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It may appear strange to see the two current red boats as back markers rather than front runners in the current leg of the Volvo Ocean Race. At around 10% of the remaining distance to run behind the leading boat a leg victory would be considered highly unlikely for either the Spanish or the Chinese entry

It is important to remember that although called the Volvo Ocean Race, the only time being fastest round the world counts is for that solitary bonus point for shortest elapsed time and they were  only  separated by a cumulative 10 minutes on their respective arrivals into Hong Kong. It could more accurately named the Volvo Ocean Regatta with the scoring system more akin to a club series or championship than a continuous race around the planet.

Bearing that in mind and considering where we are in the ‘regatta’ the actions of Dongfeng and Mapfre start to make a little bit of sense.

Taking the points difference at the start of this leg into account, If Mapfre sails into Auckland before Dongfeng they will be 5 points clear in the lead. Reverse the order and that Dongfeng deficit reduces to 3 points. That is not a huge amount in a fleet where the winner only takes 8 points while the losingest picks up 1 and starts to nibble away at Mapfre’s lead. One further factor to consider is that if Dongfeng finish ahead of Mapfre in the subsequent leg (the Southern Ocean double pointer) AND are first to the Horn then at the regatta mid-point it is all square.

AS we often see in sport the competitor that comes from behind gains a psychological advantage over the former leader, a point that will not be missed by Dongfeng who have suffered that fate in two earlier legs of this VOR edition and Mapfre would now be in a position where one small mistake could cost them the overall lead – unpleasant pressure for sure.

But what of the chasing pack? Sadly Vestas who were lying in third will score DNS meaning zero on this leg so they will not threaten either Mapfre or Dongfeng where either a last or second last place will extend these two contenders by 1 or 2 points. Even if Scallywag records her second leg win in succession by overhauling Akzonobel she will still be comfortably behind the two red boats.

So having absorbed what is an intriguing position, once again I ask, are Mapfre and Dongfeng playing a bad tactical game on this leg to The Land of the Long White Cloud or are they in actual fact being a heck of a lot smarter than first meets the eye and look at their longer term strategic goal which is, after all, to lift the Volvo Ocean Race Trophy and not just the one for the Hong Kong to Auckland leg win. – Shanghai Sailor.


February 19th, 2018

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Pretty awesome looking little dudes, aren’t they? What are they?


February 18th, 2018

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Big Pimpin’

Looks good, doesn’t she? Easy on the eye. It’s difficult to know exactly why but she just looks… right. A sort of understated elegance that whispers style, comfort and control, while at the same time suggesting performance, an unspoken promise of power. The new Solaris 55 was developed by Solaris Yachts’ in-house technical team with naval architecture input from Argentinian designer Javier Soto Acebal.

Since being founded in 1974 in Aquileia, moments from the lagoons of Venice, the Solaris shipyard has successfully mastered the blend of studied, elegant comfort with the sort of performance that reminds us that it’s good to be alive and here at the wheel. In its long story Solaris has worked with many top designers including the late Franz Maas, Sparkman & Stephens, Doug Peterson, Bill Tripp and now Soto Acebal.

One of the other designs currently in build at Solaris is a new light-displacement Maxi72-styled Wally 93, which also perhaps explains some visible aesthetic parallels between the two houses.

The Italian yard is now among the biggest composite production facilities in Europe and to date has produced over 200 yachts between 37 and 68ft. An impressive range of manufacturing equipment includes an oven of up to 130ft – Solaris has completed several carbon luxury yachts of between 80 and 120ft. – Read on.


February 18th, 2018

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Well, not quite, but I received legitimate offers with 12 hours of placing Anarchy III in the classifieds, and 4 days later the boat has been sold (pending sea trial) at full pop to a very cute family from Orange County.

Thanks to all 10 of you who submitted offers – it appears people dig the 5ksb’s! – Ed.


February 18th, 2018

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Clean Report

Held just outside Tampa earlier this month, the US Sailing Leadership Forum was better than the vast majority of these things for one major reason: The attending members and presenters seem to have finally realized that there simply aren’t enough privileged white people to keep the sport of sailing alive in America for any real length of time.

The answer, it seems, is to support the real drivers who are creating future boat owners and crews, and driving the message towards the ‘nontraditional’ sailing clubs to help change the godawful perception of Americans that sailing is only for Larry Ellison and European royalty.

I had a chance in St. Pete to talk to an inspiring woman we think is the only Black female YC Commodore in America, and Karen Harris is a fascinating chat.  She told the interesting history of one of the Midwest’s oldest clubs, addressing the difficulties and successes of the predominantly black Jackson Park Yacht Club in Chicago.

For an interesting look at another inspiring Black female sailor, check out this cool profile of Ayme Sinclair in the mainstream black fashion mag Essence.

And yeah, we’ve used this title before.  Shoot us – we’re proud of our love for 80s new wave

Jump in the thread.


February 17th, 2018

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You really can’t make this shit up!  Dee Caffari’s Volvo team Turning The Tide… not only sailed within a few hundred meters of Jennifer Appel’s ‘ghost ship’ the Sea Nymph, but they got some great drone footage of the drifting shitbox that became the biggest story in the US news for about 10 minutes last year.  If you somehow never heard the story, here’s where you want to go and spend 2 and a half frustrating hours hearing from the crew.  And if you want to join the 2 people who’ve donated 15 dollars so far, here.

The rescued skipper of the Nymph is still arguing about it in here.

February 17th, 2018

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Given that this $2M, 3100-horsepower branding exercise/penis extension doesn’t even use Mercedes engines, I guess it’s…nothing? How long til the concept car, the boat, and Alex Thomson’s Benz-sponsored Open 60 do their photo shoot together?  Might be silly, but still sexy as…

Image credit Cigarette Racing.  Thoughts?


February 17th, 2018

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While walking the docks today with my gorgeous fiance, I spied Vince Brun standing on this Farr 40 at SDYC. “Hey Vince, is that yours?” “Yes. I just got it!” So we chatted for quite a bit – the Farr 40 NA’s and are in Long Beach this year and he wants to do that (bets on an early favorite, anyone). It was really great catching up with Vince. He is without a doubt not only one of the best sailors, ever, but just a super friendly and gracious guy. He wants to do the beer cans in San Diego which I think is so great coming from him!

He traded his power boat for the 40 (“Scot, I’m not really a power boater!”), and it will be cool to see Vince and team out racing locally. I know North and I aren’t besties, but talking with Vince today kinda made me wish I’d reached across the aisle a long time ago.

Oh well, to quote the Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Never been a better time than right now!”


February 16th, 2018

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I am notorious for letting shit fall through the cracks, and this is a perfect example. Here are the questions: What is it and what year was it?  I deserve a beating. – ed.


February 16th, 2018

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The Biz

KPMG, the administrator for Oyster Marine Holdings in the UK, has received 45 expressions of interest in purchasing the Oyster Yachts brand. This was confirmed to IBI yesterday by CEO David Tydeman. He has also confirmed that the main cause of the group’s collapse was the insurance claims that followed the sinking of Polina Star III in 2015.

“There has been a good response to the administration, with KPMG receiving some 45 expressions showing interest in possibly buying Oyster,” Tydeman said. “KPMG will start the process of working through these next week with NDAs and bids and it will likely take several weeks to complete.”

Polina Star III sank off Spain in July 2015, generating a claim and counter claims of £7.2m. To date only £400,000 has been paid, leaving a £6.8m amount to settled.

“Payment of the claim against Oyster and our counter claims against Bridgland Moulders (a Norwich-based subcontractor) have been delayed and delayed and our shareholder, HTP Investment, became inpatient over the delays so withdrew their support. They feared that our claim would be unpaid by the time they had to pay the claim against us.”

The claim against Bridgland alleges improper moulding of the Polina Star 111 and three other yachts – Albatross, Meagan and Reina, which have since been repaired. The delays to the claim have lasted over two years and had been due to be heard late last year, but a further delay has now moved this to May or June this year. Thanks to IBI News.


February 16th, 2018



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