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Welcome to the new BREAKING WAVES section of the 48°North homepage. Hot topics and breaking news will be updated frequently to keep you up with the sailing world, near and far. Scroll down to see more.

Farr 30 Worlds 2015, Day One Report

The Farr 30 World Championship 2015 kicked off Wednesday with a steel gray color palatte and fresh breeze. Hosted by the Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle, race organizers sent the fleet a mile north of the yacht club into the steady northerly and building chop on the Puget Sound. The forecast called for 10-20 knots, and the breeze hovered at the top end of that range all day. CYC’s race committee got off the three scheduled races, and the fleet enjoyed tight competition in beautiful and technically demanding racing conditions.

Racing got underway after a brief postponement. The flooding current was not enough to push the boats back from the line in the first sequence, and the general recall was obvious fully 15 seconds before the gun. A second starting attempt saw the AP back up a few seconds before the start. We didn’t see a shift, so we’re guessing there was a dragging mark. The third time was a charm, and the Z-flag kept the fleet significantly more conservative than they’d been in the first two sequences. All clear was the call, and we’ve got ourselves a World Championship.

The day’s breeze kept shifts to a minimum. From my vantage point on the photo boat, it looked like the kind of day where boat speed trumped tactics, though in talking to renowned Seattle sailor, Bob Pistay, there were some shifts to be had. Bob, in fact, noted one particularly gutsy dig to the west by the top Seattle boat in the standings after day one, Chris Tutmark’s Patricia. The risky call by tactician Jason Rhodes paid off as the westerly shift they found helped pick off a couple of boats in that race and keep all their finishes in the top three. Impressive on day one, Tutmark’s Patricia sits three points back, in second place overall.

Third after day one is last year’s North American Champion, Andrew Hamilton on Through. Sailing fast and smart, the Vancouver-based boat took a bullet in race two and captured two other top-five finishes. To me, they seemed to be maintaining a constant angle of heel on the weather legs better than anybody else. Their speed and local rockstar tactician, Dalton Bergan, helped them claw back a number of boats after a mid-fleet position part way through race one. Through was absolutely launched on the start on the race they won, confirming what every one design racer already knows…starts matter. A lot. However, with the technical nature of the Farr 30, there are some clear speed advantages on display from the top tier.

The two boats visiting from Annapolis, Rodrick Jabin’s Ramrod and Kevin McNeil’s Seabiscuit, have the most Farr 30 Class experience in this Worlds fleet. Their savvy and speed showed, especially at the starts. Both boats started cleanly, and seemed to be up to speed and always in the top group within a few minutes of the gun. Their top-drawer tacticians, Chris Larson on Ramrod and Seattle-great Jonathan McKee on Seabiscuit, surely helped with that, and pointed them the right way, too. Seabiscuit is currently in fourth, tied on points with Through. But, Ramrod was the story of day one, going 1-2-1 and sitting solidly in first place.

The Farr 30 fleet in the Seattle and Vancouver areas has grown steadily over the last few years, with some of our top sailors enthusiastically jumping into the fleet. But, Bob Pistay told me that all the local boats feel that the level of competition has reached a new height. Yesterday saw tight racing, wipeouts, and a collision – all of which are indicative that the teams are pushing it to the max at every opportunity. It will be interesting if local knowledge plays a bigger role as the breeze backs down into the 5-15 knot range today. Yesterday’s Seattle steel gray has given way to some rich autumn sunshine to go with that lighter-but-still-steady-northerly, making for what promises to be a beautiful day two at the Farr 30 Worlds 2015.

By Joe Cline
Editor, 48° North

The 4th Annual Pink Boat Regatta, one of the most successful sailing fundraisers and one of the coolest grassroots-effort regattas around, is taking place in Seattle this weekend. Festivities kick off with a celebration dinner aboard the historic steamer, Virginia V, on Saturday, September 12 at 6:30, featuring special guest Peg Mastriani, the Deputy Director of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Tickets for the dinner are $125 (remember, it's for a great cause!), and are available here.

The race is a come-one-come-all, decked-out-in-pink fun-fest on Sunday, beginning at 10am. You can still register your boat. If you're not up for the racing, book a ticket on the Virginia V, which will be out as a spectator boat.

However you're participating, buy a couple of buoys for your favorite boat, or just donate here:, or email


The best week of the year in the PNW is only days away, and there's still time to register!

The small boat weekend racing is July 18-19, and big boats race all week from July 20-July 24. Under new ownership this year (Charley and Schelleen are nailing it!), and with loads of new sponsors, a kid's camp, spectator cruises aboard the Schooner SUVA and lots more, the always-fun WIRW should be better than ever.

NOTE: Unfortunately, we printed an out-dated press release (error) in the last magazine, so double-check that your dates are right! And sign up. And go sailing. And have a great time!


Here's the 48° North Weekend Preview for Memorial Day Weekend 2015 for those of you that haven't already planned your own long-weekend cruise:

The Big One:
Swiftsure International Yacht Race in Victoria, a WHOPPING 197 registered boats departing Saturday, with many returning Sunday (depending on course, including the new Hein Bank Course): for info and the race tracker!

For Sailors to the East:
Goat Float Regatta at the beautiful Lake Pend Oreille YC. Saturday and Sunday.

Take the LEAP?!
Puget Sound Cruising Club Big Left Turner meeting on Friday, email for details.

Learning is good:
Saturday at NW Maritime Center in Port Townsend is an event called "Get on the Water - Anchoring, Docking, and On-the-water Safety"

Need a weekend off the water?


Here's your 48° North Weekend Preview
for May 9-10, 2015:

Northwest Paddling Festival, Friday (2pm-7pm) and Saturday (9am-5pm) at Lake Sammamish State Park: This is a cool, growing event put on by NMTA. It's not sailing, but also not a bad way to be on or near the water during this stellar weather. Admission is FREE, $7 if you want to demo equipment.

SYC Tri-Island 2 Vashon Island Race, Saturday (possibly into Sunday), first warning 9am. Keep your fingers crossed for enough Northerly to make it around!

Hobie 101 Sailing Seminar at Sail Sand Point, Saturday 8:30am-5pm. Open to kids or adults, only $20. 206.498.0610,

Not into the sunshine?

"How to use a chart" seminar put on by Everett Sail and Power Squadron, Saturday 2pm-4pm at Cabela's Tulalip. Free!

Need some time away from the boat? 'Nuf said!



DATE: Saturday, May 16, 2015
TIME: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm PDT
WHERE: Port of Friday Harbor
CATEGORY: Fairs & Festivals
AUDIENCE: Kids, Teens, Singles, Students, Parents, Seniors,
CONTACT PHONE: 360-378-2688
NOT TO BE MISSED: Free vessel safety checks, expired flare drop-off, USCG Man Overboard drills, in-water self-correcting kayak demonstrations, swap meet, food, music, and much more! Additional info at
Join the fun!