Wednesday, September 29, 2010

This month in sailing...

I found some interesting sailing stories while randomly surfing this month.

The most interesting one for me personally is that Derick Hatfield has sailed "Active House" across the Atlantic and has made it to the start of the Velux 5 oceans race.  This time he even has funds to get some new gear and give the boat some TLC before the race.  Check out this link at:

I also saw a story about the 470 Canadians, on the CYA website.  That was interesting to me because The Learning Facilitator I took my first level of dinghy instructor from was in the event.  While I was there I read an interesting race report from the medal race of the paralympic 2.4mr class.  The event was won by Canadian, Paul Tingley. 
The major sailing news story of the month is the boat selection for the 34th America's cup.  The defender, BMW oracle, has chosen large multi hull with a rigid wing sail.  This is good because the boats are much faster and can race closer to shore, making the event more spectator friendly.  The bad part is they have chosen a boat that none of the other teams except for themselves have any experience sailing.  This could be an entirely self centered decision designed to ensure they keep the cup for as long as possible in the same way the American teams manipulated the rules to ensure they kept the cup through the 80's.  It still remains to be seen if the other teams buy in to the format and choose to pay the entry fee to play.  This time the fee is bloody steep, but it includes a 40 foot version of the boat that teams will compete in for the first year of the preliminary competitions.  Should be interesting to see how it works out.  Here's the official site:

Monday, September 20, 2010

Canadian C class cat sailors win "Little America's cup"

Earlier this month Canadian Fred Eton won the "Little America's cup".

This event is run in the fastest cats around.  Minimal profile, dagger like twin hulls with a wing rig make for an insanely efficient and powerful boat.  Boat speeds easily double the wind speed.  For example they will do well over 20 knots with 8 knots of breeze.  Nothing else matches them.

The C class cats have suddenly getting the notice that there incredible performance deserves due to the recent decision of the current holder of the America's cup, BMW Oracle to run the next event in multi hulls with a wing rig, the same as they ran with in AC 34.  Last time Oracle built a massive 90 foot trimaran with a wing rig, and the defender Alingi built a spider thin 90 foot lightweight catamaran with conventional sails.  The event wasn't much of a race as the wing rig was so much more powerful that the event was over quickly when Oracle easily won three straight races.

Now the C class sailors are suddenly the only guys who know how to build these type of boats and sail them fast.  All the existing AC teams are going to want to put one of these sailors on their team.  I hope they make them pay for through the nose for their experience.  The class that once was an open group of friendly sailors sharing developments and helping each other go faster is probably going to enter the super secretive world of America's cup design.

There is an excellent show on CNN that covers the C class cat championships.  Check out the link below:


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Canadian offshore sailor heads for the start line

Derrick Hatfield, our Canadian offshore sailor has secured a title sponsor for his Velux 5 oceans race.  

The boat formally know as "Spirit of Canada" has been re branded to reflect her new title sponsor, Active House.  Active house is a corporation involved in designing houses that produce more energy and resources than they use.

Now that he has the funds secured, Derrick is headed off to the start line of the Velux 5 Oceans race.  The race starts on Oct 17th from La Rochelle, France and consist for 5 ocean sprints with stops in port between legs. 

There is a position plotter on the Spirit of Canada website, and there will be frequent updates on the Velux 5 oceans event website

See the links below for photo's and more info: