Cruising, Crashing and Cupping – Marion to Bermuda

Corinthians Race to Bermuda to Catch the America’s Cup

pesca bdaThis Friday, June 9th marks the start of the 40th anniversary of the fabled Marion to Bermuda Race. This 21st running of the race has been rescheduled to an earlier start date to align the arrival of the fleet in Bermuda with the America’s Cup final races in mid June. Alternating every other year with the Newport Bermuda Race, the Marion race has long been more of a cruisers delight, with the high-tech race boats that frequent the Newport version heading to Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week on these “off” years.

Of course Team TotalBoat will be rooting for our friends on Pescatore, a Hinckley Sou’wester 59 hailing from Mattapoisett, Mass. Racing in the Youth Challenge division (a certain number of crew need to be below age 23- so in their case- 5 crew under 23), Team Pescatore is hoping to beat their record from the last Marion Bermuda Race, when they were 3rd over the line, and finished 2nd in class. We will be following the boat on the race tracker and will report from Bermuda. If you’re around town and spy the TotalBoat ensign flying on Pescatore, knock on the hull and ask Captain Twice for a TotalBoat hat. Tell him we sent you.  Continue reading

MOTH MANIA: Bermuda or Bust

More Moth mania from contributing blogger guest, Chris Museler. If you missed last week’s post – check it out here.

“Ah, the smell of epoxy in the morning, smells like…victory.” This was one of the many punchy comments on Nat Shaver’s recent FB posts of a modification to his International Moth.

Last week’s US Moth training camp in North Carolina, supported by 11th Hour Racing with supplies from Jamestown Distributors and TotalBoat is now in the books. The work lists are smaller and there was a lot tested, performance measured and modified on the boats. The fleet is now packed in a container enroute to the Amlin International Moth Regatta in Bermuda.

The finishing touches on boat work are still in progress, though. Today, Patrick Wilson was putting the final paint on his foils in his Charleston garage, ending four months of intense grinding, sanding and gluing. (Details on all projects, products used and outcomes listed below)

“I’m not going to do anything to my boat that’s not going to make me faster,” he said on the last day of the training session in Minnesott Beach. And as he would fly up to leeward of the group to signal the start of a lineup, all would trim in. Just one click off the breeze than the rest, it was just a matter of a minute or so before this barefooted blonde guy took off, ending up boat lengths ahead. His approach is working and it started four months ago.

When the US fleet held its Nationals in Hood River, Oregon last summer, Anthony Kotoun walked away with the title sporting a canting rig that stood more upright while sailing upwind, and also used an adjustable rake system to lean the rig forward downwind. That kicked off a massive carbon cutting and vacuum bagging session in the following months to glue in new bow tubes to make adjustable forestays. Shaver designed and 3-D printed a forestay fitting with a pulley and by last week, everyone was going as far forward as they dared off the wind with their mast before the boats became super squirrely and crashed.

Throughout the season, the sailors in this fleet ordered supplies online from www.JamestownDistributors.com because it was fast and efficient. With the warehouse in Bristol, Rhode Island, the product could be shipped anywhere. The supplies donated to the fleet last week were consolidated for all and sent to Minnesott for use there and in Bermuda.

All the quick fixes and repairs in North Carolina were perfect opportunities to use the TotalBoat Thixo, both the Low Viscocity (during the warmer daytime) and the FastCure (at night when temps dipped into the 40 degrees range). With its mixing tip, this quick, ready-made thickened epoxy dispensed with a caulking gun was perfect for Shaver’s boom end that split into pieces at the outhaul. Two thin carbon plates clamped on either side of the end were perfect anchors for a new outhaul system, ready in the morning.

photoQuick and dirty Thixo repair.

A small batch of TotalBoat 5:1 Epoxy Kit resin and hardener combined with some carbon tape and a G-10 fiberglass dowel fixed a snapped tiller extension overnight as well.

This week, Wilson was doing something that will definitely make him faster: re-doing his main horizontal foil hinge. The magic of the Moth is directly associated with the main horizontal foil flap. This is attached to a push rod (held within the vertical foil) that is controlled by a linkage that terminates at a carbon wand off the bow. As the boat goes lower in the water, the wand presses back and the flap is pushed down, adding more lift, and visa versa.

photoAnthony Kotoun uses a digital protractor to measure Front Vertical Foil flap angle change as he moves the wand. Minnesott Beach, NC.

For elite sailors like Wilson, making that flap’s “hinge” as smooth as possible on the top and leaving a super polished finish on the entire foil means that he will blow through the 30-knot barrier downwind and hang with the best in Bermuda. The major part of this equation is the flexible joint on the top of the foil. A bead of Sikaflex is laid and sanded smooth, then the foil is sanded, primed and painted and sanded again. For the best guys, this last bit is pure art. We all can do it, but top results come with experience. Too smooth in cold water, the foils will cavitate. Too coarse, and you’re slow.

Wilson_01Patrick Wilson checking the finish on the freshly faired and painted front horizontal foil.11/23/15

Here’s Wilson’s product list this week:

Sikaflex, Sika Primer, Awlgrip 545 Primer, Awlgrip Topcoat, sandpaper (3M Stickit roll of 120, 220, 320; wetland paper 600, 800, 1000, 1200)

Anthony Kotoun spent all his free time wet sanding his foils in North Carolina, even taking an interview with a local journalist at www.TownDock.net wile he worked his little sanding block at opposing 45-degree angles with the trailing edge of his flap against the table to avoid over-sanding that edge.

photoAnthony Kotoun putting the time in, wet sanding his foil at 45 degree angles.

Shaver was a designer with Emirates Team New Zealand in the last America’s Cup and is now working with France’s Groupama Cup team. Check out his project list below to get a feel for the DIY projects the US fleet completed up until the Bermuda container arrived last Monday:

“For all the carbon work I used a vacuum pump, vac bag, breather and peel ply bought at JD along with sandpaper. For most of the bonding I used SpaBond from JD but have started using Thixo.” – Nat Shaver, US Moth Sailor

Project List: Designed and 3-D printed ball-socket Rudder Rake adjuster; Bent Boom 18 degrees (carbon, epoxy); constructed Boom Spreader (carbon, epoxy, foam); Installed Centerline Utility Tube for forestay purchase (carbon, epoxy, SpaBond); Designed and built New, Longer Rudder (carbon, epoxy, foam, plywood); Faired and painted all foils; Designed and installed 3-D printed Forestay Mount; Rigged boat with Adjustable Rig Rake, cant and control lines moved to outer wing bars.

Wilson_03Double vacuum bagging carbon bow tubes for adjustable forestays.

The Bermuda Moth regatta we are all gunning for starts December 6th. Wilson and several other American’s will be buffing out their foils until then and hand delivering them to that awesome island in the Atlantic. Last week’s Moth Camp was fantastic and the sailors were leapfrogging each other’s performance each day. Every adjustment, modification, seemed to work. The proof is in the pudding and even in Bermuda there will be a work list. But everyone is prepared, jacked up and ready to test their systems and their abilities against all those professionals they will be sitting next to on their flights in next week. I will be reporting on how it all shakes out so stay tuned and follow the US Flagged Moth sailors right here on TotalBoat Show!

 

The America’s Cup World Series is Back

After the first rendition of the America’s Cup World Series which took place in Portsmouth, UK in late July, the second meet up of the super fast, foiling, carbon catamarans just ended in Gothenburg, Sweden. Two winners have surfaced after this most recent event, with former Team Oracle skipper Ben Ainslie, who split off from Oracle to form his own team for this Cup, winning the first races in the UK, and Team New Zealand’s recent win at the Swedish waterfront. Both teams took the Louis Vuitton silver home and get the satisfaction of beating some of the world’s best sailors on some of the most difficult boats to sail.

This edition has some seriously talented sailors in the mix, with the amazing Franck Cammas from France on Groupama, former ETNZ skipper Dean Barker at the helm of SoftBank Team Japan. Don’t forget Jimmy Spithill on Oracle Team USA, and Artemis is back in the mix with Nathan Outteridge and Iain Percy, both very solid sailors, on the sailing team.

The video above is a nice recap of the first Louis Vuitton Cup races in the UK. It shows how these boats sail right on the edge of being out of control (or so it appears) and how quickly maneuvers must be executed and without any mistakes.

The closest these boats get to the USA is a planned event in Chicago in the summer of 2016. I for one, would love to check that event out. Not likely i’ll be able to make it to Bermuda for the real cup races in June 2017….sigh…. The nextLouis Vuitton AC World Series heads to Bermuda October 16th – 18th and the Race Village will be situated in the capital: Hamilton. Who’s going???

Sailor Dies During Marion to Bermuda Race

On Saturday evening, only a day after their departure from Marion, Mass., a sailor aboard a 54-foot Alden ketch, Legacy V, out of Stonington, CT, fell over while on deck suffering from what was believed to be a heart attack. The boat has turned around and is heading back to shore. The crew did CPR on the victim for an hour with no success.  Our condolences go out to the crew who tried to save him and who continue on without him and to the family and friends of the lost sailor.

Read more about the tragedy on Sailing Scuttlebutt and in Bermuda’s Royal Gazette.

Fair winds to the rest of the fleet for a safe arrival in Bermuda.