More of That Foiler Stuff

30 Aug

Earlier we shared a pic that’s floating around the net, mostly on Facebook, of ETNZ above the water on foils.

It’s hard to reconcile that pic, which is not universally trusted, with Emirates Team New Zealand’s video of the day. Then again, try stopping this at 36 seconds.

Disinformation and hyperbolic over-interpretation are built into the America’s Cup experience. Why should it be different as we roll toward 2013?

But, “We’ll all have to try it” says Luna Rossa’s czar of AC72 development, Matteo Plazzi, when he speaks of lifting foils, and where there’s smoke there’s fire. Meanwhile, there is ...

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MOTORSAILING: Making the Most of Your Iron Genny

29 Aug

Dowlings fuel dock

THIS IS A COMMON SIGHT at Dowling’s fuel dock in St. Georges, Bermuda, both in the spring and the fall when the seasonal stampede of migrating yachts passes through. It never fails to amaze me how many jerry jugs of fuel some bluewater sailors are willing to carry. In this particular case I counted 16 jugs open on the quay waiting to be filled and another four on deck. At five gallons a pop that’s an extra 100 gallons of fuel this crew will somehow lash down on the deck of their 40-foot sailboat. At 7.3 pounds per gallon (the ...

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AC72s on Foils?

29 Aug

ETNZ’s AC72 apparently on foils. First look via Facebook/Sail Racing Magazine

Oracle Team USA was the first to tease us with a full-foiling catamaran, months ago, when it revealed an AC45 flying above the water on test-version-only foils . . .

It is widely expected (conservative statement) that Oracle’s first AC72to be revealed next week, if preparations stay on trackwill be a flyer. The AC72 rule prohibits the trimmable rudder winglets that would be a first-thought method of controlling pitch, but you can bet your bippie and your thingie too that the best brains in the business have been ...

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Storm Update- Isaac develops hurricane strength, makes landfall

29 Aug

I’ve still got power so here’s a quick update. I’ll keep ’em coming if I can. Isaac graduated to hurricane status this afternoon and made landfall a couple hours ago in Southeastern Louisiana. This means that there is no longer any appreciable risk of the storm strengthening. It will remain a category 1 as it pushes its way up the Mississippi river towards New Orleans, eventually petering out somewhere North of here. We’re expecting sustained winds of 70-80mph and gusts up to 100mph here in the city but that’s almost business as usual, a category 1 hurricane is not an ...

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Red Sky in the Morning, Sailors Take Warning – Isaac on its way

27 Aug

Well just twenty-four hours ago this storm was barely relevant to New Orleans and now Tropical Storm Isaac is plastered all over the news. For now I can report that the weather is quite nice, and Lake Ponchartrain was exquisite for sailing until just this afternoon.

When we get word around Sunday evening that New Orleans was likely to take a direct hit people started to think about candles and tying things down in the yard. Well, tomorrow, or the day after, mostly. For reasons that seem suspiciously related to a certain anniversary rather than this storm in particular it ...

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BILL McCOY: The King of Rum Row

27 Aug

William McCoy

I GOT INTO THE SUBJECT of Prohibition a couple of years ago on reading Daniel Okrent’s excellent popular history, Last Call. I’d always understood, of course, that Prohibition was the product of the unique power of highly motivated single-issue minorities in American politics. But prior to reading Okrent’s book I’d never grasped what a perfect storm of political trends (the suffrage movement, allowing women to vote, plus the advent of income taxes, to replace revenue from liquor taxes) was required to make it possible for temperance fanatics to highjack the U.S. Constitution. What I also never realized was that ...

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Aaron Peskin

26 Aug

The home team. Photo by Gilles Martin-Raget

I learned two things from the America’s Cup World Series on San Francisco Bay.

I have a horse in this race.

And I am not alone.

I saw, heard and felt the crowd every time an Oracle Team USA boat nosed out front in a match race. We have a horse in this race. It’s called, the home team.

And when Oracle Team USA 4 slipped in front of Team Korea, at the last instant, to finish second to Luna Rossa Piranha in Sunday’s finale and gain enough points to win the fleet ...

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Cape Horn Demystified

25 Aug

Some expressed surprise that I listed Cape Horn among my Top Ten Cruising Destinations a few weeks ago, so here I will include more about this legendary cape, the "Everest of Cruising." Make no mistake, the Horn can be every bit as deadly as it's always been: the difference is the knowledge and excellent weather forecasting we have today.

The Horn is at 56 degrees south, and sticks right out into the endless march of big winds and giant waves that circle the earth, unobstructed, in the Southern Ocean. And a shoal area extends about sixty miles south of the ...

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ROUND ISLAND REGATTA: Wicked Good Family Fun

25 Aug

Round Island Regatta

ATTENTION ALL OWNERS of small sail and/or paddle craft within easy driving distance of Portsmouth, New Hampshire. You are hereby commanded to bring said craft to Portsmouth next Saturday, September 1st, to participate in the Second Annual Round Island Regatta. After racing your vessel in an informal and somewhat hilarious manner twice around a short course presenting some interesting but hardly daunting challenges, you will be regaled with beer and food and fun will be had by all.

Guaranteed.

Last year’s event, organized by my good friend and fellow SEMOSA member Charles Lassen (who actually lives on the ...

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MAN OVERBOARD RECOVERY: Testing the Sea Scoopa

24 Aug

Sea Scoopa

YOU MAY RECALL we ran some SAIL magazine MOB drills aboard Lunacy back in early June. Hopefully you also read the article that ran in the comic in the August issue (which, of course, came out in July) and have viewed the video posted on the SAIL website, narrated by yours truly. Since then I’ve been in touch several times with Robert Wright, inventor of the Sea Scoopa, one of the MOB recovery products we tested. In light of the comments he has made, I thought it wise to expand my evaluation of the Scoopa here on the ...

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