Day 4 - Sudden Death in the Mistral

MR.CLEAN

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Racing was just called off for the rest of the day. Wind is 22-28 knots, with gusts to 35. Sea state is atrocious out there, according to Hank Stuart, who's been bashing around for the last hour keeping an eye on it. Oh, well - that means interviews and drinking.

I just spoke with Luigi ten seconds ago.

Peter: "The sea state is brutal, and sending them out in this would get very expensive very quickly. We've amended the SIs again, and we'll send them out early both days. We'll shoot for three races, though Friday's last race can't be run after 3 PM, and we don't want to amend that as many people make airplane and ferry plans based on that time.

"Tomorrow's forecast calls for 25 knots - a bit more than we had when we started this morning, but Commander's says it should be more stable, with no building and perhaps some moderating."

Keep checking in on us - we've got plenty more to show you, and Mer's done a few interviews. Besides having a less annoying voice than me, she's much funnier.

We'll start with a video of Team Acqua's mast problems...again.




 

MR.CLEAN

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We're taking note...more parties at the 09 Worlds! Trust me...we're working on kicking it off right, to include another kickin' Melges Rocks party.
Good. I personally think the IMCA should be a bit embarrassed that the off-the-water festivities are more fun at a J/24 Nationals than they are here. You should see the set-up that the Italian J/24 guys put on for their Nationals just up the road - we are thinking about checking out their setup for Worlds in a few days if we have the time. Of all the things that are tough about getting sponsors to cough up dough, the easiest sell always seems to be a party, because they can bring their employees to it, and make it a corporate thing.

I told IMCA president and SAer Gunter what I thought - and he agreed. The Estonian class rep that's been with us also agrees, and he's helping to organize the 2010 worlds in Estonia. It'd be nice for the events to be at the same kind of standard that the racing is. Alright - off my soapbox.

 
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MR.CLEAN

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Brian Hutchinson chats about his 57th place "Storm" team. He and Brian Janney are good friends, and friends of the site, and they're not accustomed to being at the ass-end of any fleet. Hutch sailed with Pegasus and was a huge part of the team's success, as well as being responsible for inventing what's probably the single most important piece of gear for Melges crew - the Hutch hiking aid. Janney sails with Terry Hutchinson aboard Quantum Racing, and has the perfect personality - just as chill as can be.

Check it.




 

SF65

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Thanks. As in the past, there just ain't shit going on here at night. I had a couple drinks with Carlo, and then went to prepare for today, then to bed. I don't expect much in the way of festivities - but damn, the racing is awesome.

Welcome to serious racing. Some cocktails and a good dinner then to bed early. Nobody wants to be the one who holds the team back. FYI it was blowing over 25 all this past weekend in Santa Cruz....Nobody was worried about finding a bar when the club did last call at 9:45.

 

MR.CLEAN

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Welcome to serious racing. Some cocktails and a good dinner then to bed early. Nobody wants to be the one who holds the team back. FYI it was blowing over 25 all this past weekend in Santa Cruz....Nobody was worried about finding a bar when the club did last call at 9:45.
That may be the perspective of the top quarter of the fleet, but so far nearly everyone who's here has echoed our comments about the parties. You have to remember that the semi-serious corinthian racers are the lifeblood of the fleet, and they're on their vacation. Besides, guys from Monsoon, Sevenstar, Barbarians, Westaway and a number of top level Euro boats have all wondered why this fleet rates such weak parties.

Teams from all over the damned planet came to Puerto Vallarta for the Mexican J/24 Worlds two years ago - from a lot more countries than are here - and every night there was another amazing party. The difference wasn't "serious racing." It was a national class and organizers (Mike and Leah Danielsen) who gave a shit, and wanted everyone to tell their friends how amazing the class and venue was.

Just because it's done poorly in other places doesn't mean it should be accepted.

 
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RacerX

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Good. I personally think the IMCA should be a bit embarrassed that the off-the-water festivities are more fun at a J/24 Nationals than they are here. You should see the set-up that the Italian J/24 guys put on for their Nationals just up the road - we are thinking about checking out their setup for Worlds in a few days if we have the time. Of all the things that are tough about getting sponsors to cough up dough, the easiest sell always seems to be a party, because they can bring their employees to it, and make it a corporate thing.
I told IMCA president and SAer Gunter what I thought - and he agreed. The Estonian class rep that's been with us also agrees, and he's helping to organize the 2010 worlds in Estonia. It'd be nice for the events to be at the same kind of standard that the racing is. Alright - off my soapbox.

Agreed, the J24 Class for the most part always has a better social aspect off the water and it seems the competitors enjoy it more! That's part of what has kept me in the class for the past 10 years, though I've also been sailing the Melges since 1996 and have competed at both the J24 Worlds and Melges Worlds (last in 05 - Ocean Reef). It would be great to see the USMCA and IMCA put a greater focus on off-the-water festivities...that's what make a class traditionally very strong...look at the Thistle or Lightening Classes.

Regarding the Italians....they are very fast sailors but my experience against racing them at the World's is that they push the rules too hard and gets them in trouble with on the water jury every time!

Clean, keep up the great work and enjoy the rest of the week!

 

podrick

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Thanks Mr and Mrs C for the coverage, great pics and vids. Sorry to hear about the parties but I have to go to bed at the end of this dark and stormy, I will catch the rest of the news tomorrow morning at work.

 
Joe Fly is punched out with Brantolo at the boat end.
Harry Melges talks about his broken sprit...

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thanks for that clean....got an e mail from the boys saying they broke it...wondered how it happened....know i know due to your incredible reporting..ok enough blowing smoke up your ass...more footage of the chickas please!

petey

 

tclough

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That may be the perspective of the top quarter of the fleet, but so far nearly everyone who's here has echoed our comments about the parties. You have to remember that the semi-serious corinthian racers are the lifeblood of the fleet, and they're on their vacation. Besides, guys from Monsoon, Sevenstar, Barbarians, Westaway and a number of top level Euro boats have all wondered why this fleet rates such weak parties.
Teams from all over the damned planet came to Puerto Vallarta for the Mexican J/24 Worlds two years ago - from a lot more countries than are here - and every night there was another amazing party. The difference wasn't "serious racing." It was a national class and organizers (Mike and Leah Danielsen) who gave a shit, and wanted everyone to tell their friends how amazing the class and venue was.

Just because it's done poorly in other places doesn't mean it should be accepted.

Agree with ya Clean. out of 100+ boats, you have about 20 or 30 that are probably contenders. In that case, they better go to bed early, cause they are getting paid to win. As for us bottom feeders, thats 70 boats that are corinthian times 4 per boat, thats 200 sailors that want to do what sailors do, party your ass off and sail against the best sailors in the world. I also think that nightly parties brings the class together. I have been to some of the J24 parties and those guys (and gals) are sick. They love there class and the sailors in them. The M24 parties should be seen and strengthening the class, not impeding it. With party man Bill Carlton, district govenor, heading up the activities next year, there are bound to be some parties that will be off the hook. BILL, DON'T FORGET THE CHICKS!

 
It's a shame, because Santa Cruz went all out on the parties. Hyeres was nothing, but a great town, and Largo was the most elitist kind of shithole with just basic drinks after racing. On one hand, I think the various National Classes (who organize the parties) have been lazy, and on the other, I think that the organizers don't necessarily think that they need to do much, since everyone's coming anyway.
I'm pretty sure that you guys are going to set the standard for the social part of a Melges Worlds next year. You'd fucking better.
We take our sailing and partying very seriously here in Santa Cruz! I've still got a bone to pick with that Pusser's Rum guy. The 2 oz. bottle of rum I won for finishing in 50th place on the day was empty!

Dave E

SCYC

USA 330 "Trailblazer"

 
That may be the perspective of the top quarter of the fleet, but so far nearly everyone who's here has echoed our comments about the parties. You have to remember that the semi-serious corinthian racers are the lifeblood of the fleet, and they're on their vacation. Besides, guys from Monsoon, Sevenstar, Barbarians, Westaway and a number of top level Euro boats have all wondered why this fleet rates such weak parties.
Teams from all over the damned planet came to Puerto Vallarta for the Mexican J/24 Worlds two years ago - from a lot more countries than are here - and every night there was another amazing party. The difference wasn't "serious racing." It was a national class and organizers (Mike and Leah Danielsen) who gave a shit, and wanted everyone to tell their friends how amazing the class and venue was.

Just because it's done poorly in other places doesn't mean it should be accepted.

The Joe Fly guys partied hard in Santa Cruz. There was a big increase in the birth rate here nine months after they left!

 

MR.CLEAN

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The Joe Fly guys partied hard in Santa Cruz. There was a big increase in the birth rate here nine months after they left!
That's why Fiona's explanation that "We've found that the attendance at the parties is poor" just didn't sound right. I know too many of these guys - and almost all of them party, even when they are lying in first place. They don't stay out until 1 AM, but they have a good time.

Gunter's explanation made more sense: The National Class associations are responsible for the social stuff, and either there was a miscommunication here (and in Key Largo, and in Hyeres, and in etc...), or the Italians dropped the ball. Considering it's a country with a well-deserved reputation for great food, drink, and merrymaking, it's all a bit weird. I have full confidence that Bill will see that 2009 sees a new era in Melges 24 World Championship parties. Once the standard has been set, it will be a matter of pride for the Estonians, and then probably the Aussies, to meet that standard, or better.

 

Jkdubz808

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I'd have to agree with everyone about the parties. I've been to better parties with the 'old fogies' as they call themselves at local US NOODs and regattas such as Big Boat Series by the sounds of it. As a fellow M24 sailor I'd say bring the worlds (or at least nationals) out here to Hawaii. Think about it, its always warm, the sailors out here can party, the chicks are hot, its warm, breezy as all hell all year round (mostly)......did I mention its warm?

 
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