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On Sailboats with Dieter Loibner

A performance boat as performance art

There are as many ways to build boats as there are ways to skin a cat. From floating fortresses to sleek sloops, they all have to be built somehow. “Produced” actually is more like it these days — so they might be affordable to consumers and lucrative to their purveyors.

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Simple and sound, the Folkboat turns 70

There's dense traffic on the layline as Nordic Folkboats jostle for position at the International Cup on San Francisco Bay.Wind from the west, honking hard. Current in the opposite direction, running fast. The track is torn up with potholes big enough to swallow an elephant, but the boat — all 2 tons of it — is flying. Up, down, crash! Up, down, splash! Icy water trickling down the collar, seeping through the bottom of the leaky, old foulies. But everyone has a ball.
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The ascent of dynamo Emma Creighton

Emma Creighton is just the third American woman to finish the Mini Transat.Trolling for story ideas, I clicked through the airbrushed reality of corporate communications and the ubiquitous social media posts by sailors who had become one with their sponsor’s marketing message. I was about to reach for the flask when I found this: “Spent the afternoon with NO wind. It sucked. Questioned all my motives for being here. Then I got my shit together, fixed some things, ate lunch, got moving, fixed more, showered and felt much better.”

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America’s Cup fever reaches China’s shores

Former Chinese basketball star Ma Jian (center) trains in San Diego with the sailing team, which needs more money, better sails and more time on the boat to compete with the top teams.The Auld Mug in China? What once might have sounded like blasphemy is becoming a distinct possibility. Yes, for the first 132 years the America’s Cup was the Americans’ cup, but since Dennis Conner lost it to the Australians in 1983 the ewer has gone cosmo. New Zealand and Switzerland won it twice, keeping it out of the United States for 15 years before software tycoon Larry Ellison won it back last year with a gigantic trimaran.

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A new warrior to fight for the environment

(From left) Harald Fassmer, CEO of Fassmer Shipyard, Melina Miyowapan Laboucan-Massimo, godmother of the ship, and Capt. Joel Stewart were on hand for the launching ceremony in Berne-Motzen, Germany.She’s new, she’s grand, she’s green, and she’s registered as a yacht. She even has a rainbow and a dove painted on her bow, which makes her the third Rainbow Warrior, the latest flagship of Greenpeace.

Designed by the Dutch naval architecture firm Dijkstra & Partners and home-ported in the Netherlands, this 190-foot two-master will carry the Greenpeace message of environmental activism to all points of the compass. The christening ceremony Oct. 14 in the small town of Berne in northern Germany commemorated the 40th anniversary of Greenpeace and marked the beginning of a new era, which will bring new challenges but no change in the organization’s core values.

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