Staying in Class: Fixing the Pitfalls of Running a Classic Regatta

This is our second year as major sponsors of the Camden Classics Cup, the latest addition to the classic boat racing circuit here in the northeastern U.S. But we’ve been racing Vintage, Classic and Spirit of Tradition boats since the 1990’s. And, as with most things, we’ve developed strong opinions about what makes a compelling vintage, classic or SoT regatta. Guess what? We’re going to share those thoughts with you, now. The rebirth of Classic yacht racing was a disorganized grassroots movement. Each regatta was built on the dusty, rotten framework of the old days, driven by the rebirth of many […]

A Spirit of Tradition Class Manifesto

You know it’s a good fight when it’s goes on for 25 years! And over the last decades, nothing has gotten the SOT community hotter under the collar than what is — and what isn’t — a “Spirit of Tradition” raceboat. Classing the newer thoroughbreds has been a concern. As is, how to level the playing for older boats, given the rush to owner embellishments like structure refits, improved equipment, and modern sailing hardware.  We’ve evolved our own strong opinions on setting procedural guidelines for SOT racing. And with the weather warming, and race season upon us, we think it’s time […]

“Sailbot'” Crash Avoidance Tech Passes 2,500 Miles.

A remarkable tale of sailing grit and cunning has gotten almost no coverage: The University of British Columbia’s Sailbot Team and its Transatlantic Challenge is going on as we speak. The team has developed, designed, and built a roughly 20-foot autonomous sailing catboat, called Ada. This wishbone-rigged, bulb-keeled sailing robot has navigated nearly 2,500 miles in a mostly zag-zag course through the mid-Atlantic. Like most pioneers there have been issues: On August 29th, disaster struck when its rudder froze. Ada has also survived power outages, gear failures and getting crushed by other ships and debris. In spite of her struggles, Ada is making real headway. […]

The New Voyage for Madmen?

It’s sailing madness season! The Vendee Globe round-the-world race starts on Nov 6th. And so begins the 100-or-so day, semi-annual obsession with pure speed in single-handed offshore sailing. This year’s fleet of crazy racers features above-water foiling boats — similar to hyper-developmental skiffs like the Moth class: 30 knots will be considered average top speeds. And the word “suffering” will also be considered standard in terms of skippers’ life aboard. Some bit more sensible yachting minds have come up with an alternative round-the-world race: Called the Golden Globe Race 2018, it is the 50th-anniversary re-running of the original Golden Globe that […]