SILVERRUDDER RACE: WORLD'S LARGEST SINGLEHANDED RACE

In four short years, Denmark's 140-mile Silverrudder Race has grown from 15 tough contestants to over 400 sailors, making it the world's largest singlehanded distance race. The race goes around the Danish island of Fyn and the course is a combination of coastal sailing as well as navigating narrow passes with flushing currents. Phenomenal growth like this should make other race organizers around the world take notice. The race is sailed annually starting on the autumn equinox. Most of the boats come from Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Croatia making a truly international event.

Whether the draw is singlehanded distance racing, sailing around islands, sailing through narrow passages, or the challenge of constant sail changes, everyone looking to run events that draw more sailors should read the following report written by UK Sailmakers Germany's Stefan Voss who sailed his X332 DOGMATIX.

 "The start and finish is in Svendborg, on the extreme southern point of the island, which is on a very narrow sound with a ton of tidal current. Starting and finishing is very tricky! The picture above shows the first class trying to make ground against the ripping current.

"The boat sizes vary from 18-footers up to 45-footers as well as multihulls, all divided into seven classes. There are no RATING at all, just winners in each of the classes. Everything is allowed (except for running the engine of course). The small boats start the race at 0800 and other groups follow every 30 minutes finishing with the big multihulls at 1200.

"My first attempt at the race was a fantastic adventure. The first few miles were an unbelievable scene as I gybed back and forth with the spinnaker through tight crowds in the very narrow pass between islands. Twelve hours later, when in total darkness on a tough 40-mile beat in 16 to 20 knots, I was still surrounded by red and green running lights. Very cool!

"I had too much adrenaline to get sleepy; too much competition to relax. I made five spinnaker changes on a tight reach between midnight and 0600, all that moving around kept me awake.

"I had too much adrenaline to get sleepy; too much competition to relax. I made five spinnaker changes on a tight reach between midnight and 0600, all that moving around kept me awake.

"I ended up 19th out of 390 keelboats and 7th in the 63-boat Medium KeelboatClass 2, which made me extremely happy. My time on the course was 23 hours 47 minutes and 20 seconds. The first place boat in my class beat me across the line by 5 minutes and 41 seconds. First overall went to an X43 in the Extra Large Keelboat Class, which sailed around Fyn in 22 hours 48 minutes and 12 second, just about one hour faster than my X332. By the way, I did beat the XP44 XAR by more than 3 minutes, which was third in the Extra Large Keelboat class.

"UK Sailmakers was well represented on the course by good racing cruising sails and tough singlehanders! The biggest success went to Wolle Heibeck with his Open 32 canting keel carbon one off named BLACK MAGGY, which was the leading the pack with the Open 40 RED.

"Unfortunately they ended up anchored 200 meters from the finish line as the breeze went flat and a strong current tried to push them away from the line! (see the photo of BLACK MAGGY anchored in front of the finish line, which is the bridge in front of her.) After being anchored for nearly 3 hours, they were passed by the slower boats that came up with the new wind. In fact, BLACK MAGGY finished one place behind me in the Medium Keelboat 2 class after being so far ahead.

"I had too much adrenaline to get sleepy; too much competition to relax. I made five spinnaker changes on a tight reach between midnight and 6 am, all that moving around kept me awake.

"The only fast boat that did not struggle was the overall winning Multihull, a one off, sailed by Jens Quorning (owner of DRAGONFLY Multihull company) who finished with the unbelievable time of 15 hours 34 minutes!

"But the Silverrudder Race is more than a race; it's an adventure of sailing singlehanded around an island with partly open water and many narrow passages. By the way, I have the greatest respect for the guys sailing the smallest boats that took more than 40 hours to finish.  I promise you they could not sleep either. " 

VICTORIA TO MAUI RACE 2016

The 2016 edition of the 2,300-mile Victoria to Maui race proved to be a barnburner with the first three boats to finish beating the record of 9 days and 2 hours set by the Santa Cruz 70 Grand Illusion in 2000. UK Sailmakers Northwest's Stuart and Joy Dahlgren's Cruz 70 WESTERLY, sailing with the biggest UK X-Drive sail built to date (her mainsail) was third across the line and completed the course in 8 days, 17 hours and 32 minutes, about 5 hours ahead of Grand Illusion’s 2000 run. Stuart and Joy own the UK Sailmakers loft in Sidney, British Columbia, and they wanted to test the limits of X-Drive on their own boat...not on a customer's boat...to see how well X-Drive performs on bigger boats. WESTERLY's X-Drive main is show in the Jill Fitz Hirschbold photo above. 

"The X-Drive main looked great after over 2,000 miles of hard racing. We continue to notice that the X Drive sails appear to have the same durability that we loved in Tape-Drive, but with a smoother more stable flying shape especially noticeable in the leech,” noted Dahlgren. Speaking of Tape-Drive Westerly’s 2012 Tape-Drive mainsail made the delivery trip home totally unscathed. This sail now has two Van Isle 360’s (560 miles) Hawaii return delivery (2300 miles) along with almost four seasons of regular sailing; while it is not as smooth as it once was, it still has a nice shape and is completely structurally sound. It will be used for “club racing” and local sailing and deliveries.

 

FEATURED LOFT: UK SAILMAKERS MARINA DEL REY

For more than three decades Oliver McCann has been providing new sails and service to an ever-growing list of loyal customers in the Los Angeles, California area. Oliver has been running a UK Sailmakers loft in Los Angeles' Marina del Rey for over 20 years and for a decade before that he was making sails under his own name at the same location. Maria Moran has been expertly repairing sails and serving customers at the loft for over 20 years. Together, they strive to offer sailors the best sails and service available at a fair price.

Oliver's long background in sailing on all types of yachts gives him an unusually valuable perspective toward advising customers on their sail and sail handling needs. He takes pride in setting up sailboats to be handled with the least effort and greatest efficiency, maximizing sailing enjoyment...something his customers greatly have appreciated.

UK Sailmakers has an excellent racing record on Santa Monica Bay. From consistent Sunset Series winners over the years, to winners in the Berger, Stein, Pacific Cup, Santa Barbara to King Harbor, Ensenada, and Transpac races, UK Sailmakers provides sails and advice for many, many winning campaigns. Whether cruising or racing, or both, don't hesitate to seek Oliver's advice, which is always offered with a smile, and free of obligation.



 

 

 

FINN SEPTUAGENARIAN

Pictured above is 70-year-old Valery Gusenko who took second place in the Legend's Division of the 2016 Finn World Masters regatta at Torbole on the north end of Lake Garda in Italy. Gusenko sailed with a class sail designed and built by UK Sailmakers Ukraine. Proving his finish was no fluke, Gusenko later finished second in the Legend's Division at the Europe Champs on Lake Balaton in Hungary.

OCTOGENARIAN KEVIN STACEY WINS CHAMPIONSHIP

Hillarys Yacht Club, Western Australia: At the Hillarys Yacht Club 2015/16 Trophy Presentation night, octogenarian Kevin Stacey received a standing ovation when he came forward to accept the Club Championship trophy. While picking up the award, he decided to go out on top and announced his retirement from competitive sailing. Stacey's sailboat racing career spanned more than 40 years that culminated this season with the Overall Consistency trophy (Division 2), which he won with his Beneteau 28.5 PINTA. The humble skipper credited the win to a “very good crew.”

Having appreciated the durability of the UK Sailmakers sails on his previous yacht Enigma, Kevin chose UK Sails again when replacing the inventory on Pinta in 2011. Geoff Bishop of UK Sailmakers Fremantle, visited PINTA to measure and then install and tune the new sails for Kevin. Always looking for that extra tenth of knot, Kevin made good use of the advice provided by Geoff during the season, thus contributing to the overall success that included 12 podium finishes. Just one more example of UK Sailmakers passing on our passion for the sport.

DID YOU KNOW? FROM THE UK SAILMAKERS WEBSITE

The driving force of UK Sailmakers' new website is to provide sailors with plenty of information about sails, sail construction techniques along with plenty of educational content. Our goal is to make the site a "go to" destination for all things sails. 

To help sailors find some of the gems that make up the site, the newsletter will make sure to call out interesting sections sailors may have missed. Click here to learn about Jib Topsails, a powerful distance-racing tool.  It turns out that UK Sailmakers has the only online source of information explaining what these sails are and how they are used.

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE OVERALL WINNER OF THE 240 MILE VINEYARD RACE

Congratulations to Houston, Texas's Chris and Karen Lewisfor finishing first overall in the 240-mile Vineyard Race sailing their J/44 KENAI. This was the capstone of their East Coast campaign, during which they competed in the Bermuda Race, the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, the Ida Lewis Distance Race, and the Stamford-Vineyard Race. The Lewises and their team finished on the podium in all but one regatta while taking first in the Around the Island Race -- a stand-alone trophy during the New York Yacht Club Regatta – in addition to their Vineyard Race win.

Shown above is KENAI sailing with her UK Sailmakers X-Drive No. 1 and Uni Titanium mainsail.  Lewis originally bought the X-Drive No. 1 as a light air genoa along with a heavy No. 1 from another sailmaker. The X-Drive sail proved so much faster, even in Heavy No. 1 conditions, that it is the only No. 1 he uses now.  This is a great testament to the wind range of UK's X-Drive construction system. 

LYSEKIL WOMEN'S MATCH

Lysekil Women's Match, with 250 000 SEK in prize money, is the world's largest annual event in match racing for women, in terms of crowds, publicity and prize money. The world's top female match racing crews participate in Lysekil Women's Match. Anna Östling and crew won the August series over American Stephanie Roble in a 2-1 final. The Lysekil regatta is the second stop of the five regatta Women's International Match Racing Series. Anna Östling clinched the world title on September 25th after winning the first three events: Helisinki in June, Lysekil in August and the Buddy Melges Challenge in Sheboygan, Wisconsin that ended on Sept. 25th. 

UK Sailmakers has been proud Official Supplier to LWM; since the start in 2004, we equipped all the boats for the Lysekil regatta with UK Sailmakers sails and provide on-site repair service. Still, after eight years with all kinds of weather, tacking duels and tough games, no mainsail and jib has needed repairs, the only thing we have repaired until now are some spinnakers each year.

Pictured above is Stephanie Roble (white boat) leading Anna Östling in race two of the finals. Photo: Dan Ljungsvik LWM

NEW INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO - HOW TO USE TWEAKERS AND TWINGS

The latest video in our SAIL WITH CONFIDENCE series has just been released. It is a one-minute tutorial on how to use Tweakers or Twings; two names for a block and tackle system that controls the angle of a spinnaker sheet to properly control leech tension.  Click here to see this video and others. There will also be a link to this video in the Learning and Safety videos page in the Education section of the UK Sailmakers website.