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3 Sailors Rescued Off Panama

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After multiple days of flooding, three American sailors were rescued this past Sunday (May 30th) off the cost of Balboa, Panama.

The rescue has been attributed to successful use of their EPIRB on-board.

The U.S. Coast Guard News has the details:

The U.S. Coast Guard said it coordinated the rescue of three sailors aboard a sinking sailboat approximately 50 miles south of Balboa, Panama, at approximately 5:23 p.m., Sunday. The sailors, whose vessel was reportedly taking on water for several days, were rescued by the 600-foot motor vessel Glenda Meryl, an AMVER system vessel. Read More »

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Clipper Race Excitement: MOB and Recovery After 1.5 Hours

Battling 35 knot winds, the raceboat Derry~Londonderry~Doire successfully recovered their crew member after nearly 1.5 hours in the water. See the video below for more.

A British man was rescued from the Pacific Ocean in the early hours of this morning after falling overboard during the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race. Derry~Londonderry~Doire crew member, Andrew Taylor (46) from London went over the side at 00.43 BST last night in rough weather and was sighted again at 01.55 BST before being recovered at approx. 02.13 BST this morning (13.13 local time, 30 March).

The incident happened in rough weather with 35 knots of wind and clear visibility, during a sail change in daylight on day 14 of Race 10 in the 16 stage Clipper Race which is currently heading for San Francisco, USA from Qingdao, China.
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Windsurfing Out, Kiteboarding In To Olympics; U.S. Sailing Wades Into The Debate

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As many of you know, the ISAF voted to remove wind surfing as an Olympic category in favor of kite boarding. The ISAF decision certainly seems a bit disturbing on the face of it – wind surfing has been a great sport, and has a lot less gear than kite boarding, not to mention it also seems a good bit safer. What do you think – should U.S. Sailing rethink it’s position?

U.S. Sailing recently sent out the following note in support:

PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (May 23, 2012) – Every four years, difficult decisions are made about Olympic sailing events. The choices made always leave some part of the sailing community frustrated and feeling, at least on some level, disenfranchised. I say this as a former Soling sailor who was quite upset with decisions made in November 2000, and a long-time keelboat sailor who did not agree with the recent decisions to exclude keelboats from the Games entirely. I know, first hand, how it feels to have the part of the sport I care most about excluded.
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Stop-Motion Pirate Movie Looks Awesome

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From the British makers of Wallace and Gromit, the new movie “The Pirates! Band Of Misfits” looks like a mix of swashbuckling shenanigans destined to be popular for kids and the occasional adult. The New York Times has this positive review, and has chosen it as a Critics’ Top Pick.

“You can’t always just say ‘aarrr’ at the end of a sentence and think that makes everything all right.” This is wise advice and not only for pirates and piratephiles of all ages. It’s also the closest thing to a lesson – also: pigs are not fruit – in the delightful stop-motion animation “The Pirates! Band of Misfits,” a story of high-seas silliness from that British national treasure Aardman Animations (Wallace & Gromit). Exquisitely detailed – from its ocean breakers to the wavelike curlicues on a pirate’s luxurious beard – the movie is a curiosity cabinet of visual pleasures but so breezy and lightly funny that you may not realize at first how good it is. (You’re too busy grinning.)

Read the rest of the New York Times review here.

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This Guy Is Cruising On An Open 40 – With His Family

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Totally nuts, but totally awesome. And not only with his family, but with his young kids (3.5 and 1.5 years old) – IN THE SOUTHERN OCEAN. Wonder how long until it all goes wrong.

James Burwick writes on his blog:

We arrived in Fremantle, Western Australia on 12 May 1012 after 30 days from Simons Town, South Africa.

Boat preparation was long and detailed. This was to be one of those trips where it was better to send a report in after we arrived safely, not before.

It was late in the season for sailing in the Southern Ocean in many minds, but not mine. I felt I could go above 40S, avoid ice, and avoid low pressure cells dropping off of the Indian Ocean summer cyclones. Leaving in mid-April just meant more darkness. Well, it always seems to happen at night, so with longer nights, maybe the possibility of more bad stuff to deal with.

After approximately 1200 hours of boat preparations by myself, after sailing solo 32,000nm and with the family aboard 13,000nm, I felt the risk could be managed.
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NASailor Update

Since our launch 18 months ago, we’ve had some fantastic support from this community and made great strides in growing the site to tens of thousands of visitors per month. Some of our best content – boat reviews, the best boat series, and more – generate tremendous interest even today.

But life moves forward; our new family and the rise of other professional opportunities are taking up more and more time. So, effective this week, we will no longer be regularly updating this site. We will still occasionally place new content here, but it will be more of a blog-style format, and will be done only when time permits.

Thanks for your support throughout this process. We’ll see you out on the water!

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Crash Of The Week: Offshore In Serious Conditions

While not technically a crash, this video shows some pretty serious conditions, and the proper way to handle them. Conditions look like 50 knots to me, with sharp, occasionally breaking waves. What looks like the yawl is highly reefed and working downwind with the wave on their quarter. Note the wave state, with the sea shifting from discrete waves, to constant, white, streaky foam. Indicative of approaching and crossing the forty to fifty-knot wind threshold.

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Introducing The Triloboat

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Triloboat – a new conception of sailboat. Built at home, and essentially a flat barge (plenty of form stability), these guys are cruising Alaska with them. Is this the next wave of home-built sailboats? Shallow in draught, with two junk rigs and leeboards, these remind me of the old Dutch sailboats.

One boat owner notes:

Luna has no engine. We either sail, scull with a yuloh (1.5 knots at an all-day pace), pole ourselves in shallows or warp. Some days we make 80 miles, some we make 5 or less. We try not to have a schedule, and so find the time to poke around interesting looking ‘holes-in-thewalls’… secluded bays, shallow river deltas, narrow passageways through reefs… If we like a place, we stay a while. Read More »

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Cruising With Your Family: A 14-Year Hiatus And Return

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This family of four left the rat-race of Washington, DC to live on a 40-foot cruising boat in Mexico. We found this heartwarming blog from S/V Del Viento via the Cruising World site. And you understand why – it accurately describes their decision-making process to pack it up, sell their house, and move onto their Fuji 40 for five years. Inspiring, and reminds me of the fun which we had during our cruising period. Warning: this may encourage you to walk away from it all as well.

In our twenties, we traded our boat for a house and our freedom for careers. In our thirties, we slumbered through the American dream. In our forties, we woke and traded our house for a boat and our careers for freedom. And here we are.

The Crew:

  • Michael (also goes by Mike and Miguel) is 42-years-old. He is an English major who wound up working in IT. He is eager to begin writing Read More »
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Design Review: Aquila 45 – A Pure-Bred Race Boat

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Purebred animals many times are graceful creatures. Built to go achieve a certain goal, they often sacrifice a complete, well-rounded nature in pursuit of that goal. In many ways, the Reichel / Pugh designed Aquila 45 raceboat reflect similar goals. Her design is unambiguous: she is meant to go fast especially downhill, with a sail area to displacement ratio of over 35, Length to beam over 3.17, and a 10-foot draft. We saw her in Annapolis this past year, and she’s a fierce looking creature. Priced at $495k, the entry to this level of performance is just the beginning for a program these types of boats deserve and demand.

Naval designer Bob Perry has a review in Sail Magazine of this design.

This new Reichel/Pugh design is being built in China in a town called Foo Yang at a yard called Sino Eagle Leopard. One boat has been produced so far and they are targeting the racing market. I find this a very good-looking boat, and no doubt with that Reichel/Pugh pedigree it will be a very fast boat and a lot of fun to race.
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Two Men Rescued From Raceboat Off California

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Two sailors are safe after heavy weather damaged the 68-foot Geraldton Western Australia raceboat, and injured the crew members. The vessel is competing in the Clipper Round The World Race. The wave came over the stern, knocking the crewman into the wheel, and sheering the pedestal. Conditions were gusting from 40 to 60 knots, with large waves. That’s the adventure they pay for, right?

CNN has more coverage:

After bad weather hindered earlier emergency efforts, two seriously injured sailors were safely on a boat off California’s coast Sunday evening — preparing to fly to San Francisco after their 67-foot racing yacht was damaged a day earlier by high seas, a Coast Guard official said.
Four members of the Geraldton Western Australia’s crew were injured Saturday in stormy weather as they sailed from China to San Francisco for a leg of what’s called the Clipper Round the World Race, race organizers said. The rest of the crew was described as “uninjured but shaken.”
Inclement conditions had hindered initial attempts to send a helicopter to the site, located about 270 miles west of San Francisco.
But by early Sunday evening, a rescue swimmer was in the water near the boat. Eventually, two of those hurt — identified by Coast Guard Fireman Jordan Akiyama as a 50-year-old woman and 67-year-old man — had been transferred to a small boat.

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Crash of the Week: Ocean Sailing

While not technically a crash, this is a great video of some of the incredible conditions aboard these submarines – I mean VOR sailboats. Amazing how much water they take over the boat. If you haven’t seen the Telefonica near-knockdown, definitely check that out too (see further down the page). Those guys are earning their paycheck on this leg.

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J/70 Test Sail: First Report

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The folks over at Sailing Anarchy have this report from an (obviously unbiased) Jboat dealer. He had a chance to take out the new J/70 in California. Still, if these numbers are accurate, it should be a fun ride.

I sailed on both boats last Thursday, invited along with the sailmakers and hardware guys to help evaluate sail sizes, rigging and set up for input to class rules. Pix herewith in no particular order.

Observations:

Wind was 10-12 then quickly built to 16 with a max of 18. I based the wind speed on the consensus of four professional sailors that were on board at the time. The boat cruises along nicely downwind in that breeze – between 12 and 14 knots of boat speed. I based that on my GPS which was in my pocket.

The boat feels very balanced with good bite on the helm. We were approaching the top end of the sails at 18 but both sets of upwind sails were made oversized and a little fuller than the boat wants, especially the jibs in my opinion. Once the sails get sorted, the boat will go upwind in 20+ very happily.
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Rogue Wave Takes Down Telefonica

All I can say is wow. Technically not a rogue wave – but it sure looks like one. Two big wave hits, both captured on camera. In my mind, this is what a rogue wave experience is all about – one minute you’re sailing along with rough but manageable conditions, the next the boat is knocked down and you’re hanging on for dear life.

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The Beautiful Sea

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NASA has put together this truly beautiful compilation of time-lapse video over a two-year period. Built off a simulation engine, it demonstrates an exaggerated flow of the world’s oceans. Beautiful. I love the currents shown crossing the Indian Ocean – you can visually see the old trade routes quite clearly.

The Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center created this beautiful animation called Perpetual Ocean which visualizes the ocean’s surface currents over a 30-month period between June 2005 and December 2007.
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Crash Of The Week: Laser Pile-up

We reached back deep into the archives for this one – a true pile-up at the leeward mark. Fantastic. The color commentary is great, as well. Sounds like they had a good time reviewing the film.

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Four Girls And A Sailboat

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Nice video story of the crew from Rafiki, and a collaboration with other J/30 across the U.S. And more importantly, they look like they’ve had fun doing it. This is what sailing is all about – competitive fun in the sun with family and friends. Oh yeah, and the sailing.

RAFIKI 2011 from Kate Hayes on Vimeo.

Spinsheet has a nice piece, picked up by the J/30 page:

Last month, I witnessed a kindhearted, wild-haired sort of idea sprout, magically open doors, and manifest itself into one exceptional sailing weekend. This may be my first and last Milwaukee-New-Orleans-Chicago-Annapolis sailing story with an Oahu twist, so bear with me as I untangle the details.
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