The first edition of Charleston’s Fort 2 Battery looked more like a back-alley drug deal than a sailing race. Last-second registrations, lots of confusion, and competitors being distributed “race packs” in overstuffed brown paper bags late at night in the alley behind a downtown Charleston building… In just three years since the race became the biggest of its type in the hemisphere; it was the first to use chip timing (which captured a .005 second split between the 2nd and 3rd place finishers in 2016), it was the first to provide prize money for the winner, and it led to the spinoff Foil Mania regatta – the first ever to pit foiling kites vs. moths, course racing from the same starting line. And of course, it’s the first to offer a genuine Professional Wrestling Championship Belt as the overall prize! James Island Yacht Club has come along and helped class-up the operation, but fortunately not beyond a ‘weekend at the motorcycle track’ vibe. Their welcoming atmosphere is more ’go’n getcha brother a corn dog!’ than anything remotely yachtie… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
Posts in category Clean Report
Our Sailor Chicks of the Week are 49er FX team Rebecca Netzler and Klara Wester from Western Sweden. Sure they look good, and yeah they kick some ass on the chick’s skiff, but how about the form of this dismount during last week’s Princess Sofia in Palma? While we can’t score the landing, Klara gets a solid 10 for amplitude and flight time, and the successful attempt to create a show for the crowd when the capsize became unsaveable. and despite the DNF they took in the medal race, the blonde-and-blue girls took 4th… Get to know them better or support the team on their website here, and Becca’s got some more photos up on their Facebook page, which we highly recommend you follow. Or if you’re under 30, there’s IG. Excellent shot from our old friend Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
Clean Report – I admit I’m going entirely by the name on the transom in this wild-ass guess, but I’m reasonably sure the ultra-sexy blue monster on your left belongs to one of the most fascinating people in all of sailing. Just launched and barged down Holland’s canals from the Royal Huisman yard, the new 190-foot Ngoni most likely belongs to Tony Buckingham, a guy I got a little infatuated with when I raced against him in the Melges 32 Caribbean Series back in 2013 when his Ngoni had Chris Nicholson on tactics… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
Mike “Rail Meat” Hennessy reveals the secret sauce behind being the only overall winner in the short history of SORC’s Miami to Havana Race. Turns out it’s all about adversity. Photo of a local taking ‘selfie with dragon and Morro” during the Saturday ‘in-port’ race in Havana Harbor thanks to Mr. Clean, and title thanks to one of the most influential albums in history. Race chatter here. Just getting to the start line of this race was an epic of Homeric proportions, with canceled flights and snow storms providing me the opportunity to drive from NYC to Charleston in one 13-hour effort last Monday night… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
Clean Report – As we mentioned when we broke the exclusive news that a true blue US team was back in the VOR, we were going to leave a little to the imagination about some of the moving parts of the new team. Both title sponsors were extremely sensitive about their message and branding were presented at the right time, which is tomorrow (Tuesday) at an 0930 press conference at Sail Newport. With all those months of secrecy amid toothy nondisclosure efforts, it was something of a surprise to see the well-guarded name of the new team – including both organizations behind it – pop up on Facebook the day before the big, live reveal… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
Clean Report – WORLD EXCLUSIVE – The folks at VOR love to tease you with cutesy non-announcements, but there’s a reason you rarely see similar tactics in the world of high-flying PR. The reason? Because it gets guys like me charged up to dig into the story before Volvo deigns to release it. So when we got the “Team 4 Confirmed” news from the VOR staff, we started burning the FaceTwitSkype lines, and it didn’t take long to get the world exclusive story for our readers – and that story is great news for anyone who wants to see offshore racing in the USA reach the kind of audience that only the VOR can… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
Clean Report – For episode #20, we caught up with three guys who represent some of the brave new thinking in the sport of sailing. Longtime SA’er Chris Woolsey runs the reborn Miami Havana Race for a reborn SORC, and we get into the whys and hows of recreating this complicated international race to one of the world’s most unique race destinations. After that, we catch up with Tim Fitzgerald, founder of Charleston’s Fort2Battery Race, to talk about his motivations for creating the successful harbor sprint. We also get into Tim’s experience as one of the drivers behind Selden Masts growing dinghy business, discuss the first new hardware change in the 420 in years, and learn what Tim’s learned about getting millennials and Gen Z excited about sailing. Finally, we turn to one of those Z’ers, young Peter Cronin of the Mudratz. This clever kid discusses the team’s experience sailing amongst the big dogs in the Melges 24 and J/70 Class and the philosophy behind their growing Mudratz youth sailing movement in the Northeast… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
Fresh from a respectable Caribbean 600 aboard their Swan 46 Isbjorn (which you can join as paying crew here), On-The-Wind Podcast founder Andy Schell caught up with our own Senior Editor for a fun talk from a different angle. We leave it to Andy to describe what happened below, and encourage you to sign up with the one of the very few sailing podcasts worth listening to (at Stitcher here, at iTunes here)… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
Clean Report – The final day of the TP52 SuperSeries in Miami is live from 1300, with a possible three races to round out the weeklong series. As you can see with the excellent Day 4 Highlights above, Azzurra leads by a nice margin, while perennial favorites Quantum Racing tries to find its way on to the podium. You’ll also watch old Scottish mediaman Andi Robertson try to find a way to a hip look…and fail. Thread is over here to chat about the only real big boat Grand Prix racing left in the world…and Sunday’s live racing can be seen right here... For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
It’s damned tough to get any real info out of Havana right now, but a quick look at the results for the furiously promoted ‘Revival of the Historic St. Petersburg to Habana Race’ reveals that they probably should have waited another year. Of the 80-odd entrants, just 22 boats finished, and we can’t even tell who won – the Tampa Bay Reporter claims the TP52 Conviction led from wire to wire, while the USMMA Sailing Foundation says their pimped out, pro’d out chartered Carkeek 40 FOMO took line honors by a few minutes thanks to a better angle over the TP… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
After his epic Vendée Globe finish under jury rig and a decade of some of the nastiest racing trips around the world, Conrad “The Krazy Kiwi” Colman may just be the toughest sailor in the world. The first New Zealander to ever finish this toughest of all races spent an hour with Sailing Anarchy’s Alan Block to get deep into his trials and tribulations on the open 60 Foresight Natural Energy. Don’t forget to subscribe to the SA Podcast (iTunes Stitcher)… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
Clean Report – The Gunboat G4′s famous flip in St. Barth’s a couple of years ago didn’t do wonders for the marketing plan behind that ‘cruising’ foiler, but the dedicated racers developing the DNA F4 one-design spinoff of the G4 have been following a different, more logical path. Two-time America’s Cup winner Shannon Falcone (who sailed the G4 extensively) and the team at DNA have been working up the 30-knot-plus machine in Antigua to find her limits before going into full production, and they found those limits a few weeks ago while testing the boat on a squally day off the West Coast of the island… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
This week’s Sailing Anarchy Podcast features two sailors who’ve fallen in love with sailing fast, and when they say fast, they don’t mean 15 knots! First we grabbed forty minutes with male pin-up model, VOR/AC veteran, and 24-hr monohull recordholder (aboard Comanche) Shannon Falcone, picking his brain about testing and delivering the F4 foiling cat, who he sees as favorites for the America’s Cup, and whether he’s even interested in it anymore. Follow Shannon here. Follow the SA Podcast on iTunes here or Stitcher here… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
Clean Report – Michigan’s Ron Sherry is America’s premier ice boat racer, and he put this vid together a couple of years ago after an incredible trip to Lake Baikal in Siberia. Differing from the usual iceboat video because of the forward/aft-facing split-screen and informative text commentary, this is probably the single best video ever published for those looking to feel what racing a DN Iceboat is really like… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
Clean Report – There’s a very basic reason the oldest trophy in international sport continues to attract the attention of the press, the public, and the billionaires who contest it; is the unique nature of the Deed of Gift that controls it and the immensity of the challenge that creates… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
It is with an incredibly heavy heart that we announce the death of one of the Charleston sailing communities most important figures. Just 46 years old, former Charleston Race Week director of marketing and PR Meaghan Van Liew died yesterday after complications related to a liver transplant operation… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
SORC once again delivers on one of the quickest races in the land, this time, a recordbreaker. From Chris Woolsey (and go here for more great photos from Marco Oquendo and the SORC media team):
Every so often, the weather gods deliver the famous conditions that bring people back to the Ft. Lauderdale to Key West Race year after year after year. For starters, winter storms up north usually have folks looking to points south by the time the new year rolls around. South Florida and the warm waters of the Gulfstream always provide a welcome place to thaw out. Couple that with the South Florida winter cold front cycle of a new blast of NE breeze every few days, which allow high speeds on nice waves down and around the bend of the Florida Keys to the Happy Place known as Key West, and you have a recipe for something more fun than shoveling snow and crossing items off of the honey-do list.
So it goes to figure that those blasting conditions would coincide with the race date roughly every other year, delivering racers to Key West overnight as quickly as (I Dream of) Jeannie can fold her arms, blink and say “Pepe’s!” As is sometimes the case, those conditions were a bit overdue, with the last all-out downwind romp coming in 2007. Those who made it for the 2017 running, hosted as always by Lauderdale Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club, finally got a treat.
As a result, David and Peter Askew, and their all-star crew (including AC legend Marco Constant, Star world champ Phil Trinter, Ralf Steitz, Chris Larson, and half the Alvimedica VOR team) on the Reichel Pugh 74 Wizard romped across the finish line in record time, and pushed Carrera’s 2005 monohull record run to second-best by a few minutes. Jason Carroll’s warhorse Gunboat 62 “Elvis”, with Anderson Reggio navigating, crossed a few minutes later to take the overall quickest time (thanks to a later multihull class start), but never threatened Stars & Stripes record pace of last century. The happy crew revelled in letting the big cat get out and really stretch her legs in the fresh conditions.
The rest of the fleet is still rolling in and we may yet see some surprises in the results. Hook in, hold on and stand by.
Our Senior Editor and his new view on life found this carbon fiber construction irresistable. From the insanely artistic shop of Italy’s Bruce Creations comes twin inlaid carbon pacifiers for a foil kiteboarder’s twin babies. Bruce spends most of their time making things that go fast (and check out this sexy custom Velocitek Speedpuck Case too), but if you’re looking for something that’s just black and beautiful for that special hi-performance guy or gal, he got that too. Thanks to Rasputin22 for the find.
With Twin Peaks (one of the ultimate cult favorite TV shows) set to return this spring after something like a 50-year hiatus, our brains were already tuned to the word “Peak”. Fortunate that a sailing documentary popped up the other day with just one more peak…and a great cast of its own.
Dee Caffari stars as the celebrity with a target on her back in the Barmouth to Fort William Three Peaks Yacht Race – an event that includes both crewed racing and back country runs up some of the UK’s biggest peaks. Enjoy this rare gem of a sailing documentary that looks good, tells a great story, and helps us get to know the characters in a quirky place and a quirky race. Sign up for the 2017 event here.
The story of Anthony Bell’s road to the ultimate Aussie racing prize is epic and quintessentially Australian. Picked up for a firesale price after nearly killing her entire crew in the Fastnet, this beast of a boat would throw obstacle after obstacle at Bell and his team over the past three years, until finally, the Perpetual Loyal (nee Speedboat) got it right this past week. Bell picks up not only the first-to-finish trophy but also the overall Hobart race record, smashing Wild Oats‘ 2012 time by more than four hours – something not even the mighty Comanche could pull off. WOXI was knocked out for the second straight year.
We’ve enjoyed Bell and his crews’ attitude over the years, and we’re intrested to hear about the ‘different sailing challenges’ he has said he’s moving on to now that he is ready to sell the big JuanK beast – at what is probably a much higher price than she’d have fetched before the team’s excellent performance…
If those of us who love the sport do not spread that love to new prospects, we have ourselves to blame when our fleets dwindle and it becomes impossible to find good crew. One 28 year old sailor – Anarchist “North253″ – is doing his best, and he and all his generation-mates need your help.
My generation is, as near as I can tell, a bunch of entitled idiots. I love sailing, and was raised by sailors. But the truly unobservant things I have been asked about sailboats and sailing by people my age is mind boggling. I answer all of their questions tirelessly and patiently, because the more interest I can generate the better, and the slow decay of my favorite pastime especially among people my age and younger saddens me, because it is oh so cool!
I bought a flush deck Cal 28 recently with the intent to take as many people as I can get sailing, because they clearly don’t get it. (This is my second full size sailboat). But this takes the cake: I was recently asked by a 29yo lawyer friend, who is generally not a moron, “yeah they are cool but can’t you only sail on rivers, you can’t take sailboats onto like the ocean right?”
Other amusing questions include:
-”But sailboats can’t have engines, so you’re screwed when there is no wind”
-”can’t you only go the same direction the wind is blowing”
-”is there a way to steer it? What happens when you hit land?”
-”what about sharks?”
While a fair question by the uninitiated, my favorite to answer has to be,”won’t it flip over”
Christ, who raised us? Apparently, I have work to do…Maybe, just maybe I can recruit some new sailors.
Share your secrets for lighting a fire of sailing inspiration in the younger generation in the buzzing thread here.
Bill at Passageweather points out an incredibly rare front page error (ha!):
Hey guys, you state that Conrad’s boat has “The first all-electric propulsion in the Vendee Globe”. That is not true, as Javier “Bubi” Sanso raced his IMOCA 60 “Acciona” in the last Vendee Globe with a 100% Eco-Powered system, including an electric motor and batteries charged by a system of solar, wind and hydro-generators. I’m not trying to take anything away from Conrad, but credit where credit is due, and the first was Bubi Sanso back in 2012.
Bill is 100% correct, and we remember calling the boat “100% Tug-Powered” after his dismasting, rescue and salvage in the last race. Conrad only has 16,000 miles or so to go to become the first ever to finish a Vendee Globe without fossil fuels.
Here’s Conrad’s latest missive from the Southern Ocean, and please be sure to like Conrad to get his best-in-race updates.
The world has changed back to grey although conditions are still pleasant. Notice that I’m talking in general terms here because my instruments are still uncooperative so I have no notion of wind angle or speed other than my experience of years at sea. However it’s not the air that bothers me at the moment, it’s water. The hard stuff. The sea is really cold (again, no data sorry) and even short exposure to it during a sail change leaves my hands so cold and weak that I can’t even rip open a soup packet!
Also, falling off the train that Stephane and Nandor are still on has forced me to dive south, close to the Kerguelen Islands and close to an iceberg detected by satellites four days ago. As I write this I have just crossed over the waypoint for the observed 30 meter iceberg as I figured the best way to avoid a moving target is to sail exactly over the point where it was last seen!
In addition to my work on the boat, planning the navigation, trimming etc I now turn my binoculars to the horizon at regular intervals looking for hard water. I saw an iceberg in my first race around the world in 2012 near Cape Horn and it was impressive and scary for all that it represented… a near invisible, undetectable by radar, solid dangerous lump! I have good visibility and only one target to miss so I’m not too concerned about this Vendee cocktail being served on ice, although an encounter would leave me both shaken and stirred!
My first long trip since becoming a father was an eye-opening one for me in many ways. I learned that it takes about 15 days before family Facetime chats fall off and the missing really begins. I learned that Sailing Anarchy can be a force for positive change. I learned that driving non-stop from Barcelona to Amsterdam alone costs a fortune in tolls, fuel, and misery. But mostly, I enjoyed being back in the thick of it for three extremely important events for the sport I love. I’d like to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone who helped make the trip possible, and I encourage you to check out informative pieces I did with each of the four sponsors during the trip:
Musto’s head of marketing and the Figaro sailor who reps them in France chatted with me about their new offerings and just how much of the Vendee fleet wears HPX in this video from METS.
Torqeedo Marketing Director Georg Roben gave some candid answers about the company and products that have netted two of the prestigious “Most Innovative Product” awards in the past five years at the METS show in this video.
As usual, Doyle Sails NZ owner Mike Sanderson was funny and interesting in this live chat about the Hugo Boss sails, superyacht sail technology, and the future of the Volvo Ocean Race, while Bruce Schwab explained what Ocean Planet Energy’s slick battery, regulator, and charging solutions do for ocean racers in this interview.
Enjoy them, and stay tuned for the next big thing. Got something your company thinks needs some coverage? Let me know.
A Hazy, Crazy Vendee
A special invitation to be aboard one of just a handful of support RIBs permitted inside the 2016 Vendee Globe starting area gave me a great view to one of the most special single days in all of sailing; a day where our humble sport sees crowds that make the World Cup look small. As it turned out, the start itself wasn’t even in the top ten most interesting things about V-Day, and my view inside the commentary box four years ago was quite a bit better than being aboard a photo RIB shooting the 2016 start. It’s a start that barely matters at all for the race itself.
What I didn’t experience four years ago was the single most intense crowd moment our sport has; when each skipper comes ’round the corner, entering the famous LSD Canal to the roar of an estimated 200,000 fans lining the shores. Fortunately, my spot with the Boss photographer allowed me to be just a few meters away from this action, and the 18-minute video above is my attempt to get you as close as I could to the unique emotional surge unlocked by that final trip through the fairway.
I’ve been asked by many people whether the Vendee and IMOCA will ever really grip the attention of anyone outside of France and the niche yachting community, and I remind people that there’s plenty of precedent for it. When Mike Plant dominated solo racing (and indeed in the early days of the Open 60) the Vendee was international. When Ellen was one of the UK’s best-known athletes, the Vendee was international. And now that Alex Thomson has a real chance to win and with the help of Open Sports Management and the IMOCA Class, the Vendee is pulling in decent international numbers. But it’s all probably not enough to transform the event into a truly world-wide phenomenon, and that’s entirely because of the shortsightedness of the French organizers of the race itself.
You see, the non-French world just doesn’t matter much to the region of Vendee, or to the paymasters behind the communications strategy of the race, and where they do make an effort, it is specifically pointed at a UK audience….
And don’t forget the Sailing Anarchy Podcast.
In this double header to celebrate the end of a long road trip, Clean first talks to freshly minted Director of the US Olympic Sailing Team Malcolm Page. The Australian double gold medalist and multiple world champion answers questions from Clean and the Anarchists, including a frank assessment of where the US team is, why he took the job, why the US team became also-rans for the past three cycles, and the route (and how long it’ll take) to rekindling America’s prowess in olympic sailing, as well as loads more questions. More than an hour from Malcolm (with thanks to Will Ricketson and Josh Adams for their help and information provided for this podcast), learn more about him at www.ussailing.org. The second part of our podcast has quite a bit more laughs, when we are rejoined by two repeat visitors, also both world champions…
We are massive fans of the Mudratz, and of their unintentional discovery of just how to fix that problem we’ve all been asking about for more than a decade: “How do we turn junior sailors into lifelong sailors?”
If you haven’t followed the kids from Mystic (and beyond), take this opportunity to peruse their recent history here. They’ve got a team of kids racing at the Melges 24 Worlds in Miami, and to celebrate, they’re auctioning off Charlie Enright’s genuine, brand new, autographed Musto/Team Alvimedica HPX Smock from the last Volvo Ocean Race. It’s live on eBay with the auction set to end this evening – 100% goes to the team’s 501(c)(3) charity fund, and we encourage you to get over there and bid it up right now. Hell, at the current bid of $435, it’s cheaper than retail. Let’s raise some money!
Your auction price will be a tax-deductible contribution, and it comes at the perfect time for your 2016 tax year. Get over there now.
Early qualifications have 2015 SSL Finale winner George Szabo deep in the fleet, but the unique format gives him and the rest of the 25-boat strong fleet a chance at the big cash payout at the end of the event. With a solid Bahamian forecast and commentary from Dennis Conner and Scottish superstar 470 skipper Luke Patience, the all-live streaming coverage of the SSL should be well worth watching, especially if you love keelboat racing. Watch from 1100 EST above.
With Vincent Riou limping off to safety after cracking his keel, Seb Josse losing hours to repair UFO-damaged rudder linkage last night, and Alex Thomson somehow holding on to a 100+ mile lead with just a stub of a starboard foil, it’s clear that the biggest hurdle to winning the 2016 Vendee Globe may very well be floating – or swimming – in the water. With PRB down it’s also clear that it ain’t just a foil thing, and don’t forget the famous secrecy of some teams; we may only be hearing a portion of the actual damage reports.
With Thomson seeming to easily hold off Banque Populaire at sustained speeds of 20+ knots, we asked his team for a photo of the Hugo Boss damage to address some of the speculation that Alex is playing head games with other teams and that there was no collision. We were told there were no pics yet because the stump is under water and spray at 20 knots, and said we’d all see pics and video of Thomson’s foilectomy when the weather moderated. We’ve also just learned exclusively that the non-French ocean racing world’s biggest hope may not be over at all, thanks to a spare starboard foil aboard the Boss! Alex will attempt to cut away and jettison the remaining stub and insert the spare downward from the deck openings ; it is a very tricky operation but they’ve practiced it at least once, and it’s the reason for their unique deck/foil exit configuration.
The reality of the situation is dramatic enough, but we loved SA’er ‘nedev’s explanation of Thomson’s problem way more.
To be honest, structural failure and hitting stuff in the open ocean both seem quite unlikely to me… After all, the engineers know what they are doing right? And in that vast ocean, what is the chance to hit a teeny tiny floating object?
If you ask me, I think the most likely thing that has happened is that aliens visited AT and try to abduct him and perform scientific experiments on him. In his blind panic, AT ripped off his own foil with his bare hands and used it as a blade to fight off the extraterrestrial intruders. Stunned by this display of will power and strength, the aliens didn’t know what to do and decided that there would probably be easier test subjects to be found elsewhere on this weird planet. What they didn’t know was that during their stay on the big black boat, one of the landing lines of the UFO got wrapped around the rudder. So when they tried to fly away, the rudder got pulled up and the UFO got destabilised mid flight, causing it to crash into the ocean and sink into the depths.
So I think we should all be grateful for Alex’s heroic actions, saving humanity from the alien invasion. Quite possibly, humanity would have been wiped off the planet if AT hadn’t sacrificed his own foil to save us all!
Talk about these discoveries and more in the Vendee Globe thread.
2016 will be remembered as the year when manufacturers finally realized they should be spending all their development money on Superyacht toys, but a handful of companies are working to improve high-performance sailing. I sampled pretty much everything new from the 1500+ exhibitors at the METS show in a mostly sober state, and after all that, the winner was actually quite easy to choose.
At the invitation of onsite project manager Jan Majer, I took a quick side trip yesterday to the industrial wasteland of Burriana, Spain a few hours south of Barcelona. That’s the home of Longitud Cero – Spain’s top composite boatbuilder and the temporary home of the new Warrior (ex-Camper). She’s already had all her moving bits stripped off with some modifications scheduled for next week, and will be coming soon to an island regatta near you some time this winter. You’ll barely recognize her when you see her, but you’ll never forget the new paint job – we discussed this, the bigger modifications to the boat, the Warrior Sailing Project, and tons of other subjects in ultra-high performance racing with Jan and rigger Ryan Breymaier during a great SA Podcast that will drop next week. Will the boat originally nicknamed “Clifford” for her doggish ways become one of the fastest monohulls in the world? Keep an eye here for the podcast…
If there’s two things I spend most of my pre-regatta time on, it’s dock walks and form guides. So with one day to go until the Vendee Globe begins, I decided to create some efficiencies and combine these two indispensible tools for following the world’s best race. The result is this video tour of every one of the 29 entries for the VG.
We grabbed the most knowledgeable English speaker we could for this one; Ryan Breymaier is the rigger for overall contender SAFRAN, and he never pulls punches – listen to Ryan’s analysis of each boats’ strength and weakness and each skipper’s history and chances. Wanna know the best foils, the dark horses, the hopeless dreamers, and the real podium contenders? This is the place to go.
Thanks also to Bruce Schwab and Ocean Planet Energy for his support of our coverage.
The second of three candidates for World Sailing President sat down with us on Friday to explain why he is running for the sport’s top position, and he seems like as solid a choice as anyone. An engineer and executive who perhaps lacks some of the fire of Henderson (and if you missed that podcast, it’s worth a listen), Kim Andersen is as Danish as they come despite having spend many years living in Australia and Germany. The longtime Olympic class and now Dragon sailor wants fairness, equality, transparency and solid management for the sport he loves, and he’s got sensible plans on how to repair the damage done to the sport over the past few years.
Both Andersen and Henderson have a mountain to climb; no incumbent has ever been beaten for the ISAF/IYRU/World Sailing presidency, and Carlo Croce has very powerful friends: As the Commodore of the most powerful Yacht Club in Italy and the President of Italy’s MNA, Croce has the ability to influence the voting MNA’s in many ways not subject to public scrutiny
If Croce doesn’t win after the first ballot (the winning candidate must get >50% to win), things get interesting and the horse trading really begins; either Henderson or Andersen will get axed, throwing their support to the other, with the final two candidates taking whatever time they have to drum up support for their bid. They’re technically not allowed to promise anyone positions, posts, jobs, events, etc in exchange for their vote, but from what we’ve heard, it happens every election.
We gave current President Carlo Croce over a week to respond to our requests for the final interview to round out this series, but other than being told the message was passed on to him, we’ve heard precisely nothing. We’re not saying that Croce has anything to hide, but two of the three candidates have chosen to air their platforms and answer all our questions in a very open manner, and if transparency in our sport is important to you and your countrymen and you care about the future of our sport, get in touch with the president or director of your MNA and let them know what you think. Perhaps more importantly in a long game like this, make sure you are ready to vote your national MNA bosses out at their next election if they make it clear they don’t care.
Despite the title, we’re not talking about the most entertaining and frightening US presidential election ever (and the first-ever time any presidential candidate said “Grab them by the pussy”). For the sport of sailing, there’s a much more important election coming up in less than a month. While you probably don’t get to vote for it, your MNA does, so give them a call or drop them an email and let them know what you, their member, thinks of whatever position they hold.
We’re doing our part to find out whether any of the three presidential candidates has a real plan to fix the dismal position ISAF finds itself in after years of bizarre and opaque decisions and increasingly centralized power, and that means you have a chance to make your thoughts known, too. So get over to the World Sailing Strategic Positioning thread and add your questions for candidates Kim Andersen, Paul Henderson, and Carlo Croce, and we’ll put those questions to them when we interview them this week. The first interview is Monday and Andersen and Henderson have already agreed to talk to us over Skype; whether or not we get Croce aboard, we’ll publish it all next Monday in another SA Podcast.
As you’ve likely read on these pages before, one of our biggest beefs with the folks who run ISAF World Sailing has long been their willingness to threaten those who compete in non-ISAF sanctioned events with a ban from competition. We’ve long maintained that the rule allowing them to do this (ISAF/World Sailing Regulation 19.14 (a)(ii)) is illegal in much of the modern world, and it appears that the European Commission agrees wholeheartedly.
Acting on complaints from a pair of Dutch speedskaters, EU regulators have told the International Skating Union that its threat to impose lifetime bans on speed skaters for taking part in unauthorized events is anti-competitive, putting pressure on the ruling body and other agencies with similar penalties to back down. The skaters said the ISU threatened them if they competed in a big money “ice derby” in Korea, and after a year-long investigation, the EU agreed that the ISU violated the anti-trust sections of EU law.
For a legal description of what exactly happened and what the implications are for the ISU and other bodies (like ISAF), check out the EU Competition Law Review summary here. We can sum it up quickly though: The EU investigated ISU for a year, and determined that the ISU rules (that allow up to a lifetime ban for competitors) unduly restrict athletes’ commercial freedom and effectively discourage them from participating in events other than those organized by ISU or its members. In other words, the international governing body’s rules are an attempt to create an impermissible monopoly over all skating events…
ISU now must issue a response to the EU, after which point the EU will decide what penalties and actions they will take against the ISU, and if the ISU’s incredibly condescending and dismissive initial response is any indicator, the EU is going to have to take a swing. ISU said it was “surprised” at the EU view, and that, despite their investigation, they ‘failed to understand’ the international sports world. Perhaps they meant to write that the EU “failed to understand how crooked our international sports world is…”
The smarmy Swiss-based org went on to write that “any allegation that the ISU’s rules are somehow anti-competitive appears to be based on a misplaced understanding of the governance structure of sport and the Olympic movement. A neoliberal and deregulated approach to sport could destroy the Olympic values underpinning sport.”
It’s the same response that insiders always give when challenged with their malfeasance, and it’s always bullshit. Bodies like ISU and ISAF need to face the fact that their monopolies are ending, and organizations that dedicate their resources to improving the services they offer in a competitive world are going to succeed. Those who stick their fingers in their ears and complain that the government just doesn’t understand them? Folks who are allergic to transparency and equality? It’s time to go.
We’ll dedicate an upcoming podcast to the wider-reaching implications of this anti-competition ruling, especially as it effects ISAF’s unfounded attacks on IKFO kiteboarders and the non-transparent and anti-competitive equipment selection process for the next Olympics. The kiters are in almost the exact position as the Dutch skaters so we’d expect the IKFO to be filing a complaint with the same EU body very soon if they haven’t done it already. This one is getting good.
Fresh off the worst 18 months in ISAF/World Sailing management history, sailing’s governing body continues to search aimlessly for the slightest clue on how to fix its fundamental problems, but it’s hard to have confidence in a body that is likely in November to re-elect the same transparency-challenged, conflict-of-interest-laden Italian who engineered perhaps the worst responses possible to the Rio mess, the Malaysia anti-semitism debacle, and the America’s Cup.
Yep – you heard is right. Carlo Croce is somehow running for President again, and to guarantee his win, he’s hired the same multi-million-dollar PR and lobbying firm working to get Paris the 2024 Olympics and pushing for another Italian to take over FIFA. Croce apparently believes he will be remembered not for feces and body parts on the race course in Rio or for Jewish sailors having to hide their nationality at an ISAF Youth World Championship, but for the wild success of the newly reimagined Sailing World Cup. You know – that regatta that literally a few thousand people in the entire world pay attention to for 3 years out of every four? Yeah, that’s the one. As the only regatta that ISAF World Sailing actually owns, management has decided it’s time to try to build some revenue out of it…and the result is a little bizarre.
One of the oldest sailors to ever win an Olympic medal – and an Italian guy who builds Olympic boats, coaches sailors at the highest level, and knows Croce well – weighs in on the new plans for the new Sailing World Cup. Read it and then let the folks at your MNA know you want them to vote for this guy instead. Now, to Luca:
Looks like World Sailing, completely overwhelmed by the Rio Olympics has lost contact with the sport’s reality. This Sailing World Cup needs to be completely rewritten. Andy Hunt, if you really don’t how to come up with something better than this, please feel free to contact us, we will help you.
Sailing needs events, we need to race and we need to know where, when and what to sail. Maybe World Sailing CEO Andy Hunt, doesn’t know the big rule of communication…
One of our Dinghy Academy sailors commented: “And… by the way… we can’t tell you exactly when and where the Sailing World Cup events will be. We will continue to impose drastic fleet size quotas (because that worked really well this last quad…), and we won’t tell you if your class will be in Tokyo until sometime next spring… But show up anyway, guys… And if you are a sailing venue, go ahead and bid for the privilege…”.
What is wrong in this proposed “non World Cup”? First of all, majority of sailors are not loaded with money, so very few of them, in reality not even one, will committ and take part in all the requested events. They simply do not have the budget.
Our Comment: “We need more events and discards and a grand final. Aussie plus some sailing in Melbourne. Canadian plus some sailing CORK in Kingston, American and even more than some in Miami, and the usual european circuit: Palma, Hyeres, Medemblick, Kiel and Garda, with max four counters for example. No limited entry, open and happy, sailing is our passion, sharing a drink with the mates, discussing the races a pleasure second to none. Sailing is a social sport”.
I’d already bailed from the 1D35 I usually race in Detroit for this weekend’s Bayview Long Distance Race, but when my wife’s plans to hold a garage sale changed an hour before getting a text from Rick Warner on Friday, I jumped at the chance to sail Rick’s ORMA 60 Arete in the historic race on Saturday. I’d been trying to race with Rick since he bought the beastly trimaran, and a dead-calm delivery I did last month with him didn’t really fit the bill.
With a forecast of 10-15 for the 50-mile race, this one would be somewhat different, especially since my old friend Bora blew off an invitation to appear as one of Michigan’s Olympians on the U of M football field (in front of 106,000) to take the helm of the boat for this race. And while the Bayview Race Committee gave us a start, we were an ‘unofficial’ entry and the only multihull, but no one cared – we were there to set a record, and as far as we know, we did.
An ORMA is perhaps the perfect boat for the Mackinac races; blazing fast in light air, and even faster in heavy – but for a race on the depth-limited Lake St. Clair, this truly was a case of bringing a knife to a gunfight, even with much of Arete’s core crew off doing other things. It took us twenty minutes to get through the 8 classes of boats ahead of us, flying at 20 knots all the way to the wind farm off the Canadian Thames light, and you couldn’t ask for a less dramatic ride; furling sails and smart winch logistics make everything as smooth as the boat, and aside from one problem with the gennaker tack (that’s me hanging on the bowsprit after the fix), we didn’t leave much on the course, and while the Bayview Long Distance Race Record ain’t something that matters to more than a tiny group of people, it mattered to me!
Our total time for the 50 mile race was actually the same as my birthday: 4/20. While none of us can find an actual race record, we’re pretty confident we set it…
The world’s premier offshore race and the most spectated sailing event of all, The Volvo Ocean Race starts in a bit more than a year. But already, the discussion is getting real about where the Volvo goes after the next edition – the second sailed on the Farr-designed Volvo One-Design 65. We grabbed Mike Sanderson, winner of the 2005 VOR – the first edition with the then-terrifying VO70, and Nick Bice, the creator of the VOR Boatyard and current VOR boss of boats and maintenance and a bunch more, to get their opinion on the state of the race and the options for the future; is the multihulling of the Volvo inevitable, or is there another way?
And these characters don’t disappoint – as you’d expect from a couple of guys who’ve gone around the world, they’ve got strong opinions and clever thinking and both would love to see great success in future races. We also catch up with Mike about his friendly takeover and new CEO position of Doyle New Zealand, hear about the record mini-maxi fleet in Sardinia, and hear Moose’s real opinion of North Sails. Listen above, download here for later listening, or subscribe to the SA Podcast on iTunes.
We know you’ve all been waiting for the Sailing Anarchy take on Rio 2016 and the US Sailing Team, so strap on your listening helmets and get ready for Sailing Anarchy Podcast # 9. We grabbed Nacra 17 helm Bora Gulari to find out how all his Olympic gear was stolen (in Detroit), how he got it back, and everything Olympic we could cram into 2 hours of slightly inebriated yapping…
It may be disappointing to many Americans to see the US Sailing Team struggling to recover from their historic medal shutout in London, but by almost any standard, the team is already doing better than the 2012 debacle. We will be analyzing their performance once the games are over, but for right now, if NBC doesn’t completely fuck it up again, you might just get lucky enough to watch some double-points medal racing live tomorrow. Three US teams will sail the finale; young Caleb Paine sits just outside the Finn medals in fourth, while Paige Railey will try to move up from 10th with no chance at the podium. Bora and Louisa will see if they can jump a few spots from 9th, and if it all happens fast enough, we might see some 470 racing (or spot a severed leg). Read the US Sailing update from Monday here.
Longtime Anarchy pal and sailor chick Gail Turlock invited me to come and sail the Sunfish Masters US Nationals on a chartered boat this weekend in Gull Lake, Michigan, and for someone looking to get my 1-year old baby girl in as many pretty bodies of water as possible this summer, it was too good an opportunity to pass up. So we’re headed to the other side of the state to jump on the 3-mile long lake, where Mer and Joey will play on the GLYC beach and I’ll go embarrass myself on the water…
The first stage of the M32/World Match Racing Tour experiment wraps up today with a shock finale: Only one form guide favorite advancing to the semifinals of the million-dollar, winner-take-all World Championship in Marstrand, Sweden. Taylor Canfield advances as the favorite, but loses tactician Chris Main to a shoulder injury going into the final day, and with 25 knots forecast, he’l lose weight and strength with GAC Pindar trimmer Garth Ellingham subbing in. With Iker Martinez, Yann Guichard, and 6-time world champ Ian Williams all knocked out in the quarters, every skipper in the final four matchup is 30 or younger, and Hakan Svensson’s vision of providing a pathway to greatness for young sailors has been fulfilled….