Our Race to Alaska – A Waterlust Film

Back in the spring, we blogged about the crazies from all over the country who met up in the Pacific Northwest to gather together for a fairly typical sailing race start. But everything that took place after that start was pretty atypical. These sailors were not just racing around the buoys or doing an overnight distance race. They were off with their bows pointed – more or less – towards Ketchikan, Alaska.

The 750 mile race is divided into 2 stages – almost cut in half.

This jovial race description meets you on the R2AK website and it’s so fitting I’ll share it here:

It’s in the spirit of tradition, exploration, and the lawless self-reliance of the gold rush that Race to Alaska was born. R2AK is the first of its kind and North America’s longest human and wind powered race, and currently the largest cash prize for a race of its kind.

It’s like the Iditarod, on a boat,
with a chance of drowning
…being run down by a freighter, or eaten by a grizzly bear.

There are squalls, killer whales, tidal currents that run upwards of 20 miles an hour, and some of the most beautiful scenery on god’s green earth.

Even if you didn’t care then – care for the first few minutes of this cool video accounting some East Coast sailors who traveled cross country to race their “beach catamaran” in this crazy race. The video is somewhat long – but it’s really well done and the story of this race is so cool. And when it pops up again next spring, you’ll be following the crazies. I know I will.

Foiling Week – A Five Day Festival of Foiling

Have you witnessed a flying boat yet? It’s a sight and makes you wonder if perhaps you’re seeing things! Foiling is the way of the sailing future and with kites, catamarans, lasers even taking to the air, foiling is reaching new heights and popularity amongst the younger sailing population.

We told you about the Vineyard Cup which added foiling kites to their formerly water based event last week on Martha’s Vineyard. The event was very well received, the weather was perfect and the fleet of flying foiling kiteboards were blasting around at top speeds with an excellent turnout.

So of course the Euros have to take it to another level with a whole week of foiling fun. Read this report from the event website and watch the video and be the judge: are you ready to take your sailing to this next level? I’m happy to watch, thank you!

Website Report:  Foiling Week 2015 came to a close last weekend after a five day festival of foiling in superb conditions at Lake Garda. The weather really turned it on for three days of fast and furious foiling with Lake Garda an eclectic mix of foiling craft.

The sun came out every day and the pristine clear waters off Malcesine proved a big hit for the visiting sailors. The early morning Peler from the North switches off around lunchtime to make way for the afternoon Ora from the South which blew in 12 – 18 knots almost every day. Add the occasional summer thunderstorm in the mix and you have some awesome foiling conditions.

The Kitefoil Invitational proved such a hit amongst the visitors that international kite rider Marvin Baumeister is keen to organize a major kite event in Lake Garda as early as next year.

“The circuit is growing in strength and if we come here in Summer it doesn’t get much better, its not only a place that has really good conditions for some very fast racing, its also the panorama and the scene here just adds that extra element.”

Winner of the Long Distance Race, kiteboarder Torvar Mirsky from Western Australia agrees: “I have had a lot of fun here, this Foiling Week concept is great, the venue is great, the organization is spot on so we have had such a pleasant time.” (read more)

Sounds like fun to me, but still – i’ll take the video. Enjoy!


US Sailing Youth Championships are in Town

Just as the carnival, parade floats and 4th of July gawkers rolled out of town on Sunday the 5th, there was a parade of youth sailors entering town. Bristol, RI – who, as we told you, is host to the nation’s oldest 4th of July parade – saw over 300,000 people line the red, white and blue striped parade route (the stripe in the road is literally r, w & b). Today marks the start of the US Youth Sailing Championship Regatta bringing over 160 of the top young sailors in the country to the Ocean State for this pinnacle event for youth sailors under 20 in the U.S.

The invite only regatta has five classes racing on Narragansett Bay and Mount Hope Bay beginning today through Friday, July 10. Many of this week’s winners will qualify for the US Sailing Team Sperry Youth World Team and compete at the 2015 ISAF Youth World Championships in Malaysia.

The event marks the grand opening of the nearly completed Richard L. Bready Mount Hope Bay Sailing and Education Center at Roger Williams University.  The sailing center is perfectly suited for the event and allows the University to shine as a recent addition to top college sailing teams.

Classes being sailed are:
– Laser Standard – Laser Radial – Int’l 420 – 29er – F16 catamarans

Check out the photos, viewing info, event updates and more here.

Free GUNBOAT 55 Catamaran

You just have to get it home… from Northeast of Bermuda. And then rebuild it. No biggie….

Pic Courtesy of WaveTrain

Rainmaker, hull #1 of the once eagerly anticipated GB55’s, was abandoned at sea about 5 months ago after a nasty squall dropped her rig. The owner and his son were the 2 least experienced aboard and speculation says the boat was ditched too soon and they could have tried a self-rescue before abandoning ship.

All of that is nice from your cozy desk or chair – but faced with another storm coming to abuse the now mastless multihull, they pulled the plug and were rescued.rainsight.00

Several attempts were made to track down the drifting boat for naught, until yesterday when a passing freighter saw and photographed the hull adrift and close to the Gulf Stream.

Check it out. LOTS more of this story is here. (Beware: the awesome Insanity that is SailingAnarchy.com) Anyone want a free Gunboat?

(Photos courtesy of Gunboat/ Facebook and WaveTrain.net 

New Gunboat G4 is SICK!

Oh my… really what else is there to say? If you like POWERBOATS – and thought sailing was for wussies who like to go slowly and tack back and forth  – check this vid and boat out. With a top speed (after only a few trips) of nearly 32 knots, this two hulled hulk makes it difficult for most powerboats to keep up! The G4 is not for the faint of heart – this beast is a gentleman’s cocktail cruiser with afterburners also known as foils. The foils lift this baby off the water so the hulls are not touching and the drag and wetted surface is like – NIL – makes for a speedy ride.

Our friend Billy Swizzle (http://swizzlesportsmedia.com/) was aboard for this ride on what he calls “The Flying Tesla” and he was quite taken by the hum of speed. Have a listen in his own video here. And then stand in line to get one of your own G4’s because I’m pretty sure that just because she was launched this month doesn’t mean you can step right up and get one of your own. Can’t find the price on the Gunboat website… but as they say… if you have to ask…

Gunboat.com – G4 

By the way – we do sell carbon fiber and lots of epoxy here at JD. And that’s all she is – a boatload of carbon and resins. So try your hand at building one soon. Maybe Gunboat will come out with a G4 kit…. ha ha.