Goetz Composites is pleased to announce and welcome Gregor Welpton to our team as Director of Special Projects!
Gregor began boat building in 1984. His passion for building and designing boats has led him around the world in an exploration of form and function.
After graduating from the Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA, Gregor trained at the Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Townsend, WA. His interests brought him to Alaska as shipwright replacing planks, ribs, bow stems, and sterns. Soon thereafter, Gregor began teaching at the University of Alaska, Southeast, and was hired to run the University’s Marine Technology Program. He later attended the Landing School of Boatbuilding and Design in Arundel, ME and after graduating from the Yacht Design Program, he began working for Victory Design in Napoli, Italy.
Gregor, a seasoned project manager, has worked on a variety of projects including experimenting with multiple hull forms as well as bow foils, lifting bodies and actuating interceptors for Navatek. He built several craft and ran projects for DARPA and ONR. He set up a production facility in Bath, ME for Hodgdon Defense where he managed a project building the GARC (Greenough Advanced Rescue Craft). Gregor has been involved with building prototypes and worked with Coastwise Engineering to design aluminum passenger-carrying catamarans. He also set up the first vacuum infusion shop in Alaska, building smaller catamarans for lodges, water taxis, and other guide outfits.
A veteran boat builder and designer, Gregor’s passion for his work is best summed by his understanding of traditional boat building, and application of cutting-edge technology to the tried and true basics.
Goetz Composites is pleased to bring Gregor’s diverse skill set to work with our team!
Photo by Ainhoa Sanchez/Volvo Ocean Race
The Volvo Ocean Race resumed last Sunday afternoon, following the brief stopover in Newport. Family, friends, and sailing enthusiasts gathered from around the world to show their support before the teams embarked on their final ocean crossing of the 2014-2015 Volvo Ocean Race. If you didn’t get a chance to visit the Race Village or see the boats sailing around Newport Harbor, it was a truly special experience. The number of visitors was reported to be almost 125,000 (more than 5 times the entire population of Newport) and the marine traffic in the harbor was arguably denser than ever before. With a bit of good luck on the weather front and some seriously impressive organizational efforts spearheaded by Sail Newport, we can’t be the only ones hoping for Newport to be the North American stopover again in the 2017-2018 edition.
Don’t forget to track the boats here and root for our home team, Alvimedica.
Photo by Ian Roman/Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing
The 20th edition of Charleston Race Week takes place this week, with racing set to kick off today. Over 2,500 competitors are expected to participate; among them, our own Kristen Buckley. She will be racing on J22 Wild Goose with an eager fan base cheering her team on from Bristol. For more information on the event, including results and live streaming action, click here.
Our replica of Buckminster Fuller’s Fly’s Eye Dome is on display in Miami’s Design District and is getting lots of attention! Check out this story from The Architect’s Newspaper’s Blog and this one from the Curbed Miami website, both posted last week.
Earlier this month, Bermuda was announced as host of the 35th America’s Cup, scheduled to take place in 2017. Though there are mixed feelings about the viability of the remote island hosting the event successfully, the America’s Cup has taken an important turn with an increasingly promising future.
From its inception in 1851, when the American (and only non-British) contender won the trophy, the America’s Cup’s home was New York. Through nearly a century-and-a-half of advances in naval architecture, the US maintained their solid lead. In 1983, however, an Australian challenger broke the longest winning streak in the history of sports, 132 years. While the developments in maritime engineering before the fateful 1983 race were significant, the revolutionary winged keel sported by the Australia II set a precedent for America’s Cup contenders leading the charge for faster and stronger boats.
Since 1983, no country has been able to successfully defend the Cup more than twice. Court battles over the Deed of Gift, drastically different boat designs competing against each other, and record numbers of challengers have dominated the America’s Cup for the past 21 years. The introduction of the AC72 marked a sharp turn that the entire sailing industry would take. It became clear that hydrofoiling catamarans were not only fun and interesting for sailors, but for non-sailing spectators, too.
Ever since the first glimpses of the AC72s foiling, we have seen hydrofoiling catamarans cropping up in more and more places. The Nacra 17 was adopted as the newest Olympic class, the Great Cup 32 Racing Tour was introduced, and both the A-Class and C-Class Catamarans adapted their older designs to incorporate foiling.
The slightly smaller AC62 that will be used in the 2017 America’s Cup is being designed specifically to foil and is expected to reach speeds similar to the AC72s’. The AC45 that debuted in the first ever America’s Cup World Series, and made a second appearance in the first ever Youth America’s Cup, will be used again for the second edition of both events, only this time they will be foiling as well. While there are many design constraints in place for both classes, there is plenty of room for variability. The next few years are sure to be full of secretive designing and trialing processes and we can’t wait to see the results!