by David Schmidt

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

New York, Newport, Perth, San Diego, Auckland, Valencia, and…Ras al-Khaimah. What do these places have in common? Each has hosted or will host the America’s Cup, the old-running trophy in sports. You’ll quickly notice that one of these names is not like the others. Sailing in the Middle East is a fledgling sport, to put it kindly, but thanks to the battle of the egos otherwise known as the 33rd
In May of 2007, a fledgling team called Puma Ocean Racing announced their intentions of competing in the 2008/2009 Volvo Ocean Race — a 37,000 mile round-the-world grudge match that’s fought out in the world’s fastest monohulls — in Boston, MA. As an attending journalist, I can report that while excitement ran high, expectations were fairly limited. Not because of the sponsor

Free and clear

by David Schmidt, Posted August 3, 2009
If you sail in Maine, you’ve likely heard the one about the best way to cross a channel (Answer: walk across on the lobster-pot buoys). This isn’t hyperbole; visit many harbors in Maine and you’ll find them choked with pot buoys, some of them in working channels. For sailors, a wrapped prop in a tight channel flanked by rock ledges is a serious predicament: not to mention the potential damage to

Hurricane preparation

by David Schmidt, Posted August 3, 2009
“Staying aboard is a terrible idea!” says Bob Adriance, the Technical Director at Boat US, which insures some 200,000 boats in the U.S. “There is little — if anything — you can do to protect your boat and it’s extremely dangerous. People have been killed.”Adriance advises that location is the biggest factor in determining how safe your boat will be during a hurricane. “A small seawall

Wooden warhorses

by David Schmidt, Posted July 30, 2009
Fiberglass, check; steel, check; carbon fiber, check; wood — uh, no, actually. So went my resume regarding the boats I’ve sailed. Okay, a few wooden Blue Jays and Lightnings as a kid, but for experience on proper wooden displacement boats, I had nothing. “Had” being the operative word. My eyes were opened to this fascinating subset of sailing at the 22nd-annual Panerai Antigua
Bad clothing is restrictive, sweaty, and confining. Don a pair of such shorts and go sailing and odds are impressive that you’ll feel uncomfortable and won’t be able to perform up to your potential. On the far opposite end of the performance/comfort spectrum are Harken’s new Sailing Shorts. These stretch, gusseted, reinforced, and durable shorts are hands down the best pair of sailing shorts that
The Really Good DealWe live in a disposable world. Our water often comes contained in land-fill plastic, our myriad electronic gizmos and gadgets are trendy for a year or two before they too join the plastic bottles in the landfill, and that’s not even to mention the batteries and power cords that power them. And let’s not even talk about racing sails, broken boat bits, or

It SAILS!

by David Schmidt, Posted July 20, 2009
On July 20, some 16 days after unveiling their beast of a defender for the upcoming Deed of Gift (DoG) that will be the next America’s Cup (February 2010), Alinghi today test-sailed their Alinghi 5 for the first time. While quantifiable results are not available yet (or rarely, if ever, on a project like this), the bottom line is that the boat, with its complicated
Would you like fresh banana in your smoothie?” asked the woman at the roadside smoothie shop, nestled in the higher elevations of St. Croix’s rainforest area. “It’s sweeter with banana.”I readily agreed, and Mark Jones, my tour guide, and I strolled through the establishment’s collection of native fauna. Mark explained that the smoothies take a little while to prepare, as the woman had to
On July 8 Alinghi 5 arrived on on Lake Geneva via the world's most powerful helicopter, the Russian-built Mil Mi-26, which airlifted the massive cat from its build hanger in Villeneuve, Switzerland to the fabled Swiss lake. The catamaran was unveiled earlier in the month, on July 4th, and will be transported, again by helicopter, to the Med later this month. On
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