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Yachting News 17th July 2011

Jul 19, 2011 No Comments by


more here

‘A hell of a night’

By Cynthia Dizikes and William Lee Tribune reporters

3:34 p.m. CDT, July 18, 2011

Two experienced sailors died after sudden strong winds flipped their sailboat in northern Lake Michigan during the Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac.

Six of the crew were rescued, including two teenage boys, 15 and 16.

The dead were identified late this morning as Mark Morley, 51, the skipper of the WingNuts, and Suzanne Bickel, 41, both from Saginaw, Mich. They are the first deaths caused by accident or the weather in the race’s 103-year history, according to the yacht club.

The 35-foot boat was sailing near Fox Island, about 13 miles northwest of Charlevoix, Mich., shortly before midnight when a storm raced up, officials and witnesses said.

“They were ready for the storm, they had their sails down,” said Gifford Cummings, whose 16-year-old son Christopher, known as “C.J.,” was rescued. “But the wind suddenly whipped up from 5 knots to about 40  knots.

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follow the chatter on Sailing Anarchy here

follow the chatter on Sailing Anarchy here

By Justin L. Engel | The Saginaw News

Without warning, WingNuts flipped to its right and capsized, sending its tethered crew into the water, Dent said.

“Usually, if the boat tips, it would right itself right away,” said Dent, who recalls a similar severe storm hitting the WingNuts during its first Chicago race. “I couldn’t say why it didn’t (right itself) this time. I’ve thought about it a million times, and I’m sure people will be discussing for months what happened.”

Dent said he has a difficult time describing the moments after the capsizing.

“Fortunately, I could reach my knife, and I was able to cut off my tether,” Dent said.

The other five survivors also were able to free themselves and hold on to the sides of the overturned sailboat, he said.

“We knew we were in trouble,” Dent said, “and we knew not everyone was accounted for.”


available now on Waiheke Island, join our facebook page for the latest details

Greetings yachties,

In this issue:

Volvo Ocean Race 2008/09 – Episode 31 & 32,

Team Vodafone Sailing – latest news here,

AudiMed Cup TV – live action here,

Getting in the Groove AudiMed Cup,

Volvo Ocean Race 2011/12 – Miami – new facebook page here,

Wild Days Rum Auckland Raid –  Buy the bottle Ponsonby, K Rd & Mt Albert,

Chicago Yacht Club’s Race to Mackinac – 2 die,

SSANZ – 1st race,

Hartley 16 North Island Champs NOR,

Oracle update,

Oracle Digest – latest issue here,

ETNZ social media link,

Scuttlebutt USA – latest issue here,

Scuttlebutt Europe – latest issue here,


SSANZ Race 1, 16th July – Promise Report

Friday morning the day before – a cold strong southerly flow covers the north island, need to pack the thermals. House keeping and a last look at the weather predictions – most are saying south tending west with squally rain showers gusting to 35knots – almost perfect.

Text from Brett about 20:30pm plane delayed 5 hours eta Auckland 05:30 race day, ( race start is 09:05 off northern leading ) – change of plans – need to catch the next ferry at 21:30 – grab a quick a coffee, make tracks to Matiatia.

22:15 arrived down town. My backup ride is getting munted on the shore watching the league. head to subway for a foot long and maybe save some for breakfast, then phone rings – it’s Brett – not good. What’s up?
Plane has been cancelled.
gutted, why?
The planes air-conditioning wont work, plane has been cancelled, next available seat is 19:00 Saturday. double gutted – that’s after we should finish – triple gutted.
It gets worse, I could take the boat if I can find another crew, but the race sails are in the back of Brett’s car which is parked at the airport and he has the keys. Only rum race sails are on board, looks like we are heading for a DNS.
May as well go by myself, cruise it round the track and score what I can – even a last place is better than a DNS.

23:00 I send out a little text message to a few on my list. ‘Need crew for SSANZ 1st race, Brett stuck in Aussie.’

It’s a 40minute walk around to Westhaven from down town and my bag with all my sailing gear is a little heavy – stopping every now and then for a rest and shelter from the rain – no return txt’s

24:00 Nothing heard back – oh well, I tried – switch the phone off and try to catch some sleep.

06:00 Sparrow fart, time to get up and sort a few ropes – phone back on and beep beep a reply – it’s Zib on her way to collect Dale from the airport after a 12 hour flight from China – she can make it and Dale could use some sleep – perfect – meet me on X pier at 08:00 PS grab some food and see you soon.

Zib is a keen yachtie, she has sailed with me on Outrageous Fortune, eager, strong and has just done her first off shore as crew on Outrageous Fortune for the delivery from Fiji to Auckland. However this would be her first 2 handed race and her first sail on a yacht without life lines.

To race a Stewart 34 in such a way on these extended harbour courses around the inshore islands we always wear a harness for clipping on to safety lines while sailing. Zibs job on the trip is to clip sails on, gybe the pole, adjust controls and trim. She even boiled the kettle and made me a coffee. Fantastic.

Blue flag. second start. 09:05. The motor down to the start area was glorious. 150 plus yachts heading out to the Beanrock area to start the first of SSANZ Triple series again supported by B&G Simrad. This years races can also be sailed online with the co-opperation of SOL a virual sailing game using real time weather and tracking of yachts competing in the real life race. The SOL gods have the polars of a modified Young 11. This is your chance to race Force 11 and other modified Young 11 yachts without getting wet. When you join the club you can race the race on your phone. Be warned!! The game is very addictive.

As I said before, the racing sails where locked in Brett’s car, the best headsails were had were rum race sails, a ratty #2 and a few other cruising blankets. Probably a good thing, since it’s Zib’s first 2 handed. One thing I have noticed is the number of husband and wife crews, great to see.

T minus 5. reach down the pin end on port, gybe in clear air, gather some speed and whomp the gun goes. That’s the plan, Ok Zib? “Yep sounds ok.” 1:00min to go and there is one of those pesky Young 88’s dancing in the start area. Gybe round under him, power up and bugger me clear space the size of the ocean. Power up some more, bang on the line with speed, easing off and get the pole sorted.

Photo by Fineline more images here

more stories on here

Multihull stories here

from Top Knot D28

We can see the breeze is very soft up ahead and try to nail the corner of Browns Island with the intention of climbing into the new breeze as quickly as possible. The A division have all stayed with their kites and are now well to leeward. Some are short tacking off the beach fighting an outgoing tide, or so the stories on would have you believe.

Staying high with our eased rum racer doing what it does best. We slowly fight our way through more Young 88’s to keep our ship moving. Last but knot least are the small boats and multi-hulls. The small yachts have a different course and once they get around Browns Island they all head up to the a navy buoy, and!, into the new breeze which is slowly filling in. As this fleet of Hanse, Pied Pipers, Farr 727 and friends descend upon us we are forced to engage with these guys. Most play fair and understand the others point of view of right of way and some need to be reminded, particularly when approaching almost stationary objects like Young 88’s & Stewart 34’s slip slop slapping.

The breeze is now an easy 5knots slowly drifting across the channel. We have a nice clip of speed and by Rocky Bay have most of the A division and all of the B division behind us, if only we had a kite. One by one kites are flown and one by one the bulk of the fleet catch and pass us. Round Passage Rock, a yacht has passed a little too close, Drop Dead Fred is high and dry at the bottom of the tide, his wait would turn into hours before finally getting free.

A new addition;

2011 SSANZ B&G Simrad Series “Greatest #$%@ up” Sponsored by Chains Ropes and Anchors.

Drop Dead Fred parking hard on Passage Rock  – a strong contender for the award.

more contenders here


We round in good company with Psychic just a few lengths a stern and Panacea another Stewart34 just up ahead. Pahi, one of the first yachts to pop a kite and catch us is now about 20minutes up the track.

A close reach of about 6miles to the next corner sees us pound our way through the little chop passing the bunch ahead and just before the corner getting back to Geralda, the fast red down wind flyer. Power reaching across to the green buoy more Young 88’s are buzzing around. Psychic is still just behind us, poled out headsail again means we slip back a bit more against the kites. Ahead, is a long upwind to shake off some more little boats.

Turn the corner at Billy Goat Point. Locked in with Psychic for the upwind, we have the rum race sail they have a number 2. We are a little overpowered and need to pinch a little to stay in the grove. Psychic looks powered up and sailing well. Tack in shore to get out of the chop and cover – tack back and are looking good – long port and they are able to extend a little. Tide is flooding and we go early in space between some of those Young 88’s. The tide is lifting us nicely as we power up to and through some more 88’s. Starting to look a bit close as Psychic powers over the top of us finishing a few boat lengths ahead. Great race. Good to get a result instead of DNS. Thanks Zib – glad you were on my list.


more stories on SSANZ here

more images on SSANZ here

track from Voom

Hartley 16 North Island Champs are on 5-6 November 2011 at Lake Ngaroto, Te awamutu. NOR out soon.

Photo 2011 Nationals, Napier

Lake Ngaroto is a small lake on the outskirts of Te awamutu, there is a large grass area if you would like to camp, and the club facilities will be available. The Ngaroto club has 3-4 Hartley’s sailing at the club, so this is a great opportunity to get some great fleet racing if we all make the effort to get there.

If you have a Hartley 16 and have not got it set up then we will have the top sailors there to help you set your boats up.

more here

The two crews are headed by America’s Cup legends James Spithill and Russell Coutts, respectively the youngest skipper and the most successful skipper in the 160-year history of the event.

Round 1 of the new America’s Cup World Series will see the first competitive clash between ORACLE Racing and the challenger teams. There will be added zest with rivalry between the team’s two crews.

The ORACLE Racing Spithill crew includes tactician John Kostecki (USA), wingsail trimmer Dirk de Ridder (NED), headsail trimmer Joe Newton (AUS) and bowman Piet van Nieuwenhuijzen (NED). Spithill’s ‘young guns’ count five America’s Cup wins between them.

“We are extremely competitive and we are judged by our results, so I want to do everything possible to achieve this,” said Spithill.

By contrast, four of the ORACLE Racing Coutts veterans total a record-breaking 15 Cup victories, boosted to 16 when the team’s youngest sailor Simeon Tienpont’s 2010 win is counted.

Coutts said past results are no guarantee of future performance: “Anytime we are racing, we want to be competitive. Right now my levels of performance are not where I want them to be in these new boats, so that’s a personal goal. Otherwise, we want to show that we can win one or more of the World Series events.”

The ORACLE Racing Coutts crew includes tactician and wing trimmer Murray Jones (NZL), headsail trimmer Simon Daubney (NZL), pitman Matthew Mason (NZL) and Tienpont (NED), the bowman.

As the lone defender candidate, ORACLE Racing has two complete in-house crews to hone its skills. The team is coming off a month-long training session at its base in San Francisco, host venue for the 34th America’s Cup in September 2013.

“We’re all happy with the training we did in San Francisco,” said Kostecki. “We feel very prepared heading into Cascais. It’s going to be the first time that ORACLE Racing, as the defender, goes up against the other challengers. So we’re really going out to win.”

Spithill, Kostecki, de Ridder and Newton were aboard the trimaran USA 17 when it won the 33rd America’s Cup. Bowman van Nieuwenhuijzen joined the team last September.

Coutts’ crew includes old mates Daubney, who joined the team last month, Jones and Mason.

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