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Isn’t the RDR all about survival? Going as fast as humanly (and machine-ly) possible, yes, but above all survival.

So while it is hearbreaking for Francois Gabart to have broken a rudder and foil and lose a race in which he so clearly dominated in virrtually every phase of this race, ultimately, in a game of survival, that is a harsh reality.

Finishing in a record 7d 14h 21h 47s, and just 7 minutes ahead of Gabart, Francois Joyo is a deserved world champion.

In a game of thrones, you either win, or you die.” – Cersei Lannister.

More here.


November 11th, 2018

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How is this for one hell of a perfect face plant? This is Simon Nearn, skipper of RMarine showing us how it’s done!


November 11th, 2018

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No wonder Francois Gabart’s lead in the RDR – he lost a foil and a rudder! Closing in rapidly Check it here!

Francois Gabart on MACIF has seen his lead over Francis Joyon disappear completely as the two French skippers have crept around the west side of Basse-Terre island in windless conditions in the final miles of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe. His lead is less than one mile with 9 to go!

At one point in the mid-Atlantic Gabart was 160 miles in front of his fellow countryman on IDEC Sport, but Joyon has whittled his lead down and taken full advantage of the damage to MACIF which has lost one rudder and one foil.

But it has been the lack of wind that has dogged Gabart more than Joyon in the run-in. When Gabart reached the Tête à l’Anglais mark north of Basse Terre he was 20 miles ahead but as he drifted around the western side – the leeward coast – of the island Joyon has been able to come up from behind. Now the two boats are almost even sail in darkness to the finish line. More here.


November 11th, 2018

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The Falls of Clyde, the last sail-powered oil tanker in the world, will soon return to Glasgow, the city where her keel was laid some 140 years ago.

The Clyde has been moored in Honolulu, Hawaii since 1963, and she is in deteriorating condition. A non-profit group, Save the Falls of Clyde International, hopes to move her to Scotland and restore her. It has recently reached an agreement with heavy lift firm Sevenstar Yacht Transfer to provide the transportation. She is scheduled to depart the week of February 3, 2019.

Read on.


November 10th, 2018

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Along with my beautiful fiance, I am heading to the METS Trade show in Amsterdam. Leaving this Saturday to see the sights for a couple days, then we are jumping right into the show from Tuesday to Thursday.

We are going to try to meet with as many industry folks as possible, and would love to schedule some time to chat with those of you who might find our brand of internet presence in this sport to perhaps be of interest to help promote your products or services.

We have a brand new SA web design going live before the end of this month, and can give you a peek at what it is going to look like. So hit me up asap!  – ed.


November 9th, 2018

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We don’t know about that, but we do know that we want don’t want the MC 38 back….! One question, do you think the sailing is CGI??


November 9th, 2018

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I have always been a huge proponent of women in sailing. I guess it started when as a kid I got thumped on the race course by some girls in our cub and I figured that I had no right to ever think I was a better sailor than them just because I was a male. They were clearly better than me, but it has taken a long, long time to change the mindset of some who feel that there is no place on a boat for women. I know that sounds absurd to say but it’s true.

There have been some extremely influential women in recent history that Have changed our sport. I am thinking of Ellen MacArthur, Dee Caffari, Naomi James and who doesn’t remember that stunning photo of Florence Arthaud crossing the finish line in Guadeloupe to win the Route du Rhum back in 1990? But there in one woman who had done and continues to push for women not only in sailing, but in humanity and not only in her community, but globally and that person is Tracy Edwards.

Tracy led the first ever all-female crew in 1989/90 Whitbread race coming second in her class. It was a pivotal moment not only because of how well they did but by how much support and attention they received. The boat, for a start, was sponsored by Royal Jordanian Airlines with Jordon not being a country that was particularly supportive to women rights. Tracy had befriended King Hussein and the king had arranged the sponsorship. Long story and a good one but not the gist of this blog. Once the race was over the boat, Maiden, was sold and after going through a few owners was eventually left all but abandoned in the Seychelles Islands.

Fast forward two and a half decades and Tracy received word about Maiden and its current condition. Tracy set up a Crowdfunding campaign in an attempt to buy and restore the boat and she was starting to receive money when something quite remarkable happened. One evening she received a call from HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the daughter of the late King Hussein. She had heard about the boat and Tracy’s efforts to restore it and she offered to help. She remembered Tracy and Maiden from when she was just a young girl in Jordan and she said she would like to help in honour of her father. Pennies from heaven or shall I say more like dinar from Jordan.

Well yesterday the completely refitted Maiden set off from Southampton on a two year world tour to raise awareness and funds for girls’ education around the world. For the entire tour Maiden will be sailed by women only and will change out skippers bringing in very accomplished women to skipper different parts of the tour. Nikki Henderson, the youngest skipper in the 2017/2108 Clipper Round the World Race, is taking on the first two legs. Wendy Tuck, the first female skipper to win a round-the-world yacht race when she won the Clipper Race this year, will take the helm in her home country of Australia.

“Maiden changed my life and now she can help change the lives of girls who are not in education,” Tracy said. “Sailing on Maiden with a team of women proved to me that anything was possible and through hard work and following my dreams I could reach my full potential. Education can give girls that possibility to increase their life opportunities as Maiden did for me, my team and others who were inspired by her.”

The Maiden Factor world tour will take in over 23 destinations in 13 countries where the skipper and crew will dock and meet with charities supporting equal access to education; community led educational projects; school children alongside a wider awareness and fundraising campaign.

I think that it’s a brilliant use of an old warhorse yacht that has already logged hundreds of thousands of miles. Maiden is painted in the same livery she had during the Whitbread and looks like a brand new yacht. Some of the women that will be sailing on the boat over the next two years had not even been born back when Tracy and her team did the Whitbread. I hope that this tour is a huge success and it opens up the eyes to the potential women have all over the world and to the  contribution that they can make toward bettering the lives of all of us who inhabit this blue marble.

– Brian Hancock.


November 9th, 2018

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God damn do we love craigslist…

Selling a hand crafted viking ship. Couldn’t find enough warriors to be paddle. Many a moon was spent crafting this mighty ship. Sail good. Praise Odin. P.S. instead of buying, you may join our team to cross the mighty Atlantic, on a one way voyage to a new land in search of hope and mead.

Any SERIOUS interest in our journey please email me, Chris. I’ve got about 3 others “on board” but we need at least a 12 man or more crew. Check it.


November 9th, 2018

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14th China Club Challenge Match Finals

In its 14th year the ‘Club Cup’ as its known experienced a new weather phenomenon – RAIN.

Extraordinary as it may seem, but in the entire history of the event, neither the fleet racing preliminaries nor the match racing finals have had a drop of the wet stuff falling from the skies.

Largely the effect of an off-lying typhoon that was dissipated by strong northerlies, the sting in the tail was strong breezes driven by a keen north wind.

That didn’t stop the race committee banging off 14 flights on day one followed by 17 flights on day two and with 3 matches per flight the 6 umpires flown in from New Zealand, Hong Kong & China were kept busy with a total of around 90 races knocked off over the two days.

Day two was so cold in fact that the umpire team welcomed the pot noodles offered from the committee boat not with open arms, just open hands, more to return the feeling to fingers than any need for sustenance.

The umpire team even took their lunches while officiating on races grabbing bites from their burgers when boats in a match had reasonable separation.

That early 2 day push proved fortuitous as day 3 dawned with lighter breezes, which after allowing one flight to complete led to a complete shutdown with competitors voting with their feet (or at least their boats) heading for the dock a  good hour before the race committee finally gave up. It is amazing how fast rocking and rolling can propel a J80 through the water.

Day 4 wasn’ta great deal better but with sufficient round robin racing under their belt the skippers of the top 4teams, SailingIN (1) , Big Boys (2) , Xiamen Ocean Daren (3) and Yomovo (4) were ferried to the committee boat for the opponent, boat and end draws with the first races of the semi finals completed before the extended cut off time of 1700 for a race start once again curtailed racing for the day.

SailingIN proved just too strong for the local Xiamen Ocean Daren guys with a 2-0 whitewash while Yomovo managed to take a match out of Bing Boys before going down 2-1.

Both Final & Petite Final went to 2-1with the final finishing order reflecting the order of the round robins.

They were not done yet as winning the Challenger’s Knockout gave SailingIN the opportunity to sail against the defending champions, in much the same way as the Louis Vuitton Cup used to just select the America’s Cup Challenger.

Beijing Sailing Centre proved too powerful for Xiamen based SailingIN who went down to the now familiar 2-1 scoreline.

The day for the completion of the semis etc saw normal meteorological service resumed for Xiamen at this time of year with patchy blue sky, a bright sun and a pleasant developing breeze – perfect sailing conditions – AT LAST

That set up the final race of the day and the event, the ‘All Star Challenge’.

In this the champions face a team selected by the defeated challenger’s skipper and drawn from the top 4 teams. Last year this led to one of the races being described by one umpire (who incidentally has officiated at three America’s Cups) as ‘in the top 10 match races I have ever seen’ with victory won by about 10 cms.

This year Beijing Sailing Centre took the prize 2-1, the cause of the All Stars not being helped by an early  entry penalty which put them on the back foot, added to by a pre-start penalty and then a black flag. Too much pressure perhaps.

The prize was worth fighting for too – 250,000RMB with a further 50,000 RMB going to charity, both, of which were awarded at an area specially set up on the marina under the now setting sun.

Added to all the on the water activities were a varied set of evening social activities which helped to, once more, place this regatta (two regattas really) on the top of the tree in the Chinese sailing scene..

– Shanghai Sailor


November 9th, 2018

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The two leading Multi50s in the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo transatlantic race are set to make technical pit stops in the Azores in short succession.

First-placed Thibaut Vauchel-Camus tacked his Solidaires en Peloton-ARSEP to the west, upwind in 20-25 knots, towards the island group at around 0230hrs (CET) this morning, and away from his duel with Erwan Le Roux.

But rival Le Roux on FenêtréA-Mix Buffet is expected to follow suit. He is expected to head to Punta Delgado where he is due to rendezvous with his technical team. A statement from the 2014 Multi50 race-winner’s team, made early this morning, confirmed Le Roux has been struggling with autopilot problems and his technicians are en route to the Azores. Vauchel-Camus’ problems are so far unspecified.

This presents an opportunity for third-placed Armel Tripon, who is 300 miles further to the east on Reauté Chocolat and 186 miles behind the leader, and fourth-placed Gilles Lamire on French Tech Rennes Saint Malo who is only a couple of miles further back but much closer to the Azores.

Negotiating the eastern side of the Azores anticyclone, IMOCA leader Alex Thomson has seen speeds drop to eight or nine knots overnight in the light, unsettled northeasterly breezes of just five to eight knots. But the British skipper has so far contained any advance from the two French skippers to his east, Paul Meilhat on SMA and Vincent Riou on PRB.

The band of light, unsettled winds caused by the high pressure, will occupy Thomson and his opponents throughout today. The British skipper’s patience may be tested but he knows he has the fastest machine compared to the French skippers. He will have also noticed the reaching speed deficit of PRB amid widespread speculation that Riou’s boat has suffered damage to her foils.

Germany’s Boris Herrmann remains the fastest of the leading IMOCAs and is disputing the lead with his much more westerly routing on Malizia II-Yacht Club de Monaco. Herrmann is computed to be just 13 miles behind his English friend Thomson and gaining steadily, but he will face a much more complicated, prolonged transition through the Azores anticyclone and a period of upwind sailing afterwards.

The Class40 leaders have had another breezy, tough night but at the latitude of Cape St Vincent this morning, they might finally be able to contemplate a change of regime as their winds ease back to a mere 22-25kts.

The 2016 winner of the Solitaire du Figaro, Yoann Richomme, continues to dominate and is sailing with the metronomic regularity born of many years on the French solo Figaro scene. His new, 2018-launched Veedol-AICis consistently up to one knot quicker than the older IMERYS CLEAN ENERGY of second-placed British skipper Phil Sharp.

In the Tropics, meanwhile, the overall race leader François Gabart on MACIF is now making easy miles, averaging 25 knots, yet still shadowed by Francis Joyon on IDEC Sport at 130 miles behind.

Gabart will hold onto his long port gybe through all of today but the approach to Guadeloupe looks complicated and downwind in 15 knots of easterly breeze. The final miles will require precision gybes and the French ace will be made to work hard for victory right to the finish line.

Thanks again to the RDR. Read more here.


November 9th, 2018