Narragansett Bay nostalgia—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

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14 Oct 2012

Narragansett Bay nostalgia—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond

Countless generations of youngsters first learned to tack, gybe and capsize here, and plenty are the ocean racers who slipped their docklines in nearby Newport, their bows pointed towards Bermuda, the Caribbean or even The Continent ...if not an around-the-world adventure. Deep elements of the marine trade itself are situated within a few miles of these waters, and many are the talented sailors who call this place home.

Having spent my childhood through my early adulthood racing and cruising nearby, this moment was a rare opportunity for a now-Left Coaster to simply gaze upon these waters and reflect, the sky a-twinkle with the shine of distant suns and the cool October breeze temping the soul to simply find an offshore-worthy boat and GO. Maybe it was the emotion of watching my cousin's lovely wedding or perhaps it was the magic of standing beneath an October sky, smelling the aroma of a Bay and an ocean that I love dearly, but it was impossible not to consider the myriad smiles, memories, adventures, struggles, victories and history that have played-out out nearby.

And, given the fact that the majority of the assembled wedding guests knew a thing or two about making high-performance sailboats sing, I can't imagine that I was the only guest who found himself (or herself) awestruck at the setting, nor the powerful draw that Narragansett Bay has-and always will have-on the American sailing mentality.

ORMA 60 and ETNZ's AC72 trade tacks  Paul Gilbert

Shifting gears to the Cup, in Auckland, New Zealand (also special waters for Cup fanatics, myself proudly included), don't miss the coverage of what went down when Emirates Team New Zealand's new wingsail-powered AC72 catamaran lined up against the ORMA 60 trimaran 'Teamvodaphone'. While ORMA 60s are certainly not slow, based on photographer Paul Gilbert's image gallery, the line-up looked to be a no-contest affair. More, inside.

Alex Thomson Racing sailing Hugo Boss during a training session before the Vendée Globe in the English Channel.  Christophe Launay ©

And finally, be sure to spend some time scrolling through ace photographer Christophe Launay's stunning image gallery of skipper Alex Thomson's (GBR) recent pre-Vendee Globe training day on the English Channel. While Thomson's newest 'Hugo Boss' Open 60, which he'll use to 'lap' the planet during the toughest of all single-handed offshore events, is usually distinctive in her livery, it's fair to say that saltwater-not logos-defined this photo shoot.

Alex Thomson Racing sailing Hugo Boss during a training session before the Vendée Globe in the English Channel.  Christophe Launay ©

Stay tuned for a lot more from the Vendee Globe, which kicks off on November 10, and, if you're lucky enough to live near Narragansett Bay, be sure to get in a few late-season sails. Trust me, you'll be happy that you did!

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

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Red sails on the Waitemata harbour - AC72 lines up against an ORMA60
Paul Gilbert,
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Richard Gladwell,
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Rich Roberts,
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Talbot Wilson,
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Richard Gladwell,
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Star Winter Series,
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