Something unusual happened today in Seattle: the mist machine stopped drizzling and the sun made a guest appearance long enough for my friend and I to take a nice walk in a local park that affronts Puget Sound. While it’s a well-worn sight in the Pacific Northwest, the profile of a massive container ship plying the sun-splashed waters was a touch sad today, given the (relatively) warm afternoon temperatures, the steady southwesterly breeze, and the glorious S-U-N…and the fact that no sailors were taking advantage of the ephemeral weather window.
Not surprisingly, it started raining again (lightly) a few hours later, but my theory stands we’ve got great winter weather up here in Seattle…provided of course that you only enjoy your recreation in short, unpredictable bursts. Otherwise, the answer is more foulies, extra fleece and perhaps a splash of grog once you’re back ashore.
As for sailing news, the big story this week is the ISAF Sailing World Cup Miami, which is taking place through this Saturday. According to the latest reports, American-flagged sailors have been performing well in multiple different classes, including the Men’s 470, the Laser and Laser Radial, the 49er and the 49er FX, the Finn and the Nacra 17. Get the full scoop, inside.
And in American offshore sailing news, the Coast Guard Foundation (a non-profit that helps Coast Guard members and their families) has announced a new overnight race (April 27-28) that will start and finish just outside of Annapolis Harbor and which will be managed by the Annapolis Yacht Club. The event will benefit the Coast Guard Foundation and will open to both handicap- and One Design entries.
'The Coast Guard Foundation Cup is a tremendous opportunity to support the men and women of the Coast Guard, and participate in a great feeder sailing race in Annapolis,' said Jim Muldoon, Coast Guard Foundation director, and co-chairman of the Cup. 'It is a fantastic event for sailors to take part in a competitive race and gain experience before the 2013 Annapolis-Newport race later in the year.'
Meanwhile, in America’s Cup news, Oracle Racing has revealed more still images of their heavily modified first-generation AC72, 'USA 17', which is expected to be relaunched early next week. If all goes well, the team will start practicing using their second-generation wingsail by the end of next week.
Also Cup related, be sure to check out the interesting multimedia report from Emirates Team New Zealand’s camp as to what its actually like to sail aboard one of these wingsail-powered monsters. As skipper Dean Barker aptly put it, 'it’s a unique experience'…especially when the hammer is down and boatspeed is punching into the 40-plus-knot range.
Also inside, be sure to check out the latest news from the Chicago Match Cup, the newly announced Women’s International Match Racing Series, and the ongoing RC44 Oman Cup. Enjoy!
May the four winds blow you safely home,
by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor - 1:46 AM Fri 1 Feb 2013 GMT
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