SAN FRANCISCO – As usual, today other sailing sites are posting lame stories that are clearly April Fools' jokes, and, regardless, in most cases are not very funny – notwithstanding that in former times, with others contributing to and editing such sites, there were some hilarious pieces. Not so this year; indeed, one AFJ on a leading site is in extremely poor taste given the recent and tragic loss of lives in the Volvo Ocean Race. Even sadder that today is also Easter Sunday.
As our ever growing Sailing Illustrated community of Dear Readers and Viewers knows, we only post when there is real news to report, not just third-party press releases to cut and paste or advertisers to plug. We try hard to bring you breaking news and fresh perspectives. At the same time, we try not to take ourselves too seriously, but present yacht racing news and views, as our German friends like to say, with a "twinkle in the eye."
To that end, can you discern which of the following are true, and which are not?
World Sailing is planning to drop two current Olympic yacht racing events to make way for two Kiteboarding events (Men and Women), both to be subjectively-judged acrobatic events a la Snowboarding in the Winter Olympics, starting with the 2024 Summer Olympics.
This morning Vestas 11th Hour Racing tweeted this photo showing crewman Nick Dana (USA) with a marine mechanic in Port Stanley, Falkland Islands. Mr Dana is exploring the possibility of using the ballast tanks on their VOR 65 as temporary fuel tanks to help give the yacht more range so they can motor from the Falklands to Itajaí, Brazil in time for the April 22nd start of Leg 8 (Itajaí to Newport). There is no truth to the rumor, being spread by esteemed SoCal yachtsman and Cal Maritime engineering graduate, Tyler Wolk, that Mr. Dana and the mechanic are discussing adding a "caterpillar drive" to the yacht a la The Hunt for Red October.
Apropos the previous image, Nick Dana is the Boat Captain of Vestas 11th Hour Racing, and the son of former NYYC Commodore Charlie Dana who owns the famously good Newport (Rhode Island) Shipyard. Nick should know what he is doing when it comes to figuring out the logistics of getting the yacht to Itajaí.
Speaking of Newport, RI, Sail Newport Executive Director Brad Read has been in his current job for two decades – since 1998. The word in Newport is that he is being considering to succeed the current US SAILING Executive Director, but one hears Mr Read wants to stay at Sail Newport through at least 2021 to see if NYYC wins back the America's Cup. If so, Brad wants to be head of the AC Organizing Committee for a 2024 Cup in Newport. If NYYC does not win, Brad is a possible future candidate for Governor of Rhode Island.
Speaking of the America's Cup, on Friday the French Minister of Sport, Laura Flessel (left in the photo, above right) visited the base of Groupama Team France base in Lorient, and was pitched by Franck Cammas (far right) and Michel Desjoyau, along with the Mayor of Lorient, on helping Cammas, et al., to mount a challenge for the 2021 Cup in Auckland, giving credibility to reports that there could be at least five AC36 (2021) teams: NZL, ITA, USA, GBR and FRA. Rumors continue that esteemed Kiwi yachtsman, Craig Monk, is working on leading an AC team from China.
When the AC75 Class Rule was issued last week, the cheeky authors ("COR/D" which, in AC-speak, means Challenger of Record / Defender) annotated the rule. The annotations form part of the rule, and included the simple guidance in the yellow box for teams and officials when interpreting the rule. If only all AC rules were so simple!
Finally, in case you still don't believe our exclusive SI story yesterday about Vestas planning to motor toward Itajaí if not all the way (1800nm), or the photo/caption above with Vestas Boat Captain Nick Dana and the Port Stanley mechanic, navigator Simon "Wifi" Fisher posted this to his instagram an hour ago.