The New America’s Cup Cat

April 13, 2014 admin

Gino Morrelli says the next generation of America’s Cup catamarans will revolutionize upwind tactics. He foresees the boats foiling through tacks without slowing down. If there is no price for tacking, that’s a new calculus, isn’t it? And that’s only the beginning.


Bob Billingham Celebration of Life

Plans are announced for an occasion to honor “Buddha Bob”


That MUST Go Sailing Feeling

Does it happen to you? And do you have this kind of dedication, you California softies?


Nationality Rules & nationality rules

In the quiet before the storm—counting down to the release of a Protocol for America’s Cup 35—I note that the chatter-flurry about a nationality requirement has died away in the expectation that “something” will be done, even at the risk of consigning a raft of Kiwi pros to the unemployment line. The “we’re a highly international team” bit has not played as well as hoped, and yes, the American team was thin on yanks. In one facet of the big picture, however, a nationality requirement is kinda too bad. Oman is not joining the AC game, but when you look at the strength of that tiny country’s Oman Sail program, and how it is growing grassroots from the seeds of imported talent, there’s a case to be made for international pollination. If that hasn’t worked yet in the America’s Cup, it’s probably because the bar is set so high for Step One.


The Congressional Cup at Fifty

Fifty years ago, it made sense-enough to stage match racing in bring-your-own Cal 40s. Then Long Beach Yacht Club committed to matched sails, to even things out. Now, behind an even bigger commitment, the entire region benefits from having a fleet of foundation-owned, identical Catalina 37s available for other events as well. On-the-water umpiring? Just one of the many things we take for granted today that began at the Congressional Cup. Which goes to say, the golden anniversary of a great one is under way.


San Francisco Bay, Still the Wilder West

Four hundred sixty square miles on the surface at high tide, two trillion gallons in volume, more or less, twice a day, on the exchange of tides, that is San Francisco Bay. And a why-not ethos. As in, why not use kites to power boats? At the Kiteboat Project, the answer is, why not, indeed?


Kelpie of Falmouth Wet and Wetter

Put it in a frame and what is it?

Art, accidental and un? Art, modern and traditional?

A schooner in a plastic tent?


The Billingham Buoy

What would prompt an outpouring of donations for the renaming of a race mark on San Francisco Bay?

It’s good of you to ask, because we have answers.

One of so, so many marinas in North Texas. Photo KL

Peer to Peer Boat Rentals NOW

So if there was a way to occasionally rent out your boat, and see it in safe hands, with $1 million in insurance to back that up, would you welcome the opportunity to offset part of your ownership costs? If there was a way to rent that boat you want, in that special place where there are no charter companies, would you jump aboard? Happening now and growing, it’s called Peer-To-Peer, P2P, and you’re already online . . .

Meredith Block/US Moth Nationals

No Workout for Kotoum’s Repaired Strut

It was a calm-shortened calendar for the US Moth Nationals at Key Largo over the weekend, but that was enough for liftoff and a completed regatta. Veteran Anthony Kotoun took the title in these cutting-edge foilers, where the sailors continue to set standards for class spirit.


Reading the Shifting Sands (etc) of the ICW

With snowbirds counting the weeks until their migration north along the IntraCoastal Waterway—assuming this winter really does have an end—their transit of the ICW will include all the challenges of navigating shallow waters and shifting features. But with new sources of help from technology.

It’s very 2014, incorporating crowdsourced data generated by the users of Navionics electronic cartography products for chartplotters and mobile devices. The result: daily updates for near-real time news you can use. The benefits are obvious along a route notorious for its changeability. Or, as Navionics’ Shaun Ruge pegs it, a route fraught with “soon-to-be-suspect data, as in anything that was true yesterday along the ICW.”