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Posts Tagged ‘russia’

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Screen Shot 2016-06-29 at 5.34.00 PMBest known for the excellent and effective Clean Regattas Program, Our longtime friends and partners-in-crime over at Sailors For The Sea keep a good eye on green-ness of the oceans, and just the other day, SFTS’s Hillary Kotoun sent us over an excellent little book review about a sailor’s life in service of not just the sea, but of all of us.  And this bad motherf^&*er sat in a Russian jail for his crime of standing up against the rape of the sea.

Captain Peter Willcox has sailed over 400,000 miles – admirable for any mariner, but his story has even more crazy stories, because he’s logged all of those miles while standing up for the environment – and the humans and animals that depend on a healthy planet.

If your looking for a good summer read, check out his memoir Greenpeace Captain: My Adventures in Protecting the Future of Our Planet. It’s a beautiful, funny, and sometimes-controversial story that show a sailor’s life determined to protect our planet. Whether he is fighting against nuclear power, protecting whales or sitting in a Russian jail – Captain Willcox outlook on life reminds us of the inner pirate all sailors have in their heart! Here are our top quotes from the book:

1. He’s a former America’s Cup sailor
“I continued yacht racing whenever I could, and in 1979 I took some time off from the Clearwater to do a stint with Dennis Conner’s America’s Cup team (the team won the cup in 1980.)”

2. The ties of sailing & environment run deep in his family
“I’m a walking, talking argument for nurture in the nature-versus-nurture debate. I was adopted at the age of thee months by a left-wing, antinuclear, antiwar, socially progressive hardcore-offshore sailing family.”

3. He survived a French sabotage (sadly the boat and 1 crew member did not)
“The inquiry also found that a total of at least thirteen French agents had been involved. Operation Satanique (no translation necessary) was a large and complicated mission. The explosives had been smuggled into New Zealand in a moderate-size sailing yacht. Another French agent had infiltrated the Green Peace office in New Zealand as a volunteer. She had kept the DGSE informed about our timing and plans. She had even used our phones to arrange for the boat and scuba gear used in the attack.”

4. His definition of heaven
“My favorite sound in the world is hearing an engine stop and then hearing the bow wave burble while under sail. Someone once said that the definition of heaven is taking your favorite moment and being able to live in it forever. I’m not saying there is a heaven, and I’m not saying that if there is a heaven I would even be allowed in, but if there is and if I am, that’s the moment I want to be in forever.”

5. He’s got a sense of humor
“Last, I would like to sincerely thank Russian president Vladimir Putin. Without your “two-month, all-expenses-paid vacation in Russia,” this book never would have happened.”

6. He’s not afraid of a little contact
When in the water, wearing a survival suit, trying to stop a Destroyer…. “On the next attempt I let the bow come by so close I could touch it. The bow wave slapped me in the head as she went by, my hand dragging along the gray steel hull of the ship. Once the bow wave passed, it was so quiet I could hear one of the sailors high above me shout: Watch out for the propellers!”

7. Even eco-warrior sailors like to party
“I’ve been in many police stations in many different parts of the world, but when I stepped into the police station at Sète I was completely unprepared for what I saw. There was shouting. Squealing. Stack of pizza boxes. Wine bottles everywhere. Cops and activists taking pictures with each another. In short, I stepped into one hell of a party!”

8. But overall, he really, really loves the ocean
“But I knew it wouldn’t be very long before the sea-less than a mile from our fireplace-would call me back. There’s a long-standing maritime tradition to come to the aid of anyone at sea who is in peril. So when the ocean itself is in trouble, I can’t refuse the call.”

9. And he needs fellow sailors to take action
“Another expression is “We’re all in the same boat.” That’s us. That’s Earth. Everyone’s in the same ecological boat, and we’re sinking our own planet-boat by drilling holes in while ignoring the fact that it’s causing the water to rise faster and faster.”


June 29th, 2016 by admin

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RussianFlag3Russia’s recent sporting exploits include allegedly fixing the bid along with FIFA for the 2018 World Cup and using the Sochi Olympics to divert attention from an armed buildup that would turn into an invasion and annexation of a sovereign neighbor, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone to learn that the Russian government has run a huge state-sponsored doping scheme for its Olympic athletes.  But even the most jaded Russophobe might still be shocked at just how big and pervasive the program was.

The doping scheme was uncovered by a German TV report almost a year ago, and in the meantime,  WADA – the independent agency charged with investigating and preventing doping in the Olympics and many other high-profile events – spent a small fortune investigating the charges. This morning, they released their over-300 page report, and it’s nasty.

The New York Times wrote that “Members of Russia’s secret service intimidated workers at a drug-testing lab to cover up top athletes’ positive results.”  FSB agents “impersonated lab engineers during the Winter Olympics in Sochi last year.” A lab once destroyed more than 1,400 samples to keep them from the investigation.  “Athletes adopted false identities to avoid unexpected testing. Some paid to make doping violations disappear. Others bribed the antidoping authorities to ensure favorable results, and top sports officials routinely submitted bogus urine samples for athletes who were doping.”

The report implicates athletes, coaches, trainers, doctors, and the Russian institutions and government agencies that helped engineer and fund the program, and we’re still reading to find out whether it was as big and unethical as the Soviet and East German programs of the 60s and 70s that are credited with creating modern blood doping.  Interpol is starting criminal investigations, WADA discredited Russia’s national testing lab, the IAAF are discussing Russia’s punishment while everyone’s trying to figure out who gets their medals stripped – and who becomes a newly-crowned medalist.

Finally, Olympic Sailing finally gets some freedom from the pollution limelight – but only because the Russian Sailing Team needs a lot more than steroids and adderall to start winning.  Surely ISAF is praying that their prominent partner had nothing to do with the doping despite being a major sponsor for the Russian National Team…’cause Gazprom doing something unethical would be a huge surprise…

And of course, old Vlad is denying the whole thing as either a fabrication or a conspiracy. Just like those fabricated tanks in Crimea.

You can download the full report here.


November 10th, 2015 by admin

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The White Pearl: Because being a billionaire means never having to admit just how awful your taste is.  For more pics and info on the latest godawful design travesty commissioned by yet another tasteless Russian oligarch with an overcompensation problem, hit the thread.

Pic scraped from NDR and the ‘other’ EPA.

September 21st, 2015 by admin

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So your dog can ride the rail of your cruising boat?  Big fucking deal.  This border collie from Russia shits all over your chihuahua, and he’s probably a better crew than you. Seriously, you MUST WATCH THIS VIDEO.  And we like the Googletrans description below it even better.  Say in your best Yakov Smirnov accent: In suburban Pyrohiv yacht “eM-Ka” was seen highly unusual sailor.

Highly unusual, indeed.  Woof, woof.


May 22nd, 2015 by admin

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The rapidly changing face of sponsorship in a post-GFC world requires new thinking and new alliances, but it also is brings new problems to the table.

Example 1:  All Americans are stoked to see the All-American Offshore Team boys running the show for the first Volvo Ocean Race challenge with a Turkish sail number.  Turkish sponsor Alvimedica is a young, cutting-edge medical tech company from Istanbul, and the entry hopes to build and grow interest for offshore racing in the near East nation.  But what happens to that effort if both Youtube and Facebook can’t even be accessed from Turkey, as an Associated Press story today reported might be coming soon?  Check out what the Turkish Prime Minister said on censoring the internet here.

Example 2:  The whole world has eyes on the Black Sea as Russia continues what seems like an empire-building exercise in Crimea.  With sanctions on Russian individuals already imposed by the US and EU, suddenly those Greenpeace protests of the Gazprom-sponsored Esimit Europa Maxi seem almost quaint.   Why’s that?  Because the massive Russian-owned energy utility is already sponsoring an Extreme 40 team, and solid inside rumors have them looking at entering the next America’s Cup with a big Gazprom logo on the wing.  ABC Madrid reporter Pedro Sardina says that Gazprom will be on the world stage even before that (though we haven’t been able to confirm); Sardina writes that ETNZ boss Grant Dalton has already signed a deal with Gazprom for sponsorship of the ETNZ/Pedro Campos round-the-world bid.

What happens when a Russian owned and/or sponsored team comes to a Europe that may be boycotting Russia?  And what happens to events like the Extreme Sailing Series’ Russian stage?


March 7th, 2014 by admin

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This is apparently a ‘regular docking practice’ for the nearly 200-foot long Zubr-Class hovership, according to the Russian Ministry of Defense, who wondered what all those people were doing swimming on a firing range.  Sunbathers at Mechnikovo Beach wondered why the monster flying boat didn’t ‘dock’ miles away at the actual firing range.   Grazie to ‘friginindariggin’ for the heads’ up , and Popeye for the title .


August 27th, 2013 by admin


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