind on the times but I recent heard about California Senate Bill 623 and Washington Senate Bill 5436 both regulating the use of copper in antifouling paints. The WA bill became law in May of last year and will effectively ban (less then .5% versus the 40% plus common now) copper in antifouling paints by 2020 while the CA bill is a bit less specific and is not yet law. These bills reflect growing momentum to regulate copper-based antifouling paints. Across the pond in the EU many localities have made it illegal to scrub such paint ...

Read More

Royal Royal Yacht?

24 Jan

Well, seems the English people, or at least the Daily Mail, yearn to see their Royal Family once again conducting their royal business from aboard a Royal Yacht.

So the Daily Mail is campaigning to build a new Royal Yacht that, I have to admit, is veddy, veddy, impressive. And if only the Queen will give her endorsement, the Royal Mail will magnanimously gather a wide assortment of donors and build her Royal Highness a new barky.

Here's the Daily Mail, waxing romantic about its patently self-promoting, I mean patriotic, idea:

It will be a great tribute to one

... Read More

AC Priorities: View from Down Under

24 Jan

Howzabout a little guest editorial from someone who has made the rounds of America’s Cup. You should know the name Keith Taylor. If not, what’s below is self-explanatory. Keith’s missive arrived at San Francisco City Hall yesterday, in advance of today’s hearing before the Board of Supervisors – the hearing to decide the fate of an appeal to the America’s Cup Environmental Impact Review:

Supervisors . . .

I urge you to hew to the greater good when considering the challenges to the America’s Cup Environmental Impact Report. Yes, you should respect the environment, but that’s not a mandate to ...

Read More

More from the AIM Marine Group