Filmstars

The epicentre of European sailing this summer has unquestionably been Lake Garda and if you’ve been there, sailed there, raced a championship there, you already know why. A more perfect amphitheatre for watersports simply doesn’t exist anywhere on the planet. And what’s more the unique climate guarantees a breeze, the Ora, that you can setContinue reading “Filmstars”

Real Deal

A blessed spot of light Friday relief from the America’s Cup for those readers thoroughly disinterested in self-interest and pining to see relatable boats but of a grand prix variety is provided courtesy of the 5.5 Metre class who are down in Lake Garda – where else – for their much postponed Alpen Cup. TheseContinue reading “Real Deal”

Free Beer

I always chuckle at those occasionally risqué brass signs you see adorning classic old wooden cruising yachts when you go down below. ‘Work like a captain…party like a pirate’ or ‘Daily flogging will continue until crew morale improves.’ I’m certain you have better. And the one that I saw on a member’s yacht parked onContinue reading “Free Beer”

French Kiss

It’s nearly the weekend and a late blast of Indian summer is arguably in place in Cowes – a chance maybe for some Laser sailing before Mr Frost makes an appearance and perhaps a quick tinker (read: spending more money in the chandlery) ahead of the last race next Saturday of the double-handed series. OhContinue reading “French Kiss”

Moving On Up

Good things are happening in the sport. The right people are getting involved and every time a significant announcement is made, it secures jobs and prospects for sailors, shore-crew, logistics teams, marketeers, boat builders and suppliers. So the news that Ben Ainslie has exercised his franchise buy-out option with Larry Ellison to secure the BritishContinue reading “Moving On Up”

Lord of the Wings

The 2005 Moth World Championships were a watershed. Rohan Veal turned up at Port Philip Bay in Melbourne with an early Bladerider and fire in his belly, scoring a perfect eight wins from eight races. It was his time and in my view, one of the finest championship wins in any class, ever. This wasContinue reading “Lord of the Wings”

Everest of Sailing

The French playwright, actor, poet and the finest writer of the French language Jean-Baptiste Moliere wrote about success saying: “The greater the obstacle, the more the glory in overcoming it.” And yesterday I was honoured to be a part of the most extraordinary challenge – one that on reflection, I think is the ‘Everest ofContinue reading “Everest of Sailing”

Rima Tekau

“Believe me my young friend, there is nothing – absolutely nothing – half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats,” is the wonderful Kenneth Grahame line in the classic novel ‘The Wind in the Willows’ and one that we all recognise. Time lost to boats is as invaluable to the soul as allContinue reading “Rima Tekau”

Well Deserved

There are good people in sailing. It’s a sport with highly intelligent participants supported by an industry that puts its customers first and more often than not goes the extra mile, often at their own expense. The backbone of sailing is the small independents – be they chandlers, boatbuilders, sailmakers, spar crafters, clothing makers orContinue reading “Well Deserved”

Quality

The English writer, poet and fabled art critic John Ruskin described quality as “always the result of intelligent effort” and this weekend champions were crowned in the UK amidst the trickiest of conditions that married extremes of wind, rain and flat calms – a traditional glorious English summer if truth be told – meaning thatContinue reading “Quality”

Farewell Sir Peter

Every time I potter down the Medina River in Cowes, my eye is drawn naturally to the old GBR Challenge boatyard where the hulks of the IACC’s ‘Wight Lightning’ (GBR 70) and ‘Wight Magic’ (GBR 78) lay exposed to the elements and an uncertain fate like two old lushes that have seen better days. TheyContinue reading “Farewell Sir Peter”