Here’s a prediction: Before this decade is out, Dyneema and Spectra will be as universal as Duct Tape, and the fibers will even have a dedicated manual: 100 Practical Uses for UHMWPE. The latest application is what the gang at Colligo Marine is calling “Softies.” They’re Dyneema (and slippery) shackles and sail hanks with a pretty clever design. Here’s the step-by-step: Pull the lanyard (yellow line in the photo) to open the splice, and then slide the loop over the knot. Pull the loop closed and slide the slip ring up to the knot.” There are two sizes (2,000- and 4,000-pound safe working load) that
retail for $25 and $30, respectively. www.colligomarine.com
In a time where getting sponsorship money is like extracting blood from a stone, Melges Performance Boats announced in January that Audi is the official worldwide title sponsor of the Melges 20 class.
Melges Performance Boats CEO, Harry Melges, expects that Audi’s sponsorship will certainly help jump start the class in its critical first year. www.melges20.com
While the Club 420 remains the preeminent two-person junior boat in the United States, the more technical and performance-oriented International 420 is the doublehander of choice internationally. The new US SAILING Youth Sailing Teams (Under 18 and Under 23) will use International 420s, but the challenge for U.S. juniors is access to new boats: there is no licensed builder in North America. The Dinghy Locker and its parent company, Landfall Navigation, however, will now be the exclusive U.S. dealership for Blueblue International 420, built in Poland. Teams sailing Blueblue boats have won the past two world championships, and while this is no guarantee, it never hurts to start a campaign with the reining builder’s model. www.landfallnavigation.com, www.dinghylocker.com
On the sailing apparel front, Atlantis WeatherGear, based in Marblehead, Mass., announced its partnership with the US SAILING Team AlphaGraphics, providing technical and casual gear for the next Olympic and Paralympic quadrennium. This is a significant coup for Atlantis WeatherGear, a brand that Marblehead sailor Bill Lynn resurrected from the grave a few years ago. www.atlantisweathergear.com
Courtesy of Gill| |Gill Keelboat Racer Jacket|
Atlantis replaces Gill as the team’s supplier, but the folks at Gill tell us they have their hands full this year as they roll out a number of new offerings. Some of their best-selling offerings over the past few years has been their Keelboat Racer range (jacket, smock, and trousers), and they’ve updated them significantly: the jacket and smock now have a fleece-lined collar, and a less bulky stowable hood. The trousers underwent a nip-and-tuck makeover, and while doing so, Gill added what they say is a better thigh pocket, a multi-tool attachment point, and an all-important two-way zipper.
Also on the apparel front, Slam’s Filippo Bovio tells us he’s moved into a massive, new warehouse in Florida, which will allow him to get more gear out the door faster. Slam continues its relationship with the BMW Oracle Racing Team, and Bovio says they’re investing heavily into new experimental products for the team, which they intend to bring to market in 2010 “once they’ve been fully tested.” They’re also launching a golf line in 2010, so should the Cup remain in limbo, Ellison, Coutts, and co., will be hitting the water hazards in style. www.slam.com