The Regatta with a Great Story to Tell: The Corinthian Classic.

As this summer’s racing season gears up, and we consider the Mid-Coast Maine classic racing scene in another nearby post, an interesting naval design truth hit us: The biggest sailboat races almost go out of their way to deny their design legacies. Go look at the scratch sheets for the major events like the Newport Bermuda Race, the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, and the TransPac, and can you find many sailing homages to the past that built these fleets? Probably not. Certainly, most big regattas try to tell their stories in one form or another in race history […]

Cal 4040 or Solo: You Decide.

Thinking aloud about a Cal 40 reboot turned out to be more “interesting” than we ever imagined. In our last articles, we chatted idly over what we’d thought would be about keeping C. William Lapworth’s legendary pac-racing Cal 40 relevant to today’s materials and techniques. And, oh boy, what a hit. We’re no stranger to strong opinions and hot-bar arguments with this wacky and wonderful sailing tribe of ours. But we were caught out when this Cal 4040 piece instantly became our most popular story, ever. (It never hurts when our friends over at the all-mighty Sailing Anarchy copied and linked […]

On A Great Mac-Race SoT Racer.

It might be mid-April, but that hasn’t stopped thousands of fresh water sailors from booking up their July-21st weekend. That’s when the Chicago-Mac race — or more precisely, the “Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac”  — fires off for 2018. And true to form, this year’s 333-mile granddaddy of all freshwater distance races will see a full flush of raceboats shaping up at the starting line. So far, we counted 292 vessels in the 2018 scratch sheet. Wednesday night ’round-the-can racing, the Mac is not. Of course, to our twisted-boat design sense of fun, a more rigorous all-around boat test […]

In the Spirit of Fazisi: A Designer’s Notebook.

What is it with Russians and nostalgia? In movies there’s Nostalghia, Andrei Tarkovksy’s brooding 1988’s film masterpiece about the lurid horrors of a collapsing Soviet Union. (Yeah, this is a boat-design newsletter, get over it.) And in raceboats, there is Fazisi. The brooding 82-foot, late 1980’s Whitbread round-the-world speedster, that ran the 32,932 mile event with no sea trials, little funding and lots of stress. The skipper on the first leg, the poor Aleksei Grishenko, hanged himself from a tree in Uruguay. Leaving American, Skip Novak, to take over the fight making his way around the globe and write a […]

Retro Golden Globe One-Design Racer Gets Lost In Design Time.

Hey, Don McIntyre! You’re the organizer of the Golden Globe 2018 single-handed round-the-world race. You know, the one where anybody can grab a select list of old fiberglass boats and go around the world non-stop, with not much more than a sextant. Is there a rule we missed that says the new one-design for your race has to be a slow boat to China and back? It’s not like we’re not big fans of the coming Golden Globe Race 2018. We flat out love how your GGR will send off a mixed fleet of about 30 professional and amateur sailors. […]

Paul Pounds Sails: Why Handicapping Sail Materials Is a Material Mistake.

Sailing is not golf. Handicapping a sailboat race is a silly, silly idea: Length, weight, sail area, wetted surface are difficult to compare fairly. Nothing comes close to a simple “three-stroke handicap” that captures the subtle mix of tools that make a boat fast or slow. But, still, we sailors want to have fun, we don’t want confusing rules and penalties that are faulty in basis.  Mostly we want to collect our friends and all our different boats, together at the same party, and race. It’s what we do. Today, we’re going to rant about the especially gnarly problem of […]

Bequia Wins Again: A Look at the Candy Store Cup 2017 Fleet.

It may be shameless self promotion, but … one of our favorite boats, Bequia, took another decisive win on the race course earlier this summer. She took first overall at this year’s pretty darn competitive Candy Store Cup, in Newport, RI.  When we find luck on the race course, we like to take a moment to compare the boat to the others on the race course. That way we learn where the speed might have come from; and dig into what we can improve in future designs. The very talented marine photographer, Mark Krasnow, was very generous to share his spectacular race photos. […]

The Scuttlebutt on the Camden Classics Cup

One of the upsides of sponsoring the Camden Classics Cup is we get to cozy up to the scratch sheet for this year’s racing. Entries are still coming, but so far there will be some distinguished Spirit-of-Tradition yachts, with great backstories, out there on crystal blue Penobscot Bay. Since any time is a good time to jaw about these lovely boats, here’s a couple of favorite designs you can expect to see racing on July 27th. Marie J: This Tiffany Jayne 34 was the cold-molded wood prototype for a successful fiberglass production run of this boat, designed by Paul Kotzebue, […]