Shades of Hobart 98

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 25 Jul 2011

Shades of Hobart 98

The Sail-World team Came out of a restaurant on Mackinac Island in northern Michigan USA around 11pm local time, last Monday night and you could smell the rain, just trying to decide whether to walk across the street to that ever dangerous bar called the Pink Pony when the skies opened.

A viloent thunderstorm. Storm force winds, almost horizontal rain. Wait a few minutes said my North American companions, but in a few minutes the Mackinac Island Main Street was a river lit by lightning bolts.

But 40 miles further to the south east, the embedded thunderstorm was much stronger.

In one area just 35 miles from the finish line, winds of of 100+ knots sustained for more than seven minutes and there were still 350 boats on the water in the 2011 Chicago to Mackinac yacht race.

Chicago Mackinac storm 2011  

Sailors on a boat called Sociable came upon an upturned sports boat called WingNuts, they pulled six sailors from the boiling sea, but they, another 10 boats and the US coastguard searched in vain for the skipper and his girl friend.

The U.S. sailing community is in shock. This was the first sailing related death in the 103 runnings of this iconic race.

The Sail-World team, operating the official media centre for the Chicago Yacht Club, had a big team onboard. We stopped conventional reporting of the race and we worked closely with the event team, preparing official releases and set up a major online press conference.

Shades of Hobart 1998, but this time I've seen it from the landside.

It sends a shiver down my spine.

The main message is tho' for all sailing event managers - look hard at your action plans. Its no longer safe to assume, because you are on a lake or in sheltered waters, this could not happen to your event.

On a happier note, there will be another big Tetra-Media team (Sail-World, Powerboat-World, MarineBusiness-World and FishingBoating-World team at Sydney Boat Show, nine of us in all, you will see our blue shirts. (Nancy Knudsen, our Cruising Editor and her husband Ted Nobbs will be on the Show stage)

Stop us and say hi.

Having just flown back in from Chicago, (landed this morning) we are now preparing for the Northern Season, we have the Gold Coast, Keppel, Airlie Beach Race Week, Hamilton Island Race Week and the newly badged Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week.

See you there!!

Rob Kothe

Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week - Monster machine heads north
Tracey Johnstone,
After setting the New Zealand sailing scene on fire with its exciting speeds and record breaking results, TeamVodafoneSailing, has arrived in Australia in preparation for its assault on Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week.... [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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Champions crowned at 2011 Techno Windsurfing World Championships
David Wells,
2011 Techno Windsurfing World Championships final day was a full one with two course races and a long distance race on the agenda and the tension could be cut with a knife with multiple world titles up in the air. The last day of the regatta followed the trend of oscilating fog banks; one day it's in, the next day it's out.... [more]
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New Contender World Champion
The new 2011 Contender World Champion is Bjarke B. Johnsen from Denmark... [more]
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Melbourne sailors success at 29er Europeans
Jane Moffat,
Melbourne sailors James Sly and Tom Dwyer have finished second overall at the 29er Europeans in Switzerland - their first major international regatta.... [more]
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Flying 15 Worlds day 3 - Alderson and Mcaullay make their move
Gerald New,
Three more races in a good breeze for each of the flights allowed PRO Roger Palmer to get the Flying 15 Worlds back on schedule and complete the qualifiers. The defending champions, Grant Alderson and Dean Mcaullay from Australia, resurrected their challenge with a steady 5, 5, 3, to move from 16th to second.... [more]
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America's Cup: Italian team excused from further competition
Richard Gladwell,
The America's Cup organisers have announced that Venezia Challenge has defaulted on the requirements to be a competitor in both the America's Cup World Series and the 34th America's Cup. The Venezia Challenge shore team had been in Cascasis, Portugal, assembling the AC45 catamaran which had been allocated to the team for competition in the first round of the America's Cup World Series.... [more]
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International OK Dinghy World Championships 2011 day 1
Mary Reddyhoff,
The International OK Dinghy World Championship 2011's first day welcomed sixty-six sailors from three continents to Largs Sailing Club on the west coast of Scotland to participate in the 49th ‘Scotty Brand' World Championship. The practice race was scheduled to commence at 1400, but a flat sea and limp flags was the view from the balcony of Largs Sailing Club at 1300.... [more]
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Doyle Sails Trophy win to Another Fiasco
Ian Grant,
Damien Suckling steered the Scott Jutson designed Another Fiasco to a 27 second corrected handicap win to keep his prospects of winning the Whitsunday Sailing Club Doyle Sails Trophy alive on Pioneer Bay last week. The Another Fiasco crew better known for their Performance handicap win in the 2006 Rolex Sydney Hobart race are generally more suited to racing on the longer offshore courses.... [more]
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Winter Series Race 3 - Hobart winter sailors made of stern stuff
Peter Campbell,
Winter Series Race 3 - When David Taylor stepped aboard his boat Pisces at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania about 8am today, the temperature in Hobart was just 1º C, the grass near the club was white with frost. A chilling 11 knot NNW breeze was sweeping down from the snow covered mountain overlooking Hobart and the River Derwent.... [more]
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RS Feva World Championship 2011 – Great practice day
Golly Tucker,
RS Feva World Championship 2011 - The day was characterised by low key intensity. No bother, no hassle, just everyone calmly getting on with it. Final 50 boats registered with the queue never longer than five at its peak flow, first briefings held for the full safety teams and coaches, sailors doing final checks and the race committee laying the practice course... [more]
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Laser Standard Youth & Radial Men World Championships
International Laser Class Association,
Laser Standard Youth & Radial Men World Championships, La Rochelle, France. A WNW breeze of 14-16 knots with gusts up to 18 knots and a beautiful sunshine added up to a great day on water. Two good races were run again for all fleets.... [more]
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Australians' top placings at Laser Juniors and Radials
Peter Campbell,
The two championships ended overnight after 130 competitors contested the Laser Radials and 147 the Laser Standard Rig Junior Worlds. The Laser junior title saw an outstanding achievement by New Zealander Sam Meech, who won eight heats and finished second in three heats.... [more]
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NSW Maritime - Wild Weather Alert
NSW Maritime,
NSW Maritime has issued an alert to boat skippers following a forecast for dangerous surf conditions to impact the north coast of NSW. Dangerous surf conditions can easily translate into dangerous conditions for rock fishing and for vessels crossing coastal bars.... [more]
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Governor's Cup down to the final four
Nancy Mellon,
Governor's Cup. The Semi-Finals were organized for the top four teams, and the first race was held. The first place team was able to choose their first opponent from the other three teams. Only one race of the Semis was held as the wind faded.... [more]
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America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ's crews switch to Rugby
With Rugby World Cup fast looming, and with crews who have been working out of the same base together for several months about to depart, team training was varied to take in a game of touch rugby on nearby Victoria Park. In a game of Red vs Black - the Volvo Ocean race entry Camper crew, lining up against the America's Cup and Extreme 40 crew,... [more]
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Laser Standard Youth & Radial Men World Championships day 5 perfection
International Laser Class Association,
The Laser Standard Youth & Radial Men World Championships are underway in La Rochelle, France. A perfect sailing day on Friday, with a NW breeze of 12-14 knots increasing later during the afternoon to 18-20 knots. The sun was out most of the time.... [more]
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Australians poised for top placings at Laser Junior Worlds
Peter Campbell,
Three of the four Australians contesting the Laser Standard World Junior Championships are poised to finish in top overall placings in the Gold and Bronze fleets going into the final day of the regatta at La Rochelle, France. After eight qualifying heats, race officials divided the 147 sailors into three fleets of 49, 48 and 48 for the Gold, Silver and Bronze fleet finals.... [more]
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RPAYC Announces New Commodore at AGM
Damian Devine,
The Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club held its 144th Annual General Meeting last Thursday 21 July. Members farewelled Commodore Russell Murphy at the completion of a successful three year tenure. Recognition and appreciation of the exceptional efforts required by a Commodore were bestowed by immediate past Commodore Angus Gordon (2005-2008) and incoming Commodore Robert Curtis... [more]
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Flying 15 Worlds 2011 - Aussies in third after day 1
Gerald New and,
At the Flying 15 Worlds, the first day only allowed for one race to be completed at Hayling Island SC. It was a frustrating light wind day for the fleets with constant shifts frustrating the PRO in setting a start. Winner in the Blue fleet were Brian McKee and Ian Smyth from Ireland. Winner in the Yellow fleet were James Sandell and Graeme Robinson from New Zealand.... [more]
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South Pacific Teams Regatta: Beach volleyball, snorkeling and sailing
Ross Sutherland,
Ross Sutherland (NZL) reports after Day 4 of Sailing on the Muri lagoon in Rarotonga for the seventh South Pacific Teams Regatta. The South Island team are just one point behind the top Aitutaki team - much to everyone's surprise as the Aitutaki boys have been giving them all a good sailing lesson in Sunbursts all week .... [more]
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International OK Dinghy UK Nationals - Light airs shorten regatta
Mike Edwards,
International OK Dinghy National Championships 2011 - On the final day of the Championships the weather system affecting much of the UK again took its toll on the days racing. The race team did venture out on time but the fleet were held back on shore in the hope that some wind would fill in. Some wind did appear and many launched and headed out to the race area.... [more]
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Win a $14,000 holiday and boat - Enter NOW!! Closing soon!,
Most boaters and fishers have been to many boat shows, finding it a rewarding, informative and fun experience. The Marine industry needs that to be the case. Boat Show organisers spend the entire year working to deliver a better experience for showgoers and exhibitors alike. To make sure they are putting their emphasis on the things that will have you coming back they need to understand the... [more]
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Chicago-Mackinac 2011 storm video footage
Greg Alm,
Here's edited footage shot from a helmet camera aboard the J109 Realt Na Mara during the 2011 Chicago to Mackinac Race in 50-60+ knots.... [more]
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Hamilton Island Race Week Prix d' Elegance: Any yacht can be a winner
Rob Mundle,
Two competing yachts at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2011 will each be going home with an impressive trophy without having started in a race on the day. This competition is as much fun for the participating crews as it is for the large crowd of spectators who line the deck at Hamilton Island Yacht Club to applaud the participants' efforts.... [more]
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Press Conference with Chicago Yacht Club's Greg Freeman
Chicago Yacht Club,
Chicago Yacht Club's 103rd Race to Mackinac. Press Conference audio - Greg Freeman, Chair of the Race to Mackinac Comittee... [more]
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