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From our friends at Stevens Waring just won’t let this go!

Thinking aloud about a Cal 40 reboot turned out to be more “interesting” than we ever imagined.  When readers take the time to answer back, it’s time to do some design thinking.

In our last articles, we chatted idly over what we’d thought would be about keeping C. William Lapworth’s legendary pac-racing Cal 40 relevant to today’s materials and techniques. And, oh boy, what a hit. We’re no stranger to strong opinions and hot-bar arguments with this wacky and wonderful sailing tribe of ours. But we were caught out when this Cal 4040 piece instantly became our most popular story, ever. (It never hurts when our friends over at the all-mighty Sailing Anarchy copied and linked to the story. ) God damn right. – ed

Most readers were enthusiastic about our ideas for an updated rig, cleaner cockpit ergonomics and efficient replacement foils for the 40-footer. We even chuckled over the soft-core tongue lashing by a a Cal 40 lover over at Sailing Anarchy , attempting low-level denigration because “why on earth would we do such things” –what a bad idea these upgrades were.

And what fun to scan the incoming emails that offered insights as to why — and why not — to tinker with this classic. The Cal 40 is beloved and has a wonderful following. And we share that appreciation to the fullest. So thank you all, for that. You allowed us to dream.

But … if there’s going to be a serious discussion to the practicalities of marine design and engineering on a classic like the Cal 40, well we apologize in advance, but that is sort of what we do. That means we are obliged to step up, and get down, to some serious brass boat-nerd tacks on deep dive project brief on a Cal 40 reboot. Title inspiration thanks to the Happy Mondays.

Read on.


May 21st, 2018

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Remember a few years ago when the TP 52’s started cranking the boom way above center line? And that we called bullshit on it? Take a look at the 72′ Pepe Cannonball, on their way to straight bullets at Capril Sailing Week.

See their boom? we’ll be quiet now…

Picture thanks to Studio Borlenghi.


May 20th, 2018

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Here’s a topic you don’t see every day…

My sail bag is 4 sqm of windage. I want to minimize it when the sail is down and improve performance when its up……… 🙂 and save money – Quoted $2500 for a new sail bag. Don’t want to buy a new boom, just want to fabricate some attaching wings to the existing boom.

My thoughts are to make a low profile, wide bed for the sail when down and have no sail bag, just a removable flat cover. At the same time shape it to create a winglet to reduce the air spilling under the sail hopefully to improve efficiency. See pic below

When down the back end should hide the sail in the silhouette of the boom but the forward end will sit well up above.

Any feed back would be appreciated. Read on.


May 20th, 2018

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Big Pimpin’

When it comes to maxi boat racing few marques define and have progressed the genre as well as Wally. Part luxuriously appointed superyacht, part refined racing machine, technically groundbreaking and always the last word in stylishness, Luca Bassani’s creations have been stopping people in their tracks with their aesthetics and stunning looks since the first Wally was launched in 1994.

Today Wally owners race hard and such is the competitiveness in the fleet that in 2017 there were different winners at each event, with the championship title undecided until the last gasp. One reason for the Monaco-based company’s success as a racing class has been firmly establishing the parameters of its brand.

Wally yachts must have a minimum standard of interior fit-out to ensure they can be cruised as well as raced. This effectively prevents overly enthusiastic owners going too far down the racing route, although this has not otherwise quashed their appetite for top performance, with many Wally campaigns being run like grand prix raceboats. Today their magnificent craft bristle with top international pro-sailors and the very latest sails and state-of-the-art equipment.

Read on.


May 20th, 2018

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Nothing better to see women putting so much into this sport, and at the same time, giving so much back…


May 18th, 2018

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Volvo Leg 9 Form Guide

As I write this we are less than 36 hours from the action starting in Newport with the in-port race schedules for Saturday 19th.

Looking first at the inport race, upsets apart, the form boats are the clearly the Red Boats which have, between them, won all the in port races except for one. Mapfre carry a 5 point lead with 4 races to go towards winning the minor prize of In-Port Race Champions. Of course that may yet lead to the major prize as the position in the In-Port Series is the tie break for the Volvo Ocean Race proper. So there is a real possibility that Dongfeng’s capturing of the pin mark at the start of their home inport race in Guangzhou could be more expensive than just embarrassment in frot of their home crowd.

The third winner of a round the cans race is of course Brunel who, as the last two ocean legs have proved are very much up to speed and may yet have an influence in the overall in-port positions.

The Big One

Then just 24 hours later they are off across the Atlantic to Cardiff. The Trans-Atlantic races have an almost iconic stature in oceanic yacht racing. Perhaps this is because due to the being the ocean where sail racing grew up it is where such racing bean.

Back in 1905, in the Kaiser Cup Scottish born (later naturalised American) Charlie Barr set a record on the schooner Atlantic that stood for 75 years and there has been a multitude of (primarily short or single handed) races developed over the years.

The original of these was started by Blondie Haslar who raced, along with 3 others including Sir Frances Chichester for the modest sum of half a crown (12.5 British pence in today’s money) hence the “Half a Crown Club”. Widely known as the OSTAR, it returned to its original name in 2009.

That was followed by the likes of the Route Du Rhum, Quebec – St Malo and  Transat Jacques Vabre and for the less ‘racey’ the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers. A ‘Trans-Atlantic is an ambition for many sailors at multiple levels.

So what of the chances of the teams in the ‘Volvo’?

In reverse order Turn the Tide on Plastic and Scallywag have shown what may be considered flashes of speed with Scallywags win into Hong Kong being a sweet moment for them and TTOP’s performance early on in the leg 8. However TTOP need to string it together for a whole leg and Scally may find corners to cut lacking in the dash across the Atlantic.

Akzonobel has found flashes of speed, most notably their win into Auckland but otherwise have failed to shine.

Vestas started the race well with a win on the sprint to Lisbon followed by a couple of podium finished and were heading for a second place into Hong Kong when on coming up to avoid a lit fishing boat well ahead of them were in collision with another which required their retirement from the leg and missing the next two while their VO65 was repaired. Their misfortune continued with a rig failure on leg 7 but their return to the podium after the lottery of the Newport approach on Leg 8 must have raised their spirits.

That leaves 3 teams. Of these Brunel has had a significant turnaround in their fortunes in the last couple of legs. After holding off Dongfeng into Itajai on Leg 7, it looked like they were going to do the same to Mapfre on Leg 8. They really seem to have found their fast mode at last and although they lie 11 points behind the overall leader they should not be written off altogether. It is Bowwe’s eighth race and Capey’s 5th I think so no lacking in experience and the Atlantic is hardly an unfamiliar piece of water to them.

That brings us to the two red boats.

Lying in a frustrating 2nd place after the guesswork of the Newport approach is Dongfeng but just ahead is a piece of water that the Dongfeng afterguard might just consider their playground.

Charles Caudrelier has tasted success on these waters before, albeit in the opposite direction with two victories in the Jacques Vabre while Pascal Bidegorry really ‘sent it’ 10 years ago to break the West-East Trans-Atlantic record on Banque Populaire 5 a record that stand to this day and included an incredible 24 hour run of 907 Nautical Miles.

Can the Chinese team help Charles to a 3td trans-Atlantic victory? Only time will tell.

Having reclaimed the top spot on the leaderboard, Mapfre have proven to be a class act this time round. Much rests on their shoulders as despite many well funded teams in the race Spain has never lifted the VOR Trophy. Xabi’s generally quiet leadership style, Juan’s nav skills and Rob Greenhalgh running the middle of the boat have been tough to beat.

So next leg, double points! A win for Dongfeng and it is all square again, one for Mapfre widens the gap to 6 points which with just 2 legs left would start to look unassailable and would require other boats to get in mix.

And of course if they get to The Hague on equal points Mapfre’s in port results would be very important – or would they? What many people forget is that there is also 1 point on offer for the shortest cumulative time around the world.

Mapfre are 4 days behind the leader with Brunel in 2nd place. Around 17 hours in the lead are Dongfeng Race Team and if this was a Whitbread they would be feeling somewhat less under pressure than they are at the moment.

I have made my support of the Chinese team, my adopted home team if you like, no secret but I think the next 10 days could see a new “Battle of the Atlantic” AND with a live tracker too.

When am I going to get any sleep? – and I’m not just talking between Newport & Cardiff!



May 18th, 2018

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UPDATE: James Gair, the creepy voyeur in this story has been lobbing vague threats to us about legal action towards SA. Having been fucked over by another scumbag,  we pulled the story and got confirmation that there is nothing wrong that we have done. The court case against him is over now,  as he’s been sentenced (suspended custodial). Isn’t it interesting that the guilty are the ones who love to point their fingers elsewhere? Fuck off, Gair.

Comment here.

And fuck if he doesn’t look like a younger Jerry Sandusky.


May 18th, 2018

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Big Pimpin’
That’s right, four very fortunate boys and girls will receive special travel grants from the 2018 O’pen BIC North Americans, Aug 9-11, to the 2019 O’pen BIC World Championships in New Zealand, hosted by Manly Sailing Club and the Sir Russell Coutts Sailing Foundation, 26 Dec 2018 to 4 Jan 2019.

Two boys will be randomly selected from the top ten age-eligible boys overall, and two girls will be randomly selected from the top six age-eligible girls overall to receive these grants. To be eligible, you must be from North America and be U17 Class eligible for the New Zealand 2019 Worlds (i.e. you must be born 2003 or later).

The O’pen BIC North Americans are being hosted by the prestigious Buffalo Canoe Club in Ridgeway, Ontario. For more info click here.


May 18th, 2018

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Pimp, Inc. We see lots of new hot design singlehanders making a push these days, but few have been seeing the consistent events and participation of the RS Aero. Having just wrapped up the inaugural RS Aero Midwinter Series with over 50 sailors participating over 5 events, the class is getting ready for their North American Championships in Galveston, Texas this Friday through Sunday.

From there the class has a busy summer schedule supported by a 20’ box trailer rolling road show of demo boats in the North as well as an active circuit in the PNW and fleets starting to gain traction all over.

For a full schedule, to charter your own RS Aero, or bring the RS Aero road show to you, click right here! And jump in the discussion here.

Title inspiration thanks to the forever brilliant Harry Nilsson.


May 17th, 2018

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The Environment

It is worth noting that the idiot many of you voted for President doesn’t know, nor give one flying fuck about any of this, or anything to do with saving the environment at all. Congrats, dummies.

Picking up a plastic bag from the beach makes a bigger difference than you might imagine.

1. What are microplastics?

Microplastics come in all sizes, shapes and colors. Some particles are so small that they’re invisible without a microscope, while others are perceptible as grains or fibers of different sizes. Microplastics are defined as plastic pieces that are between one micrometer (one millionth of a meter) and five millimeters in size. Nanoplastics are particles that are smaller than one micrometer.

All plastics are manufactured industrially. There is no such thing as “natural” plastic. Plastic consists mainly of carbon and hydrogen, which are bound together in long chains called polymers. The length of the chains, how they’re woven together and what other substances are included (e.g. chlorine) determine the properties of different plastic types.

Plastics also contain chemical additives that give the plastic certain properties. Phthalates are chemicals that make hard plastic soft and pliable in products like garden hoses and vinyl floor coverings, for example.

2. Where do microplastics come from?

Scientists distinguish between primary and secondary microplastics. Primary microplastics are small plastic particles that are intentionally manufactured in this size for use in cosmetic products or as abrasives. Secondary microplastics result when larger plastic products – such as plastic bags, bottles or fishing nets – break down into smaller plastic pieces.

Microplastics originate from a variety of sources. Car tire treads, made of a mixture of rubber and plastic, are a major land source. Studies have shown that an average car tire loses about 1.5 kilograms (3.3 pounds) over its lifetime from normal wear and tear, dispersing millions of microplastic particles into the environment.

Paint from buildings, roads and ships, and fibers from synthetic fabrics are additional sources of microplastics. Sportswear and fleece clothing release large amounts of fiber when washed and end up being flushed out with the wastewater. In modern water treatment plants, a lot of this material is filtered out and discharged into the collected sludge, but some still gets through. When the sludge from wastewater treatment plants is used as agricultural fertilizer, farmland becomes the recipient of large quantities of plastic fibers.

About 75 percent of all plastics that wind up in the ocean originate on land and are transported via rivers. Insufficient garbage handling makes rivers in Asia and Africa particularly vulnerable. Trash from ocean vessels – either lost or tossed from ships – accounts for the rest of the plastic debris in the ocean. Rubbish, and especially plastic, is piling up in five huge ocean gyres. The effects of the sun, wind and waves, coupled with abrasion from sand and stone, break down the plastics into smaller fragments and create huge amounts of microplastics and nanoplastics.

Read it all.


May 17th, 2018


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