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METS: Cool Toys Galore!—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

METS tradeshow 2011  David Schmidt

When it comes to sailing gear, there is no cooler place to drool than the annual METS tradeshow, held each year in Mid-November in Amsterdam. While the nightlife is legendary, the show itself is offers are rare glimpse at brand-new gear that won't be in full circulation until next year, as well as European kit that won't necessarily make it's way to the States. While the show's halls are cavernous and the offerings equally vast, here's a quick look at some gear that caught my eye:

Harken Winch - METS tradeshow 2011  David Schmidt

Think you've got big winches aboard your yacht? Check out Harken's new Captive Reel Winch, which was designed for the super-yacht crowd. This mighty unit can be fitted either above or below decks, and can tackle frighteningly high loads.

Lewmar - METS tradeshow 2011  David Schmidt

Solar panels are great, but they're not always the most aesthetically pleasing things when fitted to racer/cruisers. Lewmar overcame this issue with their newest hatch, which is equipped with several 'stealth' panels that feed into a USB port. According to Lewmar's PR team, this is especially good news for distance racers who want to juice their iPods without cluttering up the nav station with wires, or for owners who want to trickle charging their house batteries while the boat hangs on her mooring.

Spinlock - METS tradeshow 2011  David Schmidt

Finding souls unfortunate enough to end up in the soup is never easy, especially at night and in big seas. For years, PFDs have come fitted with strobes, but these are only visible from certain angles and can also ruin the MOB's night vision. Spinlock cleverly solved this problem with their new Pylon light antennae, which can be retroactively fitted onto any PFD, and which elevates the light source, facilitating rescue efforts without blinding the MOB.

Harken - METS tradeshow 2011  David Schmidt

Blocks have long been a staple of racers. Harken was the first to add ball bearings, revolutionizing line handling while making sailing easier, safer and better. Now, this hyper-innovative company has delivered their new line of T2 blocks, which use space-age materials and a modern attachment system (a soft Spectra strop) to strip weight while delivering silky-smooth line handling. T2's come in a wide range of sizes, making them ideal for boats large and small.

Karver - METS tradeshow 2011  David Schmidt

And speaking of blocks, Karver has been building beautiful blocks for a number of years. The French company's first-generation blocks were loved by serious offshore sailors as they provided an lightweight and easy way to build cascading tackle systems, and were a real eye catcher to boot. Now, Karver has released a new line of blocks (singles, doubles and triples) that also use a soft-strop and can be matched with Karver's new cam cleat (also pictured).

Soft Clutch - METS tradeshow 2011  David Schmidt

Rope clutches are a crucial way to reduce the number of necessary winches in a cockpit, and some very smart minds have devoted large volumes of time to building a better mousetrap. Now, Cousin Trestec has come out with the 'Constrictor', a new style of clutch that uses friction (think Chinese finger cuffs) to grip lines. It will be very interesting to see how these units stack up to their mechanical counterparts.

Laser Gun - METS tradeshow 2011  David Schmidt

And finally, with piracy becoming a rising concern in many areas, sailors can now fight back with Photonic Security Systems' Laser Dazzler. This non-lethal gun delivers a 'sun-spots', temporarily blinding pirates or intruders while facilitating an escape. According to the folks at Photonic Security Systems, the gun has plenty of battery life and comes with a spare and a charger, allowing you to non-violently level the playing field. The only catch? It costs 33,000 euros!

Meanwhile, you'll also find plenty of great racing news in this issue, ranging from the latest from the America's Cup World Series' San Diego event, to the Volvo Ocean Race to the Transat Jacques Vabre. Enjoy!

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Fisher's View: ACWS, San Diego: The Fish smiles again
Bob Fisher,
OK, the America's Cup World Series has begun – last weekend was merely an event to tease the general public into seeing the boats in action, so it was time for me to get a fix – I did with a sixth-man seat with Jimmy Spithill and Oracle Racing 4 – and it was every bit as good, if not better than it was last time.... [more]
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ICSA announces 2011 All-Academic Sailing Team
Jennifer Mitchell,
The Intercollegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) has named its 2011 All-Academic Sailing Team. For many of the senior sailors honored this year, this is their second time being recognized for their outstanding athletic and academic performance.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma keeps competition at bay
Sophie Luther,
Volvo Ocean Race crews have now entered in to the second phase of leg one with Puma's Mar Mostro continuing to keep Iker Martinez and Telefonica at bay. Martinez is just off Mar Mostro's port hip some 8.9 nautical miles behind as the pair rattle south at a speed of 15.8 knots. The duo are currently 167 nautical miles off Recife on the Brazilian coast.... [more]
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Global Ocean Race Leg 2 – Three teams swap co-skippers
Oliver Dewar,
Global Ocean Race - Three of the double-handed, Class40 teams are taking the ‘Team Option' of changing co-skippers in Cape Town. Marco Nannini with Financial Crisis; Conrad Colman with Cessna Citation and Nico Budel with Sec. Hayai are all swapping co-skippers for the 7,000-mile journey through the Indian Ocean.... [more]
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Transat Jacques Vabre - Final miles for Virbac-Paprec 3
Hélène Tzara,
For Transat Jacques Vabre leaders, Jean Pierre Dick and Jérémie Beyou, the final miles into Puerto Limon, Costa Rica may still be stressful, but with a margin over second placed Hugo Boss which this afternoon was equivalent to half of the distance they still had to sail, it would take a major upset to rob the Virbac-Paprec 3 pair of a well deserved victory.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race crews prepare to face the St Helena High
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race first leg, from Alicante to Cape Town, has passed the halfway mark. The playing field could be about to open up as the teams, led by Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg and tireless rivals Team Telefónica, take on the complex weather systems of the South Atlantic.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Singapore heads back out to sea
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Race - At first light this morning in Queenscliff, Australia, Singapore‘s crew slipped lines and headed back out through the Port Philip heads and into the Great Australian Bight after successfully repairing their steering quadrant. Happy to be helming with a wheel again and not a tiller, skipper Ben Bowley has sent a note of appreciation at today's 0600 position report.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - King Neptune arrives on Puma's Mar Mostro
Amory Ross,
Volvo Ocean Race - Amory Ross, MCM, onboard Puma Ocean Racing powered by Berg reports on the crew's progress: Hello and goodbye! That's been the theme for the past 24 hours and it's a good reminder that this leg is far from over. We crossed the equator late yesterday morning, and we've just rounded the little rock of Fernando de Noronha at about 4:30 AM UTC.... [more]
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America's Cup World Series San Diego - Energy Team top overall
Pierre Giboire,
America's Cup World Series San Diego - The Energy Team AC45 skippered by Yann Guichard achieved an excellent result and confirmed its ability by grabbing first place in the overall rankings after the three fleet races that took place yesterday. Third in the first race, fifth in the second and winner of the third, the French challenger finishes ahead of Emirates Team NZL and Oracle Racing Spithill... [more]
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AC World Series San Diego - Oracle's Spithill makes semi-finals
Tim Jeffery,
The America's Cup World Series is currently underway in San Diego and held three races today one of which was forty minutes, the other two were twenty minutes apiece. The fleet took to the water amid ten to twelve knot breezes with plenty of shifts which offered great opportunity for passing.... [more]
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America's Cup World Series - Energy Team on top after seeding races
Stephanie Martin,
The America's Cup World Series is currently underway on San Diego Bay and on Wednesday afternoon, consistency was the key for the French Energy Team who took victory in the third of three races to top the table at the end of the seeding races for the San Diego Match Racing Championships.... [more]
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America's Cup: Challenger and Defender take Kiwi-Italian deal to Jury
Richard Gladwell,
The Challenger of Record and the Defender for the 34th America's Cup, have both protested the announced partnership agreement signed between Italy's Luna Rossa and the New Zealand entry, Emirates Team New Zealand. The specific grounds for the protest, or 'application', are not specified by the Challenger of Record or Defender... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Life becomes standard aboard Puma's Mar Mostro
Ken Read,
Leg 1 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12 has reached its twelfth day and aboard Puma's Mar Mostro, life has finally become pretty standard. Skipper Ken Read shares with us what the crew has been up to: Long drawn-out reaches through oceans, sweaty people below combined with the intensifying stench of smelly sneakers, and of course the standard equator crossing ritual. All in a day's work.... [more]
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One-Design leaders recognized at Bay Head YC
Jake Fish,
This past Saturday evening at the 2011 US Sailing One-Design Sailing Symposium which was presented by Gowrie Group and hosted by the Bay Head Yacht Club, there were five awards presented which recognized outstanding individual and organizational achievements in One-Design sailing.... [more]
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Transat Jacques Vabre - Erratic squalls expected
Hélène Tzara,
Transat Jacques Vabre 2011 will will rank as one of the most challenging races ever contested by probably the most evenly matched IMOCA fleet racing at what has been the highest standard ever seen in the race Erratic squalls, the collapse of the trade winds and generally lighter conditions are forecast for the first finishers in the IMOCA Open 60 Class, which is expected to conclude on Friday.... [more]
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J/24 World Championship 2011 day 1
J/24 Class Association,
Reigning world champion Tim Healy and his team on 11th Hour Racing hold the lead after the first day of racing at the J/24 Worlds in Argentina.... [more]
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U.S. Youth Multihull Championship dates announced
Dana Paxton,
U.S. Youth Multihull Championship, the Multihull Qualifier for 2012 Youth Worlds Team will take place in Key Largo, Florida in January 2012 With the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil only four years away, now is the time for youth sailors to consider a campaign in a high-performance multihull.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Puma and Telefónica cross the Equator
Volvo Ocean Race,
Volvo Ocean Race leaders, Puma and Telefónica, ticked off a major milestone today as they crossed the Equator within an hour of each other – as third-placed Camper warned they could still win leg one of the round the world yacht race. Groupama sailing team, France's first entry in the race in 18 years, slipped 24 hours behind the leaders after being snared by the Doldrums... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Singapore retires from Race 5
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - It's been another day of difficult decisions and challenging conditions for the ten-strong Clipper Race fleet as they continue to race through the Southern Ocean while the Race Committee has reluctantly accepted a request of retirement from Singapore.... [more]
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Manson introduces new Manson Boss Anchor at METS 2011
Sail-World,
New anchor from Manson 20-25% more holding power than Manson Supreme anchor in most seabeds. 2011 seen the end of two years of research, design and rigorous testing for Manson Anchors which has culminated in yet another milestone. Today Manson proudly launches the most robust, technically advanced, and safest anchor to ever hit the world market.... [more]
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America's Cup World Series crews fight for supremacy in San Diego
Stephanie Martin,
America's Cup World Series racing will get underway once again in San Diego on Wednesday afternoon when the top Cup crews from around the world will battle it out for supremacy on San Diego Bay. in Plymouth while for fans the race course will bring the cutting-edge AC45 wing-sailed catamarans within yards of the spectator viewing area on Broadway Pier.... [more]
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Images from San Diego: ACWS Port Cities Challenge Day 1
Gilles Martin-Raget and Tom Kurtz,
Top international sailing photographer, Gilles Martin-Raget and photographer Tom Kurtz were on hand to capture sailing action on the rainy first day of the America's Cup World Series Port Cities Challenge in San Diego.... [more]
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Images from San Diego: ACWS Port Cities Challenge Day 2
Gilles Martin-Raget,
Top international sailing photographer, Gilles Martin-Raget was on hand to capture sailing action on the second day of the America's Cup World Series Port Cities Challenge in San Diego on a day that started off bathing in the sunshine.... [more]
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Transat Jacques Vabre - Hugo Boss keeps the pressure on
Hélène Tzara,
Transat Jacques Vabre - Hugo Boss was second into the Caribbean today, passing round Mona island at around 0830hrs UTC. Duo Alex Thomson and Guillermo Altadill have succeeded in keeping up the pressure on race leader Virbac-Paprec 3 after a long, hard night of intense work in the trade winds, making several gybes to best line up with the passage.... [more]
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Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet prepare for heavy conditions
Heather Ewing,
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race fleet are bracing themselves for a violent storm south east of Tasmania. 'Once started, there is no way to stop it, you can't just switch it off or change the channel and there's no pause button,' Derry-Londonderry's skipper, Mark Light, said this morning in anticipation of the approaching heavy weather.... [more]
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America's Cup Uncovered: Episode 16 - The look and feel of the Cup
ACM,
This week we meet the America's Cup design agency, Designwerk, who is responsible for the look and feel of the America's Cup on TV. The agency was tasked with capturing the new extreme sports look on screen, as well as creating the opening title sequence for use in live TV events, including AC Uncovered... [more]
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America's Cup: Oracle Racing News - Edition 34
Oracle Racing,
Oracle Racing's newsletter for November 14, 2011... [more]
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Logue lifts Optimist Open Title in Bermuda
Somers Cooper,
The 2011 Bermuda Open Championship was won by sailor Will Logue from Riverside Yacht Club in Connecticut, USA. Logue was involved in a heated fight for the top sport over the course of the weekend with the top female sailor Justina Pacheco sailing in the fifty-four boat Championship fleet.... [more]
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Sayonara's headed home for permanent display
Pressure-Drop.us,
Having been holed up in Holland Michigan since the 2000 Chicago Mackinac Race, Sayonara, Larry Ellison's 80' Maxi is headed home. Her destination, Pier 80 in San Francisco which is currently HQ for Oracle Racing and ground zero for all things Americas Cup on SF Bay until the construction of the new piers on the City Front are complete... [more]
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WMRT Monsoon Cup - Bruni determined to win Championship title
World Match Racing Tour,
WMRT Monsoon Cup – Francesco Bruni stands on the brink of becoming the first Italian to capture the ISAF Match Racing World Championship this month but remains undaunted by the task that awaits him. Should he win the title, the 1994 Laser World Champion and Olympic and America's Cup campaigner says it will be a career defining achievement.... [more]
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U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship down to a thrilling finish
Jake Fish,
U.S. Women's Match Racing Championship 2011 came down to a thrilling finish in Sunday's final series. Barkow and Tulloch finished off their semifinals opponents to advance to the finals.... [more]
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