Archives for April 2014

A fond les Burton !

ls ne lâchent rien. Louis Burton et Servane Escoffier, aux manettes du Tizh 27 ont fait parler la poudre à l’occasion du dernier Spi Ouest-France. Dans la foulée de leur victoire en IRC 4B, il annoncent tout de go le lancement d’un nouveau bateau…(photo Vincent Mouchel)

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DUTCH BARGE RACING: Demolition Sailing

Who says you need a modern go-fast boat with foils to make sailing really exciting? Check out these video clips of traditional Dutch barges, called skutsjes, which were originally used for hauling cargo in Friesland and are still actively raced today. What blows me away in the first one are the guys to leeward with the sounding poles. Looks like a much dicier job than bowman! Note also the major TV sports coverage. Very impressive that. You can tell the Dutch have their priorities straight. Also… there’s a nice collision at 3:21.

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Grand Soleil change tout !

Si ce nouveau Grand Soleil 46 LC était attendu, c’est parce qu’il marque une rupture entre l’ancien chantier Del Pardo et le nouveau, entre la course-croisière, créneau traditionnel des Grand Soleil, et la croisière…

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MID-ATLANTIC CRUISE: Bareboat Chartering in the Azores

While dawdling about the North Atlantic in my old Alberg 35 yawl Crazy Horse I spent nine months in the Azores in 1995 and ’96. The beautiful nine-island archipelago just sucked me right in. With its dramatic volcanic topography, verdant sub-tropical foliage, sumptuous mid-ocean cloud formations, amazingly friendly people, low food prices, and exquisite architecture it seemed to me a paradise on earth. But if you had told me back then there would one day be a successful bareboat charter operation in the islands, I would have laughed at you.

Not that the sailing is bad. Much of the time it is perfectly splendid, with interestingly variable breezes and occasionally challenging conditions to keep you honest. The big problem was parking. The islands have virtually no natural harbors, anchoring along the steep-sided shore is usually impossible, and the few moorings you were apt to find in those days were grossly unreliable. During my time there I did manage to visit and explore seven of the nine islands, but I had a few skin-of-my-teeth experiences in some of the tiny man-made harbors, and one acquaintance of mine actually lost his boat after he left it in the harbor at Vila do Porto on Santa Maria on a seemingly solid mooring that failed.

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China Sea Race: Ragamuffin is First In

“The” Asian blue water classic since 1962, Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club’s 600-mile crossing to Subic Bay, Manila brings out the best hardware in that part of the world. Ever his own man, Aussie Syd Fischer is there, and “there” is already April 19 from a start on Wednesday, April 16. Here’s the word:

After 57h 31m 18s of racing, Syd Fischer finally steered his 90 foot Maxi, Ragamuffin 90, over the line to claim line honours for the 2014 Rolex China Sea Race. Having successfully maintained a boat speed of 9 to 13kts for
564nm, the boat hit a hole in the last mile to leave the frustrated crew sitting motionless for an hour within sight of the finish line.

On the dock, asked about the light winds forecast for the race, Fischer said, “that’s why this is a good boat – the modifications helped a lot – we got the breeze that we anticipated but the boat sails well above the wind strength.”
Boat captain David Witt added “it’s something to be 87 and on the rail all day. There are 22 year olds … who could get a bit of inspiration from an 87 year old.” Witt was pleased with the timing of their finish, notwithstanding the wait at the finish line, noting that “you don’t want to be entering (Subic Bay) early in the morning.”

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Simrad ForwardScan, a challenge to EchoPilot FLS?

Written by Ben Ellison on Apr 17, 2014

While Simrad announced ForwardScan at the Miami Boat Show, details are scarce and the concept diagram doesn’t really show what a ForwardScan screen is going to look like. Yes, like other Forward Looking Sonar (FLS) systems, the goal is to display the water column and ocean floor in front of the vessel to “help boaters eliminate the worry of potential groundings in unfamiliar waters,” and yes, FowardScan is the first FLS to be fully integrated into a multifunction display system. Well, I’ve hounded Simrad for more information — all of which sounds good — and it also looks like I will get to test ForwardScan against what seems like the most similar existing product…

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Du rêve à la réalité ?

On en voit défiler, des jolis projets de jolis bateaux. On en reçoit des études, des vues 3D et des descriptifs dithyrambiques… Il est plus rare que ces projets quittent l’écran de l’ordinateur pour prendre vie dans le monde réel. Mais ici, en guise d’introduction, le jeune architecte italien Alessandro Comuzzi nous livre un joli dessin mais aussi un aperçu des premières étapes de la construction de la coque. Ce D 950 s’inscrit résolument dans la catégorie des day-sailers chics, autant dire un marché très étroit et déjà encombré. Mais ce bateau a quelques caractéristiques à faire valoir pour se différencier de ses petits camarades de jeu…

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MAINE CAT 38: Minimalist Performance Cruising Cat

Speaking of catamarans, this is a new Maine Cat launch coming up this year that I’m looking forward to. I love cats like this–lean and mean and simple, with enough accommodations that you can really go somewhere in them, but not so much that the boat gets fat and slow. This is an open bridgedeck design, similar to the Scape 39 Sport Cruiser I sailed across the South Atlantic a few years ago, but not quite as severe, with some serious hardtop shelter on deck. Basically it looks to be an open-air saloon. Or a huge pilothouse. Take your pick.

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That MUST Go Sailing Feeling

These shots were made early this week by onetime Stanford sailing coach Blake Middleton, now removed to, as Bob Dylan once described it, “the North Country, fair.”

Blake gives us the scene as, “Nine Z-420s from the University of Minnesota and area high school teams in a narrow band of open water. Say, 200 yards X 25 yards?”

And that is the report from 44° 54′ N X 093° 38′ W.


Jérémie Beyou, vainqueur de la Solo Maître CoQ : « C’est toujours un petit point de marqué ! »

Joli coup pour Jérémie Beyou qui remporte aujourd’hui la première épreuve de sa saison en Figaro : la Solo Maître CoQ, et à bord de Maître CoQ ! Au-delà d’une victoire qui doit combler son partenaire, Jérémie affiche un appétit gros comme ça pour la saison nouvelle, et pas seulement en Figaro. Interview.

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