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Sailing World

Sailing World May/June 2017

Sailing World connects the community of racing sailors through words, images and shared experiences. Across many mediums, it explores the sailor’s passion and showcases the lifestyle, destinations and technology. It links knowledge-hungry participants to the sport’s top experts, providing unrivaled instructional content.

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United States
Bonnier Corporation
R 87,76
R 219,32
4 Issues

in this issue

4 min.
a cup full of intrigue

When it’s time to stow my electronics, the hooked island appears in the window, ringed by a kaleidoscope of blue: reefs, shallows and deep ocean. There’s no mistaking Bermuda, and whether I arrive by bird or by boat, the place is magical, a remote destination not too far away but still in the middle of nowhere. As we circle to land, I get a sweeping view, which reaffirms how small the place really is. That the 35th America’s Cup will be hosted here is still hard to fathom. The seat-belt sign dings, reminding me to fill out my pink Department of Immigration passenger form. Under the heading “Primary Purpose of Visit,” there’s the typical stuff: vacation, study, business. The America’s Cup has three of its own check boxes: team, visiting, business.…

3 min.
starting line

Sparring Partners A friendly rivalry keeps two Cup defender teammates on their toes. Jimmy Spithill has a cold. But the skipper perks up when the conversation turns to the endless competition at Oracle Team USA between him and design coordinator Scott Ferguson. The rivalry is cutthroat — there is no mercy; no quarter is given. And that’s just after hours. Spithill believes competition in just about any form brings out the best in everyone. For the pugnacious helmsman, a good day is made up of ticking off results on the water that were discussed in theory on land. Then before he heads home, he likes to “go down to the table-tennis table, kick Scott’s ass, and take his money.” When Spithill is asked if he has more compassion for Ferguson, who is older than…

1 min.
mckee minute: clean up our act

Water is our element, our playing field, and we should acknowledge the importance of its purity. Sailing is an activity directly connected to nature. It’s a unique and deep connection. Sailors directly benefit from clean water, but we also have a larger responsibility to protect our right to clean water. I’ve been lucky enough to race in venues with pristine racecourses. Sardinia and Antigua come to mind. But I’ve experienced places with significant water-quality issues, like Corpus Christi, Texas, and Rio de Janeiro. It’s a different experience. Sailing is not as fun in dirty water. The fish and birds aren’t happy about it either. We know a lot more about where water pollution comes from, its impacts and prevention. Every venue has its challenges. Preservation requires enforcement of existing laws, including the…

3 min.
offshore olympics

What was once a far-fetched idea for Olympic sailing is one step closer to reality. In February, World Sailing voted to propose an offshore sailing showcase event to the International Olympic Committee for consideration in 2020. “We wanted an event that reflected what most sailors out there do,” says Stan Honey, chairman of the Oceanic and Offshore Committee at World Sailing. “They’re sailing boats with bunks. They’re following races like the Vendée Globe and the Volvo Ocean Race. The number of followers [of these events] is staggering.” The vision was to propose an offshore event as an 11th sailing medal for Tokyo, says Honey. Sailors from the dinghy disciplines could play double-duty for the offshore team, solving IOC’s concern regarding space in the athletes’ village. “Like many other sports, we want to…

2 min.
when the racing ends

The unwritten code of sailboat racing is that the party is as important as the race itself. Yes, it’s true: Our post-race gatherings are essential, whether inside the club, under a tent, in the boat park or the nearest brick-and-mortar bar; these locations present a place to hunt for speed tips or tactical assurances — assuaging the “if only.” Yes, we’ve seen our share of parties, which mostly provide the essentials: a place to gather, a light snack, and bartenders slinging the good stuff. One could argue our parties are all the same these days, which, after polling our Facebook audience, might not necessarily be a bad thing. Here’s what we discovered from our 72 respondents, 48 percent of whom came from individuals who classify themselves as skippers, and 52…

3 min.
team work, dream work

As the Southern Collegiate Offshore Regatta approached, we were giddy and nervous, but above all else, craving the competition and a chance to compete in our home waters. Eight teams were coming from around the country to compete against the College of Charleston. The entire team was either sailing in or running the regatta: from a mark boat, committee boat, or press boat. It was to be a full team effort. When one of the teams showed up short a body to properly sail their boat for the weekend, we let them borrow a sailor. When another team needed help with flying their spinnaker, we sent them a teammate as well. With each race, we grew more comfortable with the way things happened on the J/120 Illyera — maybe too comfortable. In the…