Sunny in Seattle - News from U.S. and beyond


21 Jul 2011                             If you have trouble reading this email CLICK HERE                    To reply to this email click here

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Sunny In Seattle—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

One of my best mentors (and one of the people whom I respect most on this stone) has an expression for hollow editorials: He calls them 'Walking the Dog' pieces. You've seen the type: the writer has nothing better to say, so they craft some coy, witty, BS copy that somehow creates a marginal connection between walking their dog and the contents of their newsletter/magazine/newspaper.

Filler, folks, fluff.

I don't have a dog, but I'm happy to report that it's sunny and about 70 degrees in Seattle. There's a fresh, northwesterly breeze blowing at about 10-12 knots, zero humidity and the morning's rain shower was thankfully short lived.

The pavement was even dry by the time I laced-up my running shoes and went for one of the hardest/fastest/most-punishing runs that I have gone on in ages, trying—without success—and gain perspective and closure on the single saddest experience of my life as a journalist: Covering the Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac.

For anyone just tuning in now, two brave and well-loved members of our extended sailing family were killed in a MASSIVE storm that swept the fleet on Sunday, July 17 at approximately 2300 hours, EST. Windspeeds between 90 and 100 knots were experienced by some sailors, accompanied by strobing lightning and a freight-train-like roar; the stuff of ABSOLUTE horror and bare-soul fear.

Tragically, these conditions proved too much for WingNuts, a Kiwi 35, and Mark Morley and Suzanne Bickel, from Saginaw, MI were lost. Based on every fact that I have unearthed about this incident, Morley and his entire WingNuts crew took every possible precaution and exercised the appropriate and proper seamanship, including each individual crewmember wearing GPIRBS and tethers.

Mother Nature can be a cruel-hearted bitch. Any sailor who believes that he/she is always in complete command of his/her vessel is just wrong: When Mom Nature rolls the dice, the house always wins.

Covering this event—and witnessing its aftermath firsthand—was the hardest thing that your humble scribe has ever done in a professional capacity. Lake Michigan might be a freshwater, but I can assure you that its salinity levels have risen sharply due to tears shed, some of them mine.

Yes, the beat goes on. But not today, at least not here, mates. I apologize to loyal readers who wanted something meaty about current sailing events—I assure you that they are in this issue.

But right now I must walk my dog.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

Another great year for the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge!
Sail-World Canada,
A significant contrast from the 2010 event, the nearly 130 racers who participated in this year's Lake Ontario 300 Challenge were greeted with excellent weather and fabulous sailing conditions throughout most of the race.... [more]
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Day 2 Delivers At Techno Windsurfing World Championships
David Wells,
At the Techno Windsurfing World Championships in San Francisco day 2 conditions certainly delivered. The sailors were again split amongst the two race courses with both fleets doing two laps on a windward leeward course.... [more]
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Chicago-Mackinac Race—100 Knots and Off the Clock

Hearing that it's windy and rainy is one thing. Hearing that water is vaporizing all around you is a completely different tale of horror. Descriptions of the 'strobing' lightning and 'white water everywhere' are on an entirely different level than anything that racing sailors in North America have seen in many, many decades.... [more]
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Techno World Championships day 2 Erik Simonson images + Video
Erik Simonson images,
Techno World Championships day 2 was the first day of racing.... [more]
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Standard Youth & Radial Men World Championships days 3 and 4
International Laser Class Association,
The Standard Youth & Radial Men World Championships are underway in La Rochelle, France. NW wind of 14-16 knots increasing up to 18 knots later on. Two good races were run for all fleets.... [more]
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Ida Lewis Distance Race early entry deadline approaches
Barby MacGowan,
The Ida Lewis Distance Race (ILDR) is right around the corner, and organizers are encouraging competitors to register by the early bird deadline of August 5 to help build excitement among the competitors and encourage others to sign up early, too.... [more]
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Lake Ontario 300 Video interviews
Sail-World Staff,
Sail-World Canada Clarity Nicoll has the opportunity to chat with organizers and participants of the 2011 Lake Ontario 300 Challenge at the Skippers Meeting at Port Credit Yacht Club, then captures some of the action on the start line.... [more]
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St. Moritz Match Race 2011 - Bruni takes a break
World Match Racing Tour,
St. Moritz Match Race 2011 - World Match Racing Tour leader Francesco Bruni has revealed his strategy for success at the next stage of the Tour – taking a break from sailing. The Italian skipper and his crewmates will step away from the water in the run-up to St Moritz Match Race so they can come back to racing 'fresh' with '100 per cent energy'.... [more]
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America's Cup World Series: Out of the box at Cascais
Gilles Martin-Raget,
Gilles Martin-Raget provides this gallery of images from Cascais as some of the teams take delivery of their new AC45's and start the assembly process... [more]
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America's Cup World Series: Images of Cascais
Gilles Martin-Raget,
Top international photographer, Gilles Martin-Raget went touring around Cascais, Portugal, ahead of the first event of the America's Cup World Series, with shots of the town and coast... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: The making of Camper's mast at Southern Spars
Join Camper skipper, Chris Nicholson, as he takes us behind the doors of Southern Spars new factory and shows a mast under construction for the Volvo Ocean racer to be sailed by Emirates Team New Zealand. This is a rare look at just how these spars are made - and gives us a look at the impeccable interior of the state of the art Southern Spars facility. And then there's an onboard video... [more]
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Images of the Volvo Ocean Race: Around the teams - 100 days to go
A gallery of images from the seven teams entered in the 2011/210 Volvo Ocean race which starts in just 100 days.... [more]
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Glorious day 1 at Techno Windsurfing World Championships 2011
David Wells,
A glorious day one at the 2011 Techno Windsurfing World Championships. After what looked to be a near perfect day of racing for the Practice Race the day prior, San Francisco only upped the ante delivering exceptional racing conditions for the regatta's first official day of action.... [more]
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Lightning South American and International Master Championships
International Lightning Class Association,
International Lightning Class Association South American and International Master Championships kicked off Wednesday. The International Masters Championship is sailed concurrently with the South American Championship but is scored seperately.... [more]
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PWA Tenerife World Cup 2011 wrap
The PWA Tenerife World Cup 2011 is has now officially come to a close. Tenerife has returned to the limelight reasserting itself as a haven for wave sailing. Philip Koster and Daida Ruano Moreno have now cemented their authority on the second stop of the 2011 wave tour.... [more]
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U.S. Grand Slam Match Race Series invitations complete
Chicago Match Race Center,
All the excitement of ISAF Grade 2 match racing is coming soon to the U.S. with the Chicago Match Race Center's Grade 2 Invitational as the lead-off event in a four-week, four-regatta series called the U.S. Grand Slam Match Race Series.... [more]
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Audi MedCup Region of Sardinia Trophy - Consistency in the Mistral
Sabina Mollart-Rogerson,
Audi MedCup's Region of Sardinia Trophy 2011 has experienced Udo Schuetz's German flagged team on Container make an excellent start and finish to their first day of racing on the Gulf of Cagliari with a first and second to lead the overall standings by two points.... [more]
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Transpac 2011 - Different Boats, One Race
Kimball Livingston,
Just when we thought we were ready to show some serious aloha-love to the Aloha Division in comes Jack Taylor's Horizon. Even though they started four days apart, and even though the boat designs are light-years apart, Gracie and Horizon shared a common thread.... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race: Camper farewelled, Auckland Stopover launched +Video
Richard Gladwell,
The crew of the Volvo Ocean Race entry, Camper sailed by Emirates Team New Zealand, were farewelled this morning at a media function at Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron. The Auckland Stopover for the 39,000nm ocean classic was launched at the joint function.... [more]
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PWA Tenerife World Cup Day 6 and Radical sailors descend
PWA Tenerife World Cup 2011 day six witnessed the world's most radical wave sailors descend on the Siam Water Park to show case their skills on the radical rides. Lighter winds and smaller waves were forecast for the sixth day in Tenerife, providing the sailors with the perfect opportunity to have a day of rest and relaxation.... [more]
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Contender Worlds 2011 Days 1 and 2 - Johnsen leads
Duncan Ellis,
Contender Worlds 2011 day 1 started with 30 knots on the harbour wall so all racing was postponed until 1pm. The 144 sailors headed out to the bay for the first of the two races. The wind moderated and was patchy with variable strength.... [more]
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