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MR.CLEAN

Brave New Worlds: Pre-Event Action

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After 4 days of preparation, drinking, and taking in the sights of Northeastern Sardinia, I can say in all honesty that there is truly something special going on here. And that thing is, of course, the first ever Melges 32 World Championship. There are 30 boats registered and likely 29 will be on the line, and they represent some of the best monohull teams on the planet. But of course it is an owner/driver class, which means the helmsman are NOT the best on the planet, and that changes the game in unexpected ways. In the Farr 40 Class, it lent an exclusivity to the class that made it somewhat uninteresting to me (reverse snob that I am), plus the Farr 40 is not a particularly exhilarating ride. As one former Farr 40 owner told me yesterday, "this is the first owner/driver class with a really cool boat, and that's why I am here."

 

And of course that owner vibe flows downhill, meaning the crews - as competitive and professional as many of them are - are here to have fun. And it shows. There are a lot of young people, quite a few extremely hot chicks, and they are a mix of dinghy, sportboat, multihull and big boat crews, ready to get wet, bashed up, and to go really fast in one of the truly special boats of this decade.

 

This is also the story of one of my favorite people in all of sailing, a young man who has already become a legend like the man who mentored him in his early career, Georgio Zuccoli. The dude is not even 40 yet, and he is one of only a tiny handful of people to win three Melges 24 World Championships - the first of them with Zuccoli in 2000 just before Georgio succumbed to cancer, and the second and third these past two years. He is of course Federico Michetti, and he is easily as much of an asshole as I am - perhaps that's why we get along so well.

 

Federico is the CEO and President of Melges Europe, one of the few success stories in sailing today. While the US operation struggles to sell boats and the North American 20, 24, and 32 events continue to see disappointing numbers, Michetti's operation continues to steamroll past other classes and builders during an economic period that makes selling sleek toys all but impossible for anyone else. Remember folks - there are thirty of these things here, and it's probably the single most expensive place to attend a regatta on Earth. Someone is kicking some ass right now, and all roads lead to our pal Freddie.

 

Now of course it's not all Federico's success; a group of people have worked their asses off to help the 20,24, and 32 become as successful as they are, and we'll be talking to all of them this week. The first is Luisa Bambozzi, Michetti's right-hand woman, whose sugary sweet smile belies some serious brains and aggressiveness, on the race course and off. Another big factor has been the support of Audi (for the 20 and 32) and Volvo (for the 24) - there is no denying that they spice up these events and turn them into "must do" regattas. And of course Harry Melges has supported the growth of the European class all along.

 

But guys like Onorato don't buy into a class unless they believe in the people behind it. And the vision for the Euro class and this massive event is all Michetti.

 

And for the most important week in his life, we have the honor and privilege of being here to cover it all. And we hope you enjoy the show.

 

 

 

 

A huge thanks to Melges Europe, Melges Performance Sailboats and the International Melges 32 Class for bringing On-The-Water Anarchy to Porto Cervo, and to Tom Carruthers at Point Loma Outfitting for once again being our official apparel provider for this great event.

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Here's some "how we got there" video from the deck of the Moby World ferry.

 

 

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And we were lucky enough to get to cover a little of the final Audi Melges 20 series of the year. In this one, owner Momo (Lanfranca Cirillo) and Daniele De Luca (http://www.onesails.com) talk about the boats and the series. They will both sail aboard Momo's Melges 32 Fantasticaa this week with Nicola Celon on tactics and one of my other favorite Italians, Stefano Rizzi, aboard.

 

 

 

 

Some top mark action:

 

 

 

 

 

Following the all-girls team helmed by the aforementioned Luisa:

 

 

 

 

 

Some leeward gate action:

 

 

 

 

 

Gybe-sets at the top mark:

 

 

 

 

 

And the finish of the race:

 

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Here's some 32 practice:

 

 

 

 

And the underwater shot that broke my previously waterproof camera. Fortunately our buddy Mauro from Zerogradinord is bringing me a fresh one.

 

 

 

 

And a really ugly start...

 

 

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And we were lucky enough to get to cover a little of the final Audi Melges 20 series of the year.

Great Melges 20 pix, from the great Carlo and mate.

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yawn....hard to get enthused about this.

 

Maybe in the middle of winter it might be fun to look at the pretty sailboats, but it looks

more like "Rich Guy Wins Yacht Race" to me.

 

The whoe story at http://www.theonion.com/content/node/29191

Different strokes. While the guys are rich, the sailing is athletic as hell, and the crews are full of some of the best sailors there are. I have two olympic medalists sitting across from me right now, and everyone is accessible and chill, and the vibe is just sweet. Plus there really are some seriously hot chicks here, both on the boats and off - and quite a few of them will be on camera.

 

It's also noteworthy that the class is one of the very few new classes that is strong and growing - if you watch this week's event, you might understand why.

 

We're also going to do some kind of daily live talk show with 4 or 5 top sailors or other interesting folks, but I'm working on the details of that right now.

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Testing the slideshow program that Mer is going to use this week:

 

 

xslide1.gif xslide2.gif xslide42.gif

 

 

--

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Clean,

Can you make it about 15% smaller and a second longer? I have to chase the pictures around the screen on my laptop. Maybe others don't have this problem.

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Need to reset height & width of yr slide show widget.

 

To make things easier, I'd recommend using an RSS fed slide show widget. Put all your photos in an online gallery that has RSS feed output, then all you need to do is place the RSS feed ID into the widget and it will automatically suck in all the related photos (and synch them if you add).

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Clean,

Can you make the slide show 25% bigger and 1/2 second shorter???

Great start - looking forward to more underwater shots - put your mask & fins on and jump in!!!

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How about some coverage of the ISAF classification interviews? Why are they picking on the italians?

Ummm well, if you look at the entry list, Italian boats are 20/30, so my math skills say 66 percent of total entries.. Seems about right that 60 percent of interviewees were Italian. Im here sailing and I know someone who was interviewed and he said it was questions like, Who do you work for? What boats have you sailed last 24 mos? and they wrote EVERYTHING down apparently... he was fine though...

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Let me see what we can do, thanks for the input Ed.

 

Works perfectly for me Clean.

 

Nifty stuff!

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How about some coverage of the ISAF classification interviews? Why are they picking on the italians?

They're not picking on the Italians - the only one chucked was Tim from "Red" and it was a total bullshit call. I had Bora lined up to come over for them but they found a local for elss airfare...

 

More on ISAF's crap in the morning.

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They're not picking on the Italians - the only one chucked was Tim from "Red" and it was a total bullshit call. I had Bora lined up to come over for them but they found a local for elss airfare...

 

More on ISAF's crap in the morning.

I can see from the interview listings that pretty much every boat is getting a "spot audit", in fact by the actual math the italians have it easy. Should be a good story if Tim got chucked and not some others...

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Matusch did the same thing last year at M24 Worlds - made an 'example' of a few folks, knowing that they couldn't do anything about it until after the event. This one is a truly idiotic decision, which seems to one thing that ISAF is good at making lately.

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You need a system to enforce the pro's restriction. ISAF is as good as we've got. It's not ideal but something is needed.

 

The power boat captain ? Look at it with a little bit of a realists eye and it's not so hard to think of a full time employee having an input into the preparation of the boat and it's performance. I'm sorry for the guy not to able to sail and the hassle of re-organizing the crew but the NOR etc was pretty clear.

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You need a system to enforce the pro's restriction. ISAF is as good as we've got. It's not ideal but something is needed.

 

The power boat captain ? Look at it with a little bit of a realists eye and it's not so hard to think of a full time employee having an input into the preparation of the boat and it's performance. I'm sorry for the guy not to able to sail and the hassle of re-organizing the crew but the NOR etc was pretty clear.

The ISAF system is shit, but if administered properly at least it could be consistent. If there are clear rules, there is no "it's not so hard to think of..."

 

There is "Here are the salaries of 6 other captains of 68' power boats. Here is my salary and it is commensurate, here is my bank account and there are no outside payments" and it's fucking done and off you go. Or perhaps "here are 100 races I have done in ten years, here is our results, here is my position on the boats."

 

Matusch came here to make an example of someone, and he did. ISAF is not interested in proof or following the letter and spirit of the rules, they are interested in retaining the power of the stupid classification code, and not admitting it is a fucked up shitshow.

 

I'm going to dive the bottom of Shakedown and Barbarians. I initially said "No" when a friend asked me, but the money's too fucking good.

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You need a system to enforce the pro's restriction. ISAF is as good as we've got. It's not ideal but something is needed.

 

The power boat captain ? Look at it with a little bit of a realists eye and it's not so hard to think of a full time employee having an input into the preparation of the boat and it's performance. I'm sorry for the guy not to able to sail and the hassle of re-organizing the crew but the NOR etc was pretty clear.

The ISAF system is shit, but if administered properly at least it could be consistent. If there are clear rules, there is no "it's not so hard to think of..."

 

There is "Here are the salaries of 6 other captains of 68' power boats. Here is my salary and it is commensurate, here is my bank account and there are no outside payments" and it's fucking done and off you go. Or perhaps "here are 100 races I have done in ten years, here is our results, here is my position on the boats."

 

Matusch came here to make an example of someone, and he did. ISAF is not interested in proof or following the letter and spirit of the rules, they are interested in retaining the power of the stupid classification code, and not admitting it is a fucked up shitshow.

 

I'm going to dive the bottom of Shakedown and Barbarians. I initially said "No" when a friend asked me, but the money's too fucking good.

 

 

 

Clean,

 

The power boat captain is on the payroll of the owner. Correct? Is he taking vacation days to sail in this regatta? I doubt it. If he is not taking vacation days he is getting paid to sail. If he is getting paid to sail then he is a professional.

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You need a system to enforce the pro's restriction. ISAF is as good as we've got. It's not ideal but something is needed.

 

The power boat captain ? Look at it with a little bit of a realists eye and it's not so hard to think of a full time employee having an input into the preparation of the boat and it's performance. I'm sorry for the guy not to able to sail and the hassle of re-organizing the crew but the NOR etc was pretty clear.

The ISAF system is shit, but if administered properly at least it could be consistent. If there are clear rules, there is no "it's not so hard to think of..."

 

There is "Here are the salaries of 6 other captains of 68' power boats. Here is my salary and it is commensurate, here is my bank account and there are no outside payments" and it's fucking done and off you go. Or perhaps "here are 100 races I have done in ten years, here is our results, here is my position on the boats."

 

Matusch came here to make an example of someone, and he did. ISAF is not interested in proof or following the letter and spirit of the rules, they are interested in retaining the power of the stupid classification code, and not admitting it is a fucked up shitshow.

 

I'm going to dive the bottom of Shakedown and Barbarians. I initially said "No" when a friend asked me, but the money's too fucking good.

 

 

 

Clean,

 

The power boat captain is on the payroll of the owner. Correct? Is he taking vacation days to sail in this regatta? I doubt it. If he is not taking vacation days he is getting paid to sail. If he is getting paid to sail then he is a professional.

 

But there are other people on the list as Cat 1 who I personally know do get paid to sail (and not going to out them). There just doesn't seem to be any consistency from ISAF in regards to managing these rules. They are too easily broken and for people to avoid them.

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There just doesn't seem to be any consistency from ISAF in regards to managing these rules. They are too easily broken and for people to avoid them.

And that is the fundamental problem; when the code was written, the circle was small and the system, which requires a LOT of knowledge about the specific people to enforce correctly, worked. It was NEVER intended to govern the thousands of people it does today. A scheme like this can only work properly and consistently if it has effective policing, which is time and labor intensive - which ISAF cannot afford. And right royal rear commodore Matusch ain't much of a cop anyway.

 

The alternative is to actually put some thought into an open and transparent system with no subjectivity, for instance something based on number of days along with regatta results at certain types of events. Take the policemen out of the equation and the concept of "professional" gets some credibility.

 

I've been ranting about this for a long time, and after speaking with literally hundreds of people about this at all levels of the sport, I'm convinced this is what needs to be done.

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There just doesn't seem to be any consistency from ISAF in regards to managing these rules. They are too easily broken and for people to avoid them.

And that is the fundamental problem; when the code was written, the circle was small and the system, which requires a LOT of knowledge about the specific people to enforce correctly, worked. It was NEVER intended to govern the thousands of people it does today. A scheme like this can only work properly and consistently if it has effective policing, which is time and labor intensive - which ISAF cannot afford. And right royal rear commodore Matusch ain't much of a cop anyway.

 

The alternative is to actually put some thought into an open and transparent system with no subjectivity, for instance something based on number of days along with regatta results at certain types of events. Take the policemen out of the equation and the concept of "professional" gets some credibility.

 

I've been ranting about this for a long time, and after speaking with literally hundreds of people about this at all levels of the sport, I'm convinced this is what needs to be done.

 

Definitely needs an overhaul. And the sooner the better. When you see someone who is regularly sailing at the big regattas and would have booked out their 4 weeks of annual leave within the first 2-3 months of the year and still attend regattas year round, then obviously raises questions when they are classified as Cat1. They may be extremely successful outside of sailing and don't need to work or have a business that runs itself, but the current system doesn't relieve the doubt that many other competitors may have when this rule is not being enforced and so easily manipulated.

 

Time for an SA version or take on the Cat1/2/3 pro rules I guess Clean?

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This rain is just nasty. Though not quite as nasty as the water in the Porto Cervo harbor. Amazing how it can be so clear but so full of oil!

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Definitely needs an overhaul. And the sooner the better. When you see someone who is regularly sailing at the big regattas and would have booked out their 4 weeks of annual leave within the first 2-3 months of the year and still attend regattas year round, then obviously raises questions when they are classified as Cat1. They may be extremely successful outside of sailing and don't need to work or have a business that runs itself, but the current system doesn't relieve the doubt that many other competitors may have when this rule is not being enforced and so easily manipulated.

 

Time for an SA version or take on the Cat1/2/3 pro rules I guess Clean?

Good winter activity - first I have to finish the fucking new RRS and award prizes for that one. I need a vacation.

 

Practice race is going to be ugly, but our live talk show should be pretty fun. Racing starts in an hour and a half.

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Ugh it is nasty out here! 1-2 meter swell, 5 knots of breeze. I'm down below in this gucci-ass RIB about to hurl. STay tuned for videos, pics, and some fun!

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Luigi is running four practice starts and then one real start for a 4-leg practice race. 8 knots, from the SE, nasty lump from the ENE.

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This is pretty cool - Nicolo Bianchi is on the rib of Brantolo, and is shooting some OTW Anarchy Italian style. Check it:

 

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We just ran in to pick up one of Calvi's crew members, and now they're on the third practice start. Be sure to check out our live show tonight at 1730 local time, 1130 EST for a great summary of the day's action and top picks from a group of journalists and sailors and even a hot chick or two!

 

We just ran in to pick up one of Calvi's crew members, and now they're on the third practice start. Be sure to check out our live show tonight at 1730 local time, 1130 EST for a great summary of the day's action and top picks from a group of journalists and sailors and even a hot chick or two!

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OK - all the videos are loading now, and Calvi Network wins the practice race with Uka Uka second. But Joe Fly was more than two minutes ahead of the fleet when they sailed to port of the finish boat and went home. Pretty crazy speed on JF, they are a major factor here!

 

Sit tight for video, and Mer's pics will be coming soon enough. Thanks for watching this practice day!

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Here's the start of the first practice race:

 

 

 

 

 

And the first top mark, with Joe Fly leading comfortably:

 

 

 

 

An EXTREMELY busy gate rounding, with huge position changes as the boats get stacked up at the left hand buoy:

 

 

 

 

And the final top mark, with JF extending.

 

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Note that some of these videos are shot in HD and some are not, you might have to click on them and get to the YouTube screen to see the HD versions. Most are regular quality as we found that our upload speeds on the water were half what they were last year during the M24 Worlds. As always, we're still working out the bugs, and probably still will be until Thursday or Friday. But overall, it went pretty well today; we are definitely going to encounter some issues if the rain keeps falling - our rib is simply not equipped with much shelter.

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A smattering of crappy pics from my crappy little old Canon point-and-shoot. Most are Bliksem boys and a couple of the Czech boat before the repair wizard Luciano fixed the chunk they took out of their keel, and after a liberal application of bondo in the rain. Nice.

m_32_worlds___prep_1.jpg

m_32_worlds___prep_2.jpg

m_32_worlds___prep_3.jpg

m_32_worlds___prep_4.jpg

m_32_worlds___prep_5.jpg

m_32_worlds___prep_6.jpg

m_32_worlds___prep_7.jpg

m_32_worlds___prep_8.jpg

m_32_worlds___prep_9.jpg

m_32_worlds___prep_10.jpg

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Joe Fly on the final leg with a huge lead, missing the finish line and heading home.

 

 

 

 

 

More non-finishers, and Calvi winning the race.

 

 

 

 

And our pal Lanfranco "Momo" Cirillo after the finish, reaching to the harbor:

 

 

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Taking a break to set up the live feed on our Justin TV channel. Today's guests are Peter Reggio, PRO, Stefano Barregio, AUDI, Mauro Melandri, Zerogradinord, and Justin Chisholm from Offshore Rules - and of course, myself. Stay tuned.

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It is the Melges 32 class' championship right?

 

If the class members want to have pro/amateur rulerestrictions than they should also live by them, no?

 

If not just go sailing and let everyone take part.

 

///

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It is the Melges 32 class' championship right?

 

If the class members want to have pro/amateur rulerestrictions than they should also live by them, no?

 

If not just go sailing and let everyone take part.

 

///

 

 

One thing that I've noticed, and its something that most people on SA don't think about in my mind, is how much sailing time these programs do. I could sail in a 1/4 of the Melges 32 Regattas in these year, tops.

 

We get 2 weeks off and can't get it covering regattas, which is why the same guys are the ones always sailing. Personally, I think if there is going to be something like an Audi Circuit or Volvo or whatever, it should be more funded to the point owners are seeing cash back. Similar to Nascar, where the car owners are necessary driving, why is it an issue in sailing. If your going to do something like the Melges 32s, make it pro's, get the best, and see what happens.

 

If theres any question on why US Melges sailors can't beat the Italians, they are getting 8 weeks off compared to our 2. Some of us don't have the courage to do more then weekend stuff, and the 3 day events are like... ehh god im not sure.

 

So when I read about some guy who was revoked his cat 1 the day before worlds, thats BS to me. who cares, honestly? its just going to give that team a headache, on an event that somehow these owners are dropping "X" k dollars for a world championship event in the newest class, when in reality it amounts to very little.

 

one of these teams will walk away with a pickle dish worth less then the light jib for the boat. exciting.

 

i am looking forwards to the photos... because like most americans.... its the best i can do

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Keep it up Clean!

Got some buddies racing, so I will be living the days through you.

Fair wind

Faijai

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Thanks all - we'll rebroadcast the excellent little "practice" live show we did with Reggio and the head of Audi here, as well as Justin from Offshore Rules. Good stuff, and tomorrow's only going to get better. Plus we've already booked our Saturday show - the "owner's hour" with Vincenzo Onorato, Stuart Simpson, Pieter Taselaar, and a few more of these guys...

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I'm sitting next to Harry Melges, and he's committed for a few of our live discussions as well. Post your questions here!

 

Here's the last video of the day, of Argo on their way back to the dock. Racing begins at 12:00 noon Italian time tomorrow! Pics coming up!

 

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I'm not a big fan of tank tops, but Willem's guns are lookin' schweeeeettttt! Thanks CLEAN for a few shots for us chickees. :lol:

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Woohoo! The first ever OTW Anarchy "Cocktail Hour" right here! Tomorrow we will have a proper microphone and awesome guests, please check the Day 1 thread for more details as they come...

 

Part 1:

 

Watch live video from onthewateranarchy on Justin.tv

 

Part 2:

 

Watch live video from onthewateranarchy on Justin.tv

 

Part 3:

 

Watch live video from onthewateranarchy on Justin.tv

 

 

Skipper's Meeting, interrupted when my computer decided to eat itself:

 

Watch live video from onthewateranarchy on Justin.tv

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