What a difference a day makes. The headlines yesterday were pedal to the metal. Today dismasting. Heavy weather sailing is about knowing when to ease off the pedal.

    Volvo Ocean Race can confirm that Dongfeng Race Team broke its mast early on Monday (GMT, March 30) but fortunately nobody has been injured and there is no immediate danger to the crew.

    The incident happened 240 nautical miles west of Cape Horn at 0315 UTC on Monday, in the final hours of the night onboard Dongfeng.

    The crew reported that the mast broke above the third spreader, the top section of the mast. They are not planning to continue racing on this leg and are heading towards Ushuaia, Argentina, under their own sail.

    Reached via Inmarsat, a disappointed skipper Charles Caudrelier said: “I’m gutted. As you’ve seen from the position reports we have been, on purpose, backing off a bit, not attacking in any way.

    “The mast broke without warning, in about 30 knots of wind. We are unable to sail safely on starboard tack, but we are able to make reasonable speed on port tack. We will head towards Ushuaia and assess our options for getting to Itajaí.”

    The Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre (MRCC) is aware of the situation and is on standby to help if necessary.

    We are in constant contact with Caudrelier and are establishing the full extent of the damage to ensure we give him the support he needs to deal with the situation.

    Ears pinned back and foot to the floor

    (March 29, 2015; Day 13) – The Volvo Ocean Race may be a marathon, but at this stage of Leg 5 from Auckland to Itajaí, it’s pretty much a 350nm sprint east to Cape Horn.

    With winds from the northwest, the boats have now gybed their last gybe and stacked their last stack. Their ears are pinned back and have their foot to the floor, as the 30 knot winds and 2.5 to 3-metre waves are allowing the teams to see what the VO65s can do.

    “Now that we’ve all more or less settled in for a long port tack run to the east the big question on everyone’s mind is just how hard to push,” reports Amory Ross on Alvimedica. “If there’s anything we’ve learned so far this race it’s that the leaders aren’t afraid to redline the revs when challenged.”

    Apart from SCA, the entire fleet – separated by 20 nm between Donfeng to the north and Abu Dhabi to the south – has covered more than 500 nautical miles in the last 24 hours, with the top five averaging over 20 knots as they fight for the lead. But Ross reminds that trophies aren’t determined at Cape Horn.

    “We feel fast, as fast as anyone, and when you feel fast nobody wants to slow down because in the back of the mind we’re telling ourselves we can be first to the Cape,” observes Ross, with Alvimedica positioned to the north. “But this leg will be decided along the coast of Brazil, and if we push too hard now we may never give ourselves that chance.”

    Pulling the throttle back may occur soon as the sea state is about to get rough. Waves are expected to build over the next 24 hours as the sailors get closer to the continental shelf – and Cape Horn.

    As for SCA, with no fractional gennaker after damaging it earlier this week, they simply can’t match speed with the fleet. Forced to use the smaller J1 jib, they are suffering for speed and angle and, with reduced routing options, will continue to fall behind the pack now.

    Leg 5 (6,776 nm) Position Report (21:40 UTC)
    1. Team Alvimedica, Charlie Enright (USA), 2293.3 nm Distance to Finish
    2. MAPFRE, Xabi Fernandez (ESP), 2.3 nm Distance to Lead
    3. Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, Ian Walker (GBR), 6.4 nm DTL
    4. Team Brunel, Bouwe Bekking (NED), 7.0 nm DTL
    5. Dongfeng Race Team, Charles Caudrelier (FRA), 11.2 DTL
    6. Team SCA, Sam Davies (GBR), 401.4 nm DTL
    7. Team Vestas Wind, Chris Nicholson (AUS), Did not start



    America’s Cup: Luna Rossa threatens withdrawal over boat change

    by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL Mar 26, 2015, 15:58:00 (EDT)

    Luna Rossa Swordfish and Luna Rossa Piranha both on the water. The future is foiling – AC45s to be modified; America’s Cup World Series to continue into 2018
    Guilain Grenier

    The Challenger of Record, long time America’s Cup competitor, Luna Rossa have threatened to withdraw from the America’s Cup if the mooted Protocol change to a smaller boat is implemented.

    Emirates Team NZ, via social media, say they have supported the Italian stand against the boat change. ‘Emirates Team New Zealand agrees with Luna Rossa Challenge . It would be unfair to change the rules at this stage unless all America’s Cup teams agree to do so.’ says a statement on their Facebook page, today.

    The previous day the Team wrote:’ the idea of boat size reduction is not new. Emirates Team New Zealand suggested this last year. Since then time has passed with teams well advanced in their design process now and any ideas around change will need the full consultation and support of all the teams.’

    The latest Kiwi stance pits the two longest standing teams in the America’s Cup against two first time teams, plus Artemis Racing and the Defender.

    Contrary to other media comment the Protocol Amendment is for a new class of boat – in the 47 to 54ft range, and not a foiling AC45 as has been suggested.

    The initiative for the change is believed to have come from Larry Ellison as part of a move to make the America’s Cup more sustainable and for the class to be adopted by the teams for future America’s Cups and avoid the boat changing that has marked the more recent editions.

    Initially both Oracle Team USA and Emirates Team New Zealand backed a move to a smaller boat (AC54) after the AC62 had been announced, and the discussion has been ongoing at the last two or three Competitor Meetings for the 35th America’s Cup.

    The new AC5X rule is being drafted by the same group that produced the AC62 rule and is expected to be just a scaling of that rule.

    At this stage there is no indication of how the Nationality rule will be applied, which requires two of the eight crew to be either Nationals of the country of the club of the team, or have passports for that country. The minimum number was initially set at 25% of the crew which neatly transposed to two crew members when the AC62 had eight crew. It is expected that the crew size will reduce to six, but that the Nationality requirement will remain at two nationals.

    Earlier today Luna Rossa issued a media release stating:

    Team Luna Rossa Challenge is distinctly opposed to the proposal – announced today on the official web site of the America’s Cup – to change the Class Rule for the 35th America’s Cup and therefore the boat that was previously accepted by all challengers on June 5th 2014.

    Luna Rossa does not believe that a sporting event should be disputed in a courtroom and does not intend to initiate a lengthy litigation process that would only bring prejudice to the event.

    If the principle of unanimity of all challengers required to change the Class Rule were not to be respected Luna Rossa will be obliged to withdraw from the 35th America’s Cup.

    Team Luna Rossa trusts that the Defender will quickly announce a public clarification, also to avoid jeopardizing the organization of the America’s Cup World Series – Cagliari – Sardinia event planned to take place from June 4 to June 7, 2015.

    Contrary to statements issued by one team, Changes to the Protocol only require the consent of the majority of the teams together with the Defender, Golden Gate Yacht Club or their commercial arm America’s Cup Events Committee.

    After the withdrawal of the initial Challenger of Record, Hamilton Island Yacht Club, Luna Rossa stepped into the role as the next to challenge.

    Patrizio Bertelli spells out his view of the 2013 America’s Cup in Auckland in October 2012

    The Italians magnanimously waived their effective right of veto of change under the Protocol, instead ceding that right to the majority decision of the Challengers, of which there are currently five.

    Given that three of the Challengers – two of which are first time Challengers – have indicated their support for the move, it could be a done deal, unless cooler heads prevail.

    Had the Italians not given away their effective right of veto, they would have had the ability to stop this move dead in its tracks, now they are locked into the decision of the majority – two of which are first time challengers. Artemis Racing sailed just four races in the Challenger Rounds for the 34th America’s Cup.

    The first of the America’s Cup World Series events scheduled for Cagliari, Italy for early June would probably not proceed without the support of Luna Rossa.

    In a further legal complication the mooted change may also fail on other grounds in the Protocol, which required the Defender to publish the AC62 Class Rule prior to the opening of the Entry Period, and having published this Rule, and met this deadline, it would require regatta organisers to re-write history to give effect to the proposed change in boat.

    A clarification of the matter is expected by the end of March, with a further Competitor Meeting being held on Tuesday.

    The dispute cannot be resolved by the Arbitration Panel for the 35th America’s Cup, as none has been appointed. The issues between Cup organisers and the International Sailing Federation also appear to be unresolved.

    The 35th America’s Cup is due to be sailed in just 27 months, with the first event in the America’s Cup World Series scheduled to take place in just three months. The date and venue pf the Qualifier series, which in turn triggers the launch date for the AC62’s has not been formally announced.


    America’s Cup organizers want smaller, cheaper boats

    AP Sports WriterMarch 25, 2015 Updated 14 hours ago

     — In another sign that billionaire Larry Ellison’s vision for the America’s Cup is too expensive, organizers say they want to reduce the size of the boats to be sailed in the 2017 regatta in Bermuda.

    While intended to help some struggling syndicates, the unprecedented move would also reduce the status and prestige of sailing’s marquee regatta, not to mention the sizzle generated when the 2013 America’s Cup was sailed in cutting-edge, 72-foot catamarans.

    And it could be troublesome. Not all teams are believed to be in favor of going from plans to sail the 2017 America’s Cup in 62-foot catamarans to apparently sailing it in 45-foot catamarans.

    A news release issued late Wednesday said the changes are being drafted and teams will be asked to vote before the end of March. Normally, a decision like this must be approved unanimously. It’s believed Italy’s Luna Rossa is against the change.

    Harvey Schiller, the America’s Cup commercial commissioner, said in the news release that reducing the size of the boat was discussed last year, but only Oracle and Emirates Team New Zealand were in favor.

    Now that teams have seen the new souped-up 45s on the water, “there is a clear majority of competitors who support the idea,” Schiller said. “I’d like to be able to say we have unanimous support from all the teams but that is not the case.”

    Schiller did not return a phone call and email seeking further comment.

    At the time Bermuda won the right to host the 2017 America’s Cup by pledging up to $77 million in financial support, plans called for the regatta to be sailed in 62-foot cats. That would reduce costs in part since they require fewer sailors. Some teams have already started designing their 62-foot catamarans.

    If teams switch to 45-footers, that’s the same size boats used in warmup regattas prior to the 2013 America’s Cup and in warmup regattas this year and next. It’s also a foot longer than the minimum size allowed by the 19th century Deed of Gift.

    Two-time defending champion Oracle Team USA, which is owned by Ellison, has blurred the traditional lines between the defender and challengers, so it wasn’t clear who initiated the latest talk of reducing the size of the boats. Despite being one of the world’s richest men, it’s believed that Ellison has grown weary of pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into the America’s Cup and wants it to become more self-sustaining.

    But teams and the event authority have struggled to raise money. There’s been speculation that two of the current five foreign challengers could drop out because of the staggering cost of competing, which would leave an embarrassingly small field of three challengers like in 2013. Team Australia dropped out last summer, citing the high costs.

    Skippers from three foreign challengers — Ben Ainslie Racing of Britain, Team France and Artemis Racing of Sweden — were quoted in the news release as being in favor of the move to a smaller boat.

    Team France skipper Franck Cammas called it “a game-changer. We will be able to have a very competitive team for about half the budget.”

    Ainslie and Artemis’ Iain Percy alluded to the change helping the future of the America’s cup.

    However, neither Emirates Team New Zealand, whose stunning collapse in 2013 allowed Oracle to keep the Auld Mug, nor Luna Rossa were mentioned in the release.

    A Luna Rossa spokesman didn’t immediately return an email seeking comment.

    Team New Zealand boss Grant Dalton referred to a statement on the team’s Facebook page. That statement said the Kiwis suggested a reduction in boat size last year. “Since then time has passed with teams well advanced in their design process now and any ideas around change will need the full consultation and support of all the teams,” the statement said.

    A smaller boat could save Team New Zealand. Struggling to raise money, the Kiwis could be forced to drop out if they don’t land a qualifying regatta in Auckland. European teams are known to be unhappy about the cost of shipping 62-foot catamarans halfway around the world to New Zealand. The 45-foot cats are easier to ship because they can be disassembled and loaded into containers.

    Read more here: http://www.fresnobee.com/2015/03/25/4446961_americas-cup-organizers-want-smaller.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy


    AL 010 (Large)

    America’s Landsailing Cup: Speeds that pucker you up

    by Eric Sorensen
    As a wet boat racer for 40+ years I was intrigued by the simplicity of landsailing, and when the Landsailing World Championship came to Smith Creek Playa in Nevada for July of 2014, I went. One had to be a bit nuts to think going to a desert in Nevada in the middle of July would be fun. But that experience set the hook.

    Duncan Harrison, editor of Dirt Boat Magazine, has now reeled me in to America’s premier landsailing event – America’s Landsailing Cup 2015 – this week on March 21-28. As one of the top Manta Twin class racers, he bought a used boat and loaned it to me for the week and gave me amazing coaching and tips to go fast.

    There are five classes of dirt boats racing with speeds on the big boats already hitting 80 mph in 29 knot winds. The largest class is the Manta Twin with 36 boats registered. There is even an enterprise renting non-race boats if you just want to go out and sail fast on the playa.

    The race course for the America’s Landsailing Cup is in California but just. It is held at Lake Ivanpah, which is contiguous to the border town of Primm, NV. This town is basically a casino and shopping mall construct with the only store in town at a camp ground for RVs. However, one can get a room and ignore the bells and clanging in the smoky casino.

    My early first day impression had 25 knot puffs, dirt in the air, and speed that puckers you up. Thirty minutes was a good workout. Love the shower in my room at the end of the day! I was covered in grit and grinning from ear to ear.

    It is likely I will be slow in the first race. My goal is to not crash into the desert or anyone else and finish the race. After that race we will see how competitive I can get. For starts, everyone lines up sitting still on the starting line which is a string on the dirt, pointing more or less 90 degrees to the wind. On ‘go’ we all sheet in and foot off for speed, hardening up as we accelerate.

    We race toward a weather mark, and as tacks are slow, conventional wisdom is to overstand the mark. When you reach off a bit the speed just HONKS on in the heavy air!

    When rounding the weather mark and heading ‘down’ in a broad reach the boats just take off! The back tires jump sideways with the push and steering with your feet gets second nature very quickly. Flying a weather wheel is very normal but a bit tough to get used to.

    Right of way is easy. Boats on your right have the right of way. Forget port and starboard tacks. Mark rounding will get crowded in the large Manta Twin class. This is thinking in fast-think mode as the race lap only take 10-15 minutes. These races are tougher on the body than I had thought they would be. I was pretty tuckered out as were most of the racers.

    I was advised to be careful of boats that don’t have sail numbers as they may just be out for some casual fun and not really know how to race. Good tip!

    We had a race in conditions my mentor Duncan described as “somewhere between death and survivable.” He congratulated me on my finish … my baptism by fire. I was DFL except beating the dude who flipped over. Other boats had speeds over 55 mph downwind, and since no one moved away from me on the downwind leg, I am claiming to be in the 50 mph club. Cra cra!

    I changed my starting technique, now stacking up behind some of the boats at the favored end of the line. It was helpful to see them in front of me so I could point parallel with them and keep the good speed. I was middle of the fleet at the first mark and then had a run in the mid to upper 30 mph range but lost the laminar flow at the bottom mark. Must remember to overstand the mark more. Once the flow is gone the advice is to go to weather to reacquire it and then bear off and go fast!



    The safety at sea seminar, another step in preparation for the upcoming transatlantic race. one more thing checked off the list.

    I managed to catch the presentation of the as built model of “Carina” by robert and Jonathan Nye to the New York Yacht Club. A memory of the legacy of “Carina” and the Nye family.




    santana 3 20 15  63689


    santana 3 20 15  63692santana 3 20 15  63689


    ‘Bogie’s Boat’ to be restored

    Portsmouth company will spend the next 18 months working on Humphrey Bogart’s former boat

    PORTSMOUTH — A 55-foot schooner known affectionately as “Bogie’s Boat” after its former owner, the late movie star Humphrey Bogart, arrived recently in Melville for a complete refit and restoration.

    The yacht built in 1935 arrived at Loughborough Marine Interests LLC about three weeks ago after being hauled by truck in a custom-built cradle from San Francisco.

    “We will be embarking on a huge refit and restoration of the yacht starting next month,” said Joseph Loughborough, owner of the company. “We basically have to take the boat apart and rebuild it stick by stick.”

    Getting the contract for the restoration of the yacht, which Bogart named Santana, is very exciting because it is so historically significant, Loughborough said.

    The owners of the boat surveyed it in California to find faults but they missed a lot of things that need replacing, he said.

    “We have done a couple of her sister ships so we have a pretty good idea where to look a little harder,” he said.

    He estimated the refit and restoration would take 18 months with crew of eight or 10 workers or even 15 experienced workers in some instances. The work is likely to cost about $1.5 million.

    “She is going to be gorgeous but there is a lot of work to do,” Loughborough said of the Santana. “I mean really a lot of work.”

    Much of the significant history of the yacht is connected to the period from 1945 to 1957 when Bogart owned and sailed it. Although his love affair with Lauren Bacall is legendary, his son Stephen said Santana was really his father’s great love affair.

    “Apparently Lauren Bacall wasn’t very fond of the boat,” Loughborough said. “This was the boys’ boat.”

    That assessment is confirmed by a quote often attributed to Bogart: “The trouble with having dames on board is you can’t pee over the side.”

    He is said to have spent 35 to 45 weekends a year aboard Santana and frequently raced the yacht.

    Since Bogart’s death in 1957, the Santana has changed hands many times. It has been featured in articles in Cruising World in 2005 and Sports Illustrated in 1981.

    Until last year, it was owned by Paul Kaplan, part owner of one of the largest boatyards in San Francisco Bay.

    Kaplan sold it in October to a group with connections to Nantucket, Mass. The group had it hauled to Melville for restoration. Loughborough said the group wants to remain anonymous.

    “These guys say they are not going to do much racing, but as soon as it’s done they will be racing,” he predicted.

    They are from California and intend to bring the yacht back to the West Coast, he said.

    This is not the first time the Santana has been in Rhode Island.

    The Santana sailed in the 1938 Newport to Bermuda Race and won the schooner trophy. It returned 30 years later, but had less success.

    Loughborough said his previous experience refitting two other yachts built by yacht designer Sparkman & Stephens helped him win the contract for the Santana.

    A growing talent pool in the Newport area also helped.

    “If someone was going to rebuild a wooden boat 20 or 25 years ago, everyone would say, ‘Go to Maine,’” Loughborough said. “I have been here since 1986 and the whole classic boat movement has kind of generated a talent pool on this island and it’s just getting better and better.”

    He cited the graduates of the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport as a factor in the development of that pool.

    Loughborough pointed out some of the work that will be needed to restore the Santana. The teak deck and mahogany furniture are worn. Teak stands up better than mahogany, he said, so he might use it to replace the mahogany. Stainless steel pieces on the yacht will be replaced with brass as was originally used. The new owners want it to be as original as possible, he said.

    They may even replace the refrigerator on board with an ice box.

    “We will remove every other plank so we can see the framing,” he said. “Anything that is preservable on the original boat we will preserve.”


    Fracking will ruin sacred, preserved sites in the ‘American cradle of civilization’ – lawsuit

    Published time: March 14, 2015 16:37
    Edited time: March 15, 2015 08:39 

    Anasazi Indian ruins (Photo from wikipedia.org)

    Anasazi Indian ruins (Photo from wikipedia.org)

    A Navajo advocacy group has asked a federal judge to halt hydraulic fracking permits in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico, claiming that drilling threatens a historic UNESCO heritage site considered sacred by Navajo, Hopi and Pueblo peoples.

    Diné Citizens Against Ruining Our Environment and three other groups have sued the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and US Department of Interior, calling on a federal judge to vacate the 130 fracking permits issued by the BLM and enjoin fracking activity in the Mancos Shale of the San Juan Basin until the BLM adheres to the National Environmental Policy Act and the National Historic Preservation Act, according to Courthouse News.

    The 4,600-square-mile San Juan Basin of New Mexico’s Four Corners region is home to Chaco Culture National Historical Park, which includes the Anasazi ruins and other archeological remains of structures that were among North America’s largest around 1,000 years ago.

    Chaco and the surrounding areas, known as the “American cradle of civilization,” are considered a UNESCO World Heritage site. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization calls the area “remarkable for its monumental public and ceremonial buildings and its distinctive architecture – it has an ancient urban ceremonial centre that is unlike anything constructed before or since.”

    Chaco is on top of the Mancos Shale, believed to harbor crude oil and natural gas supplies. The Diné – meaning ‘Navajo’ in their Athapaskan language – say the horizontal drilling and fracking could damage historic sites in the area, both inside and outside the national park, as well as contaminate the nearby groundwater.

    The Diné – along with the San Juan Citizens Alliance, Wildearth Guardians, and the Natural Resources Defense Council – claim that BLM studies on fracking’s impact in the region have been shielded from the public. Without transparency, the drilling should not go on as planned, they said.

    READ MORE: US geological agency calls for data sharing on fracking-induced tremors

    To unleash oil or natural gas from shale or other areas, the hydraulic fracturing – or fracking – process requires blasting large volumes of highly pressurized water, sand, and other chemicals into layers of rock. Once used, toxic fracking wastewater is then either stored in deep underground wells, disposed of in open pits for evaporation, sprayed into waste fields, or used over again.

    Fracking sites have proliferated immensely across the US amid the current oil and gas boom in North America. Though the costs of fracking – including groundwater contamination, heightened earthquakeactivity, exacerbation of drought conditions, and a variety of health concerns for humans and the local environment – have given many Americans pause, as they must deal with the effects while government regulators allow industry to drill like mad.

    READ MORE: Living near fracking sites deteriorates health – study

    The BLM’s management plan for public lands in the Four Corners region triggered a wave of resistance, as 173,000 people urged Department of Interior – the parent agency to the BLM – to “protect these unique places from oil and gas development,” according to Earth Island Journal.

    “The land in the Chaco Canyon area has lots of sacred places. The corporations don’t care. They come and go and tear up the places. They do their thing and away they go—and somebody else, somewhere else is getting rich off this land, not us,” Sarah Jane White, a Diné environmental activist, told DeSmogBlog in January.

    “Fracking doesn’t benefit the Native American people.”

    According to The Daily Times, the BLM’s Farmington, New Mexico Field Office district manager Victoria Barr said her staff is expected to finalize the area’s resource management plan sometime later this year.