by David Schmidt

David Schmidt, a SAIL editor-at-large, is a recent transplant to the Pacific Northwest from SAIL's Boston offices

The Tradition

by David Schmidt, Posted December 15, 2009
A Look at the 2009 Sydney-Hobart RaceAmongst Australia’s hard-core sailors, the question isn’t whether you’re going. It’s a question of how many you’ve sailed (so far). Indeed, amongst the most hardcore of this decidedly hardcore country, the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, or “The Hobart” as it’s known, represents a serious challenge. The brochure goes something like this: Start on

The Wonderkind

by David Schmidt, Posted December 7, 2009
For most sailors, winning the right to compete in the Olympic Games is a dream come true, but for Anna Tunnicliffe-Funk, 27, getting to the games was only the start: the real bull's eye was winning a gold medal, a goal that she set for herself at the tender age of 12 just after immigrating to the U.S. with her parents from England. But in the 2008 Olympic Games in Qingdao, China,

2009 Holiday Gift Guide

by David Schmidt, Posted December 1, 2009
Finding the perfect gift for the sailor who’s got it all can be as tricky as trimming a mainsail in an oscillating breeze while sailing through sharp square waves. Get it right and your “skipper” will be happy; bugger it even a little bit and the old salt with a careful eye might subtly let you know that your efforts need to be stepped up a bit. To help avoid this dilemma, SAIL searches

FLIR, Hall Spars Win Awards

by David Schmidt, Posted November 19, 2009
Few honors have more prestige in the marine equipment field than the DAME Awards, which are decided at the METS trade show in Amsterdam in mid-November. The entries represent some of the most forward-thinking advances in marine aftermarket equipment. They are also a litmus test for the health of the industry: the more innovative products on show, the more effort is being put into R&D and product

Volvo Ocean Race Update

by David Schmidt, Posted November 19, 2009
While the next Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) doesn’t kick off until 2011, gears are spinning rapidly to get the various pieces in place so that teams can design boats, build boats and start test sailing their craft. As the past two editions have made completely clear, VOR teams that start early, train hard and are the most prepared are certain to be strong contenders, if not outright winners. It was no

Custom Cut

by David Schmidt, Posted November 19, 2009
Synthetic rigging has come of age. Colligo Marine is now taking orders for made-to-order twelve-strand Dynex Dux (pre-stretched Dyneema SK-75) shrouds, backstays, and forestays (and other standing rigging), which are compatible with either lashing or turnbuckle-style tensioning systems. Colligo claims that the synthetic rigging is roughly the same cost as stainless-steel wire shrouds but is only

Cupdate

by David Schmidt, Posted November 19, 2009
Anyone who follows the America’s Cup likely has a headache the size of Texas and more than a few empty bottles of Aspirin kicking around the floor. And given the legal shenanigans involved, who wouldn’t? The good news is that it finally looks as though the Cup is on track to be raced in February at a venue that both parties can agree upon.Astute Cup fans will baulk at this last sentence,

Look Ma, a Wing!

by David Schmidt, Posted November 10, 2009
On November 8, BMW/Oracle released what could be the worst-kept secret of the 33rd America's Cup, but also the coolest single development in months: a hard wing sail for their massive trimaran, which is slated to race against Alinghi in a Deed of Gift (DoG) challenge this coming February. But unlike the somewhat modest looking wing used on Dennis Conner's Stars and Stripes 1988

Charlie McKee Interview

by David Schmidt, Posted November 2, 2009
Moth Madness: A Q&A with Ace American Moth Sailor Charlie McKeeThe Moth class has a storied tradition dating back decades, but what’s kept it thriving is that it’s a development class, freeing designers to experiment with sailplans, rigs, hull shapes, and, recently foils. You’ve likely seen the amazing images of these tiny craft zooming around at astonishing speeds, with a wetted

Harken Radial Winches

by David Schmidt, Posted November 2, 2009
Harken made a big announcement at the 2009 U.S. Sailboat Show at Annapolis: A new line of winches, called the Radials. But unlike other “new” winches that are merely a 2.0 version of an existing product, Harken literally started with a blank sheet of paper and built from the ground up. The resulting winches are lighter, more efficient, safer, easier to install, and easier to upgrade to powered
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