Sunday, June 27, 2010

Dylan Winter films the Three Rivers Race, Norfolk Broads, Part 2

A continuation from the Part 1 Post ............

How to drop the rig and get under one of the low lying bridges..............

Sorry, video has been removed!

Short tacking up the river. We see several examples of the classic Norfolk Broads cruiser; low freeboard, boxy coachroof, long footed gaff or gunter main with tiny jib hung off a bowsprit. I like those small bent SS tillers........

Sorry, video has been removed!

Ghana 2, USA 1; World Cup

Ghana showed what you can do with world class strikers who can fight off two defenders and blast the ball over the hands of the keeper. For some reason, USA doesn't develop world class strikers and this has always handicapped us when we go against the good teams (Landon Donovan played an attacking midfield role in this World Cup). A lot of our attacks depend on that cute last pass in the box which most top teams have no issue in denying.

Coach Bob Bradley went with two players in the lineup, Findley and Clark, who hadn't done much in previous matches and failed spectacularly this game. To correct this glaring mistake, Bradley used two early subs to get back to the side that played well at the end of the Algeria match. This left him with few options at the end to get some fresh legs when the game went into extra time.

Still, major improvement from 2006.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Music for Fridays; The Molotov's, "Come To Grief"

Classic Moth website

The Classic Moth website has just got a makeover.

The new version can be viewed here

Port/Starboard Fail

For those of you who thought I was off my nut or, maybe a tad immature in the last post, I return to more sober sailing topics.......

I wrote previously how getting off a lee shore is number 1 for comic disasters in small boat sailing.... number 2 has to be the upwind port/starboard encounter when racing. Starboard tack has the right of way and when on port, the skipper must employ complex spatial calculations to avoid hitting or interfering with the starboard boat. This calls for split second decisions on whether to duck the starboard taker or maybe tack underneath and how to execute the maneuver with flawless course corrections. The experienced calmly zoom across the stern of the starboard tacker, within inches of the rudder. The not so experienced.... well, lets go to the video tape........ (local sportscaster George Michaels favorite line)......

There is never a good time to cream someone!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

World Cup; USA 1, Algeria 0

I took leave of work to watch this at home. F..king unbelievable! With the Yanks, the skill may sometimes be lacking but the heart is always out there.

I turned on the TV 4 minutes in. Immediately, USA back Jay DeMerit whiffed on a ball inside the box, the Algerian collected and clanged a zinger off the top bar. Whew! Double Whew! At the 20 minutes mark, there was Dempsey sneaking up the back post to put in a brilliant goal.... Wait! Offsides! Not another goal disallowed! Friggin unbelievable! And the frenetic pace of Red, White, and Blue all during the second half when it was known that England had the one goal lead over Slovenia. Dempsey, wide open, another clanger off the far post and he collected the rebound only to knock it wide.........groan, Altidore, Buddle, almost as one on a header right to the hands of the Algerian keeper........AArgh!!!!, Michael Bradley on a free kick, zinging around the wall right into the hands of the keeper...Sh..t!!!!, Dempsey, another swerver punched away by the left arm punching the air only to be withdrawn.. another disappointment.... Altidore, parked in front of the goal, knocks one over the top.... Groan.. Jozy...Jozy., face in hands, curses..........

And when all seemed lost; 1 minute into injury time, USA keeper Howard heaves the ball up to midfield for Donovan, to Altidore on the wing, to Dempsey in front of the keeper, Dempsey crashing a redirect into the desperate keeper who could only punch it away to a sprinting Donovan who, zap, exclamation point!, zing, punched it in for the winner..Exclamation point!!!!! Me, some kook all alone, hands up, sprinting around the TV room, hooting and hollering while, Sammy, my old canine buddy looks on, puzzled.

2 and half minutes left, 90 minutes finished, only injury time remaining, tie Algeria and you go home, bye bye, board that flight back to the USA.... and they get it! they finally close the deal, they get the f...king goal that puts them through.....

F...king unbelievable!!!!!

Yanks of the match.

Forget the morons of the media who are always looking for the goal scorers......

Clint Dempsey, amazing workrate, took an elbow, bleeding from the nose at the end of the match, always pressing, always probing... if he hadn't pressured keeper Rais Ouheb Mbouli on that last goal sequence, Landon wouldn't had the rebound. Dave Kelly, Mr. Fulham, this ones for you......


Jay DeMerit - excepting his miscue at 4 minutes, he stepped up the rest of the game. A physical, no nonsense presence on D, settled in to deny Algeria many opportunities, and when we subbed in strikers for D in the second half we needed our three backs to be there and they were. We all know, when it comes down to championships, big D, defense is the key.

Ghana next.....

Vamos USA....

Vamos USA

"America the Beautiful" sung at one of the men's urinal's at the World Cup......

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Brigantine New Jersey 2010, Pre-Race

I finally got one of my Classic Moths back together to attend the Classic Moth New Jersey Championships this past weekend in Brigantine New Jersey. Brigantine is the next town north of the East Coast gambling mecca, Atlantic City. I'll gin up a more complete regatta report when I get some photos.

We have a pre-race party at Absecon, across the bay from the Atlantic City. There are spectacular views of the Atlantic City skyline as the late afternoon turns to night.

A short video of Atlantic City shot across the marsh and bay.

Tip of the hat to Joe C and wife for a great party..........

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Music for Fridays; Greyboy "Love (Cupid Style)"

Another take on the movie "Men in Black"; this time the duo are love "angels" set out on matchmaking missions.

Some may find this video "too cute", but, hey, if it makes me smile it will probably end up in this blog.

Music by Greyboy featuring Nino Moschella.

"Love (Cupid Style)" Short Film Version from Kid Heroes on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dylan Winter films the Three Rivers Race, Norfolk Broads, Part 1

Dylan Winter, who I rank as the best sailing/cruising videographer going on the Internet, has put some video shorts up of this years Three Rivers Race held on the Norfolk Broads, England, the first weekend in June.

From the Thames Sailing Club website , quoted here is a description of the race......

The ..........Three Rivers Race, is organised by Horning Sailing Club....... It is a unique and taxing event which is probably the most unusual yacht race in the UK.

Taking place over a 24-hour period, the Three Rivers Race is a handicap event with entries ranging from dinghies, half-deckers, traditional Broads yachts and modern production yachts......who paddled or quanted under bridges and short tacked up narrow rivers.

The course is about 50 miles in length set around three of the rivers of the Norfolk Broads, the Bure, the Ant and the Thurne, and includes four turning points which may be taken in any order. As the rivers are tidal a great deal of tactical planning is required from skippers and crews to choose the most efficient method of getting round all the turning marks as quickly as possible.

Dylan Winters most likely will combine these video shorts into something grander. I think he is trying to make a buck off his Internet videos (as the English say, Jolly Good..... as he is, after all a professional, and his quality is always superb). These links may eventually disappear as Dylan takes them down from YouTube. Enjoy for the moment.......

The first one shows the pre-start prep and the start of the gunter Rebel class. One can catch the occasional glimpse of some of the unique gaffer river cruisers anchored about. The starting commentator is a nice touch......

Sorry, video has been removed!

And the start of the Thames A-Raters, probably the most refined light air, small water sailboat in the world. Normally raced on the upper reaches of the Thames; it looks like a fair number of the A-raters made the trip up north to race on the Norfolk Broads. If memory serves, the hulls all date back to the early 1900's and now sport enormously tall carbon rigs with fully battened mylar sails. What looks like a stool fastened to the back deck is actually there to support the mast when the rig is dropped to fit under one of many bridges in this race.

Sorry, video has been removed!

More to come.......

Tip of the hat to Dylan.........

Thursday, June 10, 2010


I haven't been sailing recently; I broke my Classic Moth a couple weeks back and then I decided to modify the daggerboard trunk, so she's been in the shop patiently enduring me hacking and glassing and sanding. The only thing sailing related I've been doing is the kibitzing about sailing; a relative easy thing to do around Annapolis.

Friend Bill Sloan was back in town. He's retired in Florida but comes back once a year to award the Eleanor Ruth Wilcox trophy to the bowwoman for the winning team in the womens Santa Maria Match Race Regatta . I had him and his wife over to the house last Sunday and he related the story behind the trophy....

Eleanor Ruth Wilcox was Bill Sloan's mother; quite an athlete, and she won that trophy at a track meet in Hawaii sometime in the 1940's. Bill remembers the trophy living under the kitchen sink with the detergent, the silver all black, when he was growing up. Upon the death of his mother, Bill rescued the trophy, got a local silversmith to replate the trophy and donated it to the Eastport YC for a "womens competition". When Eastport YC inherited the Santa Maria Cup and turned it into a women's match race regatta; the Eleanor Ruth Wilcox trophy had found a home.

I wandered down to SSA on Tuesday to watch TESOD from the deck and, of course, to kibitz with all and sundry who wandered by.

I asked Ian Burman, Naval Academy Dinghy coach, about the 2010 Intercollegiate Dinghy Nationals held by the Hoofers Club in Madison Wisconsin. Ian was in Madison for 13 days and has never, in all his sailing career, seen absolute calm condition for such an extended period of time. The only way the regatta was completed was they usually got a little breeze just before dusk.....much of the racing was conducted in the last three hours of daylight.

Sean Smith (yes the same Sean Smith that partnered with me on the Nomad sailing excursion ) also sails Chesapeake Log Canoess during the summer. He related how, for the Eastern Shore rowdies/canoeists, the Budweiser 10 oz beers (vs. the normal 12 oz) is the beer of choice. I, never having realized that there was such a thing as a Budweiser 10 oz beer, pressed Sean for more info. According to Sean, Budweiser makes the 10 oz in Houston Texas for the Texas market but it is also distributed (very selectively) in Southern and Eastern Maryland. According to the 10 oz. connoisseur's, the 10 oz Bud tastes better and stays colder longer. More on this story over Here....

And finally, Judy Gebhardt, wife of Laser Grandmaster John (also another boat putterer), related how his shorts magically appear at the washer with epoxy or paint spots all over them. I have the same problem; seeming to forget to change into appropriate "work clothes" when I'm doing some boat work and then, all of the sudden, one of my "Sunday best" has stains here and there. Drives my wife nuts as well.

Amazingly, noone dwelt too much on the slings and arrows of sailboat racing.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Two Over the Hill Dinghy Sailors in Brown Floppy Hats (Vanguard Nomad)

Good friend and Naval Architect, Bob Ames, wanted some video of his Nomad daysailor....sadly no longer in production, having been dropped when British management took over Vanguard Sailboats in Rhode Island. So he recruited two of his ex-International 14 buddies (me and Sean Smith) to sail the Nomad off of Rhode River while he bounced around in his small inflatable with his Canon Movie Camera. It's been a long time since I sailed a dinghy with a spinnaker. Luckily the Nomad had enough stability to tolerate my mistakes, including parking the Nomad beam to the wind during a takedown with the spinnaker full and bye down to leeward.

To my mind, the Nomad is a higher performance take on the Flying Scot daysailor, with an up to date hull shape, assymetric spinnaker, and North 3DL sails. There are no hiking straps; a little disconcerting to Sean who almost fell out of the boat the first time he got up on the gunwhales. The Nomad was quite lively in the 5-10 Southerly breeze we had that day. I can see it appealing to a family where the parents were raised on Lasers and like planing dinghies, but now need something with room for the toddlers.

Laser Performance is sitting on the Nomad molds with no intention to resume production as, in their marketing plan, the Nomad conflicts with the British designed sailboat line up that they now import into the U.S.


In the following video, I'm the one with the life jacket (something about singlehanded sailors, we are trained to wear lifejackets on the water). Bob Ames did a bang up job on editing this clip.

Music for Fridays; Vandaveer "Dig Down Deep"

Friday is indeed a moving target...........

Thursday, June 3, 2010

That Damn Lee Shore

No quicker way in sailing to swallow a huge slice of humble pie than attempting to get off a lee shore. This applies to anyone that owns a sailboat that doesn't have a motor. And that means all of us dinghy sailors. You know, the launch off the lee shore that didn't quite go as planned. The one where you didn't walk it out far enough and got blown back to the beach. Or the one where you have to tack upwind between two finger piers, ping ponging off those unfortunate boaters tied off on either pier.

Launching off a lee shore is sailing's equivalent of a comedic pratfall. Most of us are secretly smirking on the travails of someone else failing to make it off a lee shore.... until we screw it up royally (and we all screw it up sometimes).

The following video is lee shore 101. You can't go upwind until you get your fins down, if you can't get your fins down, you get blown back to shore......

I like that reassuring hug at the 2:48 mark.... "Honey, I know what I'm me!"