A Peek at North's Mystery Machine

New sail making technology, Cancer fundraising, and the new National Sailing Hall of fame all mean good things for sailing. From Gary Jobson's blog for January 3, 2008

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I visited Toronto last month to film North Sails' fascinating 3DR machine, a 36-foot-long cylinder used to make 3DL sails. The brilliance of this device is that it lays out the threads on a clear film to very precise measurements, giving the sail its shape. North is producing a film about its 50 year history and is planning to include this footage. Seeing the 3DR up close was a real eye-opener for me.

Leukemia Society Holds Fantasy Weekend

Over 130 of the top fund-raisers for the 2007 Leukemia Cup gathered in San Diego last month for a regatta celebrating the record-breaking effort. The 47 regattas held across the United States last year collectively raised $3.5 million for cancer research. One of the highlights of the weekend was a talk by four-time America's Cup champion Dennis Conner, who opined on the current America's Cup controversy. In a nutshell, Conner is saddened by the recent developments and believes it is hurting the sport.

The racers in the group competed aboard 15 J-105s, and Troy Sears accommodated 50 guests aboard his schooner America. I sailed aboard America and commentated on the race. It was a breezy day; at one point America hit 12 knots.

National Sailing Hall of Fame To Expand

The National Sailing Hall of Fame, based in Annapolis, Md., announced plans to construct a building to house the hall in a space adjacent to City Dock. The reaction around Annapolis was best summed up in an editorial published in The Capital, "If all goes well construction may start in 2010. But this is something America's Sailing Capital needs and should have. Having it will richly reward the time and trouble that will have to be taken in the next few years."