Friday, October 18, 2019


18 October 2019: Over 2,000 sailboats competed in this year's Barcelona Regatta, suffering through light air and somewhat unusual conditions. This article and video is brought to us by, Ireland's premier sailing publication.

The gathering is the biggest of its kind anywhere in the Mediterranean and more than 2,000 boats and 15,000 sailors from Australia, the UK, the USA, Korea, Ukraine and China took part today.

From the organisers:
Way of Life, owned by the Slovenian shipowner Gasper Vincec, wins Barcolana51 presented by Generali in 1h54'10''. The boat beat an epic calm sea and all the competitors who had been tipped to win on the eve of Barcolana, thanks to an outstanding set-off and to the accurate selection of the stern sail.
The crew decided to use a small winseeker instead of a big code zero, in order to take advantage of any puff of wind and get closer to the first mark. The second place was unexpectedly scored by Shining, the ultralight hull owned by Milos Radonjic, followed by the RC44 Scorpio of Iztok Krumpak.
This podium was completely unexpected and made up of Adriatic light boats, which benefited from the non-existent wind: Adriatic Europa came fourth with Dusan Puh and Fanatic of Alex Peresson fifth. Arca SGR, the 100-feet hull of the Benussi brothers, scored a sixth place, the women's crew of Golfo di Trieste captained by Francesca Clapcich came eighth, behind Barraonda (provvidenti-Ferluga), whereas Portopiccolo Tempus Fugit with Mitja Kosmina came ninth.
Known in the Gulf under the name of Maxi Jena, Way of Life won the regatta in 2009 and scored a second place in several editions: today, the boat has raced an excellent regatta with no wind, steadily sailing at a maximum speed of 3 knots. Gasper Vincec, Finn class Olympic champion (Athens 2004 and Beijing 2008) was at the helm and accurately replaced, according to the different speed, by Zan Luka Zelko, a young promising Slovenian sailor who has already qualified in Laser class in the Tokyo Olympics, and by the Slovenian "super coach" Neno Viali, sporting "dad" of many champions. The Slovenian cycling champion Primož Roglic, winner of the Vuelta race, was aboard Way of Life,
The Race Committee decided to reduce the racecourse and place the finish line at the second Mark due to the lack of wind which only reached a peak of 3 knots. So at 5.00 pm the finish line was crossed by those boats and crews that managed to defeat the dead calm sea, also because they wanted to know who would rank last. They were all welcomed by a festive city. Click the link  for
 The scene in Barcelona 

The first 10 boats to have crossed the finish line:
1. Way of Life - Sailing Planet
2. MM Shining
3. Scorpio - JK Izola
4. Adriatic Europa Valicelli - JK Piranski Zaliv
5. Fanatic - S.T Sport del Mare
6. Arca SGR - Società Velica di Barcola e Grignano
7. Barraonda Confartiginato FVG - Società Velica Oscar 8 Cosulich
8. Golfo di Trieste - Società Nautica Pietas Julia
9. Portopiccolo Tempus Fugit - Yacht Club Portopiccolo
10. Cleansport one - Cartubi


Truly a major event in the Mediterranean sailing world.

Until next time, 
                                 Fair winds,
                                   Old Salt

Thursday, October 10, 2019


10 October 2019: We have published pieces in the recent past on the status of the America's Cup competition - design, building, and testing of the boats, raising funding (a major hurdle) and crews. With three of the competitors now in the water, we thought an update might be in order. From Scuttlebutt Sailing  News, the following: 

It had been a year since the AC75 Class Rule had been published, and all the teams were eyeballing the date at which their first boats could be launched: March 31, 2019. It is repeatedly stated how no size of budget is more valued that time, and once again time was of the essence.
However, the very complex AC75 was a big ask, as the foiling monohull relies on an innovative foil arm and canting system to provide ballast and lift. To share costs, it was decided by the Defender and Challenger of Record for these parts to be one design and provided to all teams.
But providing that part proved harder than anticipated, and while teams may have had their hulls ready for that March launch, they instead remained in the shed, waiting for the delivery. Time was needed to ensure these parts were reliable, as with speeds in excess of the 2017 America’s Cup, lives depend on reliability.
With the rules permitting each team to build two boats to prepare for the 2021 America’s Cup, Christmas finally arrived for the five campaigns. Here’s where we are with Boat #1:
September 6: The defender Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) was the first to launch. Lacking a test boat, the kiwis had keep the meter running on the simulator and now have some catching up to learn about this foiling monohull.
September 10: Challenger American Magic (USA) avoided spies and press releases when they launched their first boat, but the spotlight found them on this day foiling across Narragansett Bay. After having significant time on their 38-foot test boat, it is believed they did not need long to unleash the beast.
October 2: Challenger of Record Luna Rossa (ITA) is famous for providing limited information, which might be part cultural and part having a significantly self-funded budget that need not appease sponsors and partners. But they turned on the lights for their launch with characteristic style.
October 4: As the first team to launch a test boat, INEOS Team UK (GBR) showed the world what it was like to crash and spill. But at 28-feet, it remained far from the real thing, and after sufficient dredging adjacent to their Portsmouth base, the team now is stepping up to the real thing.
That just leaves Stars & Stripes Team USA (USA) with high hopes of fielding an all-American team. While they gained early interest and enthusiasm, their leadership has been strangely silent as to their progress, thus prompting questions about their viability.
Co-founded by Mike Buckley and Taylor Canfield, they were one of three late challenges and are now the sole survivor. Helping their status was an Arbitration Panel ruling that entry fees need only be paid in full before a team is eligible to race. That first race is the America’s Cup World Series event in Italy on April 23-26, 2020.
But to race they need a boat, a crew, and a budget to make it happen. Standing by. 

Italian (Luna Rosa) Entry Launched

In addition to Challenges from Italy, USA, and Great Britain that were accepted during the initial entry period (January 1 to June 30, 2018), eight additional Notices of Challenge were received by the late entry deadline on November 30, 2018. Of those eight submittals, entries from Malta, USA, and the Netherlands were also accepted. 

US (NYYC) entry, American Magic
American Magic

Here’s the list:
• Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL) 
Team Emirates New Zealand

• Luna Rossa (ITA) – Challenger of Record
• American Magic (USA)
• Malta Altus Challenge (MLT) – WITHDRAW
• Stars & Stripes Team USA
• DutchSail (NED) – WITHDRAW
Of the three late entries, only Stars+Stripes USA remains committed, but they still must complete the entry fee payment process before they will be eligible to race. They have already paid their initial payment but as a late entry challenger under the Protocol they also have a liability to pay a US$1million late entry fee due in installments by October 1, 2019. This deadline coincides with the venue schedule which has the construction of their team base beginning in late 2019, which we assume was done in the event the team is unable to fulfill their payment deadline. It is not yet confirmed if they have paid the fee.
Key America’s Cup dates:
September 28, 2017: 36th America’s Cup Protocol released
November 30, 2017: AC75 Class concepts released to key stakeholders
January 1, 2018: Entries for Challengers open
March 31, 2018: AC75 Class Rule published
June 30, 2018: Entries for Challengers close
August 31, 2018: Location of the America’s Cup Match and The PRADA Cup confirmed
August 31, 2018: Specific race course area confirmed
November 30, 2018: Late entries deadline
March 31, 2019: Boat 1 can be launched (DELAYED)
2nd half of 2019: 2 x America’s Cup World Series events (CANCELLED)
October 1, 2019: US$1million late entry fee deadline
February 1, 2020: Boat 2 can be launched
April 23-26, 2020: First America’s Cup World Series event in Cagliari, Sardinia.
During 2020: 3 x America’s Cup World Series events
December 10-20, 2020: America’s Cup Christmas Race
January and February 2021: The PRADA Cup Challenger Selection Series
March 2021: The America’s Cup Match
AC75 launch dates:
September 6 – Emirates Team New Zealand (NZL), Boat 1
September 10 – American Magic (USA), Boat 1; actual launch date earlier but not released
October 2 – Luna Rossa (ITA), Boat 1
October 4 – INEOS Team UK (GBR), Boat 1 

There is still a lot of time until the actual racing begins (March 2021) and it remains to be seen whether or not the California syndicate will come up the late entry $1,000,000 fee (so far they have not) and how the boats will stack up in the "run-up" races planned in 2020. Stay tuned!

Until next time, 
                                 Fair Winds, 
                                           Old Salt

Thursday, October 3, 2019


3 October 2019: Well, here we are in October already! Where has the summer gone! Snow will be flying soon and we will be shifting to winter quarters hopefully before then! Today's offering is not totally maritime,but does deal with a maritime figure, is interesting, and connects to our modern day lives in a unique way. From our friends in the UK, the following by Luke Fater:

For all the perceived glamour of piracy, its practitioners lived poorly and ate worse. Skirting death, mutiny, and capture left little room for comfort or transformative culinary experience. The greatest names in piracy, wealthy by the day’s standards, ate as one today might on a poorly provisioned camping trip: dried beef, bread, and warm beer. Those of lesser fame were subject to cannibalism and scurvy. The seas were no place for an adventurous appetite.
But when one gifted pirate permitted himself a curiosity for food, he played a pioneering role in spreading ingredients and cuisines. He gave us the words “tortilla,” “soy sauce,” and “breadfruit,” while unknowingly recording the first ever recipe for guacamole. And who better to expose the Western world to the far corners of our planet’s culinary bounty than someone who by necessity made them his hiding places?

British-born William Dampier began a life of piracy in 1679 in Mexico’s Bay of Campeche. Orphaned in his late teens, Dampier set sail for the Caribbean and fell into a twentysomething job scramble. Seeing no future in logging or sugar plantations, he was sucked into the burgeoning realm of New World raiding, beginning what would be the first of his record-breaking three circumnavigations. A prolific diarist, Dampier kept a journal wrapped in a wax-sealed bamboo tube throughout his journeys. During a year-long prison sentence in Spain in 1694, Dampier would convert these notes into a novel that became a bestseller and seminal travelogue.

 Parts of A New Voyage Around the World read like a 17th-century episode of No Reservations, with Dampier playing a high-stakes version of Anthony Bourdain. Aside from writing groundbreaking observations on previously un-researched subjects in meteorology, maritime navigation, and zoology, food was a constant throughout his work. He ate with the locals, observing and employing their practices not only to feed himself and his crew but to amass a body of knowledge that would expand European understanding of non-Western cuisine. In Panama, Dampier traveled with men of the Miskito tribe, hunting and eating manatee. “Their flesh is … [extraordinarily] sweet, wholesome meat,” he wrote. “The tail of a young cow is most esteemed. A calf that sucks is the most delicate meat.” His crew took to roasting filleted bellies over open flames.

Dampier was later smitten, on the island of Cape Verde, by the taste of flamingo. “The flesh of both young and old is lean and black, yet very good meat, tasting neither fishy [nor] any way unsavoury,” he wrote. “Their tongues are large, having a large knob of fat at the root, which is an excellent bit: a dish of flamingo’s tongue [is] fit for a prince’s table.” Of Galapagos penguins, Dampier found “their flesh ordinary, but their eggs [to be] good meat.” He also became a connoisseur of sea turtles, having developed a preference for grass-fed specimens of the West Indies: “They are the best of that sort, both for largeness and sweetness.”
While you won’t find flamingos, penguins, or turtles on too many contemporary menus, several contributions from A New Voyage reshaped our modern English food vocabulary.* In the Bay of Panama, Damier wrote of a fruit “as big as a large lemon … [with] skin [like] black bark, and pretty smooth.” Lacking distinct flavor, he wrote, the ripened fruit was “mixed with sugar and lime juice and beaten together [on] a plate.” This was likely the English language’s very first recipe for guacamole. Later, in the Philippines, Dampier noted of young mangoes that locals “cut them in two pieces and pickled them with salt and vinegar, in which they put some cloves of garlic.” This was the English language’s first recipe for mango chutney. His use of the terms “chopsticks,” “barbecue,” “cashew,” “kumquat,” “tortilla,” and “soy sauce” were also the first of their kind.

One entry, however, would have dire consequences for the Crown and one unfortunate crew in the South Pacific. Dampier wrote passionately of a Tahitian fruit: “When [it] is ripe it is yellow and soft; and the taste is delicious … The inside is soft, tender, and white, like the crumb of a pennyloaf.” He and his men dubbed it breadfruit. For British sugar planters of the West Indies, who struggled to feed their slaves on small plots of land, these broad-branched, fast-growing, nutritious fruits, which required little cultivation and stood up to hurricane winds, rang of an ideal solution. Dampier unknowingly sold the British on breadfruit, which served as the impetus for a British mission to bring a thousand potted breadfruit trees from the South Pacific around the Horn of Africa to the West Indies. With the ship retrofitted to shelter the saplings, and a crew filled with unrest and lust for the ladies of Tahiti, a mutiny - perhaps one of the most famous in history - led to the books, and films that came to be known as the Mutiny on the Bounty.

In the years following its publication, A New Voyage became an international bestseller, skyrocketing Dampier to wealth and fame. The first of its kind, the work generated a hunger among European audiences for travel writing, serving as an inspiration for Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels. Charles Darwin brought a copy of A New Voyage with him aboard the Beagle’s voyage to South America, having cited the book as a “mine of information.” Noting his keen eye for wind and current mapping, the British Royal Navy consulted him on best practices, later extending him captainship of the HMS Roebuck, on which he was commissioned for an in-depth exploration of South Africa, Australia, and Indonesia.

Despite the popular excusal of his pirating days, Dampier eluded long-term renown due to one entry from A New Voyage. His observations on the aboriginals of Australia were employed, decades after its publication, as justification for the colonization of Oceania and the subsequent genocide of its original inhabitants. In 1697, he wrote that “the inhabitants of this country are the miserablest people in the world. They differ but little from brutes.” And indeed, viewing the aboriginals on a scientific expedition in 1770, Sir Joseph Banks, president of the British Royal Society and advisor to King George III, wrote, “So far did the prejudices which we had built on Dampier’s account influence us that we fancied we could see their color when we could scarce distinguish whether or not they were men.” The later publication of a full transcript of Dampier’s journals does indicate an up-close and far more favorable analysis of the aboriginals, yet by then the Crown’s campaign to colonize was well underway, and his reputation as a bigot was sown. For generations, Dampier was taught throughout much of the Commonwealth as, first and only, a piratical figure.
HMS Roebuck
Other negative testimony accumulated against him in court-martials later on as well: He lost the Roebuck to a leak and was accused of mistreating and even marooning subordinates—par for the course in the life of a pirate. Disgraced and indebted by court fines, Dampier died penniless, and his exploits became mere footnotes between the nary-criminal lives of Sir Walter Raleigh and James Cook. Nevertheless, each time you order avocado toast, call some friends over for a barbecue, or ask for a pair of chopsticks, you are living Dampier’s legacy.


Bet you didn't know all that! So, enjoy your avocado dip, barbecued flamingo tongues, and manatee tails served with a nice mango chutney and think of your new friend, William Dampier, pirate and gourmet! Let's avoid the breadfruit for now!

Until next time,
                                Fair Winds, 
                                           Old Salt