The new 100-foot Wally Cento design takes superyacht racing to a new grand-prix level.
By Sailing World’s Dave Reed
A decade ago it was impossible to mistake a Wally design, those queens of the superyacht scene with their expansive and barren teak decks, low-profile deckhouses, cockpit couches, and beamy, aggressive hull lines—aggressive at least for the traditionalists of the Mediterranean yachting set. Beneath those decks were lairs of modern luxury, but when it comes to racing, luxury doesn’t usually equate to lightweight. As eye catching as they were (and still are), when the Wallys of old came out to play among the handicap grand-prix set, they usually struggled.
The stakeholders at Wally Yachts have since reintroduced the brand with what’s called the Wally Cento box rule, which encourages lighter designs while retaining the distinctive Wally look and interior requirements. The newest Wally Cento 100 is Magic Carpet 3, a Reichel/Pugh design with a combination of high life and high performance. It’s good looking, and it isn’t slow, either. Only two weeks after its May 2013 launch, Magic Carpet 3’s owner, Sir Lindsay Owen-Jones, of England, entered it into the Gaastra PalmaVela Regatta in Mallorca, Spain, and swept class line honors, finishing between five and 20 minutes ahead of its closest competitor. At this summer’s Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup it even took a few light-air races, which pleased its project manager, Bob Wylie, a veteran of the grand-prix game.
“The Wally Cento was created to give the owners a Wally with more performance and more excitement with square-top mainsails, bowsprits, and big-size gennakers … a bit more bang for their dollar,” says Wylie, who oversaw the boat’s two-year build. “It’s a pretty powered up package that, in 15 knots, actually feels like a proper grand-prix raceboat.”
The Wally Centos, of which two have been built and a third is underway, are built to the Wally Class rules, which have a 50-ton maximum weight and the same interior requirements with regard to the accommodations. Using lighter materials and better sail control systems, however, has allowed the boats to be livelier than earlier Wally builds.
Onboard Magic Carpet 3, Owen-Jones, a longtime racing owner, preferred a minimal interior, which consists of an owner’s cabin, two guest cabins, a crew cabin—each cabin has its own head—a salon, and a galley. Wylie says they worked in conjunction with the Reichel/Pugh office to be more aggressive with perfecting the hull lamination in order to make it more advanced all around. The hull is a pre-preg carbon/Nomex composite.
“The interior furniture, made as light as possible, has no play on the structural side of the boat,” says Wylie. “The bulkheads provide all the structure, and the interior is just modules that pop right into the boat. Basically the interior was assembled in another factory in a mock-up, taken apart, and put in. You could take it all out just as easily. It’s all pieced together. The big challenge in the boat is the hydraulic systems because hydraulic pumps drive everything: the propulsion, the keel lift, the cylinders, and the winches.”
In developing the boat, which is used primarily for racing and one extended cruise per year, the next step, says Wylie, was to develop a spar and sail inventory package that had easy and reliable systems.
“When we looked at the sail inventory, sail handling was very important,” he says. “Handling them during a race, for example, we had to determine if we’d have enough time to pack spinnakers upwind. It’s a pretty complex exercise to figure out what sails to build and how to handle them and treat them onboard. So there are lots of little areas we had to look at to sail the boat better and save weight.”
In doing so they kept to the Wally approach by keeping the deck layout clean and simple. “We tried as hard as possible to minimize what the naked eye could see at the dock,” says Wylie. “Everything we could hide, we did.” For example, the soft padeyes have their strops below deck level, the stanchions sit in the chamfer of the sheer, no pins are visible for the spinnaker sheet blocks, and the mainsheet cylinder is in the bilge underneath the owner’s bunk.
To design and engineer the hydraulic system, they did a mockup of the engine room to make it workable and serviceable, and then ran all the piping in the bilge in the early stages of construction so when the structure was built all the penetrations were already in the structure. This made for a clean and easy installation. “We did a lot of 3D modeling as well,” says Wylie, “which allowed us to get a good view of the boat and how it all goes together.”
In terms of the sail handling, they worked on reefing systems and developed the headsail crossovers so they didn’t have too many sails in the inventory. In the spinnaker quiver, there’s an A1 and A2, which are wooled for racing, and a Code Zero and A3, which are kept on furlers. The A4, the boat’s biggest spinnaker at 960 square meters, is kept on a top-down furling unit. “It’s the only way to deal with that one—it would have been impossible to get it down and repacked in a two-mile beat.”
Because the class doesn’t allow string-drop systems, all spinnakers go down the hatch. Drop lines run across the deck, and the spinnaker gets gathered above the hatch while a couple of crew down below pull it into the salon. “We did one pack in Sardinia in four and a half minutes with five guys—that was pretty impressive. But it’s usually about six minutes with five guys.”
For headsails the boat has a J1, J2, and J3, which covers them up to 25 knots of breeze. They’re all set on soft hanks because the headsail foil that would have been used over the EC6 composite forestay would have been much too big. “We have good crossovers so we can basically choose just one before the race or the day and that’s it,” says Wylie. “In offshore-race mode we have a J4, which is like a solent. It’s set a couple of meters behind the forestay and goes to the top spreader. That’s on a furler, so if you ever need to do a sail change you pop that up and go for the maneuver.”
Wylie has been involved with numerous top-end programs including the 100-footerSpeedboat/Rambler and says some of the rig experiences from that boat were brought into Magic Carpet’s Southern Spars package. “We pushed to have a deflector lower on the mast, which gives us a bit more overall control of the whole spar,” he says, “and we have locking systems on everything, including reef locks, and lazy jack systems.”
As simple as the boat may appear on the outside, the intricacies of the boat’s systems do present unique challenges on the racecourse, especially, says Wylie, when it comes to matching human input to computer-automated controls. In the boat’s three major regattas thus far, the sailing team has managed the learning curve well, but it hasn’t been perfect. “We’re getting better,” says Wiley. “The challenge with a new boat like this is dialing in the PLC logic [essentially, the microprocessor and software that allow all the various systems to talk to each other] and getting all the functions working how you want them to work, which correlates to how you do the crewwork with the maneuvers.”
The winch speeds, for example, are preset to what the crew can tail comfortably by hand. Then there’s a manual overdrive on each gear, which speeds up the winch in that gear. “If you have a rope in a self-tailer, you can go to first gear to get it going,” Wiley explains. “It really helps with some of the maneuvers like jibes or spinnaker hoists. But there’s a balance of finding what people are comfortable doing by hand and watching what the sail is doing so you don’t break the sail. If you go too fast, you can cause some serious damage.”
The Wally rule requires that the boat be able to tack automatically as well (useful when shorthanded cruising), so they’ve had to work on logic for the backstay cylinders. With a push of one button, the new backstay can be tensioned and the other eased during a tack. The traveler can be tacked automatically as well, which is essential for the owner, of course, because when the race team of 24 crew is not on hand to push the buttons and pull the strings, the boat, with all its state of the art luxury and performance, is still a superyacht.
This article first appeared as Tech Review: Beneath the Teak, in the November/December 2013 issue of Sailing World.
By Sailing World’s Meredith Powlison
A new Comet hit the water this summer for the first time in decades, ushering in a modern era for the doublehanded centerboarder, which is well-loved in the mid-Atlantic and Bermuda. “The class has been around for over 80 years, but we haven’t had a builder in 25,” says Wick Dudley, who owns new hull No. 4148.
Mathews Bros., a classic Chesapeake boatbuilding operation in Denton, Md., has worked with the class over the past two years to refine the design of the deck and cockpit and build No. 4148.
A rounded deck makes for a more comfortable hiking experience, and the construction process means less labor. “The deck, the sides, the tank, the floor, and the centerboard trunk are all one piece,” says Dudley. “It looks cleaner and more modern, and it’s more comfortable.”
The new boat is also easier to self-rescue: “It has a double bottom and side tanks so there’s no place for the water to accumulate,” says class president Talbott Ingram.
While the hull itself has not changed, and the weight of the boat remains the same, the floor and the centerboard trunk are about an inch lower for more headroom under the boom. The class also now allows Mylar sails.
Comet devotees hope the new design, which starts at $14,000, will attract a wide range of sailors—including younger 20-somethings—and rejuvenate the class. “It’s a quality boat that people of all skill levels can get into,” says Ingram. “My younger son started with me at age 6. You can start at a young age and be sailing them into your 70s or 80s. It’s all doable. It’s a lifelong boat.”
By Team Sperry Top-Sider’s Drew Gregory
Recently a few friends and I were able to take some of our Kayak dealers on a sweet fishing trip down a river filled with some nice rapids and BIG musky!
The first part of the trip we encountered some big rapids (class III) that we decided to a little fun playing in. We all ran the rapid several times until we were content that we “conquered” it! These fishing kayaks (Jackson Coosa and Cruises) are actually made to be able to handle whitewater up to about this level so it really was a good test to see what we and these boats can do. We’d successfully tackled the rapids and now it was time to hopefully tangle with a BIG musky!
The trip was almost over and I was throwing a Zara Spook topwater lure just above a set of rapids when all of the sudden it got destroyed by a huge musky!! After a 5-minute fight filled with jumps, and with assistance from some of my fishing partners, I was able to land a solid 42-incher! After it was all said and done I landed her and released her in good health.
Once the trip was over I decided the footage we got with our two GoPro Hero 3 cameras would be perfect to test out the new free GoPro Studio editing software – specifically their new “templates” that make it very easy to get a cool, quick edit out. Below is the video that took me about 10 minutes to edit once I narrowed down my clips and converted them (30 minutes). If I can go out and do this kind of stuff then so can any of you!
Learn from the pros about the tactics of bringing in billfish off the dredge.
By SaltWater Sportsman’s John Brownlee
As we approached the large flock of frigate birds hovering just above the surface, I began to make out sailfish dorsals cutting through the water beneath them. Frantic baitfish sought escape as death loomed above and below them, often to no avail. The frigates and sailfish had them trapped.
Capt. Charles “Fin” Gaddy steered Qualifier, his 57-foot Paul Mann, into a wide circle to pull our skipping ballyhoo directly into the chaos. As the long rigger bait moved directly beneath the diving birds, mate Chris Kubik said, “Now,” and my wife, Poppy, threw her reel into free-spool, dumping the bait directly into the school of fish below.The bite came instantly; line flew off the reel, and after a few seconds of drop-back, she engaged the drag, and the circle hook found the corner of the mouth of the sail that had eaten it. Fish on! The sailfish put on the usual acrobatic display before Poppy brought it boat-side, where we placed a Billfish Foundation tag in its shoulder, cut the leader and sent the fish on its way, somewhat tired but in overall good shape.
Hot Isla Bite
Gaddy had invited us to fish with him at Isla Mujeres, off Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, one of the world’s best places to catch Atlantic sailfish. He has fished the winter season off Isla aboard this and previous versions ofQualifier for many seasons, and he and Kubik have become experts at raising and catching sailfish and white marlin, both in Mexico and in their home waters off North Carolina’s Oregon Inlet. I jumped at the chance to fish with these two pros and learn some of their techniques.
“The two most important pieces of equipment I use are binoculars and a great bottom machine,” Gaddy says. “Finding the fish is the most important thing, and with fuel at a premium, binoculars are worth their weight in gold. Over the years I have used imagestabilized binoculars from Canon and Nikon, but my most recent and favorite is the Mariner by Fraser Volpe. I can’t count how many times I have benefited from the use of these, both in Isla finding sails and Oregon Inlet finding cutting white marlin. Not to mention locating flotsam for dolphin.”
Where’s the Bait?
Finding and staying on baitballs is also key. “I use the Furuno FCV 1150 sounder with a wide-beam Airmar 270 transducer,” Gaddy says. “Using the 50 kHz frequency allows me to mark individual whites, sails and blues, which in turn helps me to focus on an area that’s holding fish that might not get another circle had I not seen them. The wide beam allows my machine to cover more water in a shallower setting versus a narrower cone.”
Gaddy also has specific tackle preferences for working around diving birds. “When working birds over a baitball, I prefer a reel with a fast retrieve,” he explains. “This allows the angler to skip the bait into the ball, and makes it easier to keep the line tight when circling a hooked fish.” When turning the boat, the baits on the inside of the circle lose velocity, while the outside baits accelerate; a high-speed reel allows the angler to compensate for this and keep the bait acting naturally.
Give Them a Taste
In the cockpit, Kubik has a deadly system for attracting the attention of passing billfish. “When we light-tackle fish for whites and sails, we usually fish two squid-chain teasers with an Ilander lure and a bonito strip behind it,” Kubik says. “A few years ago, I tried fishing the strip instead of a ballyhoo behind my chains, and I have never gone back. I like the strip because the fish can’t pull it off like they do a ballyhoo. They still get the taste, but when they bite it and come away with nothing, it really gets them jacked up.”
Kubik and Gaddy fish four ballyhoo rigged on circle hooks: Two ride just behind the teasers, and two more skip on the long outriggers. Two more pitch baits wait in the cockpit as backup. “When we get a fish on the teaser, I pop my flat line out and, depending on where my teasers are, I either crank it up or drop it back a little in an effort to get it even with the back of the teaser,” Kubik says. “If everything goes according to plan, Fin pulls the teaser away from the fish, and the fish homes in on my bait. Many times the fish does not acknowledge my bait, and continues to chase the teaser closer and closer to the boat. I will crank up my bait to try to get the fish to switch, but I am careful not to reel up too close to the boat. Bites that occur just off the transom tend to be too aggressive, and your percentage goes down.
“If the fish follows up so close that he is next to me, I will leave my bait back there about 30 feet and hold it out in the clean water,” Kubik continues. “When Fin pulls the teaser out of the water completely from the bridge, the fish usually does a 180, and the first thing he should see is my bait.” Kubik adds that backup is important.
“This style of fishing is all about backup; you need to have a backup man,” he says. “If the teaser fish never sees my bait, or even if I miss him, you need to watch the long riggers because that fish will fade back to another bait.”
Up and Out
Rod-handling technique at the crucial moment helps too. “When trying for a teaser fish, hold the rod up and out,” Kubik says. “When the fish bites your bait, point your rod at the fish and free-spool. That motion is your shock absorber. You don’t want the fish to feel you.” If the fish feels any tension on the line, it will drop the bait, and when you come tight, you’ll find nothing on the end of your line. It sounds easy, but it’s a technique refined only through lots of practice.
Dredges play a key role as well. “We typically fish two dredges: one rigged with ballyhoo and one with mullet,” Kubik says. “When a fish has its head buried in the dredge, I try to get my flat line about 10 feet ahead of the dredge, and sink my bait and crank up the dredge at the same time. Sometimes I have to do this a few times to get the fish to come out of the dredge.”
Many crews also employ a technique called “prospecting” when fishing dredges. This involves repeatedly free-spooling a hook bait over the top of the dredge so it sinks naturally in the wash as the boat moves away. The idea is to simulate a wounded baitfish being separated from the school — the fake school simulated by the dredge in this case — and attracting the attention of a billfish that might be following the dredge, unseen from the boat. Prospecting can be a very effective method for picking off stragglers.
Fishing around diving birds is a specialized form of sight-fishing, and Gaddy correctly points out some basic rules of the road for success. “Last year it was a race for the birds,” he says. “One day I had numerous boats cut inside my circle when I had yet to catch a fish. People pushing you off birds took away from the joy of being in Mexico.”
The same can be true in the States however. “This year here at home, we’ve had boats moving in while we were circling the birds as the cutters were feeding, and start casting from the bow,” Gaddy says. “We go to have a great time, and cutting into someone’s birds without an invitation or without asking is just rude. When we work together, everyone benefits.”
Sounds like common sense, and by employing a little of that along with the tactics developed by the Qualifiercrew, you too can become adept at raising a sailfish or white marlin behind your boat. Once you figure it out, you’ll be hooked — just like the rest of us who find this style of fishing so fascinating and exciting.
Every October, photographer Walter Cooper joins the Boat of the Year testing crew in Annapolis, Md. With a GoPro in hand, he captured the Gunboat 60 from a new angle.
By Sailing World’s Tess Fletcher
Tell us about this shot.
The shot of the Gunboat 60 was taken while we were testing boats for Sailing World’s Boat of the Year Competition.
How did you take this picture?
We have been playing with the GoPro Cameras for the last few years. The smaller size and weight allows us to place cameras in areas that we could not or did not want to put full sized cameras. We placed the GoPro Hero 3+ on the snuffer. Chuck Allen suggested the shot and helped to carefully raise the snuffer to the top of the mast so that the camera was pointed in the correct direction. I set the camera up to take images every 1/2 seconds and zip tied/wedged it into the position I thought would give me the best shot. Picking out the two or three images that we used took longer than usual as I had to go through over 2000 images just from the GoPro.
Tell us about your role as a Boat of the Year photographer.
I have been shooting the Boat of the Year for over 15 years and it has been a great learning experience. It has been fun to try to capture each boat from its best angle. I have enjoyed looking at each boat as a work of art and picking my own favorites on aesthetics alone.
Why a GoPro? Any unique challenges in working with this camera?
The GoPro cameras have been a tool that I toss in my bag for certain assignments. They are great onboard and for close up action off the boat. The problem has always been in not being able to see what you are getting in each shot. The latest cameras have solved this problem using WiFi connections to smartphones and tablets. This allows the photographer greater control over framing and taking the shot. The GoPro also gives you a different perspective and allows you to be more creative putting cameras in positions that you have not tried before.
Including the GoPro files, how many images did you end up with for the BOTY testing?
The GoPro adds significantly to each boats image count and throws the numbers off. The average image count without using the GoPro is around 600 images per boat. If I put the camera onboard, the GoPro can add 2,000 images to that average.
How did you get started in photography? What did you do for work before you became a photographer?
I started playing with photography in grade school. I continued learning about developing and printing in high school and joined the yearbook staff. In college, I was a photographer and then the editor of the school newspaper. I really decided to concentrate on photography after I had graduated from college, and I chose to go back to school for photography. After graduating from Lansing Community Colleges with a technical degree in photography, I moved to Miami and worked as an assistant to the fashion photographers that came to shoot in South Beach. I worked on shooting local events, and my big break came when my wife joined the Women’s Team during the 1995 America’s Cup. I met Daniel Forster and became his assistant. During my time with Daniel, I learned about the business side of photography and made a number of contacts that helped later on.
How about these days? What do you do when you’re not shooting?
I now live in Colorado and fly to assignments. I have been lucky to have the opportunities to travel and meet wonderful people while doing my job. When I am not traveling, I spend time with my wife Debbie, our dogs, and working on our 10 acres. We breed Rhodesian Ridgebacks, and they are joy to have as part of our family.
Any advice for aspiring photographers?
The trap that new photographers fall into is giving their work away and hoping that they will get noticed. This never works as the value you place on your work is how people will pay for it. If you do not value your creativity and the time that it has taken to get the image, no one else will either. The other trap that new photographers fall into is asking friends and family if they like their work. Your mom will always love you and will always love what you create. If you are looking for real feedback go to a professional in the field and ask them for their opinion. Finally, never stop growing. Look at other photographers work and ask yourself how did they get that shot then go out and try it yourself.
Check out this year’s Boat of the Year contenders.
Read about previous Photos of the Month.
Team Sperry Top-Sider Drew Gregory asks some kayak anglers the question, “Why in the world would you choose to fish from a kayak?”
They list many different reasons, but if you still need convincing, check out this video!
“Tight lines and smooth paddling” to all!
A new book of sailing photography from Onne van der Wal arrives just in time for the holidays.
By Sailing World Magazine’s Meredith Powlison
As photos cross my laptop and desk every day as we put together our magazine, I’m always impressed by the beauty of our sport. Between the colors, textures, and light that compose the mix of boat and sea and sky, great sailing photos are moving. They take us to different places and times, and tell stories all on their own.
The nature of our magazine is to put words with those pictures and to tell a story through both mediums. So when a new book of photographs by local master Onne van der Wal, “Sailing,” crossed my desk, it was refreshing to step back from my magazine world and let the photos do the talking.
The book is daunting in shape and size, at 11″ by 14″ and 288 pages, but once I opened it, I was eased into the series of 200 photos by the familiarity of the first chapter, all photos from my home of the New England coast. Here are some of the awesome boats I’ve seen grace the waters down the way from our SW office: 12-Metres, J Class yachts, AC45s … And here are also some of the boats I see out there every day—like the spread of the Wednesday night Shields fleet racing.
The next chapter moves to Europe, and thus begins a page-turning adventure. As I paused to gaze at a few photos (to name a couple along the way—breaking Arctic ice 78 degrees north on page 83 and the Chiloe Islands Regatta under the Andes on page 268–below), I appreciated the size of the book and the breadth of the photos. It allows you to gaze as long as you want and let the photos do their talking.
If you do crave captions (and you will want some explanation of where these photos are taken, exactly, so you can plan your next regatta), there’s an image index in the back that has thumbnails so you don’t have to flip back and forth between pages. That’s followed by a section where van der Wal lists camera information for each photo. Plus, Herb McCormick, the senior editor over at our sister magazine Cruising World, has penned an excellent introduction to give more background on van der Wal.
While you probably don’t want to carry this book with you just anywhere, because of its sheer size, that ultimately means its purpose will be fulfilled. When you’re at home, away from the water and waves, you’ll be able to open this book up and let the photos tell a story. They have a lot to say.
“Sailing” ($100), is published by Rizzoli International Publications, Inc., and will be released on Oct. 29. You can find it then on Amazon.
Drew Gregory, Blog 1
Impromptu Fishing Trips are Sometimes the Best
In Mid-October I was in Tennessee for the Jackson Kayak Dealer Summit. I had one free day after the festivities and was just driving around casually, rockin my Sperry SON-R Sandals, and randomly decided to passed a river and decided to just throw my Coosa kayak in the water and see what happened. My new dog Lu joined me and on this short and impromptu trip and as always she always doing something funny.
I knew there were big musky in this little river so that is what we were hoping to catch. I did lose a big musky (as you can see by the explosion in the video), but turns out I was able to land a nice bass close to 4lbs to make up for it. I was throwing a classic topwater lure called a Zara Spook by fallen timber in the river to get my strikes. The bass and musky really seem to hit surface lures well in the fall when the water cools back down into the upper 60s and lower 70s.
Lu really started to get the hang of being on the kayak, and as you can see in the video she even loves to get out of the kayak and romp around on the banks! After a few hours of fun we decided to call it a day; I realized I got some pretty cool GoPro footage and might as well make a quick video about the joys of impromptu trips and topwater strikes! When is your next trip that you don’t have planned? Think about it…
Photographer Abner Kingman from ACEA captured the most hair-raising moment of America’s Cup 34 thus far: Emirates Team New Zealand’s near capsize.
By Sailing World’s Tess Fletcher
Tell us about this photo.
It was a close race, and on the windward leg ETNZ had a slight lead. As the two boats approached each other with Emirates on port and Oracle on starboard, Emirates tried to tack on top of Oracle, but their wing articulation hydraulics failed and they couldn’t trim properly. They started to capsize and it seemed to unfold in slow motion. I had a 500mm lens on my camera, which seemed too long as the starboard hull kept lifting and it seemed as if the edges of the frame were getting crowded. I thought I might lose the shot altogether, but knew there was no time to switch cameras, so I just kept shooting. The boat hung at the point where this frame was taken and then started coming back down. Often when something unexpected happens, you don’t have the ideal lens and you end up losing the shot or cropping heavily in an attempt to salvage something. This is the full frame, exactly as I shot it – no skill in that, just luck.
What was it like to be on the water when Emirates Team New Zealand almost capsized?
I was on the aft deck of the TV catamaran and we were following the boats up the course. The TV cat accelerates and decelerates quickly, turns sharply, and sends walls of spray over the deck without warning, so you are never 100% focused on taking pictures, always trying to anticipate the boat’s motion. But when ETNZ started tipping up it was so captivating that I can’t even say whether we were still moving or not. After the starboard hull splashed back into the water I realized that everybody else aboard the boat had been shouting, and I hadn’t heard it before.
What has it been like covering the America’s Cup this year?
There is always something to shoot. The racing is just a small part of the work, and shooting it is often the most relaxing part of the day. There are lots of other activities to shoot and photo requests to fulfill each day, often finishing late with a concert or evening party. Then, of course, there is the editing, always on tight deadline, without time to mull over your decisions. It’s very exciting, even the one-boat races we had early on in the Louis Vuitton Cup were exciting from a photographer’s perspective, but after several months, there is definitely some cumulative fatigue from operating long hours at high intensity day after day – and we are still going!
What are the challenges of taking photos at a high speed, high stakes race like the America’s Cup?
The boats are spectacular. I’m not sure how well that comes through on TV or in the photos, but they are not like anything you have ever seen on the water before. And when you are near them you can appreciate how fast they are really moving, how unstable the are, and how much skill and effort is required to keep them upright. Near is a relative term, though. The umpire boats are quite close, the team chase boats are a bit farther away, and everyone else is farther still. From a photographic perspective we are never close enough. It is very hard to show the faces of the sailors when they are actually racing. Some days I shoot with an 800mm lens in an attempt to capture some emotion, but with the helmets, distance and speed, it is mostly an exercise in frustration.
What camera do you use?
I shoot with Canon cameras. Currently, I am using a 1Dx and a 5D MK III. The 1Dx is faster and has better weather sealing, but it’s a lot more expensive.
What are your favorite shooting conditions?
The rougher the better. The camera has a way of flattening seas, so if you want to show some waves it has to be fairly rough. I’d rather be closer to the action and shooting a wide angle lens than farther away and shooting a telephoto. It’s really about the people first, and the machines they are operating second. I think that people exercising skill and/or determination to manage challenging conditions or difficult equipment makes the best photos.
How did you get started in photography? What did you do for work before you became a photographer?
I started out thinking I would be a marine biologist from the time I was about seven years old. After college I was working working with a scientist at Woods Hole Oceanographic, and, a couple of years into the project, he died from cancer. I had been just about to begin my PhD work at URI, but took a detour and went to work on boats for a while. After some time offshore I returned and decided to go to journalism school. After school I started picking up work in areas I was familiar with – commercial fishing and sailing.
Any advice for aspiring sailing photographers?
Shoot a lot – really a lot – and be fearless about experimenting with your creativity. Then edit your own work with a critical eye. What works and what doesn’t? What message or emotion are you trying to convey to people who will view the image? Spend time looking at established photographers’ work, but try to avoid becoming imitative or derivative. They may have succeeded with their style, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only way to go.
Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions Present
ALL IS LOST
Written and Directed by:
Running Time: 107 Minutes
ALL IS LOST
Academy Award® winner Robert Redford stars in All Is Lost, an open-water thriller about one man’s battle for survival against the elements after his sailboat is destroyed at sea. Written and directed by Academy
Award nominee J.C. Chandor (Margin Call) with a musical score by Alex Ebert (Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros), the film is a gripping, visceral and powerfully moving tribute to ingenuity and resilience.
Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man (Redford) wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas. With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his mariner’s intuition, and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest.
Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.
Lionsgate & Roadside Attractions, Black Bear Pictures and Treehouse Pictures present a Before The Door/Washington Square Films Production. Robert Redford in All Is Lost. The director of photography is Frank G. DeMarco and the underwater director of photography is Peter Zuccarini. Production designer is John P. Goldsmith. Editor is Pete Beaudreau. The music is composed by Alex Ebert. Visual effects supervisor is Robert Munroe. Executive producers are Cassian Elwes, Laura Rister, Glen Basner, Joshua Blum, Howard Cohen, Eric D’Arbeloff, Rob Barnum, Kevin Turen, Corey Moosa and Zachary Quinto. The producers are Justin Nappi and Teddy Schwarzman. Produced by Neal Dodson p.g.a. and Anna Gerb p.g.a. Written and directed by J.C. Chandor.
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION
Filmmaker J.C. Chandor knew he wanted to make some form of open-water thriller long before his feature writing and directing debut, Margin Call, was nominated for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar®. But it took almost six years for him to finally hit upon the startlingly original idea for All Is Lost, a harrowing nautical adventure that takes place entirely at sea and features a single nameless—and nearly wordless—character.
“It’s a very simple story about a guy late in his life who goes out for a four- or five-month sail,”
Chandor says. “Fate intervenes, the boat has an accident, and essentially we go on an eight-day journey with him as he fights to survive.”
Chandor’s screenplay bore little resemblance to a typical movie script. Rather than the standard 120 pages, it was roughly 30 pages long. And it consisted entirely of prose description, with no dialogue. In fact, when Margin Call producer Neal Dodson got his hands on the slim sheaf of papers, he asked Chandor when he would receive the rest of it.
“When J.C. said that it was the whole script, I was both terrified and excited,” Dodson recalls. “The first film we did together was all about dialogue, and this was very obviously not about dialogue. I admit that my first thought was, ‘I don’t know how the hell we’re going to get this thing financed’—because it’s pretty audacious and pretty brave.”
Fellow producer Anna Gerb (Margin Call) recalls reading the script on her deck with Chandor present, and being blown away by the sheer viscerality of it.
“I read it and I looked at J.C. and said, ‘Wow. I’m seasick,’” she recalls. “As a producer, I like to be in control. Being in the middle of the ocean on a sailboat, putting myself in a situation where I am at the mercy of the universe is something I just couldn’t imagine. ”
Chandor, on the other hand, was intimately familiar with the universe of sailboats.
“Although I never sailed across the ocean alone, sailing is something I grew up around,” he says, “so I knew the basic palette I was working with.”
Chandor says the sheer simplicity of the story—and the filmmaking challenge it presented—drew him to make the film. The story has echoes of Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, and as Dodson describes “ it’s an existential action movie about one man lost at sea, fighting against the elements and himself.”
A pivotal step in the film’s journey from script to screen was, of course, the casting of two-time Academy Award winner Robert Redford (The Sting). The iconic actor, director and creator of Sundance had met and been impressed with Chandor when Margin Call premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2011.
“I liked J.C. Chandor,” Redford recalls. “He represented, for me, the exact type of person that we want to support. He had a vision, he was a new voice on the horizon and he told his story in a very special way.”
When Chandor told Dodson that he wanted to cast Redford as the film’s sole character, referred to simply as “Our Man” in the script, the producer knew it was a longshot.
“I said, ‘Listen, he’s going to say one of two things when he gets that 30-page script,” Dodson recalls.
“He’s either going to say, ‘Hell yes, this sounds amazing,’ or he’s going to say, ‘Why in the world would I do that? I have nothing to prove. Why would I put myself through that?’ And to our great, great benefit, he said yes.”
For his part, Redford was drawn to the originality of the project, which he describes as a story about a man who takes “one heck of a journey and one heck of a beating.”
“I really liked the script because it was different,” Redford says. “It was bold. It was eccentric, and there was no dialogue. I felt that J.C. was going to go through with that vision, even though it was not all explained.
But I trusted that he knew what he was doing, that he had it in his head. I knew I would be supporting that vision even while not knowing everything, and that was interesting and good for me.”
Perhaps surprisingly, Redford says he doesn’t get bombarded with invitations to star in the movies of the independent filmmakers he champions. Quite the contrary, in fact.
“There’s something kind of ironic in that, all these years after starting Sundance and starting the film festival, none of the filmmakers that I supported ever hired me,” he says, then adds jokingly: “They never offered me a part! Until J.C.”
With their one-man cast in place, the producers sat down with the list of necessities for shooting the film. At the very top: a handful of sailboats, and a place to sink them. As it turned out, shooting the story of one man and his boat actually required three boats—specifically, three 39-foot Cal yachts. While all of them serve as Our Man’s sailboat, the Virginia Jean, each of the three boats was used for a separate purpose: One was for open sea sailing and exterior scenes, another was for the tight interior shots, and the third was for special effects.
Finding three similar boats proved to be a challenge, however, says production designer John Goldsmith, whose previous credits include No Country for Old Men and The Last Samurai. “We scouted them at different times and purchased them in different ports. They all had to be imported, which was a logistical exercise in itself. I think we were two weeks into prep before all three were side by side, ready for us to work on.”
Once they had them, the filmmakers put the boats through their paces—and then some. “We did pretty much everything that you can do to a boat on film,” Chandor says. “We sunk it, brought it back to life, sailed it, then put it through a massive storm, flipped it over, and sunk it again. I think it’s paramount to have a pretty deep understanding of the way these boats work, the way they sail and sink, as well as all of the different kinds of sailing elements we use to help move the story along.”
Chandor and Goldsmith collaborated closely in crafting a kind of back story for the boat itself, which in turn helped inform the story of Redford’s character.
“J.C. and I had some fantastic conversations about what story we wanted to tell about Our Man that would be expressed through this boat,” Goldsmith recalls. “What kind of past has he had? Was he a military man? Is he a businessman? Is he a family man?”
Goldsmith says Chandor gave him detailed notes to guide the production design. For instance, the director told him he envisioned Redford’s character bought the boat at age 51, six years after the boat was built.
Ten years after that, the boat’s upkeep may have slipped a little due to the economic slump in the 1990s. Painting the back story in even greater detail, Chandor envisioned that Redford’s character retired seven years after that, then invested about $20,000 in updating the boat.
“So maybe he selected certain things like the cushions, which were tired, and reupholstered those,”
Goldsmith explains. “Maybe he upgraded the window treatments, maybe a few pieces of electronics. So there’s this idea of layering of time and history in this boat. But it’s not an overhaul. It’s not a renovation. In that way, the design had to be really careful about not coming too far forward, but being sort of quiet.”
Given the solitary nature of the film, Chandor, at times, lets his camera linger on Redford and relish his quiet, simple activities in a way seldom seen on film.
“It’s rare to watch someone think,” Dodson observes. “Most movies are very ‘cutty,’ and I enjoy those movies. But this isn’t that movie. Yes, it’s got action sequences, but the camera is going to sit on him for a while. We’re going to watch him eat a can of soup, and watch him have a glass of bourbon, and watch him cook, and watch him stand in the rain.”
In one memorable scene, the sailor is chest-deep in water collecting supplies from his slowly sinking yacht. Then he takes a break to stand before the mirror and—for possibly the last time in his life—shave.
“You work against the odds in the weirdest ways,” Redford says. “But when the odds are so great against you, you fight hard to create some normalcy in your life, even though it may seem weird.”
Other scenes were intensely physical for the actor, who is known for doing many of his own stunts: from clambering up the sailboat’s 65-foot mast to being dragged behind the boat to swimming underwater through the submerged sails. And then there’s the opening sequence in which the sailboat collides with the shipping container and Our Man jumps from one to the other.
“We slammed a boat into the side of a shipping container with him on it—that’s in the movie,” Dodson says. “There’s this huge jolt, and that’s Bob actually hitting the side of a boat and being okay with it.
We put him in a life raft and flipped him upside down and inside out, and he was game.”
“Whenever he did his own stunts, it was both inspiring and exciting, and it also put a little fear in us,”
Gerb adds. “But he is in great physical shape. He loves the water and he loves to swim. There are a lot of physical challenges in making this film. Even just being wet all day is exhausting and physically draining on any actor. But his spirit and his understanding of the vision for this film just took over. He came to the set every day and absolutely gave himself over to the process of making this film.”
For his part, Redford says he greatly enjoyed working with the director, whom he credits with getting the best out of him as an actor.
“I’m doing this because of J.C.,” Redford says. “I like him. He has a joyous spirit and a wonderful disposition. But the thing that’s incredible is how busy his mind is. It’s a quicksilver mind, and I find it really fascinating. I think he will do very well, because he knows what he wants and he knows how he wants to get it, but he stays loose through the process, which I think is wonderful. He’s very intuitive, he has a vision, and I trust him and his ability to deliver that vision.”
Chandor’s use of digital effects was largely restricted to enhancing backgrounds and skies, as well as enhancing the waves that surrounded the boat and hammered Redford’s character. All visual effects work was handled by a team at Toronto-based SPIN VFX, overseen by Chandor and longtime VFX supervisor Robert Munroe (X-Men).
Filming in water is notoriously challenging, and that was certainly the case with All Is Lost, which does not feature a single shot set on dry land. Camera crews filmed in various parts of the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, including off the coast of Ensenada, Mexico, about 80 miles south of San Diego. At one point, Redford sailed the Virginia Jean into port there, complete with a patched-up hole in the side of the boat.
“It was amazing to see the reactions of real sailors in the marina,” says Gerb. “They were looking at our boat, which had clearly been through an incredible battle. It had a film crew hanging off of it and Robert Redford at the helm.”
The shots of sea life—including shoals of small fish, yellowtail, barracuda and the beautiful if terrifying shots of dozens of swirling sharks—in the Bahamas, off the coast of Nassau and Lyford Cay, where an entire camera crew dove down more than 60 feet to capture the footage of the fish.
For the sequences involving the massive shipping vessels, the crew filmed in the ocean around Los Angeles—out of the port of Long Beach to the south, and further north near Catalina Island.
But the open ocean is no place to safely sink a yacht. For those scenes and a number of others, including the opening collision with the shipping container, the filmmakers turned to the world’s largest filming tanks. Baja Studios, located in Rosarito Beach on Mexico’s Baja Peninsula, the facility was effectively built from the ground up by James Cameron, who required a customized water environment to shoot the spectacular nautical effects for Titanic. In fact, some of the crew on All Is Lost had also worked on Titanic, including line producer Luisa Gomez da Silva, who works full time at the facility and counts herself part of “the Titanic generation.”
The filmmakers used three giant water tanks for different aspects of the shoot, including the world’s largest exterior tank, which sits right on the ocean and has an infinity-edge horizon line.
“It’s the size of three football fields and it creates a very real ocean look,” Gerb says. “These tanks mimic being out at sea, but in a controlled environment where we could safely pull off a lot of our stunts and special effects. It was really the only place in the world we could have made this film.”
Initially, Chandor and Goldsmith believed they would have all they needed with the three boats, but one particularly dramatic sequence, in which the storm-tossed Virginia Jean repeatedly capsizes and rights itself, called for extraordinary creativity. Although the filmmakers had thought they could use the special-effects boat for this underwater rolling stunt, after further exploration they realized they needed to better protect Redford.
As a result, multiple departments pulled together to build a special rig for the purpose.
Similarly, special effects supervisor Brendon O’Dell (Training Day) had to come up with creative solutions to simulate the violent movement of the boat in the storm. “Typically, on a big-budget movie, you’d build a really elaborate gimbal that could move the boat in any direction,” he says. “But that would have been very expensive and time consuming, so we had to rethink our approach.”
Instead, O’Dell’s team used simple rigging and hydraulic cylinders, together with the natural buoyancy of the boat working against the water. “We would just suck the front of the boat down with a cylinder and let the back up, and vice-versa,” he says. “It also worked side to side. It looked really good.”
The complex shoot required seven weeks of meticulous preparation—unusual for a small, independent film. “We needed to create a schedule that tracked wet scenes, dry scenes, storm scenes, with three boats, three tanks and an additional sound stage, night and day, stunts, VFX shots and non-VFX shots,” Dodson says. “It was a lot more complicated than anything I’ve ever worked on before, and enormously complex for a 30-day shoot on our budget.”
The producer says the crew worked less from the script than from a big map in their main conference room on which the entire movie was storyboarded.
“We didn’t really even have sides,” he says, referring to the daily printouts actors usually use. “We used a printout of that day’s storyboards—we’d just go through them and shoot them.”
To capture All is Lost Chandor turned to not one, but two directors of photography—Frank G. DeMarco and underwater cinematographer Peter Zuccarini. For DeMarco, the challenge of shooting a movie without dialogue was not without silver linings.
“One interesting thing is that you can do far more takes on a movie with less dialogue,” says DeMarco, who also worked with the director on Margin Call. “The other interesting thing is that, like in a silent movie, the director can sometimes direct the actor during the take. J.C. could actually say, ‘Bob, now remember this, and then do that, and pick up that, and look up there,’ while the camera was rolling.”
DeMarco says shooting interior shots in the tight space of a yacht’s cabin was also tricky—for example, when Redford had to squeeze past the camera on DeMarco’s shoulder or during very close shots.
“We shot with wide lenses, which helped a lot,” DeMarco recalls. “We used a lot of natural light. Ultimately, we just made it work.”
If some crewmembers found themselves having to contend with water, others thrived in it—and none more than Zuccarini, whose credits range from low-budget surfing documentaries to the seafaring blockbuster Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.
“He and his team know how to get in their wetsuits, seal up the cameras, balance their weight and their breathing, and swim in and under the water, shooting footage that you can’t believe,” Dodson says.
With its smorgasbord of water-related challenges, All Is Lost was an irresistible project, says Zuccarini. “I specialize in putting cameras in places that are very wet. So when I saw from the very first moment of the script that there’s water flowing into the boat, he’s immersed in water, water is going to spray on his face, waves are dumping on him—I admit, I was pretty excited.”
Adding to the production challenges, editor Pete Beaudreau (Margin Call) did the first pass of editing on location to ensure that the production got what it needed. After a rough start, he says he got used to the approach.
“Because I was able to get the material so quickly, I could show J.C. at the end of the day whatever he had shot that morning, all put together,” Beaudreau says. “And if he felt like he was missing something, we could go in the next morning and grab it.”
In a film so devoid of dialogue, the musical score assumed special importance. Chandor turned to acclaimed singer-songwriter Alex Ebert, leader of the band Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, to compose the film’s score—his first such project.
“It was sort of a shocker in some ways,” says Ebert. “It’s amazing that J.C. would have that kind of faith in someone who hadn’t scored a film.”
Ebert says Chandor initially asked him to deliver very subdued materials, drones and low notes that sustained over scenes. He also specifically requested that the instrumentation avoid piano. That was challenging for the composer, who had already written some pieces on piano, but he understood Chandor’s reasoning.
“The piano has this inherent emotion to it,” he says. “We didn’t want anything that was ‘emotion in a can’ or ‘tension in a can.’ But eventually I started taking more chances, and after some back and forth with J.C., we landed in this middle spot that I think was perfect.”
Ebert says he played various instruments, including synthesizer, crystal bowls and Tibetan bowls. He also played orchestral samples, most of which were later replaced by musicians using real instruments. Other times he came up with themes on the piano, then mocked them up with sampled flutes or other sampled instruments, before bringing in great musicians to play them. Seth Ford-Young, the bass player from the
Magnetic Zeros also provided a number of sounds that evoked the calls of whales and other sea mammals.
“The biggest challenge was walking that fine line between truth and melodrama,” Ebert says. “You don’t want to undershoot it and you don’t want to overshoot it. You want to nail the emotion precisely. Anything else is not doing it justice.”
For Ebert, All Is Lost is an inherently emotional film with massive stakes, and he felt he needed to express that in the music.
“It’s about beauty,” he says. “It’s emotional and everything that comes along with life and death, and nothing less. I think that’s the primary subject of humanity—and it’s something that you might want to stay away from because it would be overdramatic. But this dude’s in the middle of the ocean on a raft. Let the music be emotional because it is emotional. We followed the movie’s lead.”
The task of building a robust soundscape for an almost dialogue-less film on the sea fell to the Oscarwinning sound team behind such hits as Saving Private Ryan and Jurassic Park, Richard Hymns and Gary Rydstrom, along with their colleagues Steve Boeddeker and Brandon Proctor, from Marin County’s famous SkyWalker Sound. They had already worked on several films with Redford in the director’s chair and welcomed the chance to work with him again.
In some ways, All Is Lost is a tribute to man’s seemingly limitless ingenuity and resilience, with Redford’s character simply refusing to quit.
“This character keeps going to a point when some people would give up and say, ‘It’s too much,’”
Redford says. “‘I’m out in the middle of nowhere. No one is here to help me and it seems like I’ve done everything I possibly can. Why not give up?’”
To answer that question, Redford references an earlier film whose sparseness and primal simplicity have something in common with All Is Lost and in which the actor plays another lone man battling nature and self.
“I thought about Jeremiah Johnson, about that film and that character, especially since I had developedthat project myself,” says Redford of the 1972 film. “He had a choice to give up or continue but he continues, because that’s all there is. And this film, I think, suggests the same thing. He just goes on because that’s all he can do. Some people wouldn’t, but he does.”
It’s in those moments of maximum anguish that Our Man actually breaks his pervasive silence and utters a word or two—to great effect.
“There’s a scene where we finally hear the iconic Robert Redford voice,” says Gerb. “There is no real dialogue to speak of in the film, but in this one moment, for a very brief second, he says something. And to hear his voice, and how it comes out, is so powerful, because we all know that voice. And then it comes, and it’s this tiny beat, but it’s a very moving moment for me.”
For Dodson, it is precisely the drive to survive—even when all is apparently lost—that gets to the heart of the film’s meaning.
“It’s a movie about why we keep fighting,” Dodson says. “It’s a movie about why we try to live—about why we would fight against death when it seems so obvious that it’s our time to go. Answering that question about human beings is something philosophers, religion and great thinkers have been trying to do as long as humans have been on earth. I think this movie tries to ask that timeless question in a new way. And for my own part, I’m far more interested in going to see movies and making movies that ask questions than in movies that propose to answer them.”
It’s also part of what makes the film unlike any other, the producer says. “I don’t think you’ve ever seen a movie like this before,” Dodson says. “It’s a truly singular vision. It’s watching one guy—a master of his craft—work through a character in 90 minutes. And it’s an adventure. But the existential questions in it, I think, will resonate for people even more powerfully.”
As for Chandor, he says he hopes audiences will see themselves reflected in Redford’s valiantly struggling survivor.
“What I’m hoping,” Chandor muses, “is that this character becomes a vessel where audience members are able to see themselves, or parts of themselves. That he becomes the embodiment of some of their hopes, concerns, dreams, worries, fears—all those primal human characteristics. It’s not something that I want to lay out too explicitly, but to a certain extent, I hope that he can become a kind of mirror. And if I did my job well, the film, like Our Man’s journey, is going to be exhilarating and terrifying, and, I hope, emotional and haunting.”
ABOUT THE CAST
ROBERT REDFORD (Our Man)
Robert Redford is an Academy Award-winning actor, director, producer, environmentalist and philanthropist whose legendary career has spanned decades. His credits represent one of American cinema’s most renowned bodies of work and include starring roles in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting and All the President’s Men. His directorial credits include acclaimed films such as Ordinary People, A River Runs Through It and Quiz Show. He has been honored with numerous awards for his exceptional work both on and off screen.
Most recently, Redford directed and starred in The Company You Keep, alongside Nick Nolte and Shia LaBeouf. He is currently in production on Captain America: The Winter Soldier, with Chris Evans and Scarlet Johansson.
Redford’s first Academy Award nomination was for Best Actor after 1973’s The Sting, opposite Paul Newman. He won the Oscar for Best Director in 1981 for Ordinary People and received an Honorary Academy Award in 2002. In 2005 he was the recipient of Kennedy Center Honors for his distinguished achievement in the performing arts.
Redford’s passion is the Sundance Institute, which he founded in 1981. The Sundance Institute is dedicated to the support and development of emerging screenwriters and directors of vision, as well as the national and international exhibition of independent cinema. The Institute’s highly acclaimed screenwriter, director, playwright and producer labs take place at the Sundance Village mountain retreat in Utah.
The Sundance Film Festival is a program of the Institute and is internationally recognized as the world’s single most important showcase of independent cinema. Redford has further expanded the Sundance brand with The Sundance Channel, Sundance Cinemas, Sundance London and Sundance Entertainment.
Redford has been a noted environmentalist and activist since the early 1970s. He has served for almost 30 years as a trustee of the board of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKERS
J.C. CHANDOR (Director, Writer)
J.C. Chandor has honed his own subtle yet distinct narrative voice and vision over the past 15 years through
directing, producing and writing award-winning documentaries, commercials and narrative films.
Chandor was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay for his debut feature
film Margin Call (2011), which he also directed. The film has a star-studded ensemble cast and was awarded
“Best Directorial Debut” by The National Board of Review, “Breakthrough Director” by the New York Film
Critics Circle, “Best Original Screenplay” by the San Francisco Film Critics Circle, and won an Australian
Academy Award for “Best Screenplay.” The film, which received the “Best First Feature Award” as well as the
“Robert Altman Award” (given to one film’s director, casting director and its ensemble cast) at the
Independent Spirit Awards, was named one of the top 10 films of 2011 in publications such as The New York
Times, Rolling Stone, New York Magazine, The New Yorker, New York Post, and The Huffington Post.
Chandor’s commercial work over the years has included projects for a long list of clients including
Subaru Motors of America, Red Bull Racing, Major League Soccer, BMW-Oracle Racing, America Online, DC
Shoes, and Carhartt Outdoor Clothing.
A few of Chandor’s other notable credits include producing a six-part concert film series for
AOL/Warner Brothers as well as working with Sting, Elton John, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and
Beck. His debut narrative-film writing-directing credits include the short film Despacito (2004) starring Will
Arnett. He is also currently in development on projects with Warner Bros Pictures, Leonardo DiCaprio’s
Appian Way and Universal Pictures.
Chandor holds a bachelor’s degree in American studies and film studies from The College of Wooster
in Ohio and studied film production at New York University. He grew up in the suburbs of New York City
and London, England, and currently lives outside New York City with his wife, painter Cameron Goodyear,
and their two children.
NEAL DODSON (Producer)
For the first film he produced, Neal Dodson won an Independent Spirit Award for J.C. Chandor’s Margin Call,
which was also nominated for an Oscar for “Best Original Screenplay,” among many others awards. It
premiered at Sundance, played the Berlinale and opened New Director/New Films at MoMA before being
released by Lionsgate/Roadside.
Dodson is also releasing two more movies in 2013, Victor Quinaz’s Breakup at a Wedding (Oscilloscope
Labs, in June) and a horror-thriller called The Banshee Chapter (XLrator Media, in September).
Dodson and his Before The Door Pictures partners (Star Trek actor Zachary Quinto and Corey Moosa)
were named to the “10 Producers That Will Change Hollywood” by The Wrap and included in the 2012
“Mavericks” issue of Details Magazine. They also have another dozen features in development and have
published two graphic novels, Mr. Murder is Dead and Lucid (optioned to Warner Bros). Dodson is prepping a
large independent film to shoot in New York this fall.
In television, Dodson sold a pilot to TNT with Shaun Cassidy and also co-wrote a drama pilot for The
CW with actor Matt Bomer and country artist Brad Paisley. He was vice president of a Warner Bros-based
production company for several years where he executive produced Another Cinderella Story, starring Selena
Gomez and Jane Lynch. While there, Dodson was involved in setting up Paramount’s Footloose remake and coproducing
the recently shot Hateship Loveship starring Kristin Wiig and Nick Nolte.
As an actor, in addition to work in television, independent film and at regional theaters (Lincoln Center,
Mark Taper Forum, Yale Rep, Utah Shakespeare), Dodson appeared on Broadway in Tom Stoppard’s “The
Invention of Love,” which won two Tony Awards®. He earned a BFA from Carnegie Mellon University’s
School of Drama. Dodson is a reformed actor and is married to television-film actress Ashley Williams. They
make their home in Los Angeles.
ANNA GERB (Producer)
Anna Gerb is executive producer and head of production at Washington Square Films where she oversees
feature film, television and commercial productions. She was co-producer on J.C. Chandor’s feature film Margin
Call (Sundance, Academy Award Nominee for “Best Screenplay”). She also served as executive producer on
the feature film Francine starring Melissa Leo. In her native Canada, she produced the film Blood, directed by
Jerry Ciccoritti (nominated for Genie and Directors Guild of Canada Awards), and the documentary Me, Myself
& The Devil for CBC.
Currently, Gerb is putting together a large independent film for the fall in New York, and is developing
an adaption of Irina Reyn’s novel, What Happened to Anna K, a contemporary version of Tolstoy’s Anna
Karenina, set in New York. Gerb is a member of the the Producers Guild of America, serves on the board of
directors for New York Women In Film & Television, and is a member of The Academy of Canadian Cinema
& Television. Born in Moscow and raised in Canada, she currently lives in New York City with her husband
and two kids.
FRANKIE DEMARCO (Director of Photography)
Frankie DeMarco is a talented cinematographer whose honors and accolades include Independent Spirit Award
nominations for his work on Larry Fessenden’s Habit and John Cameron Mitchell’s Hedwig and the Angry Inch.
Throughout his career, he has moved freely between genres, working on documentaries, features, TV shows,
commercials, industrials and music videos.
Most recently, DeMarco wrapped production on the forthcoming CBS telefilm “The Ordained,”
directed by R.J. Cutler and starring Emmanuelle Chriqui, Sam Neill and Hope Davis. Other notable television
work includes first-season episodes of AMC/Lionsgate’s “Mad Men,” created by Matthew Weiner, and NBC’s
“Kings,” executive produced and directed by Francis Lawrence. DeMarco also lensed “Lady Dior London”
and “L.A.-dy Dior,” TV spot/webisodes starring Marion Cotillard that have garnered international attention.
In 2010 DeMarco shot J.C. Chandor’s Margin Call, starring Kevin Spacey, Jeremy Irons and Zachary
Quinto. That same year he completed his third collaboration with John Cameron Mitchell, Rabbit Hole, starring
Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest.
Other film credits include Beerfest and The Babymakers, both directed by Broken Lizard’s Jay
Chandrasekhar; Jessica Yu’s Ping Pong Playa, an Independent Spirit Award nominee; John Cameron Mitchell’s
controversial Shortbus, a 2006 Cannes favorite; Tom DiCillo’s Delirious, with Steve Buscemi and Michael Pitt; Jay
DiPietro’s Peter and Vandy, starring Jason Ritter and Jess Weixler; James C. Strouse’s The Winning Season, starring
Sam Rockwell, Emma Roberts and Rooney Mara; and Ryan Shiraki’s Spring Breakdown, starring Amy Pohler,
Rachel Dratch and Parker Posey.
It was while studying writing in Florence, Italy, that DeMarco was bitten by the film bug. After working
on a TV commercial, he returned home to Baltimore and earned his B.A. in modern languages. DeMarco
began his career working on commercials, documentaries and John Waters films shot in the area. After moving
to New York, he served as director of photography on numerous features and documentary films including
Theremin: An Electronic Odyssey.
An avid environmentalist, DeMarco uses public transportation, lives in a solar-powered home and eats
mostly vegetables and seafood. Though he wants to go sailing and surfing more often, he currently resides in
New York City with his daughter Hazel.
PETER ZUCCARINI (Underwater Director of Photography)
Peter Zuccarini’s career as a cinematographer has found him in some unique situations, including swimming
across the Amazon River with a floating camera in Walter Salles’ The Motorcycle Diaries and plunging into the
depths with champion free diver Umberto Pelizzari for Bob Talbot’s IMAX film Ocean Men: Extreme Dive.
Zuccarini’s most recent and forthcoming film credits include Michael Bay’s Pain & Gain, starring Mark
Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson; Gore Verbinski’s The Lone Ranger, starring Johnny Depp and Armie Hammer;
Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, starring Jennifer Lawrence; and Adam McKay’s Anchorman:
The Legend Continues, starring Will Ferrell.
On Ang Lee’s Oscar-winner Life of Pi, Zuccarini served as director of photography on the unit
responsible for underwater cinematography and was responsible for plates and reference footage used by the
Academy Award-winning visual effects team. Additional film credits include the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy,
Into the Blue, Act of Valor, Into the Wild, 127 Hours, Let Me In and Dolphin Tale.
Under director Bruce Weber, Zuccarini has lensed fashion campaigns for Armani and Ralph Lauren.
In Zuccarini’s early years as a professional, he filmed sharks for Dr. Samuel Gruber’s Bimini Biological
Field Station. His love for aquatic wildlife led to his directing and shooting two installments of Disney’s
documentary series New True Life Adventures, Everglades: Home of the Living Dinosaurs and Sea of Sharks.
In 2001 Zuccarini partnered with Steve Ogles to form Zuccarini Watershot LLC. Together they design
and manufacture state-of-the-art waterproof motion-picture cameras and lighting equipment. Through this
partnership, Zuccarini works tirelessly to provide custom equipment to accommodate various films’ unique
needs for water photography.
Zuccarini grew up exploring the turtle grass, worm-rock reefs and mangrove estuaries around his home
island of Key Biscayne, Florida. After buying his first underwater camera at age 11, he began documenting his
surroundings for the purposes of visual storytelling. Zuccarini went on to study art and semiotics at Brown
University. He took his photography classes at Rhode Island School of Design.
PETE BEAUDREAU (Editor)
Pete Beaudreau has edited numerous independent films including XX/XY, starring Mark Ruffalo; Sympathy for
Delicious, starring Ruffalo and Juliette Lewis; and My Week with Marilyn, starring Michelle Williams in an Oscarnomianted
role. His first collaboration with J.C. Chandor was on the Oscar-nominated drama Margin Call.
Beaudreau is a B.F.A. graduate of the Film Conservatory at SUNY Purchase. He began editing feature
films in 2000 with the cult classic The American Astronaut, which was an official selection at the 2001 Sundance
In addition to his editing work, Beaudreau is a frequent speaker at media conferences. He has taught
editing technique and theory at Harvard University’s School of Film and Visual Studies and Columbia
University’s School of the Arts.
JOHN P. GOLDSMITH (Production Designer)
As an art director, John Goldsmith has worked with some of today’s most talented filmmakers including Tom
Hooper, Michael Mann and the Coen brothers. For his work on HBO’s “John Adams,” an Emmy Award®
winner for “Outstanding Art Direction,” he shared in an Art Directors Guild Award. On the film side, he
contributed to Art Directors Guild Award-winner No Country for Old Men and nominee The Adventures of Tintin.
Goldsmith also worked on The Last Samurai, which earned an Academy Award nomination for “Best Art
Goldsmith moved to Los Angeles after earning his master of architecture degree from Columbia
University in New York. He began his career as a set designer on such films as Natural Born Killers, Beverly Hills
Cop III and Super Mario Brothers. After earning his master’s degree in design studies from Harvard University, he
worked at the prestigious architectural firm of Frank Gehry and Associates. Goldsmith then returned to
filmmaking and set design on such projects as City of Angels, Batman and Robin and Spider-Man.
ALEXANDER EBERT (Composer)
Alexander Ebert is the multi-talented musician and songwriter behind Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
The band has toured extensively and spent the spring of 2011 on the Railroad Revival tour with Mumford &
Sons and Old Crow Medicine Show. A documentary chronicling that trek, Big Easy Express, earned a Grammy
Award® for Best Long Form Video at the 2013 ceremony. A second album, “Here,” was released in 2012 with
a double-disc companion album this year.
Ebert’s music has appeared in such films as What to Expect When You’re Expecting and 10 Years.
Inspired by the power of music from a young age, Ebert grew up on the music his father introduced
him to as a kid. During long summer road trips through Western American landscapes, Ebert came to
understand how music could expand and inform an experience and turn even workaday moments into a
By the time he was 7 Ebert had moved from Pavarotti to hip-hop and started his first rap group with a
bunch of elementary school friends. In his teens Ebert became fascinated by cinema when a teacher showed
the class Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights. His mother was delighted at her son’s enthusiasm and found him a
filmmaking class taught by Jim Pasternak (Cousins), who later founded the Los Angeles Film School.
Set to become a filmmaker, Ebert briefly attended Emerson College but found himself bored by classes
and impatient to begin creating. He wrote a screenplay and decided to leave college to direct it. Ebert then
formed synth-rock project Ima Robot in collaboration with Timmy “The Terror” Anderson. After five years of
self-made albums and unreleased work, the group’s self-titled debut was released by Virgin Records in 2003 and
was followed by 2006’s “Monument to the Masses.”
Penning songs away from the spotlight, Ebert regained a sense of joyful expression. He re-emerged
with a folk sensibility showcasing a new facet of his songwriting. Ebert then connected with singer Jade
Castrinos, his co-pilot on Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. Supported by a full band, their first show
was in 2007. The group’s debut, “Up from Below,” arrived in 2009 with the hit single “Home.”
Ima Robot’s third disc, “Another Man’s Treasure,” was released in 2010 and Ebert unveiled a solo
album, “Alexander,” in 2011.
As he continues to explore the possibilities of sonic expression, Ebert is also writing several
screenplays, novels and poetry collections.
RICHARD HYMNS (Supervising Sound Editor)
As supervising sound editor of such films as Saving Private Ryan and A River Runs Through It, Richard Hymns has
established and continues a formidable career predicated on building authenticity and subtlety of sound in
service of a director’s storytelling vision. From the roar of weaponry to the quiet splash of a fly-fishing lure
upon rushing water, a commitment to creative quality is a hallmark of his work.
Hymns has won three Academy Awards with a total of eight nominations. His other honors include
four Motion Picture Sound Editors (MPSE) Golden Reel Awards and a BAFTA Award. Hymns has worked
with Steven Spielberg, Robert Redford, Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas, James Cameron, David Fincher,
Ang Lee, David Lynch, Tim Burton, Peter Jackson and Ron Howard, among many other top directors.
Film credits include The Outsiders, Wild at Heart, Willow, Backdraft, Fight Club, Zodiac, Mars Attacks!, The
Frighteners, Hulk, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Jumanji, Avatar, Jurassic Park, Munich, War Horse and Lincoln.
At age 16, Hymns got his start at Elstree Studios in North London by running tea service to members
of the film-editing crew. His big break came when, after a few months, he found himself working as an
apprentice editor on the television series “The Saint.” Hymns rose through the ranks and found his niche in
sound editing, primarily at Skywalker Sound in Northern California.
STEVE BOEDDEKER (Sound Designer, Re-Recording Mixer, Supervising Sound Editor)
Steve Boeddeker is a sound designer, mixer and composer based mainly out of Skywalker Sound in Marin and
his own studio in San Francisco. He has worked extensively in the Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York and
London, collaborating with many big-name directors.
Boeddeker’s mixing and sound design work can be heard in numerous movies including Now You See
Me, The Company You Keep, Killer Joe, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Lincoln, TRON: Legacy, Alice in Wonderland, Bug,
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, Hellboy, Daredevil, Rules of Engagement, Fight Club and Contact. His
original music can be heard in The Exorcist (re-release), Se7en and The Prophecy 3: The Ascent, as well as in the
work of his band, Dogs of Distortion.
BOB MUNROE (Visual Effects Supervisor)
Bob Munroe is an accomplished VFX supervisor, animator, producer and digital effects director. For
producing the live-action short Frost, he was recently nominated for an inaugural Canadian Screen Award (the
Gemini and Genie awards are now combined). Previously, Munroe was an executive producer on Academy
Award-winning director Chris Landreth’s 2009 animated short The Spine (Copperheart/National Film Board of
Next for Munroe is Ghosts of the Pacific (The American Film Company), a feature on which he will serve
as visual effects supervisor. This World War II survival drama stars Jake Abel, Tom Felton and Garret
Munroe and his VFX team were nominated for four Gemini Awards in the category of “Outstanding
Visual Effects” for their work on “The Tudors” (Showtime/CBC), winning in 2008 and 2011. He was also a
co-producer on the series’ final season. For the first season of “The Borgias” (Showtime/CTV), Munroe
shared in a 2011 Emmy nomination for “Outstanding Visual Effects.”
Munroe worked as supervising producer on the animated film The Wild (Disney) and visual effects
supervisor on Snow Day (Paramount Pictures), Cube (The Feature Film Project), Caveman’s Valentine
(Universal/Jersey Films/Franchise Pictures), Knockaround Guys (New Line), Finding Forrester (Columbia), Glitter
(Columbia), Cletis Tout (Fireworks), Against the Ropes (Paramount), Cypher (Miramax/Pandora), Splice
(Copperheart/Gaumont), Dolphin Tale (Alcon/WB) and Haunter (Entertainment One/Copperheart).
As digital effects director, Munroe led a team of animators on Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (Universal),
Doctor Dolittle (Twentieth Century Fox), Mimic (Dimension Films) and the “TekWar” TV movie (Atlantis).
Munroe was also digital effects supervisor on Johnny Mnemonic (Alliance Communications/Tri-Star Pictures),
technical director on Fly Away Home (Columbia Pictures) and second unit director on Haunter, Dolphin Tale,
Splice, Nothing and “The Tudors.”
In 1993 Munroe headed the animation team for the Atlantis Films adaptation of William Shatner’s
popular TekWar sci-fi novels. The computer-generated effects the team produced won the 1995 International
Monitor Award for “Best Special Effects in a Film-Originated Television Series” and a 1996 Gemini Award for
“Outstanding Visual Effects.”
In the late 1990s Munroe developed a new process that enables animators to match lighting from film
sets to the lights in a computer-generated environment. The process was awarded both U.S. and Canadian
patents. In 2006 Munroe was named the recipient of the Premier’s Award (Ontario) for the creative arts and
Munroe is a graduate of both the fine arts program at the University of Western Ontario (B.F.A. 1985)
and the computer animation program at Sheridan College. He is immediate-past chairman of the board of
directors of the Canadian Film Centre. In 1998 he was appointed adjunct professor at Sheridan College. He is
also a member of the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television (ACCT), the Directors Guild of Canada
(DGC) and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS).
BRENDON O’DELL (Special Effects Supervisor)
Brendon O’Dell is able to supply special-effects services and equipment on a project of any size, to be filmed
anywhere in the world. He has worked on such films as Horrible Bosses, Devil, Eagle Eye, Training Day, Daredevil
and Jackass. Television credits include “Justified,” “Vegas” and “American Dreams.”
Growing up in the small town of Paradise, California, O’Dell was far removed from the motion picture
industry. His best friend’s father was a well-known special-effects foreman able to get O’Dell an entry-level job
at Special Effects Unlimited in 1995. Within two years O’Dell had worked his way up to operations manager, a
position that allowed him to meet the top coordinators and supervisors. Fast forward to the present and O’Dell
has supervised more than 50 projects and assisted on well over 100.
“ALL IS LOST” End Credits
Written and Directed by
J. C. CHANDOR
NEAL DODSON p.g.a.
ANNA GERB p.g.a.
ROBERT OGDEN BARNUM
Director of Photography
FRANK G. DEMARCO
Underwater Director of Photography
JOHN P. GOLDSMITH
Music Composed By
Visual Effects Supervisor
ALL IS LOST
Lionsgate, Roadside Attractions, Black Bear Pictures, & Treehouse Pictures
In Association With
Sudden Storm Entertainment
A Before The Door / Washington Square Films
Very Special Thanks
ALL IS LOST was shot on three 1978 Cal 39 sailboats purchased from their owners in
Southern California. These three boats generously gave themselves up for art: Tahoe,
Tenacious, and Orion. They took their final sails in the Pacific Ocean and performed
beautifully in the film as Our Man’s boat, the Virginia Jean. Rest in peace.
Production Financing provided by The National Bank of Canada.
This film was made with the financial support of the Ontario Production Services Tax Credit
This film was made with the financial support of the Canadian Film or Video Production
Services Tax Credit.
ALL IS LOST was filmed with the support of the Baja California State Government, the
Baja California Film Commission, the Baja Secretary of Tourism, and the Bahamas Film
Commission. It was filmed on location in Nassau Bahamas, off the coast of Los Angeles, at
Baja Studios in Playas de Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico, and off the coast of Ensenada,
Mexico near Bahia De Todos Santos.
Sindicato Industrial de Trabajadores y Artistas de Television y Radio, Similares y Conexos de
la Republica Mexicana. SITATYR Mexico. Trabajadores tecnicos, manuales, y artistas
miembros del SITATYR, Seccion Tres de Baja California, Mexico.
Shot on Arri Alexa RAW.
Edited on AVID.
The soundtrack is available on Community Music
All material is protected by the Copyright Laws of the United States and all countries
throughout the world. All rights reserved. Country of First Publication: United States of
America. Any unauthorized exhibition, distribution, or copying of this film or any part
thereof (including the soundtrack) is an infringement of the relevant copyright and will
subject the infringer to severe civil and criminal penalties.
The story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this production are fictitious. No
identification with actual persons, places, vehicles, buildings, and products is intended or
should be inferred.
© 2013 All Is Lost LLC
ALL IS LOST
Cruising World and Sailing World magazines announced their nominees for the 2014 Boat of the Year awards at the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis, Md. The BOTY awards recognize and honor the best new sailboat models introduced to the North American market.
Special nominating panels, consisting of each magazine’s editors and select members of the judging panels, examined the new sailboat models.
Sailing World nominated 19 performance-oriented models for its awards. “Every year at this time, it’s great to see the diversity that comes out of the sailboat industry, especially the performance-oriented raceboats,” saidSailing World Editor Dave Reed. “Our judges have a full complement of models to test, including a handful of sportboats, as well as multihulls, which are on top of everyone’s mind given the America’s Cup.”
Sailing World nominees are: Tiwal 3.2, J/88, Xp 44, Far East 18R, Far East 26, Alerion 41, Corsair Cruze 970, Ultralight 20, Catalina 275 Sport, Gunboat 60, Hanse 345, Dufour 410, MX-Next, RS Cat16, Tartan Fantail Weekender, Archambault A47, Blue Jacket 40, W Race Boats GP26, and Dehler 38.
Cruising World nominated 28 boats, split into eight categories:
Cruising Sailboats Under 38 Feet
Midsize Cruisers (39-40 Feet)
Midsize Cruisers (41-45 Feet)
Full-Size Production Cruisers
Full-Size Semi-Custom Cruisers
Midsize Multihulls, Under 50 Feet
“This is a fantastic fleet of new boats for 2014, with everything from sweet inshore pocket cruisers to a 63-foot world-class globe girdler and several riveting new multihulls,” said Cruising World Senior Editor and Boat of the Year Director Herb McCormick. “Our judging team is really looking forward to putting them through their paces on Chesapeake Bay.”
The nominated boats will now move on to the judging round. The Cruising World judges will focus on production boats laid out and equipped for coastal and offshore cruising and voyaging, while judges on theSailing World panel will concentrate on boats designed and built with racing in mind.
The 2014 BOTY winners will be announced in the January issue of Cruising World and the January/February issue of Sailing World — both set to hit newsstands in mid-December. The 2014 awards mark the 30th anniversary of the BOTY awards for Sailing World and the 21st for Cruising World.
Cruising World nominees are:
Cruising World, published monthly by Bonnier Corp., addresses the dedicated sailor with a keen interest in exploring the world’s coastlines and oceans while cruising under sail. Cruising World aims to inspire and entertain through stories and pictures that underscore the beauty, fun and adventure of sailing, while providing practical information on the disciplines of seamanship, navigation and boat handling.
Sailing World, the authority on performance sailing, is published nine times a year by Bonnier Corp. Advice on the latest boat models and equipment, as well as racing tips, tactics and techniques, make it a must-read for sailors who race to win.
Bonnier Corp. is one of the largest consumer-publishing groups in America and is the leading media company serving passionate, highly engaged audiences, through special-interest magazines and related multimedia projects and events.
The legendary bonefish grounds of Andros Island in the Bahamas remain unequalled for light-tackle flats fishing.
By SaltWater Sportsman’s Glenn Law
We came off plane over a white sand strip that looked like a mangrove-lined runway. Fully a hundred yards wide, the white-sand and marl bottom provided the perfect backdrop against which to see cruising bonefish. Wind whipped the tops of the mangroves to either side, but guide Dwain Neymour easily pushed the skiff along in the lee, hunting this creek off the North Bight of Andros Island for the first fish of the day.
Windy conditions and scattered clouds had been the rule, but even against those obstacles, this area, the Dressing Room, offered both protection and excellent sight-fishing. We began seeing scattered pods of fish moving along with the tide, and after a few close calls, I dropped a cast 10 feet ahead of a feeding bonefish, and the skunk left the boat. Not a big fish, but enough to get us rolling.We poled out around the tip of Lloyd Key, and the wind hit us fully, out of the east. Back across the breadth of North Bight, the low morning sun ignited a thousand shades of aqua and turquoise over white sand and marl cut by blue-green channels — a subtle and vibrant palette that only Andros seems to do so well. Did I mention the stiff east wind? After all, this is Andros.
I’d chosen to visit at the end of January, for the full moon and the resultant spring tides. This time of year might produce unsettled weather but also has a legacy of producing the biggest bonefish, just in case there was a double-digit fish with my name on it haunting those hallowed flats. Tranquility Hill Bonefish Lodge served as my base of operations, a five minute run from the Winter Flat, a protected and productive stretch of shallows tucked into the lee of North Andros.
This flat, explained Neymour as we worked it later, is the go-to flat during the winter. The run from the lodge is short, and the fish are dependable regardless of conditions. The first morning we’d hit the Winter Flat at 8 o’clock, at the height of the flood tide. A peculiarity of this flat is the bonefish, which generally feed into the tide, here follow the flood tide across the shallows as the water grows deep enough for them to feed, but still a bit shallow for the sharks that prey on them. At full high tide, they move back into the mangroves to feed and rest unmolested; then as the tide falls, they follow it out of the mangrove roots and move back onto the flats.
Craters created by fish nosing into the marl to feed pocked the flat. Armed with a spinning rod spooled with 10-pound mono to back up an 8-weight fly rod, we crisscrossed the flat to intercept feeding fish. Andros guides grow up with a fly rod in hand, and they can be as hide-bound as a Connecticut dry fly fishermen about using it exclusively.
I kept the spinning rod stowed, but still armed and ready with a skimmer jig. Neymour coached me through a leader change, cutting back to 9 feet, with a 12-pound tippet loop-knotted to a No. 2 Clouser Minnow, and we were off. The bonefish, he said, were drawn to the “plop” of the lure during the cooler months. The drill is to spot feeding fish, drop a cast 10 feet in front of them, and allow them to work up to it. When they get close, retrieve slowly — 4 feet at a time — letting it settle to the bottom in between. Once they track it, let it fall, and they’ll pick it off the bottom.
It’s a simple formula, and it works. We landed four fish to 6 pounds that morning, until clouds killed the visibility. Over three days, North Bight gave up plenty of midsize fish, and we saw giants too, but they were unwilling to eat, or else they were beaten to the punch by more-aggressive smaller fish. The wind here is a given, often pushing guides and anglers to their limits. I cast so long and hard into the wind one afternoon that I returned to the dock with dreadlocks under my arms.
The last afternoon, Neymour took me to one of his favorite places, the east side of Big Wood Cay. Waves coming off Tongue of the Ocean roll across the grass flats to lap against the shoreline. The turbulence stirs the sand, providing a cafeteria line for fish working down the beach. We walked south along the edge, covering but a portion of the 6-plus miles of white-sand flats that stretch south along Big Wood, and cast to bonefish feeding down the beach, as well as pods of spooky fish tailing hard in the rapidly flooding tidal pools. We picked off a few, and watched more move on out of range.
It was a fitting end to a trip to Andros, which despite a long history and rich legacy of flats fishing, still holds an abundance of wild places waiting to be discovered — and double-digit bonefish that will have you mulling another visit.
The movie takes place entirely on water over just eight days and has almost no dialogue. Its lone, nameless character is played by Robert Redford, who struggles to survive when the Cal 39 sailboat he is sailing solo around the world is holed by a floating container in the Indian Ocean.
Writer and director J.C. Chandor said sailors, especially, should like the movie. He should know: he is one.
Chandor, who was nominated for an Academy Award for the screenplay for the 2011 film “Margin Call,” which he also directed, grew up sailing at Sakonnet Yacht Club in Little Compton, Rhode Island, where he later worked as a sailing instructor, and traveled with his family to Lightning regattas. Although he doesn’t have the opportunity to sail much anymore, he joins his parents sailing when possible.
“I’ve done one big bluewater sail before, but I have a broad base-level understanding of sailing and had a fascination with why people choose to go off and challenge themselves and sail around the world,” Chandor said. “I knew what was possible and had sailed on a similar sized boat growing up so I knew what you could get away with and what would happen.”
Chandor said he had been looking to do a film in the survival genre for some time, but it was no certainty that such an unusual film would see the light of day. The screenplay was a mere 30 pages long, about a quarter the length of a typical movie, leaving potential producers to ask for the rest of it, and the success of the movie depended on an actor who could carry the movie. Redford, a champion of independent filmmakers through his Sundance Film Festival, was drawn to the uniqueness of the script.
With Redford on board, Chandor still had the herculean task of filming a movie set entirely on water. Three 1978 Cal 39s were purchased in Southern California to depict Redford’s character’s boat Virginia Jean. One was used for open-ocean sailing, another for tight interior shots and a third for special effects. The boats, formerly known as Tahoe, Tenacious and Orion, receive a special mention in the movie’s credits.
“Three boats sacrificed their lives to make the movie,” Chandor said. “Two of them were in poor condition and one was in great condition, but we chopped them up in different ways for various scenes.”
Chandor had a specific backstory in mind for both Virginia Jean and Redford’s character. He imagined that the man bought the boat a couple decades earlier, letting its upkeep slip a little before investing about $20,000 in updating the boat before he set off on his solo sail.
“This is really a movie about a guy coming to grips with his mortality,” he said. “My backstory was that this adventure was something he always wanted to do, but he probably waited a little too long to do it.”
Camera crews, including specialists in filming on the water with movies such as “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Life of Pi” to their credit, filmed in the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean, as well as in the world’s largest filming tanks, constructed for the movie “Titanic.”
Redford, who is not a sailor but has spent some time on powerboats, became an adept sailor for the movie, Chandor said.
“He had three weeks of filming in the portion of the movie when the boat is in trouble and he was a little off balance like anyone new to sailboats is, but it worked because the character is extremely off balance at that point because his boat is about to sink,” Chandor said. “But after a few weeks of spending every day on the boat he started to really get the hang of it so when we were filming the great sailing shots in the Pacific in a big, beautiful 20-knot wind with big rollers, he was sailing the boat by himself.”
Redford, who was 76 during filming, did most of his own stunts for the film and is being praised for the acting tour de force, with some Hollywood insiders predicting the film could win him his first acting Academy Award.
Chandor said he knows that sailors will be watching the film closely to make sure it feels authentic.
“You have to remember you’re making a movie and it takes place over eight days,” he said. “You obviously have to break a ton of filmmaking rules not to mention sailing rules. You have to care about it being accurate and as a result I feel like the audience will go with you, so long as you don’t insult their intelligence. You’re seeing a person deal with situations from the opening scene that no sailor wants to ever be dealing with. But he is human and he makes mistakes. As a human you can’t plan for every eventuality.”
Chandor said sailors will notice that Redford’s character does a few things incorrectly, but attributes that to the character as well the limitations of movie making.
“There are a couple little things that aren’t correct, like his EPIRB is not functioning. So he’s an idiot. There are one or two things where I ask your forgiveness as a specialized audience, but compared to ‘Wind’ or other sailing movies I think sailors will be pleasantly surprised.
“We had a huge team of specialists and we tried not to make too many mistakes. But you have to remember, this guy is not a professional sailor. In a weird way, any of the mistakes we might make, he’s allowed to make as a character. He’s not supposed to be the most experienced sailor on Earth.”
Chandor said the movie delves into a basic human fear of being stranded on the water, one sailors can relate to perhaps better than anyone else.
“The ocean can be the most inhospitable place on Earth,” he said. “It can be so calm and life giving and at a moment’s notice it can be the most inhospitable place on the planet.”
The author of this article is Erin Schanen, SailingMagazine.net
The Hélia 44 from Fountaine Pajot proves under sail to be as quick as it is comfortable.
By Cruising World’s Mark Pillsbury
An old saying holds that if two boats sail nearby one another, you have a race. That proved true in spades last fall when Jean-François Fountaine spotted just a stone’s throw away a rival—with a slightly longer waterline—to his new Hélia 44 catamaran.
Battle on! Our leisurely test sail immediately turned serious as the builder set to work on the bank of winches that sit separate from and just forward of the flybridge helm station, trimming the jib here, tweaking the traveler there. At first, we held even with the other cat, then pulled away. In 12 knots of breeze, our upwind speed over the ground registered in the high 6s, with occasional spurts of 7 knots and better. Sitting at the wheel, with excellent visibility all around—even forward to port, often a blind spot on these big catamarans—I concluded that the Hélia was a fine addition to the Fountaine Pajot range of comfortable and seaworthy voyaging multihulls.
The Hélia 44, designed by naval architects Berret Racoupeau and the FP design office, replaces the Orana 44 in the FP lineup. Besides the Hélia’s potential for a good turn of speed, creature comforts abound. The cockpit—the prime socializing area on any cat—incorporates a dining area to port that can easily seat six to eight. To starboard, you can enjoy the shade of the bimini on a cushioned, sculpted daybed.
One feature I really liked about the deck layout is the access to the raised helm station from either the cockpit or the side deck. I also think the cushioned lounging area built into the bimini to port of the flybridge will be a popular spot with sunbathing crew.
The interior layout is available in either a four-cabin charter configuration or an owners version with a spacious suite occupying the entire starboard hull. Cat’s-eye ports in the hulls stream lots of light into the cabins, and large windows in the cabin house keep the saloon bright and offer excellent all-around visibility. The interior woodwork is a cherry-tinted Alpi, and the sole is walnut colored. The sharp-edged contemporary styling of the furniture looks luxurious, but I did have a concern about the pointed corners I found everywhere, feeling that they’d leave a welt if you encountered them in a seaway.
Hulls are vacuum-bagged solid fiberglass and resin below the waterline, and a balsa-cored sandwich above. The deck is infused, which saves considerable weight and adds greatly to the stiffness of the structure.
Powered by a pair of 40-horse Volvo diesels with saildrives, the boat motored comfortably at 7.5 knots at cruising rpm and nearly 9 knots wide open. With four solar panels built into the bimini aft of the traveler and all LED lighting, recharging time should be minimized.
The Hélia felt solid under foot and nimble under way. And pacing ourselves against a worthy competitor, the boat put a smile on the builder’s face and, for that matter, on mine as well.
This article first appeared as “New Cats on the Prowl” in the June 2013 issue of Cruising World.
Mike Shea from Backbone Media displays the new H20 Escape shoe from Sperry Top Sider.
Sperry Top Sider will be releasing several new shoes this year, including a more well-rounded water shoe called the H20 Escape, as well as sandals that have a more casual look while still incorporation the traction technology the company is known for.
“The name [H20 Escape] doesn’t say it all, but it says a lot about the shoe,” said Mike Shea from Backbone Media. “You can escape to the water, on the water, in the water, and around the water. It’s an amphibious shoe like all Sperry shoes that’s built for multi-water use and it’s also extremely comfortable and lightweight.”
A display of the new shoes by Sperry Top Sider at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market.
He said for years Sperry has been known for incorporating incredible traction into its products. The very first boat shoe that was invented by Sperry in 1935 was the original performance water shoe, using a technology that is still featured in all of the current products.
“This shoe features Adaptive Wave Siping on the bottom, so it provides great traction on both wet and dry surfaces,” Shea said. “It’s got a lot of mid-sole evacuation so that your feet stay dry. It’s a quick-dry material that’s very breathable. This is the shoe for all water sports–everything from sea kayaking to rafting to just your beach vacation.”
The shoe, which will be released this fall, comes in several colors and in both men’s and women’s versions.
Sperry is also releasing new sandals that incorporate the same technology used in their other shoes, but have a look that is more casual and can be worn not only out on the water, but around town as well.
“They have the same technology, the same use–but we also do them in really fun colors,” said Vice President of Performance Product R. Lee Baxter. “We take a lot of trend cues from the industry to figure out what’s happening say, in 2014, and try to tie them into our color pallets.”
To check out other products by Sperry Top Sider, visit the website.
The carbon-infused Catana 47 has shed a few pounds to skip a spritely dance in light-air conditions.
By Cruising World’s Mark Pillsbury
The Catana 47’s design brief is straightforward: The big, powerful French catamaran is intended for the performance-oriented cruising sailor who wishes to circumnavigate or undertake a similar extended voyage. Indeed, onceCW’s Boat of the Year judging panel took turns trying to peg the speedo, all agreed that this truly is a sailor’s sailboat.
The 47 was designed by Christophe Barreau to replace the 471. Six non-carbon boats were built before Catana began using carbon fiber in its infusion molding to reduce weight by approximately 1,500 pounds from earlier hulls.
The boat we sailed last fall on Chesapeake Bay sped off on a beam reach at nearly 9 knots in just over 12 knots of breeze. With the boat sailing closehauled, the GPS speed over the ground still read in the high 7s, not bad for a cat with plush accommodations and all the gear and accoutrements—owners suite, two guest cabins, lavish galley, genset, watermaker, electric winches—that you’d expect to find on a vessel with a $900,000-plus price tag. And that rack-and-pinion Lewmar steering was smooth as silk.
|The owners lavish stateroom occupies the entire starboard hull.|
The 47’s performance is due to a couple of factors. First, the square-topped main and 145-percent genoa provide the requisite sail area to get the boat moving in light to moderate breezes, yet still offer abundant reefing options for more interesting conditions. Tulip-shaped bows achieve a fine entry when you’re sailing on the wind and lots of forward buoyancy when running off it. Twin daggerboards, when lowered, provide up to 8 feet of draft, which translates into lateral resistance and lift for sailing to weather; when fully raised, the 3.5-foot draft creates less drag for downwind work.
The building materials also enhance underway prowess. The laminated hulls are a sandwich of infused Airex closed-cell foam, glass, and polyester and vinylester resin (for osmosis protection), with Twaron forward for collision protection and below the waterline for strength, and carbon fiber at critical points to take chainplate and structural loads. The deck is also an infused foam sandwich, and the inner skin of the bimini top, cabin top and structural bulkheads are built from infused carbon fiber and foam to reduce weight aloft.
While inspecting the boat, CW’s BOTY judges noted an exposed electrical panel and other electrical issues that caused them to pause, and they also felt that engine controls should be present at both of the helm stations, set outboard on either hull, as visibility to port under power was a challenge.
That said, sitting at those helms, with all sail-control lines led aft to a pair of powerful winches amidships and sheet winches near at hand, I couldn’t help but imagine clicking off the miles on a long tropical passage.
In the words of BOTY judge Alvah Simon, “I like sailing the Catana 47 because everything was exactly where it needed to be.” Enough said.
This article first appeared as “New Cats on the Prowl” in the June 2013 issue of Cruising World.
Breezy Two Race Day Sees Favini Snatch Lead On Day Two At
Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013
San Francisco, CA, USA - 3 October 2013 - Light winds at the beginning and end of the second day of the Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013 meant only two races of the scheduled three took place. Happily, after around an hour’s delay, the breeze came on strong and racing took place in breezes up to 20 knots.
2013 Melges 24 European Champion, Italy’s Flavio Favini at the helm of Franco Rossini’s Swiss entry Blu Moon, revelled in the fresher conditions to win the fourth race of the scheduled 10 race series by a considerable margin. Second was American Bora Gulari on West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes. Another American, Brian Porter on Full Throttle took third.
Race five of the series was sailed in fractionally lighter and more patchy winds and saw Gulari go one better than in previous race, grabbing the lead on the first downwind leg and easing away to take a comfortable win. Gulari’s countryman Terry Hutchinson at the helm of Scott Holmgren’s Rose Bud took second and Denmark’s Kim Christensen on SOFFE 2 third.
Although the race committee tried to start a third race, a massive right hand shift in the final minute before the start saw that attempt called off and with the wind rapidly fading and becoming increasingly unstable, soon after they wisely sent the fleet ashore for the day.
An eighth in the second race was good enough to elevate Favini to the overall lead at the end of the second day. Gulari’s boat-of -the-day 2,1, performance sees him move into second place tonight, one point behind Favini and one point ahead of Hutchinson whose 5,2 score today puts him in third overall.
In the Corinthian Division (no professional sailors allowed) American Don Jesberg on Viva clocked up a 5,1, score to move into the Corinthian lead six points ahead of fellow US sailor Loren Colohan on Lounge act in second. Two points behind in third is Australian Kevin Nixon on ACCRU.
Competitors and the race committee were greeted by light and fickle breezes when they assembled at the Berkley Circle race area on San Francisco Bay this morning. An hour’s delay ensued before the regular San Francisco Bay southwesterly wind began to establish itself. When it came, it came solidly, building quickly to around 14 knots by the start and increasing to 18 – 20 knots during the race.
It took two general recalls and an I and Z flag combination to get the over-eager fleet away at the the third attempt in the first race of the day. In the process, several boats incurred 20 per cent penalties to be added to their overall scores.
Italy’s Flavio Favini at the helm of Franco Rossini’s Swiss entry Blu Moon put on an impressive performance in the breezy conditions, leading around the first mark and then making a big jump on the first fast downwind leg. Favini’s crew never put a foot wrong after that and at the finish they had pulled out a 90 second advantage over second placed American helmsman Bora Gulari on West Marine Rigging/New England Ropes. Another American, Brian Porter on Full Throttle was also clearly enjoying the ramp up in wind strength and turned in a rock solid performance to take third.
The second race saw the wind drop a little for the start but remain variable in strength across the course throughout. This time just one general recall was required before the fleet got away cleanly.
This time it was Gulari who made the best of the tricky conditions. After overhauling early leader Tetsuya Matsunaga from Japan on ThreeBond on the first run he sailed a canny race to hold his lead to the finish and chalk up his first race win of the championship.
American Terry Hutchinson at the helm of Scott Holmgren’s Rose Bud also got past Matsunaga and chased Gulari hard for the lead throughout, but in the end he had to settle for second. Kim Christensen from Denmark on SOFFE 2 moved up from sixth at the first windward mark to take third at the finish.
A valiant attempt by the race committee to start a third race of the day was quickly thwarted by a significant windshift in the final minute and with the breeze then becoming increasingly erratic, they wisely decided to send the fleet home for the day.
In the Corinthian Division (no professional sailors allowed) a fifth and a first for American Don Jesberg on Viva moves him six points ahead of fellow US sailor Loren Colohan on Lounge Act who could only manage a seventh and fifth today and now sits in second. Two points behind in third is Australian Kevin Nixon on ACCRU whose first and third makes him the Corinthian boat-of-the-day.
Five races into the potentially 10-race series just eight points separate the top five places in the main fleet. Favini’s 1,8, score today moves him into the lead by a single point from Gulari in second. Hutchinson is a further point behind in third, tied on points with Porter, whose sixth place comeback from a deep windward mark rounding in the second race leaves him in fourth tonight. in fifth, another six points back, is Christensen.
With such compression at the top of the leaderboard and two more days of racing still to go, the 2013 edition of the Melges 24 World Championship looks likely to remain too close to call right to the very end.
Three more races in the Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013 are scheduled for tomorrow, Friday October 4. The scheduled 10 race championship series concludes on Saturday October 5.
|Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013 – Day 1|
|Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 Worlds – Tune Up Day|
|Sperry Top-Sider Melges World Championship 2013 – Registration|
About the Melges 24
The Melges 24 is designed by Reichel Pugh and holds a unique position amongst the world’s one design sportsboats as one of the most successful classes of high performance yachts. For more information please visit the official website of the
About The San Francisco Yacht Club
Founded in 1869, The San Francisco Yacht Club is the oldest Yacht Club on the Pacific Coast of North America. The Club is widely recognized as the premier yachting facility on the West Coast. The Club has a very active racing and Junior Sailing program and has hosted prestigious events such as the Melges 24 North American Championship, the US Sailing Chubb U.S. Junior Championship, the US Sailing Men’s Championship, and the International Knarr Championship. For more information, please visitwww.sfyc.org.
About Sperry Top-Sider
Since 1935, Sperry Top-Sider has been the leading brand of footwear for those with a Passion for the Sea®. From its introduction of the world’s first siped rubber outsole for non-marking traction to advanced technical fabrication to combat the elements, Sperry Top-Sider remains the standard of high-performance amphibious footwear and apparel for life and activities in, on and around the water.
Available around the globe in independent, marine, outdoor, department stores and on http://www.sperrytopsider.com, Sperry Top-Sider is the official footwear of the Sperry Top-Sider NOOD Regattas, the U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider, the Head of the Charles Regatta and the National Safe Boating Council.
Since early 2010, the brand has launched 27 Sperry Top-Sider retail stores in the U.S. – retail stores dedicated to the Passion for the Sea® lifestyle. Sperry Top-Sider is a division of Wolverine Worldwide. For more information, please visitwww.sperrytopsider.com.
It’s 9 a.m. and Carly Shevitz just finished her morning workout. Next, she dashes to and from classes and then to her executive board meeting at the Jewish Student Union. Senior Carly Shevitz has served on the Jewish Student Union’s executive board for three years in a row, and now serves as president. At the meeting, she discusses plans for the JSU’s Shabbat dinner next Friday, and then she’s off – to practice sailing for the 2016 Olympics.
Carly started sailing at 10 years old along the river she lived on with her family in Rumson, New Jersey. Her true turning point, however, came when Carly moved to Santa Barbara, California at the age of fourteen. As a middle school student, she started competing on the high school team and consequently gained significant exposure in her division. After her junior year of high school, Carly participated in her first world championship with the Junior U.S. team abroad. This is where she would first set her eyes on Olympic glory. She states, “I remember attending that opening ceremony where each team was walking in their team uniforms with the flag from their country. I could only imagine this ceremony at the Olympics.”
Carly doesn’t have to imagine this glory now as a senior at the College of Charleston, for she is inches, or races, away from it. Carly sails a 470 class sailboat, a two person boat with three sails, in the women’s division. She and her sailing partner have qualified for the U.S. Olympic training team, which means her team is one of the two top teams in her class in the country. After graduating in May, Carly will train for two years straight for Rio 2016, which she believes would be the perfect closure to her sailing experience, and make the past five years of training undeniably worth it.
It is 6 p.m., and as Carly arrives to the JSU weekly Wednesday night dinner, there are no traces of a training Olympiad – except the Sperrys on her feet. Although her closest friends know about her double life, many of her Jewish friends have no idea. They know her as the dedicated, friendly president of their organization and in part, Carly wants to keep it that way. She says, “I like to try to be the best I can be at everything, which is the competitive side of me. I also think it is a fun game to hide that competitive side sometimes and not tell anyone about sailing.” Carly prides herself on being put together, and this “double life” routine allows her to do just that. She gets to receive international sailing recognition all while finishing her degree in Jewish Studies and Exercise Science at the College. Many coaches and students have urged her to drop school for training, but as she puts simply, “For me, I felt like I could do it all at once, so why give anything up?”
Although Carly Shevitz may be leading a double life, it isn’t hard to see why she’s smoothly sailing through. Across her social circles and extracurriculars she remains a focused, well-balanced leader. She remarks, “I think my mind is naturally racing – which is really helpful. When we’re on the water I have a rotation of things I need to go through – I need to look at the clouds, the water, the wind and the other boats. I think trading on and off like that has really helped me. Also, my problem solving from being on the executive board at the JSU sometimes randomly gives me really good leadership qualities that help me on the Olympic sailing circuit.”
Even if unintentionally, the skills Carly acquires from different parts of her life often intersect in a natural and relevant way. For instance, she plans on taking her experience in sailing and applying it to her courses in her exercise science degree, and eventually in her career as a physical therapist. Currently, Carly is beginning her two plus years of practice in preparation for the 2016 Rio Olympics, and also training for the single-handed nationals for College of Charleston’s sailing team. She concludes, “[My interests] play off each other in a really fun way. I’m thrilled I get to do basically everything I’m interested in all at once.” Look for her on campus – be it the president of JSU, the eager student, or the professional sailor – it’s all in a day’s work for the organized chaos of Carly Shevitz.
More than just another AIS app, Smart Chart AIS has some very cool features that will come in handy out on the water.
More than just another AIS app, Smart Chart AIS has some very cool features that will come in handy out on the water. With Smart Chart AIS, you will be able to view all AIS class A and B traffic, and see and be seen on something new called AIS class E. Class E was developed with small, recreational craft in mind and works over the cellular network.
Smart Chart also includes NOAA electronic charts, NEXRAD live weather overlays, and a very cool Augmented Reality feature which employs satellite positioning and orientation data and displays on the device’s screen the locations of buoys and channel markers, overlaying the navigational information on the view as seen through the camera. The app also integrates info from Active Captain to allow users to find points of interest, marina prices and reviews.
Published on Oct 3, 2013
Chalk Talk turns to ICSA’s top coaches for this week’s feature on crew weight in college sailing. Somehow we also managed to squeeze in Stud of the Week, regatta highlights, the Zim Sailing Photo Assignment and predictions. Thanks to everyone who contributed this week with votes, photos and video. Keep it coming!
Chalk Talk is presented by US Sailing and needs you to support them in return. Check out their amazing Collegiate Membership option at http://racing.ussailing.org/college.
We’re also supported by Zim Sailing, who, in collaboration with North Sails, offer great options for your institutional or junior fleets. See more at http://www.zimsailing.com.
Stellar sailing performance and a towering flybridge helm perch are defining characteristics of the Lagoon 52.
VPLP is known for its offshore racing cats, and the centralized mast placement in both models is an idea borrowed from the racecourse; this not only opens up visibility to the helmsman but also expands the foretriangle and provides a wider range of optional downwind sails. (The spars on each boat are stepped on an infused beam for structural integrity and load dispersion, though the 39’s is also tied to a full grid running beam to beam, while the 52’s is a single longitudinal member.)
Finally, both yachts were similarly constructed using anti-osmotic and polyester resins, with an infused balsa-core sandwich in the decks and the topsides of the hulls; below the waterline, the layup is infused solid glass.
Given the size discrepancies, however, the similarities, for the most part, end there.
|Down below, the staterooms are spacious and luxurious, as are the adjacent en suite heads.|
Nowhere was this more obvious than when one is perched behind the articulating wheel (it can either be centered or cocked slightly to port or starboard) of the 52 on the expansive, raised flybridge. The wide, commanding view was spectacular, as was the powerful performance. With a full crew of talented sailors aboard for our test run in the open ocean off Miami (at one point, there were seven of us on the bridge, and it was most definitely not crowded), I did my best, from my second-story vantage point, to keep them hopping. Working through the headsail progressions, under genoa and full main, in about 17 knots of true wind, our closehauled speeds ranged from 8.5 to 10 knots. But when we swapped the working sail for the gargantuan code zero reacher and spun the wheel down a few degrees, the 52 really took off, making a solid 12 knots with ease.
Once I handed over the driving duties and returned to deck level, I realized that the operative word to describe the 52 is simple: big.
Everything about the boat seems spacious, but the flow from the wide aft cockpit to the roomy main saloon, and from there down into the accommodations and staterooms, is natural and intuitive. In other words, it may be a very large vessel, but it still feels accessible and inviting. There are, of course, multiple layout plans from which to choose, but the boat we sailed had a most unusual and interesting option: a vast owners suite aft, to port, with a sole entryway from the cockpit. It takes the notion of truly private quarters to a whole new level. And on a cat with many levels, it was just another pleasant surprise.
By Cruising World’s Eleanor Lawson
Sunday morning after our fishing net adventure, we were finally nearing Rabat, the capital of Morocco. The pilot book warns not to try to enter the river in the dark and it quickly became apparent why. The coast is covered in lights, none of which appear to be for navigation. We watched a spectacular sunrise coming up over the city and couldn’t make out the two sets of jetties until after dawn. The authorities recognize the difficulty and come right out to escort you in when hailed by VHF. “Welcome to Morocco, we will be there in seven minutes,” was a welcome message to hear on the radio!
The river that divides Rabat and Salé was too silted in for major use until it was dredged in 2008. Now a huge marina complex is under construction with waterfront condos and restaurants.
We had read horror stories about clearing customs but the process was straightforward and just required a little patience. All officials were professional and friendly, and there were enough English speakers between them to help us through all the appropriate forms. They took our passports and insurance papers for photocopying and had brought them back by the time we had finished cooking and eating breakfast. Then we were escorted across the river into a slip. Our biggest surprise was that French is far more popular here than Arabic.
The Bourgreg Marina is clean and efficiently run. It has a building where men can take hot showers and women can take cold ones, and numerous armed guards. There are a couple of cafes and restaurants that are popular with well-to-do locals and some days a dumpster to throw trash, sometimes not. Each slip has power (which we did not use because of unknown voltage) and water which the boat next to us said was potable but we used only for washing.
There were a handful of European cruising boats in port and everyone we met was friendly. The marina has an aristocratic feel, evidenced by the king’s pontoon and Range Rovers that occasionally blasted through. It seems the only things missing at the moment are a nearby ATM and laundry services.
Rabat is an incredible walled city and a great introduction to the Muslim world. Beautiful arches, textures and colors are everywhere, even in run-down neighborhoods. The souk, or market, has pottery, carpets, metalwork, leather goods and more artsy items in its center and more modern items (presumably for the locals) near the edges, with everything from panty hose to smartphones.
It’s easy to be deceived by tacky storefronts but wandering into stalls often reveals cavernous shops with far more selection. Sometimes we’d wander down an alley and find a hidden courtyard with even more shops. The souk is a place worth getting lost in for a few hours.
Ben worked on his haggling skills and got two beautiful bowls for a total of $40 and Nate got a tiny rug for the boat for about $2. We were surprised how little we were hassled by merchants, and the guide books confirmed that this trait is specific to Rabat.
Closer to thee water is the kasbah, or fort, with huge Islamic arches and tiny alleys painted half white and half blue. Our unofficial tour guide (some guy who latched onto us on the street) told us the blue deters mosquitos. He also showed us some lovely architecture (a colonial-Islamic mix) and directed us to the kasbah cafe, which was pretty touristy but had amazing water views and delicious sweet mint tea.
Unofficial tour guides are everywhere and in our experience pretty much always worth the couple of dollars they demand at the end of the tour (even though the guide book says to avoid them). They took us to parts of the souk and kasbah we never would have found on our own. We realized later that it’s best to break the 200 dirham notes the ATM spits out by buying water or soda in little shops. Ben had also bought a ton of Marlborough Reds at the airport and we sometimes hand them out, but what everyone really wants is the money.
After the souk and the kasbah we were getting a little hungry and started wandering toward a restaurant recommended by the guidebook. This turned into a real “three hour tour” wandering the city and when we eventually found the right street the place was closed. Now in the dark and getting hangry (hungry-angry), we got in a cab and named the other, more expensive Moroccan food place place in the book. The taxi cost so little (about $1 for a 15-minute ride), we thought the price was missing a zero at the end. It’s crazy how cheap the cabs are.
The restaurant Dinarjat was everything we were hoping for and more. Out on the street there was a sin that said we were in the right vicinity but the way to find the restaurant is to find the old man with the lantern. He led us down through a maze of alleys, the candle in the lantern flickering as he went. Suddenly he stopped and knocked on a door set into the wall.
Photo by Benjamin Morris
Walking through the door was like entering a different world. The restaurant is in an old riad, or house that surrounds an interior courtyard, with intricately carved arches and a gurgling fountain. The hostess asked if we had reservations but didn’t seem to mind when we did not. A silver teapot with water was brought around for hand washing and assortment of vegetables, chutneys and breads was presented to be shared by the table. Nate ordered a lamb couscous and Ben and I had tajines, the Moroccan specialty of slow-cooked meat dishes with vegetables and amazing spices. Everything was delicious and we passed all three meals around to share. Ben commented that it might be the fanciest dining experience he’s ever had and I would agree: the number of servers and plates and courses was truly remarkable. Dinarjat, which may be one of the fanciest restaurants in Rabat, only ended up costing us about $20 per person. We are loving the exchange rate!
I have been wearing long skirts and tee shirts, but in Salé I covered my head with a scarf as well, as it is a more traditional town. So far in Morocco we have seen the full range of women’s clothing: everything from full burka to just hijab (head scarf) to bare heads. It appears to be generational, as it’s common to see a mother in hijab walking with a daughter not covered.
On Monday we headed to Salé, the older city across the river from Rabat. The main attractions there are the Grand Mosque and medersa school for the Qua’ran. Once again we picked up an unofficial tour guide who led us to the courtyard of the mosque, but then he got in an argument with another man and we slinked away around the corner. Our next guide was the best we’ve had so far. He spent over two hours showing us around Salé.
He took us to the medersa, which had intricately carved walls and ceilings and tiny windowless cells where the devout can study and pray. From the roof we could see across the medina all the way to the water.
Next he took us to the souk in Salé which was almost deserted at 3:00pm. We only saw two other tourists in the souk and think it is more popular with locals. Our guide told us the market is filled with food in the mornings but quiet in the afternoons. With his help translating, we purchased ground spices including cumin, paprika, saffron, and a few we will have to look up when we get home. Our guide sat with us for mint tea and scratched the ears of all the tiny cats that wandered by.
Click through to see more pictures!
There were a few of books we found helpful in Morocco:
Lonley Planet Morocco by James Bainbridge, Alison Bing, Helen Ranger, and Paul Clammer. Lonely Planet, 2011. (This one had particularly helpful maps of individual cities!) Courtesy of Lonely Planet.
Fodor’s Morocco, 5th Edition by Fodor’s Travel Publications. Fodor’s, 2012. Courtesy of Julia and Sam Thompson.
North Africa: Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia Including Gibraltar, Pantelleria and the Pelagie Islands and Malta, 4th Edition by Graham Hutt and the RCC Pilotage Foundation. Imray, 2011. Courtesy of the Cruising Club of America.
The Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship 2013, which takes place from September 30 to October 5 at the San Francisco Yacht Club in Belvedere, California, has attracted a star-studded entry of 60 professional and Corinthian teams from around the world.
While more than half of the entries come from the USA, the 59 boat fleet also includes teams from 12 other countries including Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Switzerland.
The event sees the Melges 24 World Championship fleet return to San Francisco for the first time since the 2003 worlds when the prevailing breezy conditions produced some of the most spectacular racing in the class’s history.
This year, a healthy dose of high adrenaline Melges 24 action should provide the perfect antidote for Bay Area sailing fans still coming down after the America’s Cup summer of sailing which concludes shortly before the Melges 24 fleet rolls into town.
Melges 24 World Championships always feature the best professional and Corinthian (no pro-sailors allowed) crews pitched against each other in a single overall fleet with the Corinthian results also counted separately to determine who will be crowned Corinthian world champion.
With such an eminent group of Corinthian and professional teams on this year’s entry list it is impossible to pick any standout favourites for the podium positions.
Surely amongst the contenders to lift the title however must be Italian Flavio Favini at the helm of Swiss entry Blu Moon. Favini last tasted Melges 24 World Championship glory when he won in 2001 in Key West, Florida and would dearly love to add a second worlds victory to the Melges 24 European title he just claimed this August in Italy.
Also looking to chalk up a second world title in the class that bears his name will be Harry Melges III aboard Zenda Express who returns to the helm at world championship level for the first time since he was crowned world champion in Travemunde, Germany in 2002.
Serial one-design champion and America’s Cup campaigner Terry Hutchinson will be making a return to San Francisco Bay were he previously sailed as helmsman aboard the Swedish AC72 Artemis Racing. Hutchinson won the Melges 24 North American Championship in 2008 on his home water in Annapolis, Maryland but finished ninth there at the worlds the following year. This time Hutchinson will be hoping what his America’s Cup training taught him about San Francisco’s tricky breezes and currents could help serve him up a long sought after Melges 24 worlds win.
The list of other likely top three contenders is almost endless but strong performances are expected from American class stalwart and international campaigner Brian Porter on Full Throttle, International Class Chairman Italy’s Ricardo Simoneschi on Audi, past Olympic 49er campaigner Swiss/American Chris Rast on EFG Bank and last year’s North American Championship winner Australia’s Warwick Rooklyn on Bandit.
Some sort of early form guide will be established when many of the Melges 24 competing teams will take part in the Rolex Big Boat Series hosted by the St Francis Yacht Club the week prior to the worlds.
Meanwhile, we will take a look at more of the worlds teams likely to feature at the front of the fleet and the crews likely to be in the running for the Corinthian World Championship title in our next official press release.
The Sperry Top-Sider Melges 24 World Championship runs from 30 September to 5 October. Registration will take place on Monday 30 September and Tuesday 1 October. There will be practice racing on Tuesday 1 October and Championship Racing will run from Wednesday 2nd to Saturday 5th October. In addition many of the teams will be taking part in the Rolex Big Boat Series which will act as a warm up event for the worlds from 26-29 September. You can follow the event via www.melges24worlds13.com
For more information, images, video, etc, please contact:
Event Press Officer
International Melges 24 Class – Administrator & Media Coordinator
Mob +44 7711 718470
Photographer Tina L. Deptula captured a classic example of a chaotic pinwheel at a mark with her photo from the 109-boat Thistle Nationals in Sandusky, Ohio.
Tina L. Deptula’s photo of a chaotic mark rounding at the 109-boat Thistle Nationals in Sandusky, Ohio, caught our eye this month by well-illustrating a pinwheel in a big fleet. Which boat(s) made it out of the mark best?
Tell us about this photo.
This photo was a mark rounding with the fleet bearing away on the first reach. The wind had lightened some, which allowed them to bunch up pretty tight. I had the great pleasure of being on a boat with Denny Dieball, who chaperoned me around the course for the week. He had the ability to put me in great spots without affecting the racing. Yes, there was a lot of yelling but in a Thistle regatta, it is almost required.
What’s the vibe like at a Thistle regatta?
It is the most amazing class. At the top end of the fleet you have some of the best sailors in the country, and at the lower end of the fleet you have some of the most hardworking and competitive sailors in the country. In the parking lots, at any given minute, you could not tell who was who. The best help the worst, and everyone mingles and socializes together.
At the nationals this year, we had something like 60 percent of the boats with two or more family members on board. They had 11 boats in women’s nationals and 11 in junior’s nationals. It’s a very healthy class that is dotting all the right I’s and crossing all the right T’s. It’s a great family environment. One of the women skippers/racers is 30-something years old and has been to 30-some Thistle Nationals. How can you not have fun at a regatta with a class that thinks the “I” flag is their class burgee?
What are the challenges of taking photos at a regatta with 100 one-designs?
The biggest challenge is that they split the fleet. So there are two races going on at once. With the Thistle fleet being as competitive as they are, both fleets are putting up top-notch racing. So being where the best action is, you know you are missing other great photo opportunities somewhere else on the course.
Another challenge, and this goes for any regatta but becomes more amplified at one with 100 boats, is respecting that the racing comes first. Denny was great at putting me in perfect locations without affecting the wind or the water for the competitors.
Another challenge is spending some very late nights after some great Thistle parties downloading a ton of photos to free up memory for what you know is going to be an equally exciting next day.
And on the flip side of that …
The most obvious upside to a 100-boat Thistle regatta is being able to watch awesome racing from some of the best seats in the house. Everywhere you look there is something exciting going on, and when the wind picks up, you can’t click the shutter fast enough.
How did you get involved in the Thistle class?
My principle hobby has been photography for many years. My husband and I have always been very avid outdoors people–hiking, backpacking, kayaking, and sailing. So, they naturally were the areas I spent the most of my free time photographing. It was a natural progression; when we bought hull 16 and started racing in the Thistle class, I should take the opportunity to start photographing the regattas.
Tell me about the sailing you do.
I have been sailing for 25 years, everything form a 14-foot Banshee (I started out on) to a Hans Christian 43 that we live part-time on in the Sassafras River. Racing is exciting to watch, but I prefer to let the yelling happen on the other boats!
How did you get into photography?
My career is IT at a local hospital, and photography has always been my great escape. Being avid outdoorspeople, it started as a way of bringing our outdoor adventures and the amazing sights back to friends and family, but slowly the love of the art itself crept in. My mother-in-law says it because I’m a Taurus who’s born in May.
I spent this last weekend driving from state park to state park looking for butterflies. None were to be found until arriving home I realized they all were in my neighbor’s bush in her backyard.
By Cruising World’s Eleanor Lawson
Entering Essaouira is not for the faint-hearted or deep-keeled.
The channel is tiny and shallow but luckily well-described by the pilot book. As Essaouira is an active commercial fishing port, the only place for a sailboat is to tie up alongside the 30-foot Essaouira Sailing Tour boat, run by a very nice guy named Saeed and his English-speaking sidekick Omar. The wind rips inside the breakwater but the harbor is very protected.
After tying up we had to visit the Port Authority, the police station, and the harbormaster, to fill out slightly different forms in each office. Everyone was friendly and we particularly liked the guy from the Port Authority. The harbormaster kept the boat’s registration, to be returned on our departure.
Essaouira is Morocco’s windy resort town and a big draw for kiters and windsurfers, i.e. Nate. As soon as we had finished our official business Thursday morning he was on deck with a harness and board shorts ready to make moves. We did a preliminary wander through the market then headed to Explora, the windsurf outfit Nate had contacted from home.
The walk down the beach felt like traversing a desert, with wide swaths of sand, blazing sun and ripping wind. There were even a few camels to complete the picture. It’s definitely not a sunbathing destination but a windsports paradise.
Nate organized a surf trip up the coast for Friday and a rental for that afternoon. Ben and I parked it in a cafe and spent the afternoon drinking mint tea and eating paninis and french fries. After feeling like the only tourists in the city of Rabat, Essaouira brought a strange onslaught of Europeans.
At the recommendation of our new friends from Explora, we ate dinner at Restaurant Beldy in the souk and were not disappointed. The tajines and couscous were excellent!
Friday Nate went north to Mouley for wave sailing and Ben and I went to explore the market, which is a World Heritage Site. It’s a network of tiny alleys that connect big open courtyards, all surrounded by thick battlements and cannons. While Rabat’s market if full of amazing pottery, Essaouira’s is all about the woodwork. After careful searching and comparing, Ben found some beautifully polished wooden boxes with inlaid designs on their lids. I got a really cool leather bag and then Ben had to get one too.
Haggling in Essaouira is more intense and also more fun. The mantra of “no problem” is so ubiquitous we caught ourselves using it too. “I’ll give you a democratic price” was another of our favorites and we joked that if the price was really democratic we would have out-voted the seller each time.
The fog rolls in thick in the evenings, leaving everything on the boat damp and requiring us to wear sweaters and sweatshirts to dinner. It reminded me of the poem about fog rolling into a harbor on little cat feet, especially apt in a place so covered in kittens. Walking through the fish market every time we went to the boat was interesting to see but left me wishing for a proper shower!
Saturday morning we did a final weather check then prepared for sea. There was a small system developing and we wanted to get out while we still could. We also had a new neighbor, a nice German guy with a catamaran, and we didn’t want to take the pressure of another boat blowing us onto Saeed’s boat for too long.
Apogee, in the center.
We told the authorities of our departure and put together a goody bag of cigarettes, wine and dirhams for our friends Saeed and Omar. I did one last market burn to get rid of the last of our dirhams and got some mint tea to bring home and a small leather duffel.
Ben, our friend from the Port Authority, Nate, Omar, and Saeed.
Morocco was amazing but we’re happy to be headed somewhere we can dry out and not have to pay everyone we meet. So long Africa, Apogee standing by on VHF 16!
There were a few of books we found helpful in Morocco:
Lonley Planet Morocco by James Bainbridge, Alison Bing, Helen Ranger, and Paul Clammer. Lonely Planet, 2011. (This one had particularly helpful maps of individual cities!) Courtesy of Lonely Planet.
Fodor’s Morocco, 5th Edition by Fodor’s Travel Publications. Fodor’s, 2012. Courtesy of Julia and Sam Thompson.
North Africa: Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Tunisia Including Gibraltar, Pantelleria and the Pelagie Islands and Malta, 4th Edition by Graham Hutt and the RCC Pilotage Foundation. Imray, 2011. Courtesy of the Cruising Club of America.
By Kate Sheahan
West Coast Tour Coordinator
The museum boasts a rare 1851 model of the schooner America, which was in the first America’s Cup. Park Preservation Manager, Bill Doll, explains that, “unlike the America’s Cup races of recent memory, no yachting syndicates from California formed to support the design and construction of a vessel for the original race. California had only become a state in 1850 and San Francisco didn’t get going until during the Gold Rush, so at the time of the America, racing in California was just non-existent.” Contemporary sailboat racing in California is special.
The Maritime Museum has its own fleet of 12′ Pelican sailboats, which were designed for SF bay in 1959. Unlike the AC 72′s, the plans were in Popular Mechanics and could be built with plywood and raced by the common man. They are parked on the Hyde Street Pier, raced on Thursday evenings in the turning basin, and are a great way for anyone to begin to understand how sailing and racing works.
In terms of the best secret spots to watch the America’s Cup, Park Rangers say the afterdeck of the Sailing Ship Balclutha (1886) or Steam Ferryboat Eureka (1890) will give you a great view of the America’s Cup racing, for free. They are parked on the Hyde Street Pier.
Follow the West Coast Tour on Facebook and Twitter at @USSailing as I visit perhaps the finest sailing school in the world – San Francisco’s OCSC, “The Olympic Circle Sailing Club,” teaching the “joy, art, science, tradition and responsibility of sailing” in a holistic way.
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Dates and Hours of Operation
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park Contact Information
Sperry Son-R Pong Water Shoe $80
The Good: Lightweight uppers and super grippy soles, and they dry quick.
The Bad: Color options are camo brown and camo blue, not much of a selection there.
The Ugly: I like it, but my significant other isn’t a fan of the camo blue.
These shoes are constructed from lightweight mesh with mid-sold drainage ports which aids in fast drainage and exceptionally quick dry times. The Son-R soles feature a system of articulated pods that transfer the feel of the terrain for a great sensory feel with plenty of grip on slick surfaces. The siping on the bottom of the shoe is also shaped to force water away from under the shoe which improves grip by adapting to uneven surfaces. The traditional lacing system helps to cinch the shoe tight so it holds on well in fast water, and an anti-microbial treatment keeps foot funk away.
We took these shoes along for some paddles down the river, and a few lake days. The mesh upper material drained fast, and didn’t fill with sand or pebbles when playing on shore. The footbed also stayed comfortable without getting sticky or clammy when my feet began to sweat. The siped outsole gripped great on slick and uneven surfaces. The articulated pods don’t seem to make a difference to me regarding grip or feeling the terrain, the soles are thin and flexible enough to provide surface feedback. Also, even though it is more of a personal preference, I tend to appreciate elastic speed-laces more than traditional laces (I tend to get lazy on my adventures).
Overall, these shoes are light, durable, grip well, and dry fast. They’re also priced right so now you’ve run out of reasons to look any further than the new Son-R Pongs by Sperry.
The Newport International Boat Show, Sept. 12 to 15 in Newport, Rhode Island, is a coming-out party for the latest sailboats and marks the unofficial launch of the U.S. boat-show season.
By Cruising World’s Mark Pillsbury
Here’s a brief look at what’s new on the docks for the 2014 sailing season:
Alerion Yachts , the company that created the daysailer genre with its Alerion Express 28, will introduce the first of its Alerion Yachts line, the Alerion 41. This sailboat takes things a step beyond daysailing by offering standing headroom and staterooms for two couples, while still retaining the hallmarks of the Express design: a roomy cockpit and performance-oriented sail plan. The 41 should prove to be a worthy coastal cruiser, but one that’s also easy enough to handle for a skipper to head out for a solo sail on a breezy afternoon.
Multihull designer Chris White has long been ahead of the catamaran design curve, and his newAtlantic 47 MastFoil promises to only build on that reputation. An evolution of the very successful Atlantic series of cats, the new 47 features a radical-looking sailing rig consisting of two narrow wing sails, called MastFoils, each with a roller-furling jib. The design promises both sailing efficiency and ease of handling. The 47 was built by Alwoplast in Chile.
After winning Cruising World’s 2013 Boat of the Year honors for Best Full-Size Cruiser, 45 to 49Feet, Bavaria Yachts returns to the States this year from Germany with the Bavaria Vision 42. The Vision line is intended to offer upscale amenities in a layout arranged for couples rather than a crowd. Designed by Farr Yacht Design, the 42 has a spacious saloon and two cabins, an owner’s stateroom forward and a guest double aft. Be sure to check out the fold-down daybed in the cockpit, it’s sure to be a comfy place to spend a sunny afternoon.
Not only is the Blue Jacket 40 a fresh new design, it’s the result of a first-time collaboration between cruising and racing sailboat designer Tim Jackett (Tartan and C & C) and Bob Johnson, the designer and founder of Island Packet Yachts. Traditional Island Packet fans — and there’s lots of them out there — won’t be disappointed by the interior woodwork and décor that comes straight from the IP woodshop. And the Hoyt Jib Boom and solent rig won’t cause too many gasps of surprise either. What are quite different, though, are the very modern underbody, hull form and resulting sailing performance of the Blue Jacket 40. It’s a yacht with considerable get-up-and-go.
When CW senior editor Herb McCormick took the new Lagoon 39 for a spin off Miami’s South Beach last winter, he returned from his foray into big swells and wind impressed by the sailing capabilities of this “entry level” cruising catamaran. The 39, like its big sister, the Lagoon 52, has its mast stepped closer to amidships, which results in a slightly smaller, more easily managed mainsail and a larger foretriangle that allows for a wider range of downwind sails. Below, the 39offers a layout for every buyer: four cabins for charter; a traditional three-cabin version with an owner’s suite in one hull and two cabins in the other; and a very comfortable two- couples version, where each will have a hull to themselves.
Hylas Yachts’ latest bluewater cruising sailboat from longtime design partner Germán Frers is theHylas 63. With a modern underbody, plumb bow and full-sectioned stern, the 63 should have the carrying capacity for long-distance voyaging and a seakindly disposition for whatever the elements may wish to deal out. Like all Hylas sailboats, the 63 was built in Taiwan by Queen Long Marine and will be customizable to fit the needs of any owner who steps aboard.
Performance sailing has been in J/Boats’ DNA since the company launched its very first J/24 in 1975. The company’s new J/88 is billed as a fast, family-oriented boat for both racing and daysailing, with enough accommodations below — full-length settees, private head and optional v-berth — for the occasional weekend (or longer) getaway. The 28-foot speedster includes a high-aspect rig with a non-overlapping headsail, a carbon-fiber mast and, of course, a sprit for rocketing downwind with the appropriate A-sail flying.
The X-Yachts design team has demonstrated over the years that it can deftly dance across the design spectrum that runs from comfortable cruiser (Xc series) to spirited performer (Xp line) and outright racing thoroughbred (Xr designs). So it’s no wonder that the XP 44 wraps lots of horsepower in a very attractive package and delivers it with a range of options expected in a premium-priced yacht. Twin wheels, teak decks, highly engineered foils and a choice of sailplans are just a few of the features you’ll find aboard this three-cabin beauty from the Danish drawing boards of Niels Jeppesen and the X-Yachts development team.
A partnership between the Oakcliff Sailing Center and the U.S. Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider is primed for success.
By Sailing World’s Meredith Powlison
“Puff in 3, 2, 1, here it is.”
Our windward hull floats above the water, and all of sudden, it’s quiet. We carve down a few degrees. “Hold here.”
Just before our windward hull touches down, I hear, “Come up here.”
The hull flies higher as we carve up, preserving the silence.
John Casey is guiding me through steering the Nacra 17 downwind. It’s a warm day on Long Island Sound, and the breeze has built just enough to gently fly a hull. In the distance, another Nacra 17 and a few 49erFXs head back toward the beach on Oyster Bay.
The presence of Olympic class dinghies on Long Island Sound will soon be commonplace, and Casey, along with other members of the U.S. squad have been enjoying the new digs for the past week. It’s the official grand opening of the Oakcliff Sailing Center as US Sailing Team Sperry Top-Sider training grounds, and there’s a palpable enthusiasm in the air.
“We like to say that people come here with dreams, and we give them the tools to achieve those dreams,” says Dawn Riley as she gives me a tour of the sailing center on 4 South St., which now has eight each of the Nacra 17, 49er, and 49erFX on the beach a short walk away from the facility.
The availability of Olympic class boats at Oakcliff, through the generosity of the Lawrence family, will help the U.S. team reach their medal goals for Rio and beyond, explains Josh Adams, managing director of U.S. Olympic Sailing, from a red truck emblazoned with American flags and US Sailing Team banners at the opening ceremony. “We’re trying to improve domestic training here in the U.S. and build the base of Olympic class sailors,” says Adams. “The more Olympic class sailors we get, the better we’re going to do at the Olympics, and the more we’re going to be able to sustain performance.
The grand opening
“By having three fleets of boats here, we have a camp, a place where we can do a lot of training with our team sailors, but almost as important, this is a great venue for young, talented sailors in the U.S. to get their feet wet in Olympic class sailing.”
Earlier, on our walk down to the beach, Adams explained to me a few more specifics of the partnership. “By and large, the boats are going to live here, they’re going to sail here, and they’re going to race here. There are four different types of sailors who will benefit from this: the high-end team sailor, then you have development team sailors who are our future talent coming along, then talented sailors around the country who are identified as promising Olympic sailors, and then the sailors who come through Oakcliff who will get exposure in the boats.”
Riley expanded further on that notion: “We’re very happy to have this training center which—before we could help people achieve their dreams of doing the America’s Cup, of running a business, of sailing around the world—now hopefully we’ll be helping people go to the Olympics and win medals.”
Already, the U.S. team athletes are seeing the benefits. Team members Paris Henken and Helena Scutt, freshly back from a first-place finish in the 49erFX class at CORK, are racing against seven other female teams at the 49erFX U.S. National Championship on Oyster Bay this weekend. Casey and skipper Sarah Newberry used one of the Oakcliff boats in Europe earlier this year, and this weekend, Oakcliff will host an additional five Nacra 17s for the Nacra 17 Nationals for a grand total of 13—the biggest domestic gathering to date.
In a blog posted on the day of the center opening, Newberry notes, “Thanks to all of the work that U.S. Sailing and Oakcliff Sailing Center have done, this week John and I are in Long Island, to train with the U.S., Canadian, and Puerto Rican teams. On Saturday we will race in the first ever Nacra 17 US National Championship. The fleet is filled with some of the best young multihull sailors in the country, many former Olympians, and all-around sailing greats like Enrique Figueroa, Bob Merrick, Robbie Daniel, and my personal favorite, John Casey.
“There is so much talent and energy here, and it is so incredible to be in our element—working hard in the boat park and on the water—while being surrounded by other people who love this sport as much as we do.”
That passion, along with a well-executed partnership between Oakcliff and the U.S. team, will go a long way to flying a hull in Rio.
Take a ride down a few waterfalls with Team Sperry paddler Paul Gamache as he kayaks the Store Ula Waterfalls in Rondane National Park, Norway with some friends!