Friday, May 27, 2011

A Great Roll Tack Primer; Courtesy of Intercollegiate Sailors

The US Intercollegiate Nationals (Womens, Team Racing, Doublehanded) is taking place at Cascade Locks on the Columbia River, Oregon. One can get the feel of the skills, practice and athleticism of the current intercollegiate sailor in the following video featuring roll tack after roll tack after roll tack. Video taken at the Navy 2010 Trux Umsted Regatta.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Francois Vivier Classic Moth kit; More Pictures

 Conception classique Moth voilier.

Follow up to my previous posts on French designer Francois Vivier's Classic Moth kit linked here and here .

I present some pictures of the boat and kit construction lifted from his website. Again, for higher resolution, click on the picture.

Francois has cleverly incorporated building sawhorses into the side deck panels to assist in setting up.....



Upside down construction shot showing the attachment of the flat rocker panel.....



Multichine hull shape.....



And on the water.......




It takes a whole island to stack this boat!

Very impressive clip of the Bahama A-class "Red Stripe" screaming into the finish. I can't count the number of people stacked on the boards but there's a bunch of them. Video taken at the Family Island regatta. Anybody with more information on the Bahama local classes, feel free to chime in.


Music Whenever: Iron and Wine "Boy With a Coin"

Time for some Flamenco!


Wait..... eyes don't trick me now!

I had one of those double take moments last Wednesday, 7:15 am, just after I crested the hill on Route 450, opposite the Naval Academy. Framed by the new Severn River bridge was one of the Navy 44 sloops, blue and gold spinnaker drawing beautifully in the early morning mist. As I stopped at the intersection, I could pick out five of the Navy 44 sloops spread out on the Severn River, fronting the Academy, all with their spinnakers up and drawing. But wait..... what was this?...... all five were furiously going backward under motor; the only way they could fly their spinnakers in the dead morning calm. Trying to keep one eye on the road, I digested such a bizarre sight. The conclusion.........obviously a photo op designed to take advantage of the ethereal early morning light. I wonder if those in the know will be able to pick out the stern wake in those photos?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Len and Ray Show; Scow sailing and a Pirate Ship

Len Parker keeps me updated on his continuing adventures with his mate Ray (see the post about Len and Ray on the Norfolk Broads cruise here ). Ray, who is a genuine boatbuilder in the UK, got a job over the winter to build a landlocked pirate ship for the Blackgang Chine Amusement Park on the Isle of Wight (I think the previous Pirate ship was rotting away). As you can see, he built it using traditional boatbuilding techniques with genuine big bits of timber.

The frames going up..............



Picture taken when the terra firma-bound ship was more or less finished. Not sure what Ray did about rigging those masts.


And as for scow sailing...............

Between the two of them, they have amassed four scow Moths. Len and Ray took the older Imperium design wingless scow on a jaunt on NewTown Creek, Isle of Wight in early April. I'm amazed that those two were sailing in shorts and T-shirt, early April in England.

Ray with a bow on shot......................


Picture of Len taken from the side...................




Len and Ray's previous outing in the Imperium scow was reported on back in 2009.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

SY Marie; Bad Ass Traditional Type Keeler

I suppose this is a trend we could chalk up to capitalistic excess, a byproduct of ballooning incomes of the rich while the middle class stalls. But, damn, these slew of new mega expensive, mega long sailboats are just so cool to watch on the water.

SY Marie, 180' traditional looking ketch (with modern underbody), launched in 2010, designed by Hoek, built by Vitters..... you could probably fit the entire North American Classic Moth fleet under one of those on deck lounges.

Watch SY Marie race the 2011 St. Barth's Bucket here . Sorry, embedding the video was disabled.

I featured another great video from the 2009 Bucket .

Music Whenever: Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers; "Shady Esperanto and the Young Hearts"

This video is out of season; American marching bands are inseparably connected to fall football (the American variety). However, this song, in the genre I call "American Heartland" rock, is never out of season.

(This is the song I use for a pick me up anytime I feel a tad aged.......... "I got a young heart.... I never want to get old")

Saturday, May 7, 2011

England wins Gold in an Olympic Sailing Class yet to be announced

I've noticed that expat Tillerman's blog continues to dwell on, and about, the continued complete domination of the English sailing team in International competition (as if this is anything new..... is this two Olympiad cycles - or three? where we've seen the Union Jack flying high in almost every sailing discipline..... this obsession reminds me of a certain Man-U fan in Florida.... or a certain Fulham fan in London).

Britannia rules the waves! I give you this stirring video............





An apology to Tillerman from the blogmeister.........I admit my attempt at tongue in cheek humor may have been a bit over the top. Here are Tillerman's comments taking me to task for perhaps being a bit heavy handed..........


"Oh come on. I'm not that chauvinistic.

I've also done posts recently about the success of Kiwi and French sailors in major Olympic class regattas; my post about the attitudes of American Laser sailors was a repost of a comment - not my views; and my latest post about British Girls was just a blatant attempt to find an excuse to write about Pippa Middleton's bottom."

You too can make your YouTube videos exciting!

I've noticed a YouTube trend of late where those legions of amateur video directors now turn their boring, boring videos into movie trailers.

Take the following sailing video; ten seconds of very bland, light air sailing footage jazzed up as a movie trailer!

I wonder if there is going to be a sequel? Anyone care to give a name to the sequel of "Larry and the Tide of Destiny"?





Friday, May 6, 2011

Music Whenever; New Villager "LightHouse"

Robyn comes through again with another music video smorgasboard. It leads in with a church like organ and, segues into some neat orchestration, catchy lyrics, bizarre costumes, and trick photography. Earwigoagin presents another ineffable music video very much in the Robyn tradition.

NewVillager - "LightHouse" from stereogum on Vimeo.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Greatest Sailing Stunt; Peter Bateman in the Fireballs

I came across an old post that I wrote to the Fireball website on the occasion of Peter Bateman's death 11 years ago. The post, written in 2000, was one of my first posts to that newfangled Internet. The sailing yarn is set at one of the early CORK (Canadian Olympic Race Week Kingston) regattas held at Kingston, Ontario.

"It was the CORK regatta in the early 70's. It had been a breezy week and if I remember correctly Peter had a clear lead in the Fireball fleet. The last day of racing dawned in the midst of a violent storm. I was hunkered down in the Kingston Yacht Club (the International 14's were based at KYC) with a crowd of restless sailors waiting for the races to be cancelled. Sheets of rain would obscure the yacht club jetty and we were watching the anenometer as squalls would hit, pushing wind speeds in the 40's. We were cheering the anenometer as it hit new highs and one vicious gust drove it near 60. It was equivalent to a thunderstorm squall that had decided to camp over Kingston for the morning.

In this maelstrom, through the rain streaked windows of Kingston YC, there appeared a ghostly apparition of a sail. Most of us dismissed it as a grey, rainy, obscured trick on the eyes but this apparition grew more distinct and we could no longer dismiss it. Some crazy bastard was sailing his racing dinghy into the club in this gale!!

It was Peter Bateman and crew in their Fireball. They had sailed over from Fort Henry (a distance of approx 2 miles) where most of the CORK dinghies were based. He pulled up nonchalantly and, in rain that was still zinging horizontally, inquired, with that typical British reserve, whether there would be racing that day.

In my many years around this sport, I have never witnessed such a display, which could be characterized both as one of the greatest demonstration of seamanship in a dinghy and also as one of the most foolhardy.

Nevertheless, in my mind, it was the greatest in-your-face, one- upmanship, you bunch are a bunch of wusses, come out and play if you dare, throw down the gauntlet challenge I have ever witnessed in sailing

I never introduced myself to Peter and I don't know if anyone did ask him about his jaunt over to the yacht club but that episode will always be part of my sailing lore.

Racing was cancelled for all classes that day except for the International 14's. The International 14's went out for their long distance race that afternoon in bright sunshine and 30 knots. As a pickup crew I just remember the 6 or so capsizes on the first reach before we retired. Just a handful finished and it was captured on film by Warren Miller."


Peter Bateman won a World Championship in Fireballs early on, and was quite possibly reigning World Champion when he sailed this CORK regatta. Back in the day, he was considered one of Britain's elite sailors though I don't think he ever made it to the Olympics.

To make ammends for the Classic Moths butchering a Fireball and to show that I have a great deal of respect for the Fireball as a racing dinghy (I sailed on one in Ohio when I was a teenager), here is a very good YouTube video of the class.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Launchings; Tis the Spring

For those who follow sailing seasons as it is meant to be followed (and not to cheat the winter with drysuits and wetsuits and newfangled thermal fleece) this is the proper season for the first launch and sail of the year.

This video shows a traditional Finnish day sailor launching for the season and then chugging down the foggy river on, what sounds to be, a one lunger.... or maybe it's a diesel.... you can tell I'n not a motor head. (sorry .. no sailing!).

This video is to partially appease Traditional Doryman, who took horror at my featuring the plastic molded Skipper 14 ("looks like a hot tub" he opined in the comments section).



Music Whenever; Jason Derulo - "Ridin' Solo"

Ye esteemed maritime blogger "The Horses Mouth" beat me to a funky cello performance by Kevin Olusola (I had it my music queue, ready to go, when, lo and behold, "Los caballos Boca" beat me to it), Never mind, just hop to the next one........

Jason Derulo with some hip-hop cello.....



TOH to my favorite cellist, Katie Chambers .