Web Obsessions

❖The randomness of self-broadcast video on the Internet is as enjoyable as it is puzzling, but www.youtube.com, the latest web craze, has opened a treasure trove for the visual-starved sailing junkies. You'll find footage of skiff sailing, foiling Moths, the Volvo Ocean Race, even something from this year's Whidbey Island Race Week.

❖ If you haven't visited the recently updated www.sailflow.com, do yourself a favor and see what bells and whistles these guys have added. Our favorite enhancement is the "Wind FlowViz" wind forecast, which is so localized you'll be setting your watch to the afternoon's 30-degree windshift.

❖ Google anything related to "sailboat racing" and you'll likely be directed to a new information site called www.ehow.com. New racers will enjoy understandable explanations and tips for most things racing related. A few of them are off the wall. One pertinent tip from How To Race a Sailboat for Minimum Cost is, "Drink cheap beer and raid the free hors d'oeuvres table at the yacht club." And this from How to Negotiate a Starting Line: "Implement a 'two beers before the start' rule. You and your crew will be mellower and thankful for it."

❖ Another great web resource is www.ukhalsey.com, home of the animated Rules Quizzes. In the site's Resource Center there's an easy-to-use IRC Time Calculator, which allows you to create a detailed spreadsheet showing time allowances for a wide variety of race lengths (times).

❖ And, of course, we'd be remiss in not mentioning www.sailing world.com, where under the hand of our new web editor Michael Lovett and web intern Franz Ritt, we've loaded volumes of boat reviews, instructional articles, and feature stories. Bookmark it today and standby for the arrival of a fully revamped sailingworld.com this fall.

-dave reed

Flying Scots Will Weather Microburst

For 30 minutes on July 11, Marblehead Harbor went berserk.

Shortly after 4:00 p.m., a wet microburst descended on the storied Massachusetts town where a 64-boat Flying Scot fleet had just settled in at Corinthian YC after the second day of racing in the class's North Americans. Winds clocked at 95 mph capsized boats at their moorings, sent rafted boats soaring onto the dock, and peeled the roofing tiles off of a nearby shack. As Marblehead police Sergeant Detective Marion Keating described: "Masts were thrown through boats like spears. It looked like a combat zone."

Despite the storm's fury, no one was injured. Nonetheless, when the rains subsided, Flying Scot sailors were in for a shock. The majority of the fleet had capsized, and 20 boats had been dismasted.

In light of the damage sustained, organizers canceled the remaining races and awarded trophies to the provisional leaders. Harry Carpenter, who took first place in the truncated series, was among the first to survey the damage.

"I was just stunned," says

The 2006 Flying Scot North Americans in Marblehead, Mass., were cut short after 20 boats were dismasted by a microburst.

Carpenter, who is also the class's official boatbuilder. "At first you're overwhelmed, but then you realize that you have to begin somewhere, and you just keep going until it's done."

Carpenter and a handful of Scot sailors, including Chris Danilek, immediately set about righting capsized boats, hauling overturned boats off of the docks, and salvaging whatever flotsam they could.

"We were hoping," says Danilek, "that if we got boats upright the regatta would continue."

Danilek's optimism— thought it proved a little unrealistic at the time—runs throughout the ranks. Class president Glenn Shaffer lost a jib and a spinnaker pole, but refuses to see the microburst as anything more than a minor setback.

"I wouldn't call it a disaster," says Shaffer,"And I don't think it will affect the future of the fleet. These are strong boats. A lot of the boats that went flying through the air came out without a scratch."

-michael lovett

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