12.8.06

THE FASTEST THING WITH SAILS. The premiere of The Ultimate Ride coincided with an historic day at the Inland Lake Yachting Association's Class A Championship. The wind direction was right for the race committee to set a 3 1/2 mile windward-leeward giving the boats a chance to make velocity good to windward and get onto screaming planes downwind.

The premiere of the movie was preceded by a lawn party. The invitations specified "sailor's best" for attire. Throw a blue blazer over your summer race officer outfit (white shorts, white polo shirt) and people will call it "styling." Before the movie began, partygoers were able to watch replays of the day's racing using a program by Kattack, a company that was downloading Global Positioning data from transponders on each of the boats for subsequent use. If the for-sale version of the software includes wind vectors to go with the traces of the boats, this program has great potential for training purposes.

The movie? Recommended for sailing enthusiasts, and especially for Inland sailors. Gary Jobson, who narrates the movie, came to the premiere to introduce the movie, and he noted the A scows have about 50 percent faster velocity made good than America's Cup boats. (Velocity made good is what matters in racing: you can be sailing fast but away from the next mark; the art is to have the right blend of footing and pointing upwind, and tight and broad reaching downwind.) He intends to talk up the A Scow among the East Coast E Scow fleets. No spoilers here, just some teases: an A Scow once ran down a smaller scow in a mixed fleet race, and an A Scow crew attempted the Chicago to Mackinac. But you'll have to buy the movie or rent it or make nice to me to find out how they fared.

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