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What is it about King Harbor Pier?  Just 10 months ago a Martin 242 got beaten to a pulp in the same exact spot as this little S2; the Martin got the worst of it, but the S2 has some issues too.  Nice work from the Redondo Beach Fire Department rescue swimmer who dove in off their Harbor Patrol Boat.

 

January 22nd, 2018

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80 million dollars is the publicly disclosed amount of PRADA’s 4-year sponsorship of Luna Rossa Challenge, at least according to the public filings required by the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.

It’s a bit frightening that this pile of cash isn’t nearly enough to win the next Cup, but it’s a hell of a head start for what most assume to be the biggest threat to New Zealand’s dreams of a decade of cup supremacy.  Note that this sum does NOT include Prada’s sponsorship of the America’s Cup or the Prada Challenger Series…so well over $100M all-in from the luxury design house…

Great find by obsessed AC SA’er ‘stingray’, who we think bought Prada stock just to get the digital filings before anyone else.

Download the full ‘Continuing Connected Transaction’ filing here.

January 22nd, 2018

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If we were looking for a sailing PR company for a class or event, nothing would make us run away faster than this kind of sloppy infographic bullshit complete with tiny anchors and probably a compass somewhere.  Before we even get to the actual content – could they possibly get the sailing any more wrong?  Is it just us?

January 22nd, 2018

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The creator and director of one of our favorite short sailing documentaries ever weighs in on an issue few mariners are paying attention to, and one we will all be paying for when it inevitably goes wrong: Donald Trump’s expanded offshore drilling proposal, which was unveiled Jan. 4. The public has until March 9 to weigh in on the proposal, and you can learn more at the end of this guest editorial.
I remember holding the tiller for the first time with my late great Uncle Bob, Robert Keleher, a racer of the San Francisco Bay. “You have to feel it, Barbara. Then you’ll find the groove.”
It’s taken me over 30 years to find that groove and maybe we’re all beginning to feel it now.
With the threat of offshore drilling looming over us, we sailors of the San Francisco Bay should be feeling the threat of our precious coastlines and waterways that have been our playground, a place where we got to feel those powerful elements of wind and water, a reason to come together as a community to revel in love of the water. And now there is reason to come together as a community to revel in a responsibility as our oceans face acidification, off shore oil drilling and more because of our landlubber habits.
In 1981 there was a great union strike, the air traffic controllers stood up to President Ronald Reagan in order to speak for honesty, as campaign promises had been made and then not given. Those following years proved disastrous for my family with high  levels of guilt and anger as my father was labeled a federal criminal for striking against the federal government. I hated my father for years for his decision to strike, to follow his ego instead of being a family man, as my grandfather, a sailor himself, had said to me. We suffered great financial difficulty for years. I was just 13 years old.
I grew very close to my Uncle Bob, who had proven himself to be the saltiest, grouchiest and most critical person in my family. He had offered me sailing lessons in my twenties, but I refused them because I felt I was too busy with landlubber responsibilities. But when he died, my mother gave me a photo of him sailing, along with a 1st Place silver platter from the St. Francis Yacht Club he won in 1962 with his boat Magic Bear. That’s when I realized I had lost out of the gift of learning from a master racer who could have taught me how to navigate The SF Bay, one of the toughest places to sail, as some say.
I set off to learn how to sail.  I took up dinghy classes with the nonprofit Sailing Education Adventures, and quickly learned the power of wind and water and how incredibly liberating and beautiful the sport of sailing is. A ten year love affair began with running the nonprofit,  teaching, racing regattas and an ocean voyage.  The most beautiful day? When I got to sail Magic Bear, owned by the Maloney Family. I sailed her across The Bay, through the wicked onslaught of youth Red Bull catamaran racers of America’s Cup series, straight to The Maritime Museum, for the annual Bear Boat festivities. While people watched America’s Cup excitement, I instead laid on the docks and looked straight up the Bear boat masts to a blue sky, a feeling of heaven of having discovered a beautiful family heritage and fantastic Bay Area sailing culture  that I had known nothing about just years before  – sailing blood can go deeper than even family blood.
Life began to change for me after that point. I started to discover a different story in our collective national history.  Reagan’s economic and environmental policies have actually led us to a horrific path, one leading to ocean acidification, global climate change and our incredible economic disparity, policies that have given the wealth more wealth. As I began to understand these policies, I also had to apologize to my father and tell him “Dad! You stood up to a miserable president! That takes guts.” And that is powerful family heritage!
This newfound truth led me to a new passion, as I learned hard truths about our oceans. I cowrote and produced an ocean documentary film called Racing with Copepods, understanding we have a duty to the next generation. Dr. Sylvia Earle, the world’s famous oceanographer joined those efforts, as did the sailing writer Kimball Livingston, the very announcer of America’s Cup. I personally call him Neptune. I had never made a film before and I’m pretty sure Neptune blessed its success.
I lived with a lot of anger and hatred toward my father for years until I discovered something profound. Anger creates more anger. And it’s best to let it go and instead live with love.
As sailors, we have a love for the ocean and this is the time to take a stand for it. And show the landlubbers the beauty, freedom and courage that the ocean has given us during our pursuits of trophies and racing honor.
It’s time we take to the water, with a message of peace, love and harmony. And share with landlubbers, that a wave hitting us over deck won’t make a good helmsman and crew wince when they are on a true course. It’s time we sailors take lead on what will be the greatest battle on our oceans since the days of Sir Francis Drake . . . and the trophy waiting for us? Integrity and freedom. 
Barbara McVeigh is the author of Redemption, How Ronald Reagan Nearly Ruined My Life. Her film Racing with Copepods is now free on line. Her next film, The Man Behind The White Guitar will be released this summer, a message of peace and harmony with world musicians.

Comments can be made through the regulations.gov web portal. Navigate to http://www.regulations.gov and under the Search tab, in the space provided, type in Docket ID: BOEM-2017-0074 to submit comments and to view other comments already submitted. Information on using www.regulations.gov, including instructions for accessing documents, submitting comments, and viewing the docket after the close of the comment period, is available through the links under the box entitled “Are you new to this site?”

Comments can also be made by mail, in an envelope labeled “Comments for the 2019-2024 Draft Proposed National Oil and Gas Leasing Program” and mailed (or hand delivered) to Ms. Kelly Hammerle, Chief, National Oil and Gas Leasing Program Development and Coordination Branch, Leasing Division, Office of Strategic Resources, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (VAM-LD), 45600 Woodland Road, Sterling, VA 20166-9216, telephone (703) 787-1613. Written comments may also be hand delivered at a public meeting to the BOEM official in charge.  

January 22nd, 2018

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As someone close to the communities involved, ie. Chinese seafarers, Chinese sailing and the VOR I understand the concerns of all parties. It is never good news when someone dies in an accident and that applies to all concerned.

However to suggest that legs should finish out to sea instead of in close to where people can see the finish would potentially kill the event as a large part of the sponsors’ visibility would evaporate. Besides an ocean crossing or ocean race is from shore to shore, not close to shore.

And why stop doing it? I have followed the Whitbread/Volvo since a washing machine manufacturer won the first one, and while I admit my memory may have missed or forgotten some details, and I cannot remember any such accident ever – not in Volvo Ocean Race finishes.

I have been on chase RIBs welcoming the lead boat as it comes out of the gloom of a nautical dawn, been on or driven the VOR photo RIB at numerous VOR in-ports and leg stats and the only time there was any issue was when an over-enthusiastic power boat owner encroached on the well marshalled race course.

Just think of the numbers, multiple races, each race with multiple legs, each leg with multiple finishers and many in poor or NO light and yet this is the first time this has happened AND it was 30 miles out to sea.

On the other hand there are multiple reports of collisions between yachts and other vessels way out to sea – do we stop all yacht racing in areas where there may be fishing boats or other shipping?

There has, perhaps naturally, been a knee jerk reaction to the death of a fellow seafarer but it is most certainly NOT a common situation with the Volvo Ocean Race.

Everyone needs to calm down, slow down, stop “specuguessing” and leave it to those concerned with – and responsible for – finding out what actually caused the collision, suggest the solutions for the future and then ensure, as best as humanly possible (and only if deemed necessary) they are implemented them into race (and perhaps the sport in general) to help avoid a repetition.  

Let’s not forget that the sea is NOT our natural environment and accidents, and yes, deaths at sea are sadly not a rare occurrence. Just a matter of weeks before this event over 20 sailors lost their lives when a freighter and tanker collided only a few hundred miles from Hong Kong off the Chinese coast.

Yes be sad for the sailor who lost his life but let’s not throw the sport out with the seawater and also lets leave the professionals to investigate the causes and reach sensible decisions unencumbered by less well informed, more emotional arguments.

-Shanghai Sailor

 

January 20th, 2018

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UPDATE: Video of the fisherman casualty being winched up into the helicopter is on the web, and we note that he may have been dead before he ever got to the hospital.  Investigation underway and VOR finally confirms the death hours after numerous other sources.

If there is a mild winner in this whole situation (and it’s a morbid thought), it’s Charlie Enright, who sat out this leg to deal with health issues in his family.  We doubt he is feeling particularly lucky tonight.

More reports as available.

January 20th, 2018

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VOR BREAKING

2 minutes ago, Hong Kong’s Oriental Daily News reported that a Chinese fisherman died in a collision this morning and the coincidences are way too strong for it to be anything other than the fishing boat involved in today’s collision with Vestas 11th Hour Racing.  NOTE: This is a legitimate news source claiming to have confirmed the death with Eastern Hospital, but we HAVE NOT BEEN ABLE TO CONFIRM THIS INFORMATION WITH THE HOSPITAL.  Translation from SA’er ‘BLAK’ and Google:

A collision between a yacht and mainland Chinese fishing boat to the East of Waglan Island at 2:32 AM, police and firefighters responded.  10 of the fishing boat crew went into the sea and were rescued, one of them sent to hospital in a helicopter and seriously injured.  Confirmed dead at 6:30 AM at Eastern Hospital. The police are investigating the incident.  

Oh, shit.  This changes everything.

And now there’s another:

At about 2 am, a sailing vessel was engaged in a collision with a fishing vessel off the Mainland on the east of Waililan Island. After the accident, the fishing boat sank and 10 people fell onto the sea and were rescued. However, one of them He was seriously injured and was taken by the Government Flying Service helicopter to Eastern Hospital for treatment. Unfortunately, he was eventually declared dead. Police are investigating the collision between the two vessels.

double shit.

January 19th, 2018

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Our Volvo Ocean Race coverage is brought to you by Musto, Official Apparel Provider for the 2017/18 VOR.

The first decent live coverage of the Hong Kong arrivals happened just a few minutes ago when overall leader MAPFRE crossed the line in fourth place; click the vid for some updates about Vestas and strong on-water color from Bicey as Xabi and team dock in.

 

January 19th, 2018

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Our Volvo Ocean Race coverage is brought to you by Musto, Official Apparel Provider for the 2017/18 VOR.

The Anarchists have been swarming over Vestas 11th Hour Racing’s debacle just a few miles from Hong Kong since around 8 hours ago, when, in the middle of the night at 20 knots of boatspeed in 20 knots of wind, they collided with and sunk what’s been reported as a commercial fishing boat.  The forums were on fire with analysis of what appeared to be Vestas sailing a search pattern and then drifting downwind on the VOR tracker and now we know why: 29 minutes ago (a full 8 hours after the first inkling something was up), Volvo HQ posted this statement:

The Volvo Ocean Race can confirm Vestas 11th Hour Racing…has been involved in a collision with a non-race vessel before the finish of Leg 4, near Hong Kong.  The team has retired from Leg 4 and is proceeding to Hong Kong unassisted and under its own power.

Race Control at Volvo Ocean Race headquarters was informed of the collision by the team moments after it happened at approximately 17:39 UTC on Friday January 19, 2018 (01:39 local time on Saturday morning).

The Vestas 11th Hour Racing team issued a Mayday distress call on behalf of the other vessel, alerting the Hong Kong Marine Rescue Coordination Centre (HKMRCC) and undertook a search and rescue mission.

HKMRCC has informed Race Control that a commercial vessel in the area was able to rescue nine of the crew and that a tenth crew member was taken by helicopter to hospital.

All of the crew on Vestas 11th Hour Racing are safe. Their boat suffered damage and the team has officially retired from the leg, but the team is able to motor to shore.

There’s no suggestion yet about what exactly happened, and with the severity of the injury of the airlifted fisherman still a mystery, it’s going to be a long, long morning for replacement skipper Mark Towill and his team.  From a competition standpoint, the RET is going to be a brutal blow to a team that just half a day ago had a lock on 2nd place over the line into Hong Kong and overall for the race.   For a sponsor still not entirely over the shattering shipwreck of the 14/15 race, this is definitely going to hurt.

There’s nowhere quite like Ocean Racing Anarchy when tragedy strikes the Volvo, especially when the ‘official word’ is almost nonexistent. Go there and learn the latest.

 

January 19th, 2018

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What can’t Brian Hancock complain about?

Like many other sailors out there I have become a tad obsessed with the Volvo Ocean Race tracker especially at the start and finish of each leg. And I confess that in the last few days I have been keeping a close eye on the Hong Kong entry Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag. Some that read my stuff on a regular basis will know that I am not a big fan of David Witt, the skipper, although I have never met him and he may indeed be a great guy in person.

I took exception to his comments about having women on board. He was originally against it not wanting to, as he put it, “participate in some kind of social experiment.” He has since had a change of heart and now there are two female sailors racing on board the good ship Scallywag. Annemieke Bes who has been there since the start, and more recently Libby Greenhalgh who replaced Steve Hayle as navigator.

So it was with mixed emotions that I watched Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag take line honors on the fourth leg into Hong Kong. There are, however, two things that I am happy about. I am happy that the local team won the leg that finished in their home port. It’s brutally hard to get sponsorship for an entry in the Volvo Ocean Race and I am sure that the people of Hong Kong will be more than chuffed that their local team was first across the line. I am also happy that the navigator was a female. Libby Greenhalgh is a very experienced sailor and I feel certain that their win was in no small part due to her experience and input.

Having said all that I hate to say what I am going to say next, but their win was pure dumb luck. The Scallywag crew were trailing the fleet for most of the leg. Maybe that was their strategy, but I doubt it. Being so far behind as the front runners approached the doldrums was a very nice gift. They were able to see the leaders sail into a hole, a total windless zone, and they sailed around all the other boats that were drifting aimlessly in circles. It must have been hell on board the leading boats to see the last place boat (by far) tack off in a different direction and do an end-run around the whole fleet.

But that’s sailing isn’t it? When sailing downwind the boats from behind bring the new breeze with them and the gap closes. Same goes for sailing upwind. The leading boats get into the new breeze first and leg out. We have all dealt with these kind of fluctuations, but seriously, have you ever seen the dead last boat catapult into first place in such a spectacular way? You can’t take anything away from them either. They played the cards that they were dealt and played them masterfully. I just hope that Mr. Witt gives his navigator credit where credit is due and does not grab all the attention for himself.

– Brian Hancock

 

January 19th, 2018

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