Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

The other kind of airfoil—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor on 17 Dec 2012
Sunset in the Southern Ocean © Dominique Wavre
Given the lovely weather that we’ve been 'enjoying' in Seattle as of late (read: liquid sunshine, and lots of it), my family and I spent the morning checking-out a different kind of wing than the America’s Cup variety, namely the ones that Boeing manufactures and assembles at their Everett, Washington facility. Here, we saw wing sections for 747s, 787s and 777s being assembled and attached to their fuselages in the world’s biggest building. I couldn’t help but smile when the tour guide referred to the supporting members that run internally down length of each wing as 'spars.'


I also couldn't help but consider that the scale of an AC72’s wingsail won’t be too far afield from what I was seeing on the massive assembly floor. Even mightier was the thought that BMW Oracle 90 used a wing section that dwarfed that of any commercial airliner ever built.


In another parallel to Grand Prix sailing, the new 787 is built using substantial amount of carbon fiber and composite materials. Also according to our tour guide, the 787’s wings (which use a lot of carbon) are designed to flex more than 20 feet, purportedly to act as 'shock absorbers' (his parlance, not mine) to make flying through rough air a smoother experience. Yet talk to any skipper in the alone-and-around-the-world-nonstop Vendee Globe Race, and I strongly suspect that they wouldn’t think of their carbon-fiber racing shells as having much in the way of shock absorption, especially now as they skim and skip along the often storm-tossed Southern Ocean.





At the time of this writing, Armel Le Cleac’h ('Banque Populaire') and Francois Gabert ('MACIF') were playing leapfrog for pole position, their next closest competition-Jean-Pierre Dick ('Virbac Paprec 3')-some 450 miles astern. According to reports, the fleet of 13 IMOCA 60s that are still left standing (out of a starting class of 20) are dealing with the extremes-either too much wind or not enough-thanks to Cyclone Claudia, which has been stalking parts of the racecourse.





Skipper Mike Golding ('Gamesa') had an interesting recent moment of reflection when a sudden and strong puff broke a furling line, unleashing a massive flogging sail (at 0400 hours, of course). While the experienced British-flagged skipper reacted quickly and remedied the problem, Golding couldn’t help but consider that this incident took place within 300 miles from where he was dismasted in the 2008/2008 Vendee Globe.


'I am reasonably sorted now, I am not going to go mad,' reported Golding after dealing with the sail. 'I just have to consolidate with the boat a bit and accept that I won't have my best day. Otherwise there is the propensity to get right into that downwards spiral and that’s when bad things start to happen.'





On the other side of the conditions coin was Francois Gabert ('MACIF'), who added another impressive record to his resume several days ago when he broke the record for the fastest passage from the Cape of Good Hope to Australia’s Cape Leeuwin (his un-ratified time is 11 days, six hours and 40 minutes), besting the old record (which was held by his mentor, the legendary Michel Desjoyeaux) by nine minutes. Even more astonishing is the fact that the 29-year-old Gabert has also chalked-up two other jaw-dropping records on his first Vendee, namely setting the (ratified) record for the fastest passage from Les Sables d'Olonne, France to the Cape of Good Hope (34 days 10 hours and 23 minutes), as well as bagging the most solo miles sailed in a day aboard a monohull (545.3 miles; unratified). Get the full Vendee news blast, inside this issue.


May the four winds blow you safely home,

Abell Point Marina 660x82 MoorWildwind 2016 660x82Sail Exchange 660x82 New Sails

Related Articles

America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted on 2 Dec
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
A Q&A with Sharon Green about the prep work that ensures great images
I talked with ace photographer Sharon Green to learn more about the prep work that goes into each image that she snaps. I caught up with ace photographer Sharon Green at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about the behind-the-scenes preparation work that goes into each image that she snaps. While some of Green’s tips are specific to professional shooters (e.g., helicopter time or juggling multiple camera bodies), plenty of amateur lensmen will be well served to consider Green’s racecourse-proven tips.
Posted on 23 Nov
Dockside with CQS - radical, revamped supermaxi up close
The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday - the White Island Race which will double as Rolex Sydney Hobart Qualifier. Originally the 90ft Nicorette designed by South African Alex Simonis, the new project to upgrade to a 100ft supermaxi has been led by Brett Bakewell-White (NZ) and Bakewell-White Yacht Design.
Posted on 22 Nov
Cabbage Tree Island Race 2016 Video
A warm evening saw the start of this year’s CYCA Cabbage Tree Island Race in a yellow haze with the fleet initially mix A warm evening saw the start of this year’s CYCA Cabbage Tree Island Race in a yellow haze with the fleet initially mixing it with the various twilighters. A 15 knot NNE saw the fleet reach their way through the Heads before heading into the breeze and up the coast. Bow Caddy caught the full fleet out of the harbour.
Posted on 20 Nov
Gladwell's Line - President Croce caught at helm in Perfect Storm
No real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way an eight-year term After a year or more punctuated with issues that should not have happened, it is no real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. Also gone is one of his lieutenants, Chris Atkins (GBR) as Vice President, who remarkably polled 13th out of the 15 candidates.
Posted on 15 Nov
Farr 40s One Design Trophy – Kokomo leads after Day 1 + Video
The first round of the Farr 40s One Design Trophy was contested with less wind than predicted but enough to encourage The first round of the Farr 40s One Design Trophy was contested with less wind than predicted but enough to encourage close racing between the seven competitors. Kokomo won the second and fourth races with Estate Master taking the first and the third leaving Kokomo in first place at the end of Day 1. Bow Caddy was on the harbour and caught some of the action.
Posted on 23 Oct
Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
CYCA Lion Island Race 2016 - Race Finish Video
A constant 22 knot southerly wind made for a very quick trip up to Lion Island and back to Sydney Harbour for the CYCA A constant 22 knot southerly wind made for a very quick trip up to Lion Island and back to Sydney Harbour for the CYCA fleet in the latest of the Ocean Pointscore races. Bow Caddy caught the first six boats at they came around North Head on the return leg. Look out for the whales when the whale watching boat is in shot.
Posted on 8 Oct
Amel - Do you fit the bill?
Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 It is certainly an interesting set of criterion. Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 and make them a definitive part of the quintessential bluewater cruiser armada. We’ll come to all of those in due course, but firstly we’ll tackle the hero image and why in so many ways, this explains, so, so much.
Posted on 21 Sep