The American Youth Sailing Force has been put in charge of prepping and maintaining the ACRMs fleet of AC45s, and they've been on the task for several weeks now. Here's their latest update.
American Youth Sailing Force – Maintaining AC45 Race Boats for International Selection Series Trials
SAN FRANCISCO, California February 7, 2013 - The American Youth Sailing Force (AYSF), has taken over regular maintenance of two AC45 yachts for use in the Red Bull Youth Americas Cup (RBYAC) International Selection Series. This Selection Series determines which four international youth teams will compete in the RBYAC September 1-4 prior to the America’s Cup. The two-part trials take place February 9-15 and February 18-24. The last three days of each Series include direct head-to-head competition between rivals.
Proper yacht maintenance is pivotal to competitive, safe and exciting racing especially in these high-speed 45’ catamarans. AYSF Team Manager Ian Andrewes (age 22) and teammate Evan Sjostedt (age 19) are working full-time with ORACLE TEAM USA’s AC45 rigger, Sam Newton, to bring the boats into full-competition mode. “It’s been a while since some of these boats have gone out and parts need to be upgraded or replaced,” according to Ian.
Attention to every detail on the boats in extremely important. You really don’t want something to break going 30 knots. Evan spelled out the level of detail at which they are working. “Yesterday we spliced up a full set of mooring lines and clew strops for the boats and today we worked on disassembling and rebuilding all the winches on the 45s.”
Despite the formidable amount of inspection, replacement and rebuilding, the boys are enthusiastic about working with Newton. “Sam is great and super knowledgeable. Its been great getting to know him while working on the boats as well as having him as a guide to how things work around the Pier 80 base. It is also cool to work out with him and have him and the other Oracle sailors challenge us in the gym each day,” say’s Evan.
During the International Selection Series, Ian and Evan are responsible for launching the AC45 race boats daily. According to Evan, “Once the boats are set up for sailing, not a lot goes into the program of getting the boat in and out of the water. It’s usually two hours of preparation before sailing and about one hour of work after sailing.” For Ian, the AC45s winged sails are the greatest concern, “They are the most fragile and take the most abuse. I’m hoping there won't be any serious damage during the next two weeks of the Selection Series, but we will be ready either way.”
Although far from glamorous work, Evan exudes enthusiasm; “This is a huge advantage to the team to be able to spend this much time on the boats, even if they are on dry land. Essentially we are learning the ins and outs of every system on the AC45.” Ian ads, “Its great for us to be tasked with such an opportunity. For us its like we are part of OTUSA.
This press release for the Mini Transpac was just sent to up by our friend Nick Vale from Open Sailing! We'll be on the docks in Marina Del Rey checking out the boats, and getting a first hand view of this incredible single-handed fleet.
For the first time in the USA, a group of singlehanded sailors from all over the country are going to race from California to Hawaii onboard Mini Transat 6.50s – 21-foot ocean capable sailboats that are barely larger than the average suburban vehicle. The 2013 Mini Transpac Race is being organized by the North American Mini 6.50 Class Association and the start is scheduled for July 6th 2013 - less that 150 days from now.
The race has already begun and boats are already starting to gather at the start in Marina del Rey. All the sailors are updating equipment, tuning instruments, and logging hours on the water to prepare for the start in July. All of the build up to the race and the race itself will be online at www.minitranspacrace.com. Visit the race website to learn about the sailors who are completing, find out more about the Mini Transat 6.50 boats, and watch the story unfold as the start approaches. The actual race will feature LIVE tracking so you can keep tabs on your favorite sailors, as well as LIVE coverage from the sailors themselves as they experience everything the Pacific Ocean can offer.
Very rarely do you get to meet a person as inspiring as Urban Miyares, the current president and co-founder of the adaptive sailing program Challenged America. The story of how, and why, he was inspired to join Challenged America back in the mid 1980s is quite astonishing, and for perspective, bears repeating as often as possible. In 1968 the then 20 year-old Army Sergeant Miyares’ platoon was engaged in a fire fight, when he slipped into a diabetic coma. Left for dead, Miyares was placed into a body bag where he spent 2 days until an alert medic detected a heartbeat. Miyares spent the next six months recovering in a military hospital, but the event left its mark. “I’m totally blind, I have diabetes, several organ transplants, and a whole number of medical issues.” Due to severe nerve damage in his lower extremities, Miyares is considered a walking paraplegic. Miyares doesn’t let any of it slow him down; he has solidly engaged life more than most able-bodied people!
Miyares sailed as a youth, and after his experience in Viet Nam, he never thought that he’d be able to actively sail again. In the late 80s he was invited aboard a Beneteau First Class 10 to race in the Oceanside Race, he remembers, “It was a windy day, we had some problems on the boat, and all of the sudden I started remembering things from years past.” He and his other crew members, who were also disabled vets, began thinking about developing an adaptive sailing program, and Challenged America was born! Through Challenged America, Miyares has reached thousands of disabled vets by getting them aboard sailboats. Challenged America has a small fleet of adaptive sailing boats at their facility in San Diego, and a testimonial from one of their clients says it all, “The phrase ‘leave your disabilities at the dock’ could not be more true! When I’m on the water, at the helm of a sailboat, and enjoying all the sights and sounds of San Diego Bay, I forget about the wheelchair sitting on the dock.”
This year, Miyares and crew David Hopkins have entered the Transpac, and will race in the double-handed division aboard their Tripp 40 B’Quest. Miyares recalls, “We’ve taken her two times before on Transpac, 2003 and 2005, with a crew with disabilities. We’ve modified the boat quite a bit for the different disabilities; we’ve added quite a bit of weight, and this time we’re going to take the boat again.”
For their needs, a larger boat would be better, and according to Miyares, the Challenged America team has been trying to get a larger boat, “We’ve been close to getting the TP52 Rio, and have had everything from a Rhodes designed boat supposedly being donated to us, to a Santa Cruz 70, but things take time. Rather than waiting and waiting, we decided that with our resources we’d redo the Tripp 40. One reason that we’re looking for a larger boat is when we start adding elevators, like we had in our previous boat, the smaller boats can’t take the weight. We’re a good inch and a half lower in the water than the other Tripp 40 that we’re racing against.” If Challenged America can get something in time to make the necessary modifications, they’ll take it instead of the Tripp 40, but the window is narrow to make it into this years Transpac.
Preparations and modifications to make a boat easier to use in an adaptive sailing environment are very similar to what anyone would to customize their boat for a race. Miyares explains, “We’re modifying it for double handed sailing this time, so if for some reason we do get a short- handed crew, the remaining crew is still able to sail the boat. As far as the modifications, it’s going to be similar to one of the Vendee Globe type of boats; we’re going to have roller furling, and asym, etc, so that we can manage the sail plan easily. We have special cockpit seats that we’ll have installed, which we’ve used in the previous Transpacs. Other than that, we’ll add some electronics, like a talking GPS, and modify some of the running rigging to make it easier for the helms-person to use.”
Sailing the Transpac is challenging to even the most able-bodied sailor, a fact that inspires Miyares to push even harder, “Transpac is our Mount Everest! We always try to push the bar higher as far as what we can do safely and competitively.” Challenged America is looking for sponsors and financial support. They are a charitable program of the Disabled Businesspersons Association, which is a 501c3, and all donations are 100% tax deductible.
For more information on the incredible Challenged America program visit their website, and be sure to follow their Transpac progress on their FaceBook page.
Made in Santa Cruz Race Week is coming! Get ready!
From the mid 60s to the early 90s, for nearly three decades, Santa Cruz was the innovative epicenter of the Ultra Light Displacement Boat (ULDB) movement. That is to say, building sailboats that plane on top of the water, which is much faster going than digging a hole through the water. This iconic era of yacht design led to many boats whose names are sailing staples: Magic, Pacific High, Summer Time, Eclipse, Panache, Chutzpah, Grendel, Blondie, Summertime Dream and the infamous 70 footer Merlin. Many of the cutting-edge boat building techniques that were developed and perfected in Santa Cruz during that era are still used in the industry to this day. Cored hulls and decks, elegantly simplistic interiors, the use of vinylester, epoxy, S-glass, carbon, and vacuum-bagging were all perfected in Santa Cruz by the various sailboat builders. It is said that Grendel, the precursor to the famous Moore 24, was the first boat to use a computer to aid its design. Santa Cruz was on the forefront!
Inspired by surfing, and fueled by the well-established and flourishing surfing industry of the time, it was inevitable that Santa Cruz would become a hotbed of sailing development. The blue blazer establishment scoffed, at the “hippies” from Santa Cruz when they came to town to race, only to be dismayed at seeing nothing but the hippies’ transoms as they blasted around the racecourse. Tales from the era read like Tom Wolfe novel, and in true sailing fashion the stories kept getting better as the years went by. The cast of characters is long, with names like the Moore Brothers, Lee, Olson, Spruit, Tuttle, Alsberg, Laurela, Tracy and Wortanen, at the top, and about a million others fleshing out the list. The family tree of Santa Cruz boat building is vast and incestuous to say the least; Santa Cruz has always had an ethos of unconventionality.
By the early 90s, due to changing times, high costs, and a host of other factors, boat building in Santa Cruz had all but halted, with just a few straggling builders hanging on. The innovative spirit, and friendships that were spawned during the SC boatbuilding heyday lives on to this day, and if you’ve ever sailed, raced, or crossed an ocean on a Santa Cruz built boat, you’re a part of the family!
The Santa Cruz Yacht Club figured that it was time to have a family reunion, and the “Made in Santa Cruz Race Week” was born. This spring, from May 25th to June 2nd every boat, or boat built from a hull mold that was built in Santa Cruz, is cordially invited to come to Santa Cruz and play. Events within Santa Cruz Race Week include the Moore 24 and Santa Cruz 27 Nationals, a Wood is Good day, inclusion of the 67 Mile Windjammer from San Francisco to Santa Cruz, a Big Boat ORR/PHRF racing day, and a Concors Delagance. We’re expecting a huge turnout, so if you’re planning to attend, let us know as soon as possible. In true Santa Cruz style, we’ve got some epic parties planned, and many of the cast of characters and family that you may haven’t seen in a while will be in attendance. Don’t miss it!
For more details, check out our website: Made in Santa Cruz Race Week! Also, we’re looking for historical photos, video, and stories from back in the day, drop us a note if you’ve got anything to share!
Get ready, here it comes! Made in Santa Cruz Race Week!
The boat builders and designers of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Yacht Club invite you to come participate in a “Made in Santa Cruz” regatta to be run during the week of May 24 through June 2. Events that are scheduled to date include the Moore 24 and Santa Cruz 27 nationals, a “Wood is Good” day, a new date for the famous 67 mile San Francisco to Santa Cruz Windjammer race, and big boat ORR/PHRF racing.