Archive for the 'Sailboat Racing' Category

Jul 04 2015

Silver Eagle Race

Last weekend, our J-105 crew raced in the Silver Eagle race. This was our course….


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Jun 25 2015

Hydroptere Racing to Hawaii (Record Attempt)

The french-made foiling trimaran, l’Hydroptere, is at this very moment racing to Hawaii in an attempt to break the current Los Angeles-to-Hawaii record of 4 days, 19 hours, 31 minutes (set by Olivier de Kersauson in 2005).

Full article in Japan Times >

If you haven’t seen l’Hydroptere before . . . they were flying around San Francisco for a couple of months and I got a chance to see them on the water.  See for yourself.

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Feb 20 2013

Flying Keel Monohull Sailboat

Published by under Boats,Sailboat Racing

A great presentation by the designer of a canting keel monohull that actually flys it to reduce the drag caused by friction. In the video, we have footage of their firs sea trials, and the presentation (TED talk) is given by the lead designer, Vlad Mumikov.

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Feb 22 2012

America’s Cup 2013 San Francisco Bay Course

SF 2013 America's Cup Race Course

The cat is out of the bag! The America’s Cup Team has announced the race course for the 2013 America’s Cup to be held in San Francisco.

Here is the link to the full article, including a map of the course you can download.

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Sep 28 2010

Express 37 BBS Footage

I was supposed to race on the Express 37, Exy, this year in the Rolex Big Boat Series at the St. Francis Yacht Club, but life got in the way.

Here’s some footage of the fleet where that I was supposed to race . . . .

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Feb 08 2010

Bring It ON–The America’s Cup

Published by under Boats,Sailboat Racing

This was a big weekend for sports. There was, of course, the mother of all football games–the Superbowl. For sailing fans, however, the mother of all sailboat match racing, the America’s Cup, was at **GASP** 1am this morning.

Here is the shortened version of what has happened since the last event:

The Swiss team, Alinghi and owner, Ernesto Barterelli, beat New Zealand, and won the last America’s Cup. It was tight racing the whole series, and a real nail-biter with New Zealand beating the US team, BMW-Oracle (owner Larry Ellison), and then Alinghi beating NZ.

Of course, I was rooting for BMW-Oracle. They are based out of the Golden Gate Yacht Club in San Francisco–a venue that has hosted many races in San Francisco and has a great, non-stuffy sailor bar . . . so, I’m a fan.

Immediately after Alinghi won (seriously, within minutes), a fake yacht club owned by Ernesto Barterelli, filed a formal challenge–beating BMW-Oracle to become the challenger of record. The rules for the America’s Cup state that the Defending Team and the Challenger of Record must agree on the rules. The owner of Alinghi, Ernesto Barterelli, owned both teams, all the officials, and the rules went crazy in favor of him winning and keeping the Cup. (Stuff like, EB can change the rules at any time. EB can dismiss any team from the competition for no reason at all at any time. Anyone who used to be on the Alinghi team is not allowed to sail for any other team in the competition–meaning Russel Coutts.)

There has been something like 11 lawsuits, and 3.5 years, and all sorts of politics around the AC. At the end of it, Golden Gate Yacht Club was able to wrestle the Challenger of Record title away from Ernesto Barterelli, but what they got was a two-team match–not the 18 team match-racing that we all wanted.

The two teams agreed upon a unique set of rules for the boats. They are racing 90 foot by 90 foot multi-hull boats. That’s right–90’x90′. Alighi is fielding a giant Catamaran with traditional sails . . . and, BMW-Oracle produced a trimaran with a 185-foot standing vertical wing. Yes–a WING. The speed tests for the BMW-Oracle had it clocked doing 25 knots in 7 knots of wind. Uhmmm . . . . Yeah.

The rules are still pretty skewed. Supposedly, the Alinghi boat performs better in light wind, and the BMW-Oracle boat will be a killer in heavy wind, but doesn’t do so well in the light stuff. But, those are supposeds–no one really knows.

And, getting a race off is going to be tough. The sailing instructions say no sailing in winds above 15 knots, the Race Committee can call the race if the wind shifts more than 30 degrees, no racing is the swell is more than a meter high, and there is obviously no racing if there is not enough wind. This is a tough set of conditions to meet in Valencia, where the winds are shifty.

Personally, I want to see the boats race and hold together or blow-up, be a close race, or a blow out, or whatever they are going to do. The suspense is KILLING me.

The races today were cancelled. Not enough wind. So, they will try again on Wednesday at **GASP** 1am, again . . . .

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Feb 05 2010

My Kind of Fun: Dinghies Racing 25 NM in the Open Ocean

Published by under Sailboat Racing

This is my kind of fun . . . .

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Feb 03 2010

BMW-Oracle Training–Final Days Before the America’s Cup

Published by under Boats,Sailboat Racing

This has to be just about the most beautiful thing on the planet. BMW-Oracle’s monster Trimaran racing along on one hull. Truly a thing of beauty . . . .

We are 5 days away. Racing will be about 1am on Sunday . . . .

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Dec 01 2009

Racing Towards Bahia Santa Maria

Somewhere during our first leg of the trip, we had forgotten that this was a race. We had started joking that “we are cruisers now,” and as we would collectively make decisions, we would posit, “Are we thinking like racers or cruisers?”

The two groups are not mutually exclusive, nor are they in confrontation with one another. For example, there was a green-hulled boat only a few feet longer than ours who smoked by us, and it looked like a pretty comfy ride. Turns out that it was a custom-designed Farr 44 purpose-built to cruise comfortable AND go really, really fast while doing it. The point is that on the first leg of the trip, all of our little-racers-within were lulled into a sweet nap while we “enjoyed ourselves” in the cruising mode.

On the second leg–something snapped. Or popped. Or awoke. In all of us. Maybe it was the adrenaline from the start. Or, more likely, it was pulling into the Bahia de Tortugas with 60 boats from the fleet already waiting for us. I, for one, thought a we pulled into the last anchorage, “Wait a minute. We are down here on a RACE boat–with no insulation, exactly ZERO exquisite staterooms, with a two-burner stove and a one-holer toilet seat for which we fabricated a CURTAIN to give us the illusion of privacy, and weighing roughly less than the diesel, water and provisions you are carrying on-board . . . and, YOU beat us?”

Regardless of what the motivation was, each of our little-racers-within awoke from their nap, and they were hungry. No motor. Spinnaker through the night. No set the spinnaker to a conservative setting and forget it. This was war–or, better, this was a RACE! There isn’t really a trophy, per se, but we wanted an illusionary one. We wanted “bragging rights” which has its own HUGE currency in the superstitious, over-indulgent, beer-swilling, story-telling world of sailors. And, race we did.

The winds picked up and were blowing around 25 knots during the end of the first day, and Nathan hand-drove for hours–keeping the boat on the edge to drain every ounce of speed out of her . . . because Marishanna shines in these conditions: downwind, big seas, and 25 knots of breeze. If it wasn’t for the warmer water, she might have thought she was at home in San Francisco.

With the spinnaker up and sailing downwind, a racing sailboat can do magical things. If the driver knows what he/she is doing, they feel the wave approaching (there is also a rhythm to it), and they turn the transom of the boat to sit firmly on the wave, and for a few brief moments, the hull partially pulls out of the water and basically “surfs” down the waves. By definition, sailboats should only be able to go a certain speed calculated by the length of the hull. In these brief moments, however, a light, fast, raceboat with a large spinnaker sail up, properly-designed stern, a powerful wave, and a good driver, and you can reach speeds above your hull-speed (Marishanna’s hull-speed is in the mid-to-high 7 knots).

With Nathan driving and the conditions right, we peeled off consistent 10’s–for awhile, doing it with almost every wave. We hit some pretty regular 11’s and saw numbers as high as 15 knots. And, that is how you win races.

Sailing to Bahia Santa Maria was about 280 nautical miles. We ripped off the first 180 miles in about 20 hours, and as the wind died from 25 knots to 15 knots and down to 10knots, we continued to drain every ounce of speed we could get from the boat.

Somewhere in the early hours of the morning (around 4am), a bit more than 2 days after we started, we crossed the finish line. We weren’t the first to arrive, but at least we were respectable (in the top 20) and, had our pick of the anchorages.

And, yes, the green boat was already there . . . .

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Oct 26 2009

Almost to the Border

And, were off! A few more minutes to the Mexican border. Weve got the spinnaker up, and we are sailing.

More soon!

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