by Lauren Saalmuller

Lauren Saalmuller is SAIL's Assistant Editor. She sails in both New England and Fire Island.

Long known for testing some of the top sailors in the world, this year’s Mini Transat and Transat Jacques Vabre have lived up to its reputation.
After two-week delays due to severe weather, the Mini Transat is now underway.
After facing a dismasting just off the coast of Spain during a 1,000-mile Mini Transat qualifier last April, which resulted in being airlifted, hospitalized and left him with several broken bones in his left hand, skipper Jeffrey MacFarlane has overcome the odds and is the only American to be sailing in the 2013 Mini Transat. 
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has announced that it will no longer print traditional paper nautical charts come mid-April of this year.
The weather may not have been the best, but on October 16, during a rainy, light-air day off Hawaii, U.S. sailor Bora Gulari did what no American has been able to do in over half a century—win a second International Moth World Championship.
Just after ORACLE defeated Team New Zealand in the final race of the 34th America’s Cup on Sept. 25, Australia’s Hamilton Island Yacht Club (HIYC), led by famous sailor and winemaker Bob Oatley, challenged for the 35th America’s Cup.
While the races of the AC34 were postponed on August 17-18, 2013, 25 youth O’Pen BIC sailors took on the blustery weather to show off their skills in a Hi-Wind Slalom course at the America’s Cup Village Marina Green in San Francisco, CA. 
As sailors, we carry pyrotechnics on board—per U.S. Coast Guard and SOLAS regulations—and hope we’ll never have to use them. In fact, it’s illegal to use them, unless you’re experiencing an actual emergency or have received permission from the proper local authorities.
These 11 small-boat sailors share their stories to prove that bigger isn't always better, especially when it comes to sailing
When a team of UK-based scientists learned that the population of the Earth’s marine phytoplankton had declined 40 percent since 1950, they set out to find the cause. Phytoplankton is the ocean’s primary producer, and a decrease in its population could mean trouble for oxygen production, food chain supply and climate regulation. 
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