Sunday, December 27, 2009

Music for Fridays Index thru end of 2009

Click here for the second Music Index from this blog.

This is an index of all the Music for Fridays selections up to now (with the exception of those who have had the videos taken down).

  1. Feist; 1 2 3 4
  2. Dirty Vegas; Days Go By
  3. Gentleman; Dem Gone
  4. Folgers Commercial
  5. Angel City; Touch Me
  6. Mauro Picotto; Komodo
  7. Beirut; Elephant Gun
  8. Randy Newman; I Love LA
  9. Bees; Chicken Payback
  10. Gnarls Barkley; Gone Daddy Gone
  11. Emmylou Harris, Alison Krauss, Gillian Welch; Go to Sleep Little Babe
  12. The Beautiful South; Rotterdam
  13. Katie Chambers; cellist
  14. Bev Stanton, Lisa Moscatiello; I Can Dream
  15. Crystal Waters; Just Say Hey
  16. Jason Mraz; I'm Yours
  17. John Prine, Iris Dement; In Spite of Ourselves
  18. Badly Drawn Boy; Once Around the Block
  19. The Mask; Cuban Pete
  20. Haddaway; What Is Love
  21. Rythms del Mundo; Clocks (Coldplay)
  22. English Beat; Save it for Later
  23. Swiss Drum Corps; Top Secret
  24. Sweet Chariot Music Festival; Sea Shanties
  25. South Austin Jug Band; Jack-Ass (Beck)
  26. Peter Bradley Adams; The Longer I Run
  27. Bob Marley; No Woman No Cry
  28. Hadley Castille, Sarah Jayde Williams; Cajun Fiddle Stomp
  29. Lord Kitchener; Sugar Bum Bum
  30. Dire Staits; Sultan of Swing
  31. Flogging Molly; Salty Dog
  32. Southside Johnny, Bruce Springsteen; Havin' A Party
  33. Alison Jiear; I Just Wanna Dance
  34. Joe Walsh; Funk 49
  35. Tommy Emmanuel; Guitar Boogie
  36. Jamey Turner; Wine Glass Music
  37. Todd Baio; I'll Fly Away
  38. Count Basie; Red Bank Boogie
  39. Lyle Lovett; If I Had a Boat
  40. The Refreshments; Let it Rock
  41. Bo Diddley, Tom Petty; Mona
  42. Peter Tosh, Mick Jagger; Walk and Don't Look Back
  43. Amy Winehouse; Back to Black
  44. Hypnotic Brass Ensemble; Underground
  45. Old Crow Medicine Show; Wagon Wheel
  46. Bernadette Peters; I Wanna Be Bad
  47. Gogol Bordello; Start Wearing Purple
  48. Emma Deigman; Just Dance (Lady Gaga)
  49. Dante Bucci; Fanfare
  50. Blitzen Trapper; Furr
  51. Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks Band; Little by Little
  52. Takashi Kamide; Across the Universe
  53. Jimmy Buffet; Pirate Looks at 40
  54. Fan Death; Reunited
  55. Norah Jones; Long Way Home
  56. OK-Go; WTF
  57. Binary Finary; 1999 (Kay Cee Remix)
  58. Gotye; Hearts A Mess
  59. Robert Earl Keene; Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Classic Keelers

Though this blog is mostly dinghy-centric, I do have a soft spot for the occasional Classic keeler video.

Some great historical video of the St. Pete to Havana race from the 1950's.

Regatas San Petersburgo-Habana (1950) from Memoria de Cuba on Vimeo.

And what looks like a delivery of a large traditional yacht in the Mediterranean (modern day).

beautiful day from john john on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dodging the bullet..... until Saturday

Here in the Mid Atlantic USA, we've been in a very wet period. We've had a string of N'easters in December. These are low pressure systems, carrying a lot of moisture, that usually originate in the Gulf of Mexico and then track up the Eastern Seaboard. They are called N'Easters because the counter clockwise flow brings strong winds from the NE quadrant. In Annapolis, the N'Easters of December were dumping a lot of rain but leaving the snow in Pennsylvania or further north in Massachusetts. That is until this weekend! We got a doozy of a snowstorm on Saturday.

I wandered out early on Sunday morning. The light around daybreak was not really enough for movie making on my digicam. My sister who lives in the mountains above Denver would be scoffing at this puny snowfall (or even my sailing buddies up in New England); but for us in the Mid Atlantic it's a big deal.

Music for Friday; Gotye; Hearts A Mess

Continuing with the theme of music videos with rich visual imagery; here is one with striking animation;

Gotye- Hearts A Mess from Gotye on Vimeo.

Old Lightning sailing off Mumbai

I came across this video of an old Lightning sailing off Mumbai (Bombay) India. The Lightning itself looks like a snapshot from the 1950's or 1960's; wooden mast, boom, shrouds lashed to eyes, though the sails look like more recent castoffs. It begs the question of the origin of this Lightning, a quintessential North American dinghy. How did she find her way to India? Was it imported by an American, perhaps State department? or businessman? Or was it built in India?

This crew have to play dodgem with very busy ferry traffic, all of them chock-a-bloc with humanity. Mumbai and it's surrounding townships are estimated to have around 19 million people, making it one of the most populous cities in the world.

My other post about Lightning sailing was also about an old wooden Lightning.

I was on RC duty at SSA late October for a bitterly cold and rainy Lightning regatta. I thought my old Line 7 foul weather gear would be up to the job but I was proved wrong.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Latest Celebrity selling cereal

Picked up from , another celebrity endorsement of Raisin Bran Crunch.

Music for Friday: Binary Finary

I've got to descend into low brow every once in a while;

A techno beat about sperm fighting over egg? There is one on YouTube! Sperm in Water Polo hats and dress suits........ classy.... and the face and ass that launched 80 million sperm...Wowee!

Hey wait.... why didn't the blond hair, left handed sperm win out... Oh right, he didn't have the flippers!

And with that video, I just can't pass up the most hilarious Woody Allen segment on SEX ever!


Mission Control, we have Sydney the Stud, but lets give a ton of recognition to those hard working guys in the hard hats, knee deep in water!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Traditional Working Boats; Belize

We have a cold rain falling tonight. About 40 miles to the West, in Frederick, it's freezing rain. Temps this weekend will be just above freezing. Time for some videos from someplace warm, with blue skies, green waters, everybody in shorts and dolphins cavorting under the bow. A well made video of the Belize working wooden craft...............

Lake Te Anau, New Zealand

When I did the post about scow Moths, I linked a video from marakurasailing . The sailing waters looked spectacular, with the sailboats racing against the backdrop of the surrounding snow covered mountains, so much so that I did some Internet research. The Marakura Sailing Club is based at the south end of Lake Te Anau , deep down the South Island of New Zealand. The lake abuts the Fiordland National Park.

From Iain Campbell, Commodore of the Marakura Sailing Club;

About us

Marakura Yacht Club is one of the more southerly clubs in NZ. we have a membership of just over 100 of which half is very active and the rest is made up of social members and casual sailors who turn up as work and family commitments allow. Sailing on Lake Te Anau can be a cold affair at times. our season runs from september to late april and the lake temp ranges from 8 to 10 Celsius in the early part of the season to 15 in the warmest part.

There are a wide range of boats within the club ranging from optimists and p-classes that the kids sail and lasers, hobies, and paper tigers through to a variety of trailer yachts. most of the racing takes part in the bay area directly in front of the club which is located just metres from the lakes edge. there are races however that go up into some of the more remote parts of the lake.

The lake itself has a shore line of nearly 500km and has a large number of extremely remote areas reaching out into the mountains of fiordland national park. If anyone is coming this area from anywhere else in the world they are most welcome to contact myself via youtube or direct through the clubs email address which is

Iain Campbell aka marakurasailing

Well, if I ever make it to NZ, Marakura Sailing Club will be tops on my list.

Another video from Iain;

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Classic Moths for Sale: Addendum

I almost forgot. The Mint has the prettiest sheer line of any Classic.........

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Classic Moths for sale - Winter 2009

End of the season and some of the Classic guys are clearing out their overstock.

Classic Moths for sale can be found here . Just go to the left side pane, click on the "For Sale" link to get the latest listings.

Two of the best bets for someone wishing to try the class are the Mint design, $500 is a good price, pic below...........

and the Paul Lindenberg chine design, here sailed by Laser maestro Dick Tillman.....

Friday, December 4, 2009

Music for Fridays; OK Go

I'm turning "Music for Fridays" over to my daughter Robyn again, this time with her own commentary as well.......... Enjoy!

You know when you win at digital solitaire and the cards start this painfully slow yet trippy spectacle bidding you adieu? They fall one by one, leaving a cascading path that eventually fills the screen with thousands of cards until the Ace of Spades finally drops, and you realize you spent close to 10 minutes watching cards fall down on a computer screen. I watch it every time though. This video from OK GO (of treadmill fame) reminds me of that....Robyn

OK Go - WTF? from OK Go on Vimeo.

This blog not responsible for any latent LSD flashback episodes!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Disabled Sailing; Tip of the Hat to All Those Volunteers!

Wow! Those who volunteer their time in getting the disabled into sailboats are tops in my book! The absolute joy radiating from the disabled in piloting their own sailing vessels fills the following videos with a special aura.

First up is the Downtown Sailing Center , a community sailing program run out of the Inner Harbor in Baltimore. Video excerpted from a Maryland Public TV documentary.

Next, is a disabled competition in specially designed trimarans on Grafham Water, England.

And disabled sailing in France.............

Oh No Mr Bill!... (the Gummi Bear version)

Warning, not a sailing post! Further warning, silly guy thing! In my early teens, our neighborhood "gang" had all sort of destructive fun with M80 and Ladyfinger fireworks. Back then, construction crews would routinely burn wood scrap which, after hours we would stoke into large bonfires and keep burning well into the night.... and yes my next door neighbor friend was a pyromaniac. It was a different age and may explain why I find this following video so fascinating (No, I haven't touched a firework in years, not even on July 4).

At 49 seconds in, see those guys step forward with grins on their faces....... that was my neighborhood "gang".

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Headache included

No, This video doesn't have sailing in it, but it does have a Laser sailor in it. This video is mesmerizing in that we are waiting for the ball to knock Estonian Laser sailor Deniss Karpak on his ass.

Does Tillerman have this in his training regimen? It might help with ducking the boom.

Mortal Ball from Deniss Karpak on Vimeo.

Snark Thread Continues

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow.

Two professional sailors who got their start in the Snark foam sailboat;

Alan Drew; sailmaker, coach, North Sails rep

Alan relates this story. His Dad took Alan to the Washington Boat Show in the 1960's and they entered a raffle where a Snark was the prize. Alan's Dad didn't win but in talking to the winner, he found out she didn't have any way of getting the Snark home since she drove a convertible. A $25 offer was made and accepted and the Snark ended up in the family summer place in Maine. Alan's Dad taught himself to sail on the Snark (Mom kept an eye on him through the kitchen window and if he got into trouble, launched the family motor boat to the rescue). Alan sailed the Snark some but as is usual for young kids, found the Snark much more fun to capsize and swim around. Alan's Dad got the sailing bug in a big way, became a part-time yacht broker, first for Galion sailboats and then later for Yankee yachts, and upgraded his racing boats, finally ending up with a very successful Yankee 38, an S&S one tonner. Alan cut his racing teeth steering his Dad's keelers. But it all started with a Snark!

Renee Mehl, Vandestar Chair US Naval Academy, Around the World Racer

From Renee's comment I solicited for my Snark posts;

Yup, I learned how to sail on a Snark. We won it in a local church raffle in Michigan when I was in jr high school. We used to take it down to Gulf Shores Alabama and sail out in the Gulf from the beach. I remember my cousin trailing his hand in the water... until my dad asked him if he was trolling for sharks! We did get a visit from some dolphins once, I'm sure they were bigger than the boat. We also used it as a diving platform with the mast out back home in the pond. Not a very stable platform. Remember that sharp metal plate holding the rudder on? I have a nice scar on my elbow from that. Still, who would have thought learning to sail on a styrofoam Snark would lead a girl from an island in Michigan to wind up sailing around the world in the Whitbread?

And another Sea Snark video, this time with a yappy dog (thankfully the sound is off).

The complete Sea Snark thread is here

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Music for Fridays; Fan Death, "Reunited"

"Music for Friday" should really be called "Music for Whenever", for I often miss putting something up on Fridays.

Well, this weeks selection is from my daughter Robyn, who giggles hysterically when viewing my past "Music for Fridays" choices.

Are you ready for STRANGE? My take on the video storyline is a hipster "Wizard of Oz" where Dorothy meets up with weird and wonderful characters. Yonder readers of this blog are allowed to concoct your own storyline. My advice is to study the dance moves for your next wedding reception, particularly if you want to look like an old fool.

"Today is the greatest day I have ever known"

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Scow Moth Update; November 2009

I am one of the few Yanks who has ever owned a winged scow Moth. In my case I had one-off Australian designed and built scow Moth shipped to the U.S and, as it turned out, the scow was not a very good scow design, fun in flat water and a breeze, almost impossible to sail in any sort of confused chop. I wrote about it in more detail in 2003 and if interested, one can view my scow experience here . A picture of me sailing my scow Moth...

I still love the scow Moth, even though it's been over 20 or so years since the scow was eclipsed by the monohull Moth in International competitions. Today many sailors see the scow as very ancient technology when stacked up against the current foiler Moth. But then some have accused me of always being the contrarian; and so I continue to collect scow Moth news wherever it pops up.

Englishman (also living in the U.S) Len Parker seem to be at the center of most of the current scow news. In the summer, Len Parker collected a badly decomposed Imperium design from somewhere in the Southeast USA and dragged the hull back to Florida for a rebuild.

And Len's pal Ray, on the Isle of Wight, has done a beautiful job restoring a Red Ned design (a 1970's Western Australian design). Pic following;

Meanwhile in New Zealand, the New Zealand one-design scow Moth is still raced out of Stewarts Gully Sailing Club. This is a wingless design and was very popular in New Zealand until the Laser showed up. More information here . Picture from Lindsay Russell,

And finally, from New Zealand again, this YouTube video shows a winged scow Moth that had the rudder drop off.....

Equal Opportunity Skin

Old news now, but Groupama 3 has pulled out in their attempt at an "Around The World" record after they damaged an aft structural bulkhead on one of their outriggers. However, before their withdrawal and in a more relaxed time, they shot this (rain) shower scene.........

And in the Transat Jacques Vabre, our girl Roxy (Sam Davies) takes a (sea water) shower......

And they say this blog has no standards...............

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Are We Having Fun Yet? Family Sail

I ran across a YouTube video, that in a sideways fashion, brought back memories of my dad and his attempts to get our entire family sailing.

Our Dad first bought an 8' El Toro, which both he and I eagerly embraced in learning to sail and, then we divvied boat time up among ourselves as we puttered about the creek. My brother was lukewarm to sailing a pram, my sisters and mother were definitely not too enthusiastic. So to light the fire and get the whole family participating, he bought a 16' Rebel sailboat, a commodious fiberglass daysailer still raced in the MidWest. Our first family sail in the Rebel resulted in us going hard aground in the Chesapeake black mud. My Dad could string some profanity together at the drop of a hat and this was one of those times. Both me and my brother leapt overboard and pushed us off but the remaining day's sail remained under a black cloud. The second attempt at a family sail had us sail smack dab into the middle of a vicious thunder squall. Thankfully we were still in the creek and managed to get the sails down, but it poured buckets, and thunder and lightning filled the air. My Mom and sisters squeezed themselves under the small foredeck and waited it out; to me it was all a grand adventure. After that, I don't think my Mom ever set foot again in a sailboat, and my sisters went out occasionally but never took to it as I did. My Dad and I continued on, eventually competing in the racier Windmill and Y Flyer. My brother returned to sailing as an adult, enjoyed it immensely and became a very competent dinghy racer.

The following video features an English family sailing a Lymington scow, which isn't a scow at all, at least in the American definition, but a small dinghy. By small, the Lymington scow is 11'4" long and a tad under 5' beam, a hair bigger on those dimensions than my Classic Moth. In this video, the Dad is having a great time (Ah! The male ego.... "This is good, this is what it's about". Something I could well be accused of saying!), the older son enjoying himslf as well, the younger son is affixed on the leeward gunwhale in his own reverie and the Mom, well the Mom has her game face on (and is bailing with a passion) but I have a feeling she is thinking this is really bloody stupid. I wonder how much Mom has been out on succeeding family sails on this Lymington Scow, or has she always found some excuse to opt out?

Lymington scow video no longer available.

Here is a video on the Rebel class.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Music for Friday: Jimmy Buffet; "Pirate Looks at 40"

I'm not a real fan of Jimmy Buffet, a tad too syrupy. I also shy away from the mainstream. But Jimmy Buffet and this mellow video of an older guy sailing his O'Day Widgeon around a tiny lake just seems to fit. So my first selection for "Music for Friday" that is also a sailing video.

Look Ma, No Rudder (No Paddle Either); St. Lawrence Skiff

Last post in this series, unless a reader points me to another class. The St. Lawrence skiff is a traditional clinker double ended craft developed in the mid 1800's among the Thousand Islands, between New York and Canada. Usually between 18' and 22', the Skiff was originally an all purpose water transport between islands and the mainland. The St. Lawrence skiff was not paddled but propelled by oar or sail, and was always sailed with no rudder. In the late 1800's, with the rush of city folk to the outdoors, the St. Lawrence skiff became the craft of choice for the local fishing guides to take their paying city "sports" out on the river. Sailing races between towns on the river took place in the Skiffs, again using no rudders, just the movement of the crew (a la the Patin a Vela catamaran) to steer the boat.

Today the St. Lawrence skiff is built primarily as a rowing craft. Search on the Internet, turned up one sailing regatta a year, the Harold Herrick Cup, usually with around five St. Lawrence skiffs competing. In my 20 or so years of taking a summer vacation on Sugar Island , one of the Thousand Islands, I don't recall coming across a St. Lawrence skiff sailing without a rudder.

I was able to lift a picture of a sailing St. Lawrence Skiff from the online "Thousand Islands Life" magazine.

And from the October 1988 archives of the New York Times, the obituary of Harold Herrick, in whose name the St. Lawrence Skiffs race every year.

Harold Herrick Jr. of Clayton and Cape Vincent, N.Y., who died earlier this month, was an extraordinary fellow. He was a superb waterfowler and a staunch member of Ducks Unlimited, a supporter of aspiring wildlife artists, an acknowledged expert in antique duck, goose and shorebird decoys, and a master at handling the rudderless St. Lawrence sailing skiff. Harold had astonishing energy, ebullience and enthusiasm that often left the more cautious mortals with whom he was associated pleading for time to cogitate.

The Thousand Islands area of the St. Lawrence was his special love. He knew its history, its people, its reefs and channels; he knew where to find muskelunge, black bass and walleyes, and in late fall and winter he knew where to rig decoys on open water for bluebills and where to wait for black ducks in secluded coves and marshes.

Harold had no truck with sham or whimpering, and to the end he refused to dwell on the cancer that so swiftly ended his life. His time was up and he knew it, but even in his final hours he was arranging a fishing trip for friends or talking enthusiastically of the warm public response to a new book, in whose publication he played a major role, dealing with the history of the St. Lawrence skiff.

He did not rage against the dying of the light, but accepted it with a forthright dignity that those who loved him will always remember.

I'll have to do some more research on this craft, particularly on how you sail them.


John Summer, former curator of the Antique Boat Museum, Clayton NY, has left this comment, which I have brought up to the main post;

Skiffs typically had a fan-shaped folding centerboard, operated by a lever in the boat, similar to the Radix and other boards used in sailing canoes of the later 19th century. A Clayton resident, Montraville Atwood, had a patent on a 3-leaf folding centerboard. Rig was a 70-90 sq foot spritsail.

The majority of the skiffs had long, straight external keels with very little rocker, which facilitated tracking and reaching. To tack, the skipper moved forward, pulling up the board as he went, and crouched at the base of the mast while the boom went over above his head. Heading back to the stern, he pushed the board back down. To gybe, the skipper went to the stern and sat on the afterdeck, urging the boom across with a flip of the sheet. Smaller course corrections were variations of this weighting/unweighting, augmented by sail trim.

The French Again; Transat Jaques Vabre

Give thanks to the French. As our sailing season in Northern US comes to a close (excepting the hardy frostbiters) the French launch two events to keep us Internet sailing junkies soaking up the sea spray. In the previous post we are watching Groupama's high speed jaunt around the World in quest of the Jules Verne record. And unknown to me, until the videos started popping up, the Open 60's and Multihull 50's are racing doublehanded across the Atlantic from Havre, France to Costa Rica. Having quite a time of it as conditions over the last two days have been horrific. Seb Josse and JF Curzon were airlifted off their Open 60 BT after the boat filled 2/3 with water through a damaged deck.

All videos narrated in French, of which I know not a lick of, but the video is enough.

Next the storm from on Vimeo.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Groupama 3

The French 100 foot trimaran, Groupama 3, is off in attempt to set a new World record for a nonstop Round the World (I guess, reading from the video title, it's called the Jules Verne trophy). I don't know where they are at this moment but wherever they are, they are going really, really fast. Insane! Just leaves me shaking my head.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Look Ma, No Rudder (No Paddle Either); Patin a Vela

Hobie Alter is most often credited with coming up with the beach catamaran. Amazingly, the Catalan sailors in the most North East province in Spain (bordering the Med) have been racing a beach cat, the "Patin a Vela" since the 1920's. This catamaran has no rudder, no paddle, no daggerboard........ you tack by running forward to the mast and steer by ooching the body. And these guys race in big waves and big breeze on the Mediterranean! You can make an on-the-fly adjustment on the rake of the rig (it does look like they are pulling on some string during a tack) but for the most part it's all where you put your body that makes the difference. You just have to watch the videos.

This one shows how you tack a Patin a Vela;

This one shows how athletic these catamarans are;

And even the Patin a Vela catamarans seem to attract those showoffs who love to fly a hull (nice beach babe tucked into the video as well).

Music for Friday: Takashi Kamide

Did I say, I love the accordion. Takashi Kamide does a bang up accordion cover of the Lennon/McCartney "Across the Universe"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Look Ma, No Rudder; the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe

So far we looked at two small singlehanders, steered by paddles on relatively flat water. But steering open ocean proas, crewed with seven paddlers, just using a "Steering Paddle"? What happens when the "Steering Paddle" just doesn't have enough oomph?

"I've been known to close my eyes and just hold on to my steering blade"

(I've sort of wished I could do that on some downwind rides.)

This video does give a good feel of open ocean racing in the Hawaiian Sailing Canoe's.

Sailfish; the Joy of Sailing a Small Boat

If a comment to one of my posts strikes my fancy, I'll drag it out to the main page and give it some exposure. Chris Marthinson, in a comment, posted a link to his post on his Sailfish experience . The fun of sailing a simple boat........

Look Ma, No Rudder (No DB either!), West Mersea Duck Punt

My post about the ACA Cruising Canoe, sans rudder, elicited a comment and also an email, an unprecedented response for this blog. Both readers pointed out that there exists in the UK, a small sailing craft copied after a local wild fowl gunning punt, that is raced with no rudder, just a paddle, and even more surprising, no daggerboard either. Truth be told, I had stumbled across the Dylan Winter video on the West Mersea Duck Punt and already had it penciled in as one of my classes for my "Look Ma, No Rudder" series. Plus, Paul Mullings, pointed me to their website and some more digging on the Internet fleshed out more of the West Mersea Punt story.

The West Mersea Duck Punt is, what we call in the U.S, a flat bottom skiff. Being a craft designed to sneak up on wild fowl, it has very low freeboard and narrow beam. A local boatbuilder took the traditional design and converted it to 12mm plywood. He sells the plywood shell to homebuilders to finish off. The rig looks to be an Optimist sprit rig. The steering paddle is plopped into an oarlock on the leeward side and, like the ACA Cruising Canoe, the steering position forces the skipper to recline about in the middle of the punt. According to Dylan Winter, lateral resistance depends on heeling the punt to get the chine into the water. It must be very interesting to watch the fleet race, particularly since most racing takes place in the winter and, as far as I can see, they have no buoyancy for self rescue. Some of the paddling techniques on the turns are identical to the ACA Cruising Canoe but I'm sure there are some other racing techniques unique to the West Mersea Duck Punt.

According to the website, they have 20 and growing certified crazies that have put one of these craft together. My type of crazy.

Dylan Winters, the great sailing/travelogue videographer, documents his Duck Punt build over here.

And a video on light air Duck Punt Racing;

We also have in the U.S, the Barnegat Bay Sneakbox and the Delaware Ducker, two other gunning craft that evolved to become some very smart sailing dinghies.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Look Ma, No Rudder; the ACA Cruising Canoe

In the midst of the Tillerman's "Less is More" writing assignment, it occurred to me that there are some people that race sailboats without parts that most of us consider essential to sailing; like a rudder. This isn't "Less is More", this is "Less is Different", and to point to another one of Tillerman's most recent themes, "Less" that makes sailboat racing very much a more challenging sport.

Classes without rudders are not popular; in most cases they reside in only one place in the world. But sailors still race them.

First up is the ACA Cruising class canoe. This is a sailing canoe that is steered with a paddle, not a rudder. This class was popular post World War II but is now found only at Lake Sebago, just outside New York City.

To steer a canoe with a paddle, the paddle must be leveraged against the leeward side. For the skipper to hold the paddle he must be sitting in the canoe and not hiking, which makes breezy racing somewhat tricky. Since the paddle, leveraged against the leeward gunwhale, is best used in steering the canoe downwind, the canoe must be set up with weather helm (rig moved aft). When pressure on the paddle is released, the canoe naturally turns to weather. You are allowed to take a paddling stroke or two when tacking to get the canoe around. The tricky part seems to be downwind in a breeze, when the paddle can load or unload unexpectedly, resulting in some spectacular broaches.

A picture by Laurie Ford from the 2008 ACA Cruising Canoe Championships at Lake Sebago. In light air, steering with a paddle looks very relaxing.

Laurie Ford's full report (with pictures) of the 2008 Cruising Class Championship can be found here.

Music for Friday; Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks Band

Haven't featured the blues on Music for Friday. Susan belting out the blues, providing some damn fine blues licks and Derek wrapping it up in his own soaring style.

Embedding disabled but the Youtube is over here

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Melges 24 Worlds

The Melges 24 Worlds are in town this week. Organizers were able to co-opt the downtown "Ego Alley" dock area and all 50 odd Melges 24's are tied up in the heart of Annapolis. Very cool, very European.... until you wander down the docks and realize every single one of the Melges is a white hull with black spars. Ugh! As visually appealing as seeing a McDonalds, a Blockbuster, an Exxon gas station, and a Dunkin Donuts all piled next to one another. At least when the Volvo boats pulled into Annapolis several years ago they had some very interesting hull paint jobs. Cake decorator, Cat Evans
(correction Heather Evans... see comment)
, provided some much needed visual creativity to the Melges Worlds. That is some sheet cake! From the tent at City Dock.

Video from the gang at Sailing Anarchy;

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Catamarans, the Olympics, the Swedish Archipelago

The Tornado is out of the Olympics. I don't know of any sailor that doesn't think it's a dumb idea. At the Quindao Olympics, while the Tornado's were handling the breezy and lumpy medal race with aplomb, the 49'ers were doing their version of the Monty Python Twit of the Year Race (he's up, he's down and, although I've sailed in many a breezy race with multiple capsizes, I expected more of the Olympic medal race).

Well here is my suggestion to the Cat crowd. Don't attempt to reenter the Olympic Circus using the old format. You've developed a far more appealing race format; long distance, multi-stage day racing with many stops, in high speed two man cats. We have the Tybee 500 in the U.S and in Europe there is the Swedish Archipelago Raid.

Just imagine a five day marathon catamaran race in the Olympics with multiple stops up and down the host countries coastline. A very appealing sailing competition to capture the attention of the masses.

Here is a YouTube of Day 1 of the 2009 Swedish Archipelago Raid.

P.S Steve Clark had this idea a while back that the Olympic Finn competition should be a one race, 24 hour long marathon. I think a sailing marathon works better with the cats.

Music for Friday; Blitzen Trapper "Furr"

Music for Friday features a guest picker ....... my son up from Charlottesville, VA. He says the following artist fits my oldster, folkster style. Blitzen Trapper sounds early Dylanish.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Less is More.... or Less; Anyway, It Beats Paddling!

At the start of this Tillerman Tempest , whereupon reams of internet verbiage has been spilled on sailing minimalism, I put a teaser out there on my Boy Scout adventure.

It was the annual Troop 855 summer trip, a canoeing trip in the 1960's on Moosehead Lake, Maine. The memory is a little hazy but it was 5 or 6 days, with the first three days island hopping directly in the face of an unrelenting 15-20 knot wind. It was grueling; three boy teams per canoe and no one wanting to be a member of the slacker canoes bringing up the rear. Constant paddling. And at end of the day, the water was so cold that only the one well padded member of the Troop could swim for more than 30 seconds.

When we finally turned around to head back and the stiff winds were now behind, it didn't take long for me to hoist my poncho on a paddle lashed to the middle spreader. Aaah!, our stroke rate was now cut in half, we could relax and take the day in. At our first rest stop we were busily converting two canoes into a catamaran with a double poncho rig when the Scout Master put his foot down. Too dangerous he said and with that we were back to paddling.

Lashing something together on a canoe to catch the wind is not original, I seem to remember that Lewis and Clark expedition did it..... I'm sure the French Voyageurs did it. It is probably the minimum you can get away with and still say you are sailing. Lets go to YouTube where this fellow has added a yardarm. Also, the freeboard up front seems to be pushing it. I don't think I would have this rig up in any more breeze.......

Friday, October 16, 2009

Music for Friday: Dante Bucci

In searching for steel drum music, I came across this fellow playing a hang (pronounced hung) drum. Similar in sound to the steel drum, yet different.

Dante Bucci - Fanfare from Dante Bucci on Vimeo.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Less is More; The Sunfish...... Not!

Having taken a whack at the Laser class as not minimalist enough, why stop there?... why not take on the Sunfish class?

(Sir, have you lost your marbles? There cannot be found a more simpler sailing craft; easy to raise and lower lateen rig with no battens, no vang, no traveller ....... surely there isn't a less complicated sailing craft in existence!)

Well there was and it turned out to be the parent; the Sailfish.

The Sailfish, introduced by Alex Bryan and Cortlandt Heyniger (Alcort) in 1945, proved popular as a wooden kit boat. It was 11' 7" long, 2' 7" wide, had a flat deck with grab rails to keep the skipper from sliding out of the boat. It had the trademark simple lateen rig. You can surf over the Wikipedia Sailfish page here .

In 1951, the Sunfish was designed by Alcort. Compared to the Sailfish, the Sunfish had;

  • more length - 13' 9"
  • more beam - 4'1"
  • more freeboard
  • more weight
  • and added a nice little cockpit

The Sailfish, popular in it's day, was discontinued in 1975.

The Sunfish today remains one of the most popular and enduring of singlehander designs.

More really is ...........MORE!

(If you think this is absurdly convoluted logic as an anti-argument to Tillerman's writing assignment, I stand guilty as charged.)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Less is More; The Laser......Not!

With Tillerman, all paths lead ultimately to the Laser class. So, when Tillerman, introduced his writing assignment, Less is More, it was obvious to me that the Tillerman would eventually post on how the Laser class sailboat fits "Less is More". Hmmm! Let's see if we can poke some holes in this.

The design brief that Bruce Kirby received from Ian Bruce for what eventually became the Laser was for a recreational craft that urban Canadians could take up to their cottages and day sail on the myriad of Northern lakes that dot Canada. It was to be an updated Sunfish, using a hull developed from Bruce Kirby's International 14 designs, a simple Marconi rig on slotted alunimum tubes, very simple controls using stock and often plastic fittings. It was truly about the minimum you could get away with in a small sailing dinghy using a conventional rig. The original name of the class was Weekender, to reflect it's recreational emphasis. it quickly became apparent that the Laser was a very quick and exciting racing dinghy.... and there became the rub.

So as of today, what MORE do you need to add to the Laser to race it properly;

  • Laser Vang upgrade $278 USD
  • Cunningham and Lines upgrade $298 USD
  • Clew Sleeve $49.5 USD
  • Carbon Low Profile Tiller $200 USD
  • Carbon Tiller Extension $105 USD

For a grand total of $936.51 of MORE stuff to race this craft.

Mind you, any experienced Laser racer will tell you all this stuff makes the Laser easier to sail and more enjoyable to race. So this MORE is good but it is not LESS.

Oh, don't forget the following when you buy a Laser;

  • Dolly $580 USD
  • Padded Hiking Straps $28 USD
  • Hiking Pants $129 USD

And maybe a compass $300 USD, Dry Suit $700 ..................

Less is More; Not!

The latest Tillerman writing project is about minimalism in sailing. A rather futile project as none of us have sailed what I consider a truly minimalist craft; a hollowed out log with a tarp rigged over a branch (as a Boy Scout, I did rig up a poncho on a paddle during a canoe trip.... until I was thoroughly chastised by the Scout Master.....but another story). Most of us enjoy our sailing at some level of complication so we really are guilty of accretion. As other bloggers have pointed out, more.... is really more. Nevertheless, this writing assignment is worthy of several posts so a tip of the hat to Tillerman.

P.S - To his credit, Tillerman actually backtracked from pure minimalism when he posted in one of his comments the Frank Lloyd Wright quote, "Less is only more where more is no good."

Beer; Wolavers "Will Stevens" Pumpkin Ale

I'm usually not a big fan of pumpkin beers but Wolavers Pumpkin Ale has a nice head and a just right blend of ale and pumpkin taste. The one seasonal beer I've taken a liking to this year.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Annapolis Sailboat Show

I'm a small boat sailor, and a cheap one at that. I allot about 4 hours to poke around the Annapolis sailboat show and unless a friend prods me, I avoid stepping onto any type of cruising boat. This year, as usual, there wasn't a whole lot for the small boat sailor. Laser Performance (buyers of Vanguard) were represented by surrogate dealer APS. They had their passel of British designed dinghies they are trying to flog onto the American market (names like Vago, and Bahia, and such .... but I must admit I like the smaller Jo Richards Pico and Bug dinghies). Surprisingly they left their two very popular American dinghies, the Sunfish and the V15, out of the show. I didn't see their SB3 keeler at the show either; they were great guns for getting the SB3 going in America last year. To the amusement of the friends I was with, I climbed into the Optimist sized Bug dinghy for a test sail. No wind but I was impressed with how stable this little dinghy is; I leaned hard on the leeward gunwhale and it didn't give up much in the way of a lean. The Bug, being stable, also meant it was somewhat stuck in light air (it has some very big hull strakes that don't help). Still, this is a small dinghy that won't scare the beginner and should be sailable in big breeze (one of the best strengths of the Optimist in my mind!).

Because the in-the-water sailboats were off in numbers, two of the so-called tall ships were berthed on the outer docks ....... The "Pride of Baltimore II" and the pilot schooner, "Virginia". Two of the crew of the "Pride of Baltimore II" were busy varnishing the transom and re-painting the name. I asked the one doing the varnishing what varnish "The Pride" uses ....... it's Epiphanes.

Small wooden boats are one of my soft spots and for some reason, the builder of the Adirondack Guide Boats had a booth in this show (a very rare occurrence indeed). He has a beautiful wood version for around 14K, a cheaper glass version with chines (didn't ask the price) and also offers a wood kit for 3.5K. It seems he sells to a fair number of celebrities ..... he rattled off several names that I have promptly forgotten. For some reason I got a free DVD (maybe I asked the right questions) which I'll get around to viewing one of these days.

Just beyond the Laser Performance booth was the small sport boat row. Two American production versions of the Mini-Transat, a Juan K small day racer that looked like a Mini Transat with no accomodations, a Viper and the new Melges 20 (cost of the Melges 20.... 41K base...... 47K with sails and some covers). If you want to get the thrill of a Laser offwind and spend a whole lot more money, I reckon one of these choices would fit the bill.

US Naval Academy's Womens Fall Regatta

Last weekend saw me volunteering for the USNA Womens Regatta. I was on the start boat and boy, do you fire off a lot of starts; 36 just on Saturday. Collegiate RC is barebones; use the Ollie for time and signals, fly an orange start flag from the start boat, fly the Individual Recall flag when needed, use a loud hailer often. Because you are under a time constraint to get races off, you may wait for one or two races to confirm the median wind has shifted before moving marks. It is fast paced for an RC.

Just how good and how practiced these collegiate sailors are was driven home to me on Saturday afternoon when the wind dropped to about 10-14. With probably hundreds of starts already under their belts this season, these sailors know exactly where the line is. With under ten seconds to go the entire fleet was luffing on the line, at five seconds to go, bow down to get some speed, at 1.5 seconds punch up to the line. In the 10-14 knot wind range, the punch up is very synchronized, the entire fleet ends up about 1 foot over the line at the gun; this happens so fast and is so even that, of course, we let these starts go. Starts in more wind were not as synchronized; control becomes an issue, ditto with light air where the acceleration is not there. The awareness of where the line is and control of these dinghies is Very Impressive!

Chris of Sailgroove was there, filming .

I had two daughters that participated in collegiate athletics; I've witnessed how tough women can be in sport but this toughness continually amazes me. On Sunday, I noticed one of the Laser Radial sailors sailing around pre-start with one foot, wrapped in a tight lace up bandage, elevated on deck. I asked my compatriot, Midshipman Taylor, if she had injured it on Saturday and he said no, she injured it before the regatta even started!

Lets go to the videotape. Sailgroove interview of Caroline Wright.

Oops! the embed function went away on this video. Video can be viewed here

Let's dominate the 20 breeze! Tip of the hat to Caroline.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Classic Moth Nats; Second Video from Amy Parker

Weather mark rounding on Sunday; #79 and #2000 were 1, 2 in the fast Gen 2 class. #55 and #112 were 1, 2 in the Vintage class which, at this weather mark, rounded ahead of the supposedly faster Gen 1 Mothboats (#30 being the first Gen 1 round in this video). Merv Wescoat, the oldest competitor (80 something?), in 115 is knocking on the door at the front of the fleet. I like the "good ole boy" radio banter in the background. (I love Elizabeth City... let me tell you about their barbecue .... a special flavor not to be found anywhere North....mmm...mmm!) Thanks again to Amy Parker

Music for Friday; Emma Deigman covers Lady Gaga

Two superb artists just sitting on the floor, belting out a song, no sound technicians, no swirly lights, no audience..........

Emma Deigman from the UK

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Another Boat Nut (and Good Friend)

My good friend, Fran DeFaymoreau came down from Long Island two weekends ago for a visit. Fran is another long-in-the-tooth International Canoe sailor and at Sugar Island Fran brought his latest brainstorm, an older Chrysler MFG Sidewinder he picked up for $100 or so. Fran's idea is to put a canoe stern on this boat, a sliding seat and make it into an older gents EZY canoe. For Sugar, all Fran had the time to do was plop an International Canoe rig into the Sidewinder. He quickly found out the Sidewinder leaked like a sieve and the jury rigged IC sail plan was just this side of pulling something out and falling overboard. Fran is an excellent boat builder and given time, he'll have a working concept.

I have two pics of his drifter sail in his Sidewinder/IC at Sugar Island.

More on the Classic Moth Nationals

Your humble blogmeister finished 6th. My starts and first beats were OK. I was just slow offwind in the light stuff, usually losing at least two boats on the reaches and maybe another one or two on the run. The light stuff has never been my forte in my Tweezer. If I reworked ice hockey's plus/minus statistic for sailboat racing, where for every boat you passed during the regatta you'd get a plus 1 and, conversely, for every boat that passed you, you'd get a minus 1, I figured I'd be at a minus 28 for this regatta.... Ouch! Oh well, when you're racing Classic Moths, at the end of the day, it's all good.

Mike Parson's been knocking at the top spot for a while now. He's won everything in the Mid-Atlantic this year and was the deserved winner of the 2009 Nationals. My travel partner, John Z, finished second, up from third last year. Joe Bousquet , Moth foiler blogger extraordinaire finished third.

In the Gen1 class for slower hulls; Lewis Hay was first, Frickie Marschink second and Gary Gowans third in a Sidewinder design.

In the Vintage class, Randall Swan in a Connecticut won, George Albaugh second in a Dorr-Willy, and Walt Collins third in Ara-Too.

Merv Wescoat took the Founders trophy as the oldest competitor (and one of the flashiest, sailing his Maser in Florida Gators colors).

Here is some video of on shore action at the Nationals;

Top ten results table;

Skipper Races Hull Design
Mike Parsons 1,2,1,[3],1,2,1 Mistral
John Zseleczky 3,3,3,1,3,[4],2 Mod Mistral
Joe Bousquet [8],4,2,5,2,1,4 Shelly 3
Rod Koch 2,[5],4,4,4,3,3 Mousetrap
Mark Saunders 4,1,[OCS],6,5,8,6 Mistral
Rod Mincher 5,6,[OCS],2,7,6,10 Tweezer
Ken Wilius 6,8,6,[12],6,7,5 Mousetrap
Matthew Swan 7,7,5,11,[DNC],5,7 Skol
Lewis Hay 9,12,7,8,8,[12],8 Europe
Frickie Martschink 10,[14],14,7,11,9,9 Mint

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Music for Friday; Gogol Bordello

I like the accordion. I like bands with an accordion. As an old fart, I am also mesmerized by an absurd, over the top, band (with an accordion) that is beloved by a young and obviously smashed audience. A mystery for only the young. Still, this is fun to watch. Enter Gogol Bordello....

Staying Alive; How much should the RC do?

A post over at Tillerman's blog highlighted a man overboard incident at the recent Star North Americans.

The incident in a nutshell;

  • Elderly Star skipper, way at the back of the fleet, falls out of the Star in a broach.
  • His crew cannot sail the Star back to him and the skipper in the water has an inoperable inflatable life jacket.
  • The skipper in the water is close to going under when the skipper of a nearby dismasted Star swims over towing a spare life jacket and keeps the man afloat until the Canadian Olympic support RIB shows up.
Tillerman's post has the link to the original post and the subsequent discussion. Most of the discussion centers around the

  • skippers culpability; he's too old to be out there, he's wearing a life preserver that was clearly inadequate.
  • the response when the crew's VHF distress call was picked up at the club (but not picked up by the RC).
Well folks, when you are organizing the race committee, let's just shitcan the personal responsibility argument. Yes, in a perfect world, all or us are wearing life preservers that work and our boats are immaculately prepared to handle 25 knots of wind and we are all in superb sailing shape but the reality is that all of us at one time or the other have got into trouble on the water; sometimes it is a fine line between getting out of it on our own or needing assistance .... many times sailors out on the race course are inexperienced, over confident, over their heads. Bottom line, if as RC you had to rely on an outside boater to perform a rescue, then you have had a failure as an RC, a bigger failure than not setting the starting line properly or flying the wrong flags.

My questions to Cedar Point YC;

You had two Stars in distress in the same area; one flailing around with one sailor and another dismasted and, as the story's been told, a Cedar Point YC crash boat never made it to the site. A fellow competitor and a coach boat had to perform the rescure.

  • Did Cedar Point YC have crash boats for the Star North Americans?
  • If they did, were they tied up with other rescues? Meaning was there inadequate rescue resources for the number of boats racing?
  • Were there any Cedar Point RC personnel watching the race course and keeping track of the distressed Stars?
  • Why did the Cedar Point RC need to be alerted by VHF radio from the home club about the incident?

These are the most important questions the RC need to address.

Unfortunately, in the U.S. crash boats are usually an afterthought in RC planning and are usually manned by the most inexperienced volunteers.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Star Crewing 101

In between running the summer series for the Flying Scots and the Classic Moth Nationals, I got the call to fill in as a Wednesday crew for John Jenkins on his Star boat. I hadn't been in a Star for 30 or so years but Wednesday nights are usually light air drifters .... so how hard could it be? Well when we arrived at the St. Michaels YC, the wind was a consistent fifteen and the tutorial on the sail out to the starting line was short and sweet; here are the cleats for the running backs, don't thread the whisker pole through the mainsheet on the way in or out, and here is a nifty fine tune adjust on the jibsheet. From my perspective, there looked to be plenty of lines, that, if pulled wrong, could pose big problems, not just in racing around the buoys but in keeping the mast up .... those thoughts I put out of my mind.

John got the best start at the weather end and we were ahead comfortably 2/3 the way up the first beat. Unfortunately his closest rival got out to the right and rode a nice starboard tack lift to lead us into the mark. Off we went downwind. John was intent on running down his rival; not only was the leeward running back off, he let off some 8 inches of the weather one and we pulled on a jib thing-a-majingy to bag the jib out. I got the pole out after a delay, my feet effectively cleating the sheets for a while until I figured out what the problem was. I hadn't screwed up too bad until we attempted what would turn out, for a neophyte Star crew, to be the equivalent of a an inward three-and-a-half somersault in tuck position ..... we did a gybe into a leeward mark rounding.

Well, lets say I did get the whisker pole back into the boat properly before we rounded the leeward mark but .......... the weather running back was not fully on, the jib sheets were in a huge ball right at the turning block, and I had pulled the jib thing-a-majingy on instead of out and the jib was a good three feet up the forestay. I did get the weather runner on before the mast went anywhere bad, I was able to miraculously free the jib sheet ball in about 20 seconds and we eventually got the jib down to the deck. By that time our rival was well gone. We were able to hang onto second for another windward/leeward but another boat ground us down just before the finish (I just don't have anywhere near the beef of a true Star crew).

All in all, I was pleased with a third. It could have been worse though we didn't do John's series lead any favors. Lesson, if you are going to be a pickup crew in a Star, definitely do it in under 10 knots when things happen a little slower.

Music for Friday; Bernadette Peters - I Wanna Be Bad

Music for Fridays has been somewhat intermittent lately.

From the movie "Pennies From Heaven"

Oops! Bernadette went into the YouTube black hole. Here is the original Helen Kane song from 1929

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2009 Classic Moth Nationals; Y2K Bug Mods

John Z, who finished 2nd overall, had his Moth, Y2K Bug, modified overnight Saturday. Port and Starboard winches, bow and stern lights made this Classic Moth a proper yacht now.

Monday, September 21, 2009

2009 Classic Moth Nationals - Elizabeth City NC

This past weekend was the Classic Moth Nationals at Elizabeth City NC. Twenty Seven Mothboaters showed up, an excellent turnout. I'll have more posts later but the Elizabeth City paper, Daily Advance, has a report here . Also the slideshow by staff photographers, Brett A. Clark and Justin Falls is well worth a look.

It's great seeing all the Mothboaters, some returning after a couple year hiatus. A National Championship like this seems to be more of a reunion with a competition tacked on.

Winner Mike Parsons was waxing magnanimous in his interview with the Daily Advance, the winds were actually on the light side and very shifty from the North.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Phone Call on Sunday Morning (Sept 13)

Sunday morning and I was just about to put my head around which project of many I wanted to tackle when my good friend George called. Turns out that my old club, West River Sailing Club, was running the Laser Districts. This had sucked up all of the RC folks, leaving a scheduled Sunday Fall Series for Flying Scots without anyone to run their races. I owe, I owe (Big George for previous work on a shed) so it wasn't hard to say yes, particularly since, according to George, I was the last one on the list. Sunday Series start at 1 pm. so this left some time to do some wet sanding on the Classic Moth, Tweezer, before moseying on down to Galesville.

It was a gorgeous day, the sky peppered with low lying cumulus, lazily making their way to the south. The engine for the one remaining whaler at the club started right up, never a sure thing for club boats this late in the season. I gathered up two hippity hops with anchor rodes, a spare Ollie was found and a start flag attached to a PVC pipe. There wasn't much gas so I made a detour upriver for Hartges Yacht Yard where I found they had closed the gas dock (argh! things change when you haven't been on the river for the summer). I backtracked to Pirates Cove gas dock, filled the tank, putt-putted another 1/4 mile (6 mph restriction) and then opened it up for another 1/4 mile to get to the race course. I had ten minutes to spare for the 1 pm start time.

The Race Course for the WRSC Sunday Series is little over 1/2 mile from the club, tucked into a little bay butting up against the Smithsonian Rhode River Research Site on the North Shore with the entrance to Rhode River marking the Eastern limit to the course area.

A light, shifty Northerly was going to give some trying conditions. I got the weather hippity hop down in what looked like a good upwind spot (though in tracking the shifts over the afternoon, maybe 50 feet to the left would have centered the mark more). I was able to plonk the start line outside the direct line freeway into Galesville (never guaranteed in this area; many times the wind forces the course to include dodgem of high speed stinkpotters and clueless sail cruisers).

I got three races off (WL, WL, finish downwind), lounged around on the bow of the whaler for the afternoon (when RC duties didn't call) and soaked the day in.

After the racing, on the way back in, I spotted what looked like a Dragon sailing back into the harbor. Had to take a detour to look at such a Classic but as I drew closer I saw it was a Luders 16, another very pretty Classic. Had a conversation with the skipper; built in 1954 and restored recently in Virginia and from what I could see it was a great job that was done on her. A wave goodby and putt-putt back to the club to put the Whaler and all the race committee accoutrements away.

Back on shore and some socializing. Flying Scot sailor, Gabor, told me he had bought a beater 505 for singlehanding and he was enjoying it immensely (the jib is roller furling). I didn't ask if he was singlehandedly trapezing as he is an older gent.

I also ran into another good friend; WRSC member Bob B. who had just gotten back in from the last race of the Laser Districts. He is over 70 and sailed in the Radial division with all the kids. Needless to say he got crushed and his back was also complaining quite loudly. Both of us have shared a campsite at the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival the past two years but I'm not sure I will be able do it this year.

Amazing what a unexpected phone call on Sunday morning will bring.

First Signs of Fall

Only in Annapolis..........

Last week I saw the floating docks for the Annapolis Boat Shows being trucked in from storage. It takes over a month to launch and assemble all these floating docks that gobble up several acres of Annapolis Harbor.

My source at the shows tells me that despite the recession, the Sailboat Show has about the same number of exhibitors, though the mix is different; less boat manufacturers and more on the accessory side.

The MotorBoat Show is definitely down as the 18'-28' market has crashed.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dylan Winter posts his summer doings

Dylan Winter, the videographer slowly making his way counter clockwise around England in a Mirror 19, has posted a video summary of his spring and summer travels. As to be expected from Dylan, beautifully shot and edited.

A couple of months ago, I posted some earlier Dylan's videos . More and more out in the bloggosphere are picking up his work. If you want to spend most of the evening going through his travelogue, click here.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Six Metre Worlds in Newport RI

Another photogenic class, the Six Metre keeler, is hosting their World Championship at Newport Rhode Island as we speak. Of the 32 entrants, 26 are classified as Classic Six Metre's (built before 1965). Within the Classic division, the Six Metre's split it even further into four time periods where different versions of the rule were in effect. I find this interesting because we also have divided the Classic Moth into three divisions; the Vintage, the Generation 1 (Gen1), and the Generation 2 (Gen2). In our case, the Vintage division is those hulls built prior to 1950, whereas the Gen1 and Gen2 is somewhat loosely based on design date but also wetted surface and stability. So in Gen1 you have 1950 designs such as the Challenger, Mint, and Cates mixed in with newer Europe dinghies and Masers (Laser conversions to Classic Moths). Gen2 is a true restricted class which you can design and build to a box rule though the 1960ish Mistral design still rules the roost.

A nice video of a German Classic Six Metre sailing out of the Solent.

Yes, Rich People Do Live Differently than You and I

The above was a sage observation repeated every so often by my friend John Williamson.

The super rich, racing super yachts in a super swanky Caribbean setting.

St. Barths Bucket Trailer 2009 from acquafilms on Vimeo.

Log Canoes; Some Pics by Al Shreitmueller

Eastern Shore Log Canoe Racing is tops when it comes to photogenic yachting racing action.

Following are some of the brilliant photos of log canoe racing taken by Al Shreitmueller. As always, click on the picture to view a larger version.

"Island Lark" boiling down the Chester River.

The main trimmers get to sit off the back of the canoe. Like a cox on a racing shell, lightweight body frames are desirable for main trimmers and so we we have these comely lasses lumped in with a crew of hulking boardmen and squelchers.

Main trimmer 1

Main trimmer 2

Monday, September 7, 2009

Laser Worlds Concludes

I'll wait for a debrief on the return of Great Grand Master FavoredEnd who lead at the weather mark in one race (at the Worlds, I'll take that to the bank anytime). In commemoration of the second Laser World Championship to be held in the birthplace of the Laser, I dug through my archives and came up with this picture.

Laser designer Bruce Kirby firing a "funnelator" at the 1972 Canadian Championships of the International 14. His accomplice to the right is Rob Mazza, for many years one the principal naval architects at C&C Yachts.