Every sailing community has their traditions, some more perplexing than others, but all aimed at achieving one common goal: Getting out on the water. For example, as a kid growing up on the waters of my native New England, I well remember struggling to right my Laser after capsizing it for the 10,000th time during the blustery, January days before I got old (or was it smart?...doubtful.) enough to realize that the 'pleasures' of Frostbiting (much like ice climbing) are for a 'select' breed—the rest of us just go skiing.
Round the County Race - Orcas Yacht Club photo .. .
But here in the Pacific Northwest I'm discovering a whole new face to non-summer sailing. Here, our summer months are defined by blue skies and massive high-pressure systems that are typically void of breeze. Because of this, most of our competitive sailing takes place in the fall, late winter and spring.
Wind is good—everybody loves sailing in a good breeze—but the coin, of course, has another face: rain. Yet there are never complaints about a bit of precipitation, so long as there's breeze and boats to race against. Take this weekend's Round the County race, which circumnavigated the fabled San Juan Islands.
Seventy-three boats registered to sail, even though chances were good-to-excellent that the conditions would be less than ideal, weather wise. Did we all have a blast?
You better believe it. But does sailing in the rain fall into the same category of 'traditions' as frostbiting in New England or ice sailing in the Mid West?
I'm starting to think so, albeit in a way that's marked with big smiles, fingers still warm enough tie bowlines at the end of the day, and—the most important ingredient of all—only half-frozen camaraderie (although this later point is certainly one that Frostbiters and ice-boat sailors also have in large quantity; their's is just served chilled).
In short, does it really matter what the skies are doing, so long as we're sailing?
Temperature, though—now that's a different story entirely.
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor
Route du Rhum - Who's that coming round the corner... is it a monster? Gaia Coretti, Route du Rhum - The ultimate honours in the historic clash of the monster multis, the no-holds-barred Ultime class which has set an electric pace for this historic 2010 Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale, will go down to the final 400 miles with a subtle, tactical showdown in light breezes.... [more] Share this story
Long Beach to Cabo San Lucas race Day 2 Rich Roberts, Long Beach to Cabo San Lucas race Day 2 - Akela, the leader from the start, was still in first place despite going slower than anyone else---at least according to official position reports---while the last three boats---Alchemy, Holua and Vincitore.... [more] Share this story
Sail-World Mailbag: The Week that Was - More on the Olympic Decision Sail-World Readers, Sail-World readers comment on the Olympic decisions for November - following the 'Olympic Decision - will ISAF get caught by a Yorker?' and the earlier 'Olympic sailing destined for another major jolt at Athens in November'. You can have your say on the Olympic Events by http://www.sail-world.com/NZ/Gladwells-Line:-Olympic-Decision---will-ISAF-get-caught-by-a-Yorker/75967!clicking_here... [more] Share this story
China Cup Int Regatta 2010: not as good as it thinks it is Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, There were a lot of people at Longcheer last weekend having a lot of fun. We know, they said so. Well done China Cup for putting on a good show. No doubt a regatta in China is a fun-filled novelty if you live in Chicago, or France, or Turkey.... [more] Share this story
Route du Rhum - Actual suffers damage to cross beam Rivacom, At 0100hrs (CET) this morning (Monday) Yves le Blevec, skipper of the Multi 50 Actual informed his team and the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale race director that the trimaran has sustained damage to the forward starboard cross beam. The situation is reported to have been stabilised.... [more] Share this story
2010 Kennedy Cup to Maine Maritime Jahn Tihansky, Maine Maritime started the day with a comfortable seven point margin over Cal Maritime and 12 over Navy meaning that it was going to require some divine intervention for things to change.... [more] Share this story
Sailing Videos of the Week - the Sail-World selection The Sail-World Team, There is more and more video footage being published online. For your enjoyment Sail-World is going to bring you a mixture of the latests and greatest and some historic footage each week. If you'd like to make sure everyone sees the best old stuff, give us your feedback.... [more] Share this story
US Sailor Michael Reppy - Sailing to stop dolphin slaughter Erik Simonson, Michael Reppy - At age 65, most people look forward to a nice quiet retirement, relaxing vactions and a less frantic existence. Marin County's Michael Reppy, a physical therapist by day, seeks to conquer something that has avoided him for much of his adult life.... [more] Share this story
Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai - First test sailing in Dubai Bruno Troublé, Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai - As preparations continue for the Louis Vuitton Trophy Dubai, two of the four race boats being used in the event sailed for the first time at the venue on Sunday afternoon. At 1300, All4One and Emirates Team New Zealand went sailing for an afternoon testing session in the two boats supplied by the Kiwi team. The other two boats for the event, from BMW Oracle Racing, wil... [more] Share this story
Route du Rhum - Strong gusts and rough seas Soazig Guého, Route du Rhum - 1500 miles from the finish, the fleet of IMOCA monohulls is tracing a long straight line towards the French West Indies in some strong winds and heavy seas on the beam. Marc Guillemot and his monohull Safran were bombing along all night clocking up the miles.... [more] Share this story
The REAL challenges for Olympic Sailing Rob Size, 470 sailor, The overwhelming response to this Olympic shake down has been focused around the classes sailed at the Games. This is an important issue no doubt, but in no way the most significant challenge sailing faces as an Olympic sport. The number one challenge faced by sailing as an Olympic sport is the disappointing way in which it is presented on television.... [more] Share this story
Long Beach to Cabo San Lucas Race Day 1 Rich Roberts, Long Beach to Cabo San Lucas Race Day 1 - Although a chart shows the course running slightly east of south directly down to the tip of Mexico's Baja California peninsula, the 804 nautical miles are filled with enough subtleties of weather to challenge the best navigators in the world.... [more] Share this story
Volvo Ocean Race - Groupama's logical plan Volvo Ocean Race, Volvo Ocean Race - With less than a year to go to the start, the fourth and final update this week comes from Team Groupama, skippered by offshore specialist, Franck Cammas.... [more] Share this story
Volvo Ocean Race - Puma Ocean Racing building pace Volvo Ocean Race, Volvo Ocean Race - With only a year to go to the start of the race, the Volvo Ocean Race teams are making their final crew selections and starting to train before the Volvo Open 70s under construction are ready to hit the water. The second update this week is from PUMA Ocean Racing powered by Berg Propulsion, skippered by Ken Read, who led PUMA's il mostro to second place.... [more] Share this story
Route du Rhum - La Banque Postale: Groupe Bel abandons Route du Rhum/Sail-World, Within 1000 miles of Pointe-a-Pitre, Franck Cammas still has overall control of the Ultime class and the race, making more than 20 knots this morning on the giant green trimaran. Kito de Pavant has had to turn for the Azores, abandoning the race due to keel ram failure.... [more] Share this story
Route du Rhum - Groupe Bel forced out with keel head mechanism damage Route du Rhum, Route du Rhum - Kito de Pavant (Groupe Bel) who was lying fifth in the IMOCA Open 60 class officially abandoned the Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale very early this Saturday morning after suffering a failure to a steel keel ram.... [more] Share this story
RC 44 Championship Tour heads to the US RC 44 Class Association, RC 44 Championship Tour 2010 - A record number of entries – fourteen strict one design RC 44's – will compete in next month's Oracle RC 44 Cup Miami (December 7 – 12). The event will be followed by the RC 44 San Diego Cup (March 2 – 6), whilst some teams will also compete in Key West Race Week in January.... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans - Bath time on Spartan Velux 5 Oceans, It was time for a bath this morning on Spartan - I was moving equipment around inside the boat taking heavier tool bags and kit forward and to windward to help trim the boat into a slightly faster angle of attack and increase my speed when I heard an ominous 'swishing' sound coming from the other side of the bulkhead here in the cabin. ... [more] Share this story
ICSA Kennedy Cup day 1 at Navy Jahn Tihansky, ICSA Kennedy Cup day 1 at Navy - PRO Wayne Bretch got racing underway on time at 1230 and held three races just outside the mouth of the Severn River in a fresh northwesterly that ranged between 12 and 18 knots through the afternoon.... [more] Share this story
BMW Oracle Racing victory tour comes to Canada Tim Jeffery, BMW Oracle Racing victory tour comes to Canada - Accompanied by the famous America's Cup itself, it is believed that this is the first time that one of sports' most iconic trophies has been brought to Canada.... [more] Share this story
Volvo Ocean Race - Camper's great adventure Volvo Ocean Race, Volvo Ocean Race - The third update this week is from Camper. We hear from Skipper Chris Nicholson and Dalia Saliamonas, Project Director for Camper in the Volvo Ocean Race.... [more] Share this story
Route du Rhum - Coville's on the comeback! Gaia Coretti, A long, industrious, testing 24 hours for both of the leading Ultime skippers in the 2010 Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale sees Thomas Coville start to come back at the so far completely dominant Groupama 3 of Franck Cammas. Coville has pushing as hard as he dares on the giant red tri Sodebo, reporting to today's lunchtime radio vacation that he had been regularly making 33-34 knots... [more] Share this story
Route du Rhum - The sense of anticipation Vincent Borde, Route du Rhum - Normally, during this time of year, the tradewinds are generally nice and steady, yet it has to be said that this doesn't appear to be the case for the competitors in the Ultimate Class competing in the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale.... [more] Share this story
[ICSA] Rose Bowl Regatta 2011 Michael H. Segerblom, Rose Bowl Regatta 2011 - The 2011 Rose Bowl Regatta will be held on January 8-9, 2011 with an opportunity to practice (one boat per school) on Friday afternoon January 7th. Boats and Sails are provided for all Out of State College Teams. This event will be held in Long Beach, CA and the College Division will sail off the Belmont Pier.... [more] Share this story
Kiel Sailing Week 2011 - A-Cats to join the party Rainer Bohrer VDAC, Kiel Sailing Week 2011 - This is very good news for the A-Cat class: it will take part in the 2011 Kiel Sailing Week; for the first time since 2001, it will once again be represented in the international section. In recent times the innovative A-Cat class has gained in stature and is attracting many sailors, including absolutely world class sailors like James Spithill.... [more] Share this story
Andrew Campbell update - Storm Trysail Club's IRC Midwinters and more CampbellSailing.com, Storm Trysail Club's IRC Midwinters - Last weekend we had the great opportunity to race with the Chesapeake Farr 40 Class with our own start in the Storm Trysail Club's IRC Midwinters. Racing with Kevin McNeil's Nightshift we hammered our way around a difficult racetrack during the 30 mile distance race on Friday, but rallied to win all five of the windward/leeward races on Saturday and Sunday.... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans - Videos of the week Velux 5 Oceans, The Sail-World team brings you the latest videos from the Velux 5 Oceans race. The skippers are sharing the action with you via a dedicated on board camera system that enables broadcast and web feeds from anywhere at sea.... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans - Leaders ready for drag race across the Atlantic Velux 5 Oceans, Brad Van Liew doing everything he can to hold onto lead as finish line approaches; he is setting up for a one-on-one drag race to Cape Town with rival Zbigniew ‘Gutek' Gutkowski as the pair battle it out for the top spot. After nearly three weeks at sea and more than 4,000 nautical miles sailed just 22 nautical miles separate the two skippers.... [more] Share this story
Velux 5 Oceans - Freeze dried food, the reality of eating at sea Velux 5 Oceans, Life alone at sea is tough for the Velux 5 Oceans skippers at the best of times, fighting extreme exhaustion, facing massive physical challenges and having to constantly make major decisions at the drop of a hat. Now imagine if all you had to eat for every meal for a whole month came out of a packet. No fresh food, very few treats, none of life's little comforts.... [more] Share this story
St. Moritz Match Race announces dates of 2011 edition MaxComm Communications, The world's best match racers will once again gather to the Swiss Alps next summer in order to compete for the title of King of the Mountains. St. Moritz Match Race is one of the principal stopovers of the match racing annual calendar; it is also Switzerland's most important match race event.... [more] Share this story
ISAF Annual Conference 2010 underway tomorrow ISAF, ISAF Annual Conference 2010 - The ISAF Annual Conference 2010 kicks off tomorrow (5 November) with the Commissions of the International Sailing Federation reporting on their activities for the past year and advising on their particular areas of expertise.... [more] Share this story
Route du Rhum - King of the motorway Gaia Coretti, Route du Rhum - In the clash of the giants that is the Ultime class of the 2010 Route du Rhum-La Banque Postale, Franck Cammas is looking increasingly likely to be crowned king, as Groupama 3 profits from another day of unchecked high speed miles down the trade winds motorway towards Guadeloupe.... [more] Share this story
Route du Rhum - The battle of the Atlantic Vincent Borde, Route du Rhum - Whilst Groupama 3 has just passed the midway mark in the race in exactly the same position as the winner of the 2006 edition after four days of sailing, her main rival, Sodebo, has just finished her stint through headwinds and is now hurtling along on a direct course towards the finish.... [more] Share this story
Groupama 3: The battle of the Atlantic starts in the Route du Rhum Franck Cammas, At this very moment in the Route du Rhum La Banque Postale, Franck Cammas has a 346 mile lead over Thomas Coville, making an average speed of twenty knots over 17 hours or simply 26 knots over thirteen hours. Whilst Groupama 3 has just passed the midway mark in the race in exactly the same position as the winner of the 2006 edition after four days of sailing, her main rival, Sodebo, has just finis... [more] Share this story
Oman Air Majan - Interview with Skipper aboard bulk carrier Into the Blue, Sidney Gavignet took part in a telephone interview with Sam Davies while once aboard bulk carrier Kavo Alexander. After we jumped over a wave, probably a little harder than others, I heard a crack and I thought it was the dagger board even if the top of it was higher than deck level which is quite far up... [more] Share this story
Oman Air Majan skipper safely onboard bulk carrier Into the Blue, After a long night for the Oman Air Majan team, they are pleased to report that skipper Sidney Gavignet is now safely onboard the bulk carrier Kavo Alexander. The incident which occurred at 1635 CET yesterday (03.11.10) was dealt with swiftly by the shore team, race management, rescue teams and crew of the Kavo Alexander who ensured Sidney's rescue within four hours or his first call.... [more] Share this story
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