The Caribbean 1500 and the people that make it special

13 Nov

My favorite thing about big sailing events – whether boat shows, rendezvous', pot-lucks or rallies – used to be the boats. I love nothing more than walking the docks and looking at boats, and I like them all. Some more than others to be sure (give me an old classic over a modern plastic bottle anyway), but all of them nonetheless. 

There's just something about being around boats that lights me up inside. Looking at the subtle differences in the way they're rigged. How some catamarans have spreaders on the mast and some don't. How clever little design touches like ...

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Sixty-one Knots (!)

13 Nov

After years of disappointments, after years of rethinking and redesigning, Briton Paul Larsen closes on the payoff . . .



AND AT THE LUDERITZ SPEED CHALLENGE on Tuesday, the windsurfing light was on. Sophie Routaboul checks in . . .

After the promising previous days, everyone felt that the 50 knots barrier break cannot be far. It’s today, on the 4th race day, that this never-before-broken barrier was smashed! As records kept tumbling almost with every run this afternoon, some of the speeds still need to be confirmed by the Time Keeper.

First, the Swedish Record Holder Anders Bringdal broke ...

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SailRocket Is (Finally) The Fastest Sailboat EVER

13 Nov

It took 10 years. But yesterday Paul Larsen's SailRocket punched through the 60-knot speed barrier, hitting a peak of 61.92 knots and averaging 54.08 knots over a 500-meter run. That makes SailRocket the fastest sailboat ever, beating Hydroptere's 2009 record of 51.36 knots.

There's still one more barrier to blow through, though. 54.08 knots is just a tad shy of the outright sail-powered speed record of 55.65 knots, set in 2010 by kiteboarder Rob Douglas.

Here's how SailRocket's day went:

After, Larsen sounded pretty confident that the outright record will soon be SailRocket's:

I know the current world

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Life Expectancy of Dynex Dux Synthetic Rigging

12 Nov

It’s about time I concluded (well, for now) my little series on Dynex Dux synthetic rigging. I’ve covered my installation, the tensioning process, and what I see as the great potentials of a return to fiber rigging. As I noted in the last post these benefits depend largely on the ability of this new fiber to hold up over time to the substantial stresses of life at sea. So far that’s a question without a definitive answer- this material, in this application, is so new that its working life has not been conclusively determined. Actually, as sailboat rigging it’s still ...

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Vendee Globe!

12 Nov

Well, the greatest sailing competition on the face of the Earth is now at sea. Website is here. Tracker is here. YouTube is here. Twitter is here. Facebook is here.

Phew, that's sailing in the social media age. But it let's you soak it all up.

Here's the latest video update:

The latest news (including Groupe Bel's collision with a trawler) is here. No surprise: all the big guns are at the 

top of the fleet.

Settle in, and enjoy. because there is three months if intense, suspenseful racing ahead.

In the ...

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Long, Beautiful Hair

11 Nov

When I was little, Saturday morning was not complete without cartoons on channel 29 out of Buffalo. One of the staple commercials breaking up He-Man and Scooby Doo was The Hair Club For Men. Happy clients shook their newly-thickened locks as they cavorted in hot tubs with young models in blue eyeshadow and grinned knowingly at us, the viewers, around their Burt Reynolds mustaches. I never understood why men would want those elaborate, shiny perms, and I put it down to Strange Things Grown-Ups Do.

Maybe the problem was that I didn´t identify with the untamed styles of the late ...

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Life Aboard is Different with Kids

11 Nov

The marina is slowly becoming more lively. Most of the cruisers who left their boats here for the summer are back now. I watch these older childless couples with a little bit of envy as they scrub their boats with toothbrushes, polish stainless, and all the rest of the little things that keep a boat looking tip-top. We used to take care of our boat too. Back in the catamaran pre-kids days.

Paradise Village Marina

Uke

 

Of course while they are shining their topsides life aboard Bumfuzzle is all about making cupcakes. Today was finally the day. We don't really do sweets, so ...

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Little-Man Overboard

10 Nov

Lowe took a dip in the marina today. He was playing down on the dock when he suddenly decided it would be funny to throw a bucket in the water. Then throw it in again. And again. It was funny right up until the last time when I picked the bucket out and put it away so he couldn't do it any more.

That's when he decided to throw a little tantrum. Standing there a couple of feet in from the edge of the dock he suddenly threw his head backward to yell out his displeasure with me. Instead what ...

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Stung!

9 Nov

I sailed solo along the Nicaraguan coast, trying to cover some distance, but it felt like I was dragging a dead whale. The bottom paint was shot after about 8000 miles, and the hull was a living reef.

I anchored in a remote bight in the coast, donned snorkeling gear, and jumped in. I scraped the propeller first, as I always do, and felt stinging all over my body.

I scraped the whole bottom of Condesa – about a two-hour job – and got stung like hell. The stinging was tolerable as long as I kept my mind on the ...

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First Time For Everything

8 Nov

Yacht porn is a well-established artistic genre, so it is harder and harder for directors to find something new to impress the audience. 

This video starts out pretty–like so many other sailing videos that blend music, slo-mo, and a cool boat–but at the one minute mark the director manages to come up with something creative and different, something that even Alex Thomson would be proud of.

All I will tell you is that it is sort of a William Tell thing, and involves a woman in a bikini.

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