Monday, April 21, 2008

Saturday Sailing and Awards Party

Andrew Conroy, Evan Denholm, and Michael Dybvik with the Academy Trophy

The Kings Point Sailors finished at the bottom of the fleet, but sailed extremely well, and earned glowing comments from the worlds best about thier performance on and off the water. The awards ceremony was held Saturday evening at a converted movie studio in Miami Beach, and or sailors were a big hit in thier summer whites.

Event Pictures

Saturday Mark Rounding

Saturday, April 19, 2008

The Final Day of Racing

Nimbus Blue #90 Rounds the weather mark with lots of company

The first of several general recalls on Friday

Today will be the last day of the Farr 40 Worlds and the sailors aboard Nimbus Blue are hoping to make some jumps and get two good finishes in today's forecasted lighter Breeze. The team is incredibly upbeat about their finishes, and everyone feels that they have been sailing incredibly well.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Halfway Report

Half way point through Farr 40 Worlds:
This World Championship is simply world class. The level of professionalism and perfection exhibited by all the teams is truly amazing, making every inch of race course not only hard to earn, but difficult to hold onto. We have come along in so many aspects of our racing it is hard to say where the biggest improvements have been. But where we have impressed ourselves the most is our absolute resolution to keep sailing our hardest, regardless of our current position.
Our starts have improved tremendously, and we started bow out and clear ahead in two out of 3 starts today. We have had consistently good first upwind legs, but have had difficulty putting together an entire race. While our boat speed is consistently good, and at times brilliant, we seem to let boats slip by at important crunch parts of the race course, primarily being the top or bottom mark. Our crew work has been superb in all elements at all parts of the course, resulting in very clean sets and douses of our spinnaker.
So far the highlight of the regatta was the 4th race of the series, where we had a wonderful start having managed some very close calls on the chaotic starting line, and rounded the top mark in 5th place. While boats stacked with America’s Cup tacticians and trimmers slowly caught up, it was an amazing feeling to be that far up the ladder in sailing’s toughest food chain, even if it was just for a bit.
The desire among everyone on our team for improvement is felt both on and off the water. Whether we are sailing upwind about to round in 5th place, or struggling to break back into the back pack of boats, the team is sailing as hard as we know how, leaving nothing left on the race course. There is a tremendous amount of heart onboard, and we are all truly sailing for each other. It is such wonderful opportunities to be apart of a team and from a school that can make this all happen. We are the luckiest college kids in the world.

Chris Branning, KP 2009

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Day 2- Some Great Sailing

Highlights for Nimbus Blue- Rounding the top mark in 5th place in the days first race, and fininshing 21st after missing a shift- great job!

Quote of the week- Chris Branning being asked if he had ever driven a Farr 40- "Yeah, but not in a Regatta!"

Billy Liberty's remarks on the team today-

"The guys are sailing amazing- the teamwork, the spirit and the drive are amazing."
"This is the best the team has ever sailed."

Keep it going guys!

Day 1 Pictures

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Day 1 Results

It was a discouraging day on the water for the Kings Point Team- a few missed shifts on the first race, improvement on the 2nd race, and a freak wrapping of the spinnaker at the finish of the second race kept our team from competing in the last race. The team is upbeat however, and had a great pep talk and dinner sponsored by Tom Lihan KP'82- former Collegiate All-American and Olympic Sailor. As Tom said- "everyone in this fleet is professional, and just for you to be here is a victory, and in talking to all of the other sailors here- they all say you deserve to be here and they are impressed with your skills on the water." Hopefully tomorrow will bode better for the KP team on the scoreboard, as they sure feel they are sailing well.

They're Off-

Action at the Gate of Race #1 - Cindy Saunders photoAction at the Gate of Race #1 - Cindy Saunders photo

Under beautiful skies off Miami Beach the Farr 40 World Championship is under way. In windy, shifty conditions the first race started well for Nimbus Blue, but something happened midway through the race, perhaps a bad shift- On the water reporting from the Race Committee is here-

On the water reports

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Practicing for the Big Event

The Farr 40 World Championship starts tomorrow, and the Kings Pointers aboard Nimbus Blue are ready-

Practice between Pre Worlds and Worlds.
Our time on the water between Pre Worlds and Worlds has been very productive. On Sunday the wind was uncooperative, even as we tried to find an early evening breeze at 5 pm. The day was spent mostly geared towards doing boat work and fixing a major problem with the wind instruments. Luckily the instrument issued has been put to rest and we now have accurate instruments we can trust.

Yesterday we spent a solid 5 hour day on the water, and really got a handle on our crew work. The breeze was everywhere from 18 knots all the way to 6 knots, but the majority of the day was spent in solid breeze which made the sailing an absolute blast. We really hammered out a lot of crew work issues and fined tuned our communication in the middle of the boat. The guys sailed absolute brilliantly as we lined up with another 20 boats for practice races and practice starts, mixing it up right away.

The starts were very compressed with a short line, and the races were only 1.4 miles up and back, which made for tighter than usual racing. Our boat handling was on par and as a team we made leaps and bounds on improvement in all areas.
Our confidence has increased tremendously as we have now spent more time mixing it up with the best teams this sport has to offer. The team seems very hungry to hit this regatta running and pour everything we have into it.

As far as the sailing goes, it simply does not get more exciting than this. There is always a small battle to be won with the boat next to you, and placing well is a result of many small battles won which lead into a top finish. There are almost no breaks, no down time, or rest once the boat leaves the dock. The team is doing a brilliant job of staying motivated all day long, and we are ready for the event to begin.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Pre-Worlds Day Two Crew Comments

Today was a huge day of learning for the entire boat; especially how the front and back of the boat can work together to better handle the intensity of the maneuvers that can be thrown at us being in such a competitive fleet. While we didn’t finish that well at all in any races today, we made huge leaps in understanding what we absolutely need to improve on to make for better jibes, take downs, and turns.

We begun the first two races with starts that were far less than stellar or aggressive. We did a great job of getting the trimmers locked into my train of thought for the pre-start maneuvers and jockeying for position and now feel much more confident about being able to get off the line. The first two starts of the day I simply did not pick the proper battles to engage in, nor were we able to win them partially to being much too passive on my end. Finally in the 3rd race of the day, we didn’t just find a hole on the starting line, we made one, defended it, and started in clear air which gave us a world of options and clear air for the rest of the upwind beat. Our understanding of what it is going to take to hang with these professional sailors and teams is becoming clearer every day. We are going to weigh in on Sunday morning again, we are 35 lbs over as a team, change out some sails, and hit the water!

The sun has been brutal, but the conditions could not have been any better. Getting to do this type of sailing, against this competition, in this arena, on clear water and sunny skies is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nimbus Blue Finishes Pre-Worlds in 31st

Using the Pre Worlds for practice, the Kings Pointers aboard Nimbus Blue finished 31st in the Pre-Worlds Regatta. They performed well, and were right in the mix in some very tight racing. With three days of practice ahead of them they should fare well for the Championship.

Crew Comments from Friday

"Having practiced only one day together as a team before leading into this event, I think we did remarkably well. The first two races we had beautiful starts with clear lanes, allowing us to round the 1st mark in the top 12 or 14 boats. While some of our mechanics are a bit off the pace, overall we seem to be gelling together as a team very well, and I think are poised to have some stellar finishes.
Our straight line speed felt solid and we have proven we are capable of smooth maneuvers at all corners of the race course, we just need a little more ironing out in some areas and we will be on our way. We are stoked to be here and to be apart of such an amazing test of skill.
The competition on the race course is almost unfathomable it is so intense. From the gun to the finish of each race it is a non stop battle on every inch of the race course."

Chris Branning, Helmsman

Friday, April 11, 2008

Nimbus Blue in 29th Place After 3 Races

Great work for our sailors today- right up there with the fleet and looking competitive despite the lack of training time- the rest of the competitors have been sailing with the same team for years, and have been practicing for weeks while our Midshipmen have been hitting the books- or at sea for 6 months in the case of the Helmsman M/N Chris Branning. Here is a bit of what he was doing at sea; a big switch from driving a grand prix race boat in a world championship regatta-

Welded on the aft side of the engine stack is a swing. It's a nice swing, despite it's painted a dull red and the wood is starting to splinter. I couldn't imagine a worse place to have a swing, as the engine stack is constantly blowing some sort of exhaust, whether the main engine is running or not. Soot and embers float down from the black giant peppering the deck with carbon specks. The fuel burned is not exactly what you would call low emissions, and the sulfur concentration is high enough to make your eyes burn. On top of burning 40 tons of fuel a day, it's also loud as hell. But other than that, it's got a great view. The boson asked me to stand on the swing and begin chipping its top bracket.

Since the engine room smoke stack is directly behind the house rising well past the O-3 deck, it creates a vortex of funneled wind. As the rust chips became more and more they started swirling about like a brown tornado that would simply not go away. As the tiny particles flew everywhere, into my socks, hair, gloves, mask, goggles, and somehow my underwear it started hailing. I was standing on a swing gripping with one hand to its rusty chain for dear life while trying to chip rust with the other, all in a 60 knot hail storm. The swing was doing what swings do, swinging back and forth beneath my feet unpredictably which all things aside, would, actually make for a pretty good core workout. We had now started to get our ass kicked so hard by the seas that when really big waves came they would push the ship backwards and the stern deck would actually dig into the water. As if the conditions couldn't get any gnarlier the winds were so strong they blew an ABs protective eye glasses straight off his face. I don't remember reading about any of this in the brochure.

Day One Update Nimbus Blue in 27th Place after 2 Races

The fleet lined up for the start of race 2 - Cindy Saunders photo

After an impressive 20th place finish in Race 2 Nimbus Blue has moved up to 27th in the Pre-Worlds Regatta. Race three has started.


Day One of the Pre-Worlds Regatta

The first day of racing in the warm-up regatta for the World Championship is starting out as just that for our Kings Point sailors. Midway through the race they were up in the middle of the fleet in 26th, but finished 33- this is the first time this group has raced together as a team so we hope for some improvement throughout the Pre-Worlds Regatta.



Thursday-Practice Day in Miami

Thursday was practice day on the Atlantic off Miami Beach, but practice for Farr 40's is not just an afternoon out working on boat speed and crew work; a practice race course is set up, and 20 boats lined up for short, intense races. According to M/N Chris Branning, helmsman aboard Nimbus Blue- "We sailed right into the mix of it, wasting no time- the boat has speed."

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Team Arrives in Miami- Words from Coach Kitty

After weeks of preperation for missed classes and make-up tests our team has made it to Miami and will start racing tomorrow in the Farr 40 Pre-Worlds warm up regatta. The team is excited, and started off the trip with some wise words from team member Kitty Segert, who will not be sailing with the team this week-

Farr40 Team—

As you head down to Miami today, I hope you have safe travels. Good luck down there at Worlds and give it all you’ve got!!! Remember all the tips that you’ve accumulated, even the one about playing with the vang downwind.

The day in Ft. Lauderdale when we met with Tony Rey and went sailing with him, remember his pointers. It’s all about teamwork and helping each other out to make each job that much more efficient. Take a few minutes when you get down there and have the whole crew together to set some goals of what you want to achieve. Like Tony said it could be how you’d like to finish overall, or what boats you want to be ahead of, or if you want to get x number of finishes in the top x number of boats.

I know this probably sounds like a cheesy pep talk/lecture...but just want to wish you the best of luck!!!

Have fun and sail fast!! Good Luck!!


Check back for frequent updates from the team.

And check the official Regatta Website for other news.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Farr 40 Team Looks Ready for Miami

The team has been out practicing on the Sound for the last two weeks, and yesterday, in 35 knot winds practiced with storm sails to prepare to teach at the Safety At Sea Seminar to be held this weekend at Kings Point. I'm sure they are ready for the warm waters of Miami!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Regatta Comments from our Sailors

From Justin Heningan KP 2008-

Having competed in a few major Farr 40 events prior to the Miami Grand Prix I knew what our team was attempting sailing out on the race course with the world’s best. Initially practicing in medium breeze it was obvious to everyone that we had a lot of learning to do with the new masthead spinnaker, and the exceptionally lumpy Miami waters. After having practice days with Ralf and Chris, Tony Rey, and Billy Liberty the team had the skills necessary to get around the buoys. The racing was intense and exhausting. The spinnaker proved to be more than we were ready for on Friday morning but we had the boat screaming down wind by Saturday. As will all major Farr 40 events one of the things I find most exciting is who we get to sail against. The Farr 40 class being composed of Olympians, America’s Cup champions, royalty, and people from all over the world, is always interesting and highly competitive. Overall, major events such as this one are an excellent experience and something I always love sailing in.

From Brian Giorgio KP 2008-

Sailing in Miami was nothing short of amazing. It was a dream to get away from the cold winter in New York and head down south for some awesome competition. The Farr 40 fleet was as sharp as ever, making it look easy sailing in the big breeze and swells. It was the first time we had ever sailed with the mast head spinnakers and it defiantly took a little getting used to. None of us did any sailing over the winter so it took a few days to work out some of the cobwebs. The conditions we saw in Miami were a lot different then what we are used to and I feel the team did an outstanding job adjusting.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Nimbus Blue Finishes 27th In Tough Fleet and Tough Conditions

Nimbus Blue on the right side of the picture threading through traffic in big wind and seas.

Great job to our team finishing 9 races in tough conditions that sidelined several teams. Here are the final results, and look to see some first hand accounts of the racing next week.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wild Ride for Nimbus Blue

Fridays big winds challenged all of the teams, and Nimbus Blue, above went for a wild ride with the new masthead spinnakers. They finished every race, and in big breeze again on Saturday finished the three races with a 25, 21 and 27.

Check out yesterdays awesome video from Gary Jobson!