Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hobie Trimaran Sailing, Fishing, and Weird Accents

Two guys go fishing. Video complete with these two mugging to the camera with mashed up Country Western/Urban Homeboy accents. The Hobie Trimaran, loaded to the gills with coolers and gear, comes off as a relatively safe and simple craft for these intrepid two negotiating a lumpy, breezy day.

I know this is goofy, but, bear with me; this is my kind of goofy.

Asian Cowboys Sailing Kayak from Rex Del Rey on Vimeo.

Music is "Save a Horse" by Big n' Rich.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Classic Moth Nationals 2013 - Pre-Regatta Look

The 2013 running of the Circle M-boats at E-City is scheduled for this coming weekend, Sept 21, 22. It's been two years since I attended and this year I'm going as the PRO (Principal Race Officer) as I'm recovering from some hernia surgery. To get the pre-regatta hype going I've decided to drag two videos from previous nationals out of the Earwigoagin archives and re-post them.

From the first beat of the first race of the 2010 Nationals, Rebecca Dudzinsky gets her Europe dinghy up to the weather mark ahead of all the big names (well one big name - Jeff Linton and some smaller names like Rod Koch, Mike Parsons, Joe Bousquet, and Mark Saunders). She wasn't able to hold off the Mistrals for the regatta, finishing fourth, a good result for the Europe dinghy.

I don't think there is any class in the world that allows such a wide conglomeration of hulls to race together, designs from the 40's, 50's and 60's plus our modern interpretations, plus a wide variety of skippers. I guess you would say we are the polar opposite compared to the strict one-designs of the Sunfish or Laser.  From some on-shore photos at the 2008 Nationals:

Music Whenever: Asaf Avidan & the Mojos - "The Reckoning"

Remorse and Nostalgia; what a heart-rending combination!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Header Photo: Flying Scots at Deep Creek Lake

I took a family mini-vacation to Deep Creek Lake this summer. No sailing, some hiking, and we rented a motorboat and joined everyone else buzzing around the lake. Back in the 1950's, Sandy Douglas relocated his boat-building concern from the shores of Ohio to this long skinny lake in Western Maryland. I have no idea what prompted him to do it, though, back then, the lake was more pristine and woodsy compared to today, with the hordes of Baltimore and Washington, DC urbanites unwinding in the condos and pontoon boats and jetskis.

Deep Creek Lake is the birthplace of the Flying Scot class, one of the truly national small sailboat classes in the U.S. Nineteen feet long with flat stable sections and somewhat tubby look, the Flying Scot continues to be built in Sandy Douglas's factory in Oakland Maryland. This was a photo I took of the Flying Scot anchorage at the Yacht Club on the southern end of Deep Creek Lake.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ronstan Bridge2Bridge Race - Aussie 18 "C-Tech"

Since all eyes are on San Francisco, waiting with bated breath for ...... the results of the Ronstan Bridge to Bridge Race, a high speed downwind burn between the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bridge. Usually the domain of the kiteboarders, windsurfers, and the Aussie 18's with perhaps one of the big scow-like French singlehanders, the 2013 edition is taking place as I type this.

One of my favorite skiff videos is of the Aussie 18 C-Tech navigating the course in double-quick time. This video gives a good feel for the dashing back and forth the crew does during the jibes. (You also see the 18 scooting along on the back foot or so of the hull, everything else pointed skyward.)

Update: Johnny Heineken bested 60+ entrants on a foiling kiteboard, completing the 5.3 mile course in 11 minutes (yes! 11 minutes!).
Johnny Heineken
Johnny Heineken
Johnny Heineken

C-Tech's 2012 Ronstan Bridge 2 Bridge from Joshua McCormack on Vimeo.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Annapolis Walkabout

One of my odd peccadilloes (if you want a complete list, contact my wife) is that I have a large camera collection (I think six digital and one old film SLR) for someone who doesn't take many pictures and who really isn't that well versed in cameras. True to form, this summer I bought another waterproof point and shoot Fuji camera (even though I have a perfectly good previous waterproof camera). To test it out, I went on a walkabout around Annapolis (I can't think of a better small town to do this in, at least in the U.S.A). Destination photos are a popular feature on many blogs, one that I enjoy perusing. Since I haven't gone anywhere exciting for some time hometown photos are OK as well!

The Navy 44 training offsore keelboats at the Robert Crown Sailing Center Basin, U.S. Naval Academy.

"Ego Alley" is the sliver of the Annapolis Harbor that cuts all the way downtown. Nicknamed "Ego Alley" by the locals for its attraction to the Cigarette/Donzi motorboat types who like to slowly parade up and down this waterway, their combined thousand horsepower motors loudly complaining of the slow speed in a reverberating, slow syncopation, the owner, hairy-chested with gold-bling necklace, and two shapely, bikini'd ornaments on the bow languidly ignoring us poor gawkers on the shore. During my walkabout I wasn't able to catch any of this though I did get some racy motorboats tied up (owners and bikini'd ornaments probably imbibing in one of the many bars that surround the downtown harbor).

Ego Alley was a very pleasant place this early evening, as this couple taking in the view will attest.

And finally a walk up East Street towards State Circle, with the Maryland State House, seat of both Maryland legislative bodies and the nations oldest wooden dome.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Crewing Flying Dutchman

The earlier post about woman Mothist, Pat Duane, who was also one of the U.S.A's earliest Flying Dutchman sailors, reminded me of the one time in my sailing career I sailed with a current Olympic Sailing Team skipper. Norm Freeman, who had finished sixth out of twenty in the Flying Dutchman class at the 1976 Kingston Olympic Regatta that summer, had come to Annapolis in the fall of that year to race the Flying Dutchman invitational at SSA; sans crew, as it turned out, as his Olympic crew had taken a break. Initially Norm tried to recruit my friend, Duncan Skinner, who, at 6'7" height and string-bean physique, was the ideal FD crew (the FD sporting 190 sq. ft. of sail area with a large percentage of it packed in a massive genoa jib). Duncan had already made commitments for the weekend and put forth my name even though I was small for FD crew (5' 10 1/2" (1.79) m. and 175 lbs. (80kg) weight). I was game, though I had never stepped on a Flying Dutchman, my trapeze-hand experience mostly with International 14's.

The fall regatta was windy and I must admit, my crew-work was definitely not of Olympic caliber, it taking forever to horse that big genoa in on the tacks. I was probably taking 2 to 3 times as long as his Olympic crew. No matter! His FD was so much faster than the rest of the fleet that 1/2 way up the first beat we had a clear lead that we extended throughout the race. We ended up with all firsts.

There are a lot of strings on a Flying Dutchman but Norm did all the adjustments. I found the Flying Dutchman very smooth and much more stable than the International 14. I do remember, in one race, concentrating on the spinnaker downwind, blasting along comfortably, when I felt some unnatural shakiness in the steering. Experienced crews know to check the skipper when that happens. He might have fallen out of the boat, or tripped, but it wasn't a disaster this time. Norm was standing up, straddling the tiller, worried about a particular nasty gust coming up on us. To me the FD was handling the breeze beautifully, with predictable responses, so I was somewhat puzzled by his concern. Eventually Norm settled down and we won another one.

The current crop of skiffs are thought to call for a more athletic crews. To my mind, the demands on a top-notch FD crew are just as athletic if not more so. It takes lots of strength to handle that genoa.

Dr. Stout took the picture below to memorialize my one regatta with an Olympic Team skipper.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Header Photo: Brigantine Y.C (New Jersey) Classic Moths - 1960

This is a photo I lifted from fellow Mothist, George A's blog. The original post can be found here. This is a Moth Regatta at Brigantine Y.C in 1960 with George A in the boat on the right and on the left is Kenn Clauss sailing a Titan design. Classic Mothists still flock to Brigantine Y.C in June for the annual regatta on the small bay behind the barrier island that holds Brigantine, one of a string of ocean-front communities up and down the Jersey shore. Several years ago I wrote a post about the pre-regatta party that Joe Courter hosts from his fantastic house on the land-side of the bay.

For those who may have an interest in the Classic Moth, the Nationals are scheduled for Elizabeth City, North Carolina over the weekend of Sept 21 - 22.