News & Views

2013 AMERICA'S CUP FINALS: The Furious Comeback Continues

Dean Barker

OH. MY. GOD. I can't believe this madness hasn't ended yet. I was certain Team New Zealand was going to win one of the races yesterday, as the Oracle crew had yet to do better than split decisions on days when two races were sailed. But now Oracle has in fact won four in a row and "only" needs four more.

This is starting to seem almost feasible. And I think Dean Barker is starting to think the same thing. He hasn't been looking too happy at press conferences lately.

Read more...

Write comment (1 Comment)

2013 AMERICA'S CUP FINALS: Race 13... on Friday

AC34 Race 13

Light wind yesterday... and for the first time we saw the big black cats flying gennakers, or Code Zeros, or screechers, or whatever the hell you want to call them. And Oracle had trouble with theirs... and were way way way behind... and Team New Zealand was less than a mile from the finish... when the race was called as the time limit expired. So they tried again...

Read more...

Write comment (1 Comment)

2013 AMERICA'S CUP FINALS: Backs to the Wall

We're hard on it, sports fans. The Oracle boys dropped a hard-fought race on Wednesday (two lead changes, plus a big surge on the last downwind leg) and now can't afford to drop any more. One more win and Team New Zealand will be taking our tin back to Auckland. Oracle did what they had to do yesterday to stay alive--slam-dunked the Kiwis at the start and led all the way to the finish line. Check out their speed upwind in that viddy up there. Full foiling action with top speeds over 30 knots. They just keep getting better!

I'm holding my breath: how much longer can they drag this out???

Read more...

Write comment (0 Comments)

2013 AMERICA'S CUP FINALS: Furious Comeback & Best Racing Yet

I've had a brief exchange of comments following my last full post on the Cup with a fellow named Alex D who complains he is bored by this America's Cup and cites the lack of sail-handling as one reason for this. True enough, there are no sail changes mid-race in this new species of Cup competition, and I'll admit I sort of miss that, too. But it's not true that sail-handling is irrelevant, as Team New Zealand demonstrated in dramatic fashion on Saturday when they mishandled their wing during a tack and almost capsized their boat. Alex D: Pls. skip to 28:30 in the video above and describe below how boring it is.

Read more...

Write comment (4 Comments)

2013 AMERICA'S CUP FINALS: The Writing on the Wall

AC Final Race 5

I was going to blog about the Cup again after watching race 4 on Sunday and planned to cheerfully announce how wrong I was in my last post on the subject. I am an optimist at heart, and I was ready to drink all the Kool-Aid in sight after watching Oracle finally beat Emirates Team New Zealand in a fair fight. I recalled the 2004 ALCS between the Red Sox and Yankees, and how I was chatting with my best Sox buddy right after the Yanks went up three games to zip in the series. "You know what," I said to him, as the marvelous premonition of what was about to happen swept over me. "I think we have them right where we want them."

Read more...

Write comment (3 Comments)

SMOKING A BONE: Freighter Full of Hash Burns in the Med

Gold Star fire

This methinks is the denouement of a Cheech and Chong movie that never got made. The facts, predictably, are a bit hazy. The ship, M/V Gold Star, owned by some Syrian guy, flagged in Tanzania, had nine crew on board. They allegedly set fire to something on board the ship Friday night when they were 30 miles north of Malta. The cargo, maybe? Then they jumped overboard.

Read more...

Write comment (0 Comments)

DEAD GAL: Ruth Wharram

Wharram and women

Another multihull pioneer bites the dust. Unfortunately, I just received an e-mail this morning from Hanneke Boon, Jim Wharram's design partner, regarding the passing of another of Jim's partners, Ruth Wharram, who crossed the Atlantic and back with Jim and Jutta Schultze-Rohnhof (see photo up top) back in 1955-58 on the catamarans Tangaroa and Rongo. She always played an integral role in the development of Wharram's career and business and was an accomplished ocean sailor.

Read more...

Write comment (0 Comments)

UNCONTROLLABLE URGE: Survivors Share Their Story

Uncontrollable Urge dismasted

I have previously opined on the other recent West Coast sailing tragedies (the one America's Cup fatality in May, the four fatalities on Aegean in the Ensenada Race last April, and the five fatalities on Low Speed Chase in the Farallones Race also last April), but have only mentioned in passing the incident aboard the Columbia Carbon 32 Uncontrollable Urge, wherein one crew member, Craig Williams, was killed after the boat lost its rudder and was driven ashore on San Clemente Island during the Islands Race this past March. Just yesterday the four surviving crew published their account of the accident in a joint statement released online. It's worth taking a look at, as it contradicts, implicitly and explicitly, some earlier published accounts.

Read more...

Write comment (2 Comments)

ACCUSED CHILD MOLESTER: Wanna-Be Cruising Couple Nabbed With Arsenal On Boat In Miami

Van Gundys

Van Gundy boat

The "cruising dream" can manifest itself in many strange and different ways. Say, for example, you're living in Arizona and are due to appear in court to face 16 counts of messing around sexually with an underage boy. Might be a good time to take a little road trip to Florida with the wife and the dogs and the assault rifles and look for a boat to buy, wouldn't you say?

Read more...

Write comment (1 Comment)

Search

Subscribe

Total Cruise Control

Buy Total Cruise Control On Amazon Click Here

Buy Total Cruise Control On Amazon Click Here