Let your adrenaline pump as you count down to the next tiny Armageddon—as long as you’re prepared you should stay upright.
The breeze is up, howling down the river in dark puffs that dart towards your CJ. On the first beat, you’re easing the jib, hiking your booties off, and keeping an eye out for possible auto-tacks. At the windward mark, you’re making a solid layline call and navigating through starboard tackers. Then the windward offset comes, and you carve down around it—and suddenly you’re sailing downwind in a CJ in heavy air, one of the most precarious situations in college sailing.
Septuagenarian Jeanne Socrates is 150 days in to a non-stop, solo circumnavigation of the globe aboard a Najad 380.
In sailing, as in life, determination and persistence deliver. No great voyage was ever achieved without hardship and adversity (any voyage without those two monsters is called a “milk run”). It’s no coincidence that the paragon of persistence himself, Ernest Shackleton, adopted the Latin “FORTITUDINE VINCIMUS” as his family motto. It means “by endurance we conquer,” which pretty much sums up the Shackleton experience.
If you have a good routine, you can always be prepared for the worst-case scenario at regattas. Well, almost always.
Call me paranoid if you like, but there are some mistakes that will take you down—they’ll cost you a race, or your pride—or inconvenience you for an entire regatta. For the most part, you have to experience these slip-ups to understand their gravity, but for your sake I hope that this article will be enough to protect you from yourself. You might think that these safeguards are overkill, but after you’ve been publicly shamed by Bern Noack you will realize that they are not.
Even though they’re latecomers to the game, Luna Rossa has been quietly working away in Auckland to prepare for the America’s Cup. Team manager Max Sirena gives us the scoop.
Luna Rossa is counting down its last days of training and preparation in Auckland, New Zealand, where the team has been steadily making up time as latecomers to the game. In a few weeks the sailing team heads to Naples for the grand finale of the 2012-’13 America’s Cup World Series, while much of the shore team will begin to set up shop in San Francisco. Team manager Max Sirena plans to have his team sailing on San Francisco Bay by the beginning of May.
For the 33rd America's Cup, Joseph Ozanne spent a lot of time designing Oracle Team USA's monstrous wing. This time around, however, he believes the big gains will come from below the waterline.
Behind the scenes at Oracle Team USA, Joseph Ozanne crunches numbers using mind-numbing equations all in the name of a faster time around the racecourse for his team’s AC72. Ozanne is the team’s wing design leader and is also responsible for the performance prediction functions. Much of his work in the current campaign involves the daggerboards, which he believes will be critical to a team’s success in the 34th America’s Cup. Now on his third campaign with Oracle, the 34-year old Frenchman has had plenty of experience working with the best in the game.
Windy conditions make jib sheet management trickier.
There's more to jib sheet management than meets the eye.
Few things will take a crew down faster than mismanaged jib sheets, whether the problem is a tangled leg or a luffing sail. Around the racecourse, proper sheet management means anticipating potential snares and nipping them in the bud. In a CJ, this entails constant attention to the slack in the lazy sheet and keeping both sheets in the correct areas. In a 420, it means nailing the right balance of windward and leeward sheeting. In all college dinghies, sheet management means incorporating the right touch of delicacy, especially when it’s light.
One of the Sea Shepherd's fleet approaches a whaling ship.
Is a little civil disobedience justified in the name of our oceans?
In case you missed it there is a pitched battle going on down in the Southern Ocean, between the ships of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Japanese whaling fleet. It’s a battle that has been going on for years, and has been featured on the surprisingly engrossing TV show called Whale Wars. Usually, the skirmishing involves a lot of close passes, shouting, water cannons, and the throwing of stink bombs.
Expect the unexpected and hop in a boat with someone new.
It’s common knowledge that when it comes to sailing, you must expect the unexpected. The ability to quickly adapt to a new situation is incredibly valuable when there are just minutes or even seconds to spare. One bizarre turn of events that every crew should be ready for is being thrown in the boat with someone new--either a teammate who you’ve never sailed with, or even someone from an opposing team. Especially if you’re used to sailing with the same person, this transition can be difficult, but there are a few techniques to make it as smooth as possible.
The HMS Bounty found itself directly in the path of Hurricane Sandy.
What led to the sinking of the HMS Bounty off of Cape Fear during Hurricane Sandy?
For the Atlantic coast of the United States, Hurricane Sandy was the biggest hurricane event in years. Luckily for me, it blew past the Chesapeake with minimal damage. But hurricanes tend to write their own stories, and often enough it is the story of a ship that didn’t make it.