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cowardly

No real surprise coming from a bunch of people who wish we didn't even exist. Waaa! What, we aren't fellating you like some of the other remora in the media, so we don't get a media pass??  Could you be more pathetic? Oh and by the way, we aren't a "forum", ding dong. Dear Applicant, I hope this email finds you well. We have reviewed your accreditation request for Cowes, and I am awfully sorry but we will not be able to approve it. We are following our media guidelines for accreditation which are here, and we accredit media representatives on assignment for professional media. I am afraid that as Sailing Anarchy is a forum, it is not entailed.  We understand your interest in SailGP and are very happy about the coverage, and interest. Once again, very sorry we cannot give you accreditation for the event. You will still be able to follow the races on all our platforms: our website will provide you with the latest updates and data without needing specific access: media.sailgp.com. On it, you will find our rights-free images, taken by professional renowned photographers: images.sailgp.com; our press releases and video assets: media-assets.sailgp.com, as well as our media guide. You can also download the app to access the data in real time. Finally, you will find out how to follow the races live here: sailgp.com/watch.  Have a lovely day, Kind regards, Amélie Bouan Media Services Manager, SailGP...

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my lucky escape

40 Years ago I had my luckiest escape ever in sailing although at the time I was bitterly disappointed. I read the piece by Brian on the frontpage and he was in the thick of it, I should have been too. The year before I had navigated HMSTY Chaser, one of the Joint Service’s Nicholson 55s down the North Sea through challenging conditions of wind through half the compass and all the way from a zephyr to a full gale (Beaufort 8 according to my logbook) yet still arrived at destination within 15 minutes of the ETA we had given the Coastguard a day and a half before. That led to an invitation to navigate the RN Engineering Manadon’s boat in the 1979 Fastnet. A few weeks before the race I had to cry off due to pressures of work and as many know Flashlight lost two overboard, never recovered. Lucky escape or just fate it is impossible to know but for a few weeks afterwards I had the strangest feelings of guilt for not being there which at the time just felt weird but of course now they give fancy titles to like ‘Survivor Syndrome’ or some such.  I don’t write this to sound grand, I wasn’t. I wasn’t there. We should however never forget incidents like the ’79 Fastnet – or the ’98 Sydney Hobart for that matter. And it was good to see a service of remembrance at a Cowes church Thankfully, for those who sail offshore today, our sport is sensible enough to take these hard earned AND EXPENSIVE lessons and apply them to make our sport safer. Sail on guys, although many don’t realize it the modern offshore racer owes you a deep debt of gratitude.  -SS...

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been there, don’t want to do that

The Fastnet Race starts tomorrow. They have a record fleet including 20 IMOCA 60’s and the event continues to be one of the most prestigious ocean races in the world. It has been forty years since the disastrous race in 1979 where 19 people lost their lives and much has changed since then. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was racing aboard a brand new Swan 55, a Sparkman and Stephens design named Battlecry. I was just a nipper working the pointy end. I came on deck for the midnight until four watch and as I climbed out the companionway I noticed that  the wind anemometer was pegged at 60 knots. 60 was as high as those old anemometer’s went. I tapped it but my crew mate told me it had been pegged at 60 for the past hour. I looked around. The entire ocean was whipped white with cresting waves and the spray going horizontal. We were in the middle of a terrible storm but I was thrilled. When you are 21 everything seems like so much fun and I was loving it until the off-watch announced that we were sinking. Water was above the floorboards and the automatic bilge pump was on full blast. After bailing with a bucket and manning the manual pumps we discovered that the structural ring frames had cracked and every time a wave hit the boat they opened up and water poured in. It was time to abandon. We set a course for Cork on the south coast of Ireland. As we approached land we noticed dozens of helicopters and emergency rescue boats heading our way and it was after talking with them on the VHF radio that we started to get a grip on what had happened during the night. ...

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idiot in chief

US President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon threatening to impose a new 10% tariff on an estimated US$300bn worth of goods imported into the US from China. Slated to come into effect on September 1, the President’s latest tariff – over and above an existing 25% levy on $250bn of imports – would essentially tax all Chinese products imported into the United States. Read on....

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tko, round one

Matthew Vincent crossed the finish line of the first stage of the 17th edition of the Transgascogne first in the category of Solo Series, Friday August 2 at 12h 41min 18s (Paris time). The skipper of L'Occitane en Provence has set two days 00 hours 58 minutes and 18 seconds to complete the 270 mile course between Sables d'Olonne and Laredo, at an average speed of 5.44 knots. He is ahead of 6 minutes and 53 seconds, Ambrogio Beccaria (943 - Geomag) and 30 minutes and 52 seconds Hugo Dhallenne (979 - Jade) respectively second and third have to cross the finish line in Laredo in the category of Solo Series . Crossing the line this Friday, August 2 at 12am 48min 11s (Paris time), the skipper of Geomag has set 2 days 1 hour 5 minutes and 11 seconds to complete the course of the first step. Jade skipper, meanwhile, crossed the finish line at 13h 16min 07s (Paris time) and will put 2 days 1 hour 29 minutes and 10 seconds on the first step. Its standard is the previous 23 minutes and 59 seconds....

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scotw

This is Clarisse Crémer, young new skipper of IMOCA Banque Populaire. She will attempt to beat the boys when the Fastnet starts this Saturday!  Read more about the IMOCA class in the race. Photo © Maxime Horlaville / Polaryse / IMOCA...

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swan song

It’s been a long journey. The Swan 82 UBOX needed a bit of a refit but why do a bit when you can go the whole hog! She was lifted at the yard almost a year ago. First problem was the yard didn’t have any refit liability cover and it took them 3 months to obtain the cover. At first they thought covering their work was enough, not the full value of the boat – that took a while to sink in. Glad to say that although the management of the yard was a bit flaky, the actual craftsmen and women have been superb. New teak decks – strip off the old, the new laid as planks the original way and not just routed sheets have given her a new beautiful deck (the caulking alone took 2 weeks to cure). Underbody completely faired and re-antifouled. In between the topsides were flatted back and a total of 6 coats applied, filler, 2 coats high build primer and 3 topcoats – she now has a mirror finish the equal of what Nautor would have sent out of the yard with when she was born. The last step was the stepping of the refurbished mast and that wasn’t just a quick repaint. Her PBO standing rigging was near the end of its life so we went with EC6 Carbon.The spreaders had to go off to Europe for new ends to suit the new rigging and as it returned to China the customs were, shall we say, more than careful AND slow taking 3 weeks to clear. Check out the time lapse video of the rig going up! Additional challenges were that we were around neaps and it was calculated we would only have around 30cms under her keel if we weren’t careful and...

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