Kimball Livingston

The Water Wing, aka l

31 Jul

Photo © Kimball Livingston

When we slowed to 22 knots, it felt like sailing into molasses.

That is the addiction of speed.

And I appreciate it, Jimmy Spithill, that you once showed me 28 knots on an AC45, but the boys on l’Hydroptere let me drive at a boatspeed of 34 knots. Top number for the day, 38 knots in winds in the teens.

To go faster, l’Hydroptere wants more wind and less sail. Too much sail, and the world’s most famous foiling trimaran fights foil with foil for no gain.

A late afternoon round trip to Catalina? Just cruisin’....

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New Zealand

20 Jul

The first of the new generation of America’s Cup boats will be shown off Down Under tonight in a ceremony scheduled to start at 10:30 pm Pacific.

Emirates Team New Zealand is the first team with a boat in the water. Pics can be viewed at Sail-World.

The christening will be streamed live at the ETNZ Blog, where the latest post is all about the measures taken to assure that a champagne christening won’t bust the super-strong-and-yet-in-some-ways-fragile carbon over honeycomb structure.

The Defender, Team Oracle USA, has not announced a launch date, but late-July, early-August seems likely. Spithill ...

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17 Jul

Once upon a time I was visiting the Orange Coast College School of Sailing and Seamanship, and somebody asked if I wanted a tour of Alaska Eagle.
No big deal, but why not? And then there I was, walking the deck, prowling below, and this feeling crept over me. Gosh. Alaska Eagle. Ex-Flyer. Round the world winner in the 1977-78 Whitbread. 250,000+ miles as a school ship after her racing career. Communications vessel for the Transpacific Yacht Race since 1983.

This detail, managed just right, over here.

That detail, managed just right, over there.

It got ...

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Traditional Sailing in Tonga

16 Jul

It’s billed as the largest boat ever built in Vava’u, and it is sailing now after a six-month build in the fisheries shed at Halaevalu Wharf, Neiafu. Named for the Kingdom of Tonga’s beloved Queen Salote Tupou III, whose 46-year rule began at the age of 18 and ended in 1966, here is the new HM Salote.

All photos courtesy of Donna Belvedere

Kalia is the Tongan word for these traditional craft.

The kalia Salote was launched in June — by hand, with help from members of the Tongan rugby team, the Ikale Tahi — and she began sailing in ...

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The Spithill Start

11 Jul

Oracle Team USA wants you to know —

Photo by Guilain Grenier/Oracle Team USA

Jimmy Spithill showed some great cojones on the start line at ACWS Newport.

At least three times during fleet racing he set up at the windward end. As the fleet approached the line he hung a few lengths back waiting for a hole to open, and then slingshot through a narrow gap and onto the racecourse with great speed. Its a risky maneuver because a competitor to leeward could poke their bows up and shut the door and possibly draw a foul.

“Weve been aiming to ...

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A New Solo Transpac Record

9 Jul

A year ago Alex Mehran sailed a doublehanded Transpac in his Open 50, Truth, but came away a lot less happy than he is with this year’s race, solo, and a new Singlehanded Transpacific Race record. Mehran’s passage of 8 days, 12 hours shaves nearly two and a half days off the previous record, set 16 years ago by an Open 60 sailed by Ray Thayer.

Three hundred miles out, Mehran snapped this . . .

Photo by Alex Mehran

He hit the beach early Monday morning, exhausted, but in this fleet tired is average.

Because the Cal 40, ...

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American as Apple Pie

3 Jul

USA-17 still in shrink wrap; not a recent image. Photo © KL

American as apple pie, that’s USA-17, and now the big tri has passed her first Fourth of July at home as an America’s Cup winner.

But will she ever sail again? Probably not.

Which is not exactly a first, not in the America’s Cup. That’s as American as leaving no stone unturned.

Since race two of America’s Cup 33 (February 14, 2010) USA-17 has been sitting on the hard, either in Valencia or in San Francisco, at Pier 80, at the foot of Cezar Chavez Street. Its not ...

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300, No Foolin

27 Jun

The Worrell 1000 once was a hero’s arena for small cat racing on the Atlantic coast. When the Worrell blew away, a 500-miler replaced it, for a while, but now the only long distance, beach cat race to be found happens south of the heart of Texas.

Jeremy Leonard, Surf City Catamarans, shares his story and his pics:

The Great Texas 300 is a four leg, 300 mile beach catamaran race from South Padre Island to Galveston. The GT is currently the only distance beach cat race in the country, and this year 10 boats competed. This grueling race ...

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25 Jun

Ive always loved the phrase, answer the guns. It took something away when race committees at the Americas Cupin Valencia, for examplewent to blowing horns instead of firing guns to signal start and finish. Never mind that the visual signal governs, and the sound signal, whatever it may be, is an aid. In not much more than a year from now, a new generation of raceboats will come to the line to choose a challenger for AmericaCup 34. If the plans made for this weeks AC45 racing in Newport are any indication, the contestants for the next Americas Cup will ...

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