Southern Straights

I sailed in Southern Straights this weekend.  Southern Straights is a yacht race in my local area.  About 50 Miles West, then back to Point Atkinson.

I sailed with the Vancouver Sailing Club aboard their Beneteau 36.7 ClaraALLEGRO.  We left friday and spent the afternoon drifting east until the wind filled in around sunset.  We had 17 knots or so upwind by the time we were headed back west.  Then another drift back into the finish.  Very challenging sailing with an interesting group of guys.

Here's some video:

Crew overboard with spin up

I have done lots of Crew overboard exersizes as part of basic and intermediate cruising courses.  Something I don't get to practice is COB with a spin up.

Here is Yachting Monthly's take on it.

They seem to be advocating for cutting the spin away and saving your friend.

Here's another video of a full crew doing a recovery.  They have lots of hands so they pull the spin in by brute force.

Any other opinions?  I have heard of a method of getting the spin down and then using the engine to return upwind to the crew.  Couldn't find a video though

Less than 40 days to the start of the Barcelona World race.

It is now less than 40 days to the start of the Barcelona world race.  This race is double handed in open 60's.  All the high end teams look like they are ready to roll for this one.

It looks like there will be decent online coverage if the following recently released promo video is any example.


Also, Sail just noticed that there are sailing video's on line.

Book review

Since it is the off season, it's a good time for some sailing reading.  Here's two books I like.

The first is "Getting Started in Sailboat Racing" by Adam Cort and Richard Stearns.  This is the book I use as a reference for teaching introduction to racing. The book is written as a guide for the competent sailor to make their first steps into racing.  As a result the style is very simple and straight forward.  They do not use any jargon or exotic language, and they explain every aspect of racing very thoroughly.   The diagrams are simple and complete and add to the text extremely well.  At the end of each chapter there is a question and answer section that discuses the topics covered and ensures the reader understands the topic.  The authors have also inserted some humor in the form of banter between them selves that plays out over the course of the book.  All in all I think that this is the best book to read to prepare for your first race. 

The second book is "The Blue Book of Sailing"  by Adam Cort.  In this book the author sets out to discuss the "22 keys to sailing Mastery".  He discusses topics relevant to both keel boats and dinghies, ranging from using sail trim to aid steering and docking under sail and power.  He does this in the same simple and straight forward manner that makes the book a pleasure to read.  He tackles some heavy theory and does it with simplicity and flair.  Adam Courts humor and wit also shine through in this book.  I heartily recommend that any dingy or keel boat sailor read this book as well.

Both books are available from the Vancouver Public Library, or at least they will be as soon as I return them.

Sailing videos

The dingy racing season in Vancouver is now officially closed.  I was the PRO for one day and mark setter for the second day of the closing event of the year, the blue nose regatta.  The event is hosted by the club I work for, the Kitsilano Yacht Club.  Here's the video I took of the event.

I also found a good video about the sinking of the Concordia in February of this year.  The Concordia was a floating high school program that was run on a tall ship.  Man I wish I had been interested enough in sailing when I was in High School to do something like that. 

The start of the Rue du Rum race in France has been the major new item in the sailing world.  Here's a clip from the Anarchy on the water coverage of the event:

Canadian offshore sailor heads for the start line

Derrick Hatfield, our Canadian offshore sailor has secured a title sponsor for his Velux 5 oceans race.  

The boat formally know as "Spirit of Canada" has been re branded to reflect her new title sponsor, Active House.  Active house is a corporation involved in designing houses that produce more energy and resources than they use.

Now that he has the funds secured, Derrick is headed off to the start line of the Velux 5 Oceans race.  The race starts on Oct 17th from La Rochelle, France and consist for 5 ocean sprints with stops in port between legs. 

There is a position plotter on the Spirit of Canada website, and there will be frequent updates on the Velux 5 oceans event website

See the links below for photo's and more info:

Sailing Movies

Yes sailing movies do exist.  My favorite one is “Wind”.

It has a decent plot, an interesting story, and most importantly some of the best on water sailing action I have ever seen on film.  This one is is a must see for dedicated sailing fans.

The few other sailing films out there are not that great.  Charlie St. Cloud, released this year, looks rather lacking in the plot department.  The trailer does seem to have a couple of good sailing sequences though.  Unfortunately I think I’m just going to rent it, and watch it with the remote in hand and fast forward through the crap.   Here is the link to the trailer anyway.

The other big “sailing movie” is Morning Light.  Produced by Disney, it is a project of Roy Disney’s that involves holding trials to select a crew of youth to sail his TP52 in the transpac race.  It has lots of good sailing footage, but it is really a documentary about the project, and not a movie in it’s self.  I found it disappointing, but watchable once.

While surfing around for sailing movie trailer’s. I found this one. It is a documentary of how a remote island adopted windsurfing as an activity for its youth and ended up becoming a way of improving the lives of the community.  This one I would like to see when it comes out. 

So yes sailing movies do exist, but so far there is only one good one.  Share it around!

English Bay Scramble - The craziest race on the bay

A unique local race called the English Bay Scramble is coming up August 14th.

It may be the only race where it pays to take a different course than your competitors, because there is no set course!  You can sail around any two marks in any order, then through the start/finish, then around the rest.  The winner is usually determined by their strategy, rather than having a good handicap rating.  The race has been won by little boats like Cal 20's or M242's or on windy years by bigger cruisers.

It's all up in the air after the start gun, with boats dispersing all over the bay, coming together at the marks, then scattering again.  Makes for a very chaotic day.  Totally un spectator friendly, but cool and really fun for the racers.

See the link below for info: