After a delayed start to racing, the fleet of seven MC38s hit the course with winds gusting over 25 knots.
The RORC Caribbean 600 is attracting some of the world’s best yachts.
Those who have sailed the Finn through an Olympic campaign know it well as ‘The Ultimate Challenge’.
A top class sporting line-up with no fewer than nine nations taking part, Race HQ based at the foot of the Eiffel Tower
The first Open 7.50 Caribbean on board footage. The one and only Caribbean Open 7.50 Panic Attack gives you a nice look in their kitchen of sailing with this first on board footage. Enjoy this “smooth” ride!
Ocean racing legend Vincent Riou (PRB) will once again be on The Transat start line in Plymouth and heading for America on the 2 May
9 months before the start to the 8th edition of the solononstoproundtheworld Regatta Vendée Globe, 28 skippers from 9 nations aus on …
Musto Skiff sailor Ben Schooling has been here before, sitting at the top of the rankings for the GJW Direct SailJuice Winter Series, with one event to go
by Justin Chisholm, Sail Racing Magazine
The Vendée Globe is a very, very French institution. The solo circumnavigation race’s essence, its DNA, is drenched in pure and unadulterated French spirit. It’s hard to conceive of any other nation coming up with a sporting concept so daring and with such immense potential for disaster for those taking part, as a non-stop, unaided, singlehanded, yacht race around the world.
And that – purely and simply – is why the French people love it so much.
The Vendée Globe stole the hearts of France’s sporting public from the very first edition in 1989 and since them the population, from school children to grandparents, have followed the six editions that followed in their droves.
Hundreds of thousands flock to the Atlantic coast seaside town of Les Sables D’Olonne to watch the start in person. Millions more avidly track their hero skippers’ adventures online during the race. At the end the crowds return to Les Sables D’Olonne to cheer each finisher safely back into port at the end of their global lap.
The strength and depth of the race’s following in France is such that it rubs shoulders comfortably with the country’s major global sporting properties like the Tour de France cycling and motor racing’s Le Mans 24 Hour Race.
No surprise then that the French mainstream media packed the skippers’ press conference in Paris this week to hear what the 31 pre-entered skippers for the 2016/17 edition had to say.
It was a full house, standing room only, with representatives of the country’s national TV, radio, and major newspapers all there, as well as the French news services and even a smattering of international press.
While the race will always and forever remain French to its core, the organisers are hoping to expand its appeal further afield. Helping with that push is a record nine nations (France, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, the United States, New Zealand, Switzerland, Hungary and the Netherlands) being represented among the 31 skippers currently listed as entered or pre-registered. – Read on
US Sailing and Leadership in the same sentence? That’s almost as funny as World Sailing and leadership. Yet this US Ailing “forum” in Dago is one your Editor was purposely not invited to speak. They offered me a “media pass” (Are you fucking kidding?) but they didn’t want me anywhere near a microphone.
And who can blame them? Can you imagine the horror of a former radio talk show host who isn’t an ass-kissing sycophant actually having something to say that wasn’t the same tiresome shit that people who attended these things always seem to say? Daring to call-out those who try to spin their bullshit? No no no! There can’t be a dissenting voice, a criticism, or an occasional f-bomb thrown about. You see, this is for the civilized folk – those who talk and say nothing, who talk and do nothing.
The ironically perfect “Leadership Council” is filled with the same know nothing, know-it-all’s and career status-quo enablers as usual. It will promise change and bold thinking, and forward progress and, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
It will amount to the same pontificators and back-slappers uncomfortably rambling on about things they know almost nothing about. Oh sure there will be opinions – almost all of them predictable, lame and incredible time-sucks.
But for the rest of you, The great Circle Jerk awaits!
Stand back in amazement as the self-important, glad-handing Craig Leweck “ums” and “uhs” his way through way too many minutes of a mind numbing bore-fuck than one could ever imagine!
Behold as the smug and ever rotund Dawn Riley squirts forth volumes of tough talk about nothing!
I could go on, but really, what’s the point? It’s a status-quo suck off and I don’t swallow.
I think where I left off last was with the approaching gale and me in yellow flag mode, slowing to let the gale go past.
After competing in four Olympic Games, 36-year old Tania Elias Calles is now pursuing her biggest dream yet: to compete in the toughest and most dangerous solo non-stop race around the world – Vendée Globe 2020.
It all began for Tania at age 6 on a lake near Mexico City where she soon began dreaming of winning an Olympic sailing medal. Without much support or coaching, she clawed her way up the Laser Radial ranking, soon medaling at the Pan Am Games and World Championships.
When she lacked funding, she gained notoriety in 2010 by setting the Guinness World Record for the longest single-handed unassisted journey in a dinghy (Laser) by a female, sailing 282.78 nm from Los Cabos at the tip of Baja California Sur across the Gulf of California to Bahia de Banderas on mainland Mexico.
While not fulfilling her dream of an Olympic medal after 16 years of training and high performance competition, Tania is now focused on the Vendée Globe in 2020. She is again short on funds, as just buying the IMOCA 60 for the race will cost of 3 to 6 million dollars. So this time, to gain notoriety, she is going to sail her Laser Radial from California to Hawaii.
In order to achieve international media exposure and raise capital, Tania will sail a distance well over 2000 nautical miles to set a massive world record. Tania not only hopes to establish a new parameter for what is possible but also prove her potential for the Vendee Globe, exhibiting the mental strength, will, determination and focus that is needed to circumnavigate the world.
For this Pacific Ocean crossing, a support vessel will be following providing assistance, media, and to monitor the weather and her health. She plans to leave from San Francisco during the summer of 2016, with the crossing expected to take two to three weeks to complete.
Tania hopes the exposure from the ocean crossing attracts the right sponsor, after which she will set out to design and build her IMOCA 60 and begin her offshore training.
The training involves all sorts of areas like medical and survival lessons, learning to manage a boat with that sort of power, dimensions and rigging, security requirement and licenses, courses, sleep depravation training, mechanics, nutrition, new home (based out of Spain), first long distance offshore races, etc. All this while supervising multiple people and managing the project.
Tania´s first race around the world, the Barcelona World Race, will take place in 2018. This race will be done on the same boat which she will use in 2020, but with another crewmember. This race is a double handed round the world race, non stop from Barcelona to Barcelona.
Every milestone and accomplishment, and all the pain and suffering, will help Tania prepare for the final goal: Sailing solo non-stop around the world without assistance and crossing the finish line of the Vendée Globe in 2020.
As the clock ticks towards racing in 2017, the America’s Cup teams are accelerating their preparations. The defending champion of the America’s Cup, ORACLE TEAM USA, will face the top challenging team in race one of the America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton on Saturday, June 17, 2017. Racing will take place on Bermuda’s Great Sound, a natural amphitheater that offers up varied and challenging racing conditions.
“Time is the one thing you can’t get back in an America’s Cup campaign,” said Jimmy Spithill, the skipper of ORACLE TEAM USA. “It’s the most valuable resource we have. Between now and race one we have to design and build a boat to a new rule, learn how to sail it faster than the other teams, and make sure that as a race crew, we’re match ready. There’s nothing like the first race of the America’s Cup, when you line up against the other team and it’s all on the line. That’s what we do this for.”
All six America’s Cup teams will race in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Qualifiers – a double round robin event – beginning on Friday May 26. The winning team in the Qualifiers can carry a bonus point through to the America’s Cup Finals, making this an important stage of the event for defender and challengers alike.
The top four challengers from the Qualifiers advance to the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup Playoffs, with one team eliminated from further competition. The playoffs feature four teams paired up in a Semi Final, advancing to a Final, with one eventual winner advancing to face ORACLE TEAM USA in the America’s Cup Match presented by Louis Vuitton.
Much more… click here.
Michael Coxon’s Thurlow Fisher Lawyers-sponsored boat, with his team of Trent Barnabas in the bow and Dave O’Connor on the sheet, will be among the favorites in the 2016 JJ Giltinan Championship on Sydney Harbour from 13-21 February. Photos by Frank Quealey of the Australian 18 Footers League.
I think where I left off last was with the approaching gale and me in yellow flag mode, slowing to let the gale go past.
(February 4, 2016; Day 16) – A swift turn around Amianan Island has seen half of the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet gybe to the south-west as the teams head for the Ocean Sprint course and next waypoint off the south coast of Vietnam. Full report.
Young artists wanted: Hampshire and the Isle of Wight 5-16-year-olds invited to design the – Victory Trophies – for this summer’s Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series Portsmouth
Courtesy of the University of Hawaii Sailing Team
UH Peter Wenner Rainbow Invitational
When Salve Regina sailing coach John Ingalls calls a regatta, “the most fun anyone could have at a college sailing event,” it’s time to pay attention. In early January, the University of Hawaii sailors, leis and all, welcomed sailors from across the globe (literally) for the Peter Wenner Rainbow Invitational.
Sailors from Salve, USC, Brown, Hosei University (Tokyo, Japan), University of British Columbia, and a handful of other schools kicked off the spring season with a weekend of racing in the Ke’ehi Lagoon in Honolulu.
“We all enjoyed the international competition and a break from our Canadian winter,” says Sandra Macko, a sailor at the University of British Columbia. “Overall we had a great time; thank you to the University of Hawaii for hosting this regatta and having UBC come back to compete for the second year in a row.”
“Sailing in Hawaii during January is tough to beat when most of the country is frozen,” says Ingalls. “Water temperatures in Hawaii are consistently a warm 80 degrees, and the air temps range from 78-88. So it’s shorts, T-shirts, and sunscreen for the duration. No need to bring that bulky sailing gear. It never rained on us this year, but when it has in the past, the liquid sunshine is warm. So for all those reasons, the trek from the east coast is worth it.”
So what about the sailing? “The conditions were perfect as well as varied,” says Ingalls. “This year was our fourth trip in six years; we saw mostly 10 knots with a peaks around 14. When the Trades blow, it’s quite the ride.”
Courtesy of the University of Hawaii Sailing Team
Sailors from Salve Regina, USC, UC-San Diego, Brown, UC Santa Barbara, Hosei University, Long Beach State, Washington U., Cal Poly, U. British Columbia and CSU Channel Islands attended this years’ Peter Wenner Invitational.
The regatta is named for Peter Wenner, a former University of Hawaii sailor who, with his wife, hosted all of the sailors for a BBQ dinner on Saturday after sailing. “That barbeque, and the camaraderie and friendships generated are difficult for me to describe,” says Ingalls, “but it gives me and my team a sense of family within our sailing community. We leave with a sense of belonging to something special.”
For more information on the Peter Wenner Rainbow Invitational and the University of Hawaii sailing team, visit http://www.hawaiiathletics.com/coedsailing
Artemis Racing launched the second generation of “turbo” test platform in San Francisco this week.
Artemis Racing has made a flying start to 2016, relocating the team’s sailing operations to Bermuda, and perhaps even more significantly, launching its second turbo development boat of this America’s Cup campaign.
The new boat, nicknamed ‘T2’, was launched in Alameda, California, in early January. Design Coordinator, Adam May, provides an insight into the team’s development pathway for the 35th America’s Cup:
“Very early in this America’s Cup’s cycle we upgraded our existing foiling AC45, a boat similar to those used in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series, to boost its performance and provide a platform to test appendages.”
“However, our development path truly began with our sister ship turbo program. ‘T1’ was launched in February 2015 as a test platform scaled to be similar to the AC62 class. The original AC45 foiler was then retired and converted into T2. There was a pause during its build while the AC class changed, and many features such as a similar deck layout to that of the new AC Class were incorporated into T2.”
Sander van der Borch
The “turbo 2” takes flight on San Francisco bay.
“T2 is our second fully loaded turbo charged AC45. The extra beam (for more righting moment), larger wing, cockpits, and full fairing package; make it a very different beast to the narrow traditional AC45s with foils.”
The team completed a successful 10-day camp in Alameda, ahead of the imminent relocation of Artemis Racing’s sailing operations to Bermuda.
Iain Percy, Team Manager, commented “It was very satisfying to launch T2 before we left for Bermuda. The design and build of this boat was our key focus for 2015, and I’m very proud of the result of the team’s ingenuity and endeavour. It was particularly pleasing to be foiling around the Bay on day one without any significant teething problems, giving us the chance to maximize the precious time on the water. We took away a number of key learnings and directions for our future America’s Cup Class development program”.
T2 will soon be lining up on the Great Sound against its sister ship T1 in what will be an important stepping stone towards the team’s goal of winning the 35th America’s Cup.
“Two boat testing is an important component of our campaign strategy. It’s going to be quite a sight seeing two Artemis Racing boats flying over the America’s Cup race course”, said Iain Percy.
This week the 2016 Finn World Masters at Torbole on Lake Garda pre-registered its 300th entrant. That’s right. 300 oldie Finn sailors from 29 countries…
Aboard his Class40 GryphonSolo2, American Joe Harris departed Newport (RI) on November 15 in a bid to break the 40 Foot Monohull Solo Non-Stop Round the World Record. That plan, however, got derailed when a stop in Cape Town was needed for repairs to his energy systems. Here’s an update from Joe on February 4…
I think where I left off from last report was with the approaching gale and me in “yellow flag” mode, slowing to let the gale go past. So that strategy worked well and while I did see winds over 40k, I did not get the 70k winds that were not far away, so I felt good that between Commanders Weather and my weather/routing we devised a strategy that worked.
After passing the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, Australia, one of the “Great Capes” on Tuesday, I have been humming along since then in very good conditions with North-Westerly winds in the 20’s which allows me to sail on port gybe at a wind angle of about 130′, which is perfect for this boat.
The next milestone is getting past the longitude of the South East Cape of Tasmania, which is about 900 miles ahead. After that the target is Stewart Island at the Southern tip of New Zealand, which is about 1,750 miles, so I am targeting Feb. 12 or 13 as an ETA, at a 9 knot average boat speed and continued favorable wind direction. Good stuff.
But there was a weird incident yesterday. As I was sitting in the cabin reading around mid-day my time, I picked up my iPhone to check text messages from the YB tracker system, and there was a message from my wife Kim asking if I was okay. Apparently my EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) had been triggered and sent a message to the world-wide sea-air rescue network and Kim had been contacted by both the US Coast Guard and the Australian Rescue Center to see if my EPIRB alert was real or a false alarm.
Holy Cow! I had no idea so I crawled to the back of the boat to a locker in the port stern quarter and found my “ditch bag” of emergency supplies which had one of my EPIRBs in a front pocket. The bag had somehow been flipped over and was upside down, causing the EPIRB to be pressed into the floor, which accidentally pushed the “ON” button and the EPIRB was flashing and transmitting an emergency signal of distress. So I flipped the bag back over and pushed and held the “on” button on the EPIRB, which de-activated the signal.
However, the signal had been transmitting for about 90 minutes already, so Kim had been called by the U.S. Coast Guard at 3:00 AM, asking if she knew me and if I was really in distress. Since we had been emailing only a couple of hours ago and the tracker showed the boat moving in the right direction at 10 knots, Kim told them she thought I was okay but would check and get back to them.
She then called and emailed a team of six experienced mariners I had put together before my departure to handle emergency communications, and all waited to hear back from me. I was shocked to get the message that the EPIRB was on, so quickly relayed to Kim that there was no emergency – everything was fine on board GS2 – and to please tell the U.S. and Australian sea-air rescue teams to stand down.
I then called Kim on my sat phone which had not been functioning well, but I took the Iridium phone out of its cradle and brought it on deck and – lo and behold – it got a signal and connected the call! Kim was obviously relieved to hear that everything was okay and this was a false alarm, but it was 3:00 in the morning and she had been dealing with this for two hours and she was understandably a bit stressed!
Luckily our Emergency Comms team had responded – the world-wide COSPAS-SARSAT sea air rescue system that the EPIRB alert triggers had responded rapidly and efficiently and everyone was ready to assist – which was awesome.
So on we go. I feel badly for the accidental triggering of the EPIRB (it is now in a “Pelican” waterproof case with lots of padding) and the stress it placed on Kim and my team as well as the international sea-air rescue system, but the good news was that everything worked as it was supposed to, which gives me confidence that were I to have a real emergency, the people, systems and technology are in place to effect a rescue. Thank you to all involved.
More news in a few days… hopefully it will be boring. For now, signing off from 46′ South – below the Great Australian Bight.
Background: As a result of Joe’s 11-day detour to Cape Town (Dec 28-Jan 8), Joe will no longer be able to officially break the existing non-stop record of 137 days, 20 hours, 01 minute, 57 seconds – set by Chinese sailor Guo Chuan in 2013. However, he remains hopeful to unofficially better the mark. Website: www.gryphonsolo2.com
Those who have sailed the Finn through an Olympic campaign know it well as ‘The Ultimate Challenge’. This moniker has stuck with the class through generations and remains as true today as it ever was – except perhaps more so, as the Olympians of previous generations are regressing back to their youthful dreams of glory and finding a new rewarding challenge at the Finn World Masters.
This week the 2016 Finn World Masters at Torbole on Lake Garda pre-registered its 300th entrant. That’s right. 300 oldie Finn sailors from 29 countries will be reliving their youth for another year. Tempting fate here, it is heading towards being the biggest Finn event of all time, and there are still three months to go.
Many former Finn rock stars are now back in the Finn after a short absence because they see the Finn as a sport for life, something that gets into your system, that you can’t quite let go of, and, which provides a competitive environment while also recognising the huge heritage and tradition of the class.
“In the last four years the Finn World Masters has grown considerably and is attracting a large number of former Olympians and sailors returning to the class after some years away,” reports Andy Denison (GBR), Finn World Masters President. “Despite the organic fallout – getting too old – we are set to see one of the biggest turnouts ever for Torbole 2016, reinforcing the fact that more and more Finn sailors are joining the Masters fleet.” – Read on
Kitefoiling at Kuredu, Maldives. Video published on Feb 4, 2016.
A message from US Sailing about the great sport of sailing. Learn more about all the opportunities to sail at www.ussailing.org. Video published on Feb 4, 2016.
With nine months left to go, 27 skippers are officially registered! This will be a record event! Check out the promo above!
The Volvo Ocean Race could potentially see new sponsors and more teams in the next event with reduced costs for entry.
At a time when rival major global sports events are struggling to contain spiralling costs, a report by independent auditors PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has praised sailing’s premier round-the-world event, the Volvo Ocean Race, for halving the price of competing for sponsors.
Much of the credit for this has been ascribed by report author, Manuel Díaz, to The Boatyard, the shared-maintenance facility introduced by the race for the last edition in 2014-15.
“A campaign now costs around 50 per cent less to run – in the last editions, the cost was between €20-35 million rather than €10-15 million for campaigns at the same level,” the report, Assessment of the Maintenance Operating Model, says.
The Boatyard has broken new ground in the offshore racing industry, pooling both human and equipment resources for the servicing of a newly-introduced class of boat. The Farr-designed Volvo Ocean 65 one-design broke with 40 years of tradition in an event, which was launched in 1973 as the Whitbread Round the World Race.
The report, which was commissioned by the race after the finish of the 12th edition in June last year, highlighted: “The list of benefits is no longer hypothetical: the model has already been implemented, showing an excellent performance and outstanding results.”
The report, in particular, praises:
- Significant cost reduction in contracts with suppliers, spare parts stock, transportation, labour and support staff and infrastructure
- A reduction of breakages and the consequent corrective maintenance
- Improved predictive maintenance, fixing potential weaknesses before they result in breakdowns
It added: “One of the main benefits of The Boatyard is that it has become easier to attract both participants and sponsors – the entry barrier is lower but is not only a matter of cost.
“As all the teams have the exact same platform, the risk of having a much slower boat is lower. On the other hand, safety has been at the heart of the one-design process, with the boats designed to last at least two editions of the toughest race on earth.”
Díaz recommends that The Boatyard could be even more effective with a stepped-up level of performance monitoring through a list of key indicators such as average time for repair, man power utilisation and efficiency and inventory turnover.
Nick Bice, who manages The Boatyard, was delighted the project had won the positive comments from the PwC report.
“What pleases me is that it’s recognised now that our standards are in line with the very highest in the automotive and aeronautical industries,” he said.
“A key statistic that has been highlighted is that 90 per cent-plus of our servicing was proactive, in other words fixing potential problems before they led to breakdowns. Only around 10 per cent of that work was reactive.
“Our ambition is now simple: we are aiming to get to a stage where there is no excuse for breakages in the next race other than those caused by human error.
“We don’t want future stories to be about why a boat has broken down, we want the stories to be about the people sailing onboard.”
Last Sunday Sail-World NZ spent the afternoon with the Sydney 18ft skiff fleet…
The results of the Antibes SkiYachting in January with 8 races sailed in moderate temperatures and a 24 bft breeze are available. Good skiing condition at Auron FRA prevailed as well. Clear winners in the…
Registration is now open for the first round of the 2016 IKA Kiteboarding World Championships, held in El Gouna, Egypt. The event offers 50000 Euro overall prize money for freestyle and big air, and 1000 points for the winner in each discipline. Seven rounds will determine the 2016 World Champions in Freestyle, Big Air, Wave and Slalom. The event is at the new Elements station in El Gouna, which provides perfect conditions for both disciplines. The next rounds of the 2016 IKA Kiteboarding World Championships will be confirmed shortly. Full Report.
Due to some issues beyond control of Sail Salem, they are not able to host Sunfish Youth and North Americans this year.
Several family teams are racing with and against each other with the aim to strengthen the family bond…
By Rich Roberts
Long Beach, CA (February 3, 2016) – What began in January of 2015 as Long Beach Yacht Club’s Match Racing Academy as an entry-level introduction to match racing for experienced sailors, finished up one year later on January 30 with Lisa Meier of LBYC winning the ISAF Grade 5 Match Racing Academy Grad School match race.
“We came to race after a few days of practice,” said Meier. “There was not one skipper or crewperson that did not come to race their ‘A’ game. The competition was fierce, and we had skippers and crew who have raced in tons of events around the world.”
Meier also recognized the dedication and hard work of her crewmembers Blair Carty and Wally Gordon. “We’ve been committed to spending time together,” said Meier, “taking what we learned in the Match Racing Academy and then taking it to the practice course.”
The idea and inspiration for the project came from LBYC’s Race Management Chair Cindy Bambam. “The Match Racing Academy,” said Bambam, “was born after considering ways to give those interested in learning match racing a place to do just that. We were noticing the same group of competitors at our events and recognized that there were no avenues available for those interested in learning the sport.
“This homegrown program is very loosely programmed, adjusting the lectures and racing to the skill and knowledge of the participants. The key is having highly skilled lecturers and coaches (we are very fortunate to have several who graciously volunteer their time) who can adjust their presentation to the needs of the group.”
With just two 27-foot Solings, one umpire boat and one mark boat, the race committee ran the regatta from the dock next to the club on a cool winter day with moderate breezes of 6-8 knots.
Skippers and crew, waiting for their turn to get on the boats for their match in the single round-robin format, helped out the race committee on the dock or rode along with the umpires to broaden their match racing knowledge base.
The format is pretty simple; three weekends (consecutive if possible) with Friday evening chalk talks from match racing experts followed by on-the-water training Saturday for the first two weekends with the Grade 5 regatta on the last Saturday.
LBYC was fortunate to have US Sailing Regional Principal Race Officer Sharon Bernd, ISAF International Judge and Umpire Kirk Brown and Liz Baylis, president of the Women’s International Match Racing Association training, coaching and officiating during the program.
One of the most admirable aspects of the Mexico cruising community is that its members often combine fun-filled sailing events with heartfelt philanthropy. The best example of this is the annual Zihuatanejo SailFest, which …
If it’s February it must be seminar season. Some events of interest to Bay Area sailors include the following.
February 4: Not exactly a seminar, more of a talk – USCGCaptain Gregory Stump, Commander of Sector San Fra…
All Images Mark Knighton / Soft Bank Team Japan – Team Soft Bank Japan has received their AC45 ‘Turbo’ directly from Oracle. It seems the same design we’ve been seeing from their latest sessions with the step back rudders. This design data sharing will bring Barker a chance to be competitive for the LV as there is so little room to play this time around with rules. AC management might
Artemis Racing Design Coordinator, Adam May, provides an insight into the team’s development pathway for the 35th America’s Cup after launching its second turbo development boat. The new boat, nicknamed ‘T2’, was launched in Alameda, California
Restricted and expensive access to good event venues are competitive sailing’s biggest obstacle in the USA. Does this explain America’s Olympic difficulties over the past few cycles? Windsurf Olympic lifer Farah Hall reports that in Miami, it’s only getting worse.
From her blog:
In preparation for the Miami Olympic Classes Regatta, the first World Cup event of 2016, many sailors competed in “Midwinters” regattas held at the sailing clubs in Coconut Grove. These small events have a history of about 4-5 years and are normally used as a low-key warm up before the World Cup. However, this year one little regatta was the victim of an unfortunate trend in both the Olympic class circuit and the American racing scene: escalating costs for sailors, facilitating exclusivity.
The men’s and women’s RS:X fleets were stunned when confronted with a $200 entry fee for a small three-day event. The cost of the three-day Midwinters event combined with the cost of the World Cup ($350 for singlehanded boats plus $150 coach entry) can run sailors as much as $700 just to participate in the regattas. In Europe or South America, regatta fees for small events are normally around 40-60 euro, or $50-75. High level European World Cup regattas, week-long events, cost around 200 euro or $220. Factoring in travel expenses, coaching or a boat (a critical need for RS:X sailors to reach the starting line on time in light wind and carry food and water), and the high cost of housing in Miami, this event can push even the most financially solvent competitor over budget. American sailors are required to compete in Miami almost every year to qualify for the US Sailing Team. For “average Janes” like me, it’s a steep hurdle indeed, and one that will remove any middle-class, self-funded but motivated sailor from the racing community.
Because less women than men were registered and paid online for the Midwinters, the women decided to defect from the regatta and hold their own event or “coaches’ regatta” while the men stayed with the original event. (Even so, a third of the men did not compete due to the cost). The entire women’s fleet removing themselves from the event was the fault of both sailors and organizers, but the incident strongly serves as an example of what can happen when sailing federations and clubs try to profit from sailors instead of promoting the sport.
Read the full story here.
For the first time ever the tables have been turned, and our own Mr. Clean gets finally grilled by someone else! John Casey puts Alan Block on the hot seat in this 2 and a half hour JC Worldwide podcast that’s exactly what you’d expect: Funny stories, outspoken opinions, and plenty of information on, well, a little of everything about sailboat racing and the media.
While motoring our 63-ft cat Profligate from San Diego to Santa Barbara for the start of last September’s SoCal Ta-Ta, we noticed some black gooey stuff accumulating at the bottom of the port diesel and on the engi…