Pole Position

If you’re a Spanish government official sitting in high office with a post-pandemic headache of stimulating economic activity whilst trying to get re-elected, surely you would look at last weekend’s SailGP regatta and be on the blower to Grant Dalton in an instant? Equally if you’re the head of sponsorship for Rolex, you’re on theContinue reading “Pole Position”

Push Harder

Alongside sporting triumph, the spectacle of defeat or disaster makes the voyeur return. We like our thrills, spills and crashes as much as we enjoy execution of sporting excellence. We watch action sports to hold our collective breath when things go wrong whilst not wishing ill on those involved – it’s compelling and thrilling. SeeingContinue reading “Push Harder”

PhenomenalGP

Astonishing. Cadiz delivered. Slingsby delivered. Very rarely do you see racing like it but when you do, it’s a treat for the senses. Like watching a heavyweight boxing match when you have skin in the game, watching SailGP when the wind’s blowing and the crews are on the ragged edge (sometimes beyond) is something toContinue reading “PhenomenalGP”

Owning it

Mercurial talent can be a tricky thing to control. Ben Ainslie does it peerlessly through persistent determination and constantly extracting the maximum from that which is in-built. Nathan Outteridge meanwhile has something derived from heavenly, almost celestial sources. Jimmy works it to the death and operates on the outer edge of perceivable skill whilst PeteContinue reading “Owning it”

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”

Locker Room

The most honest place in sports is the locker room. Boxers whip themselves to a frenzy pre-bout and then pray, cry or celebrate having faced uncomfortable truths. Jockeys jockey. Footballers get shouted at by desperate managers. Rugby players collectively fuel testosterone. It’s an inner sanctum beloved of Netflix documentary-makers. The locker room is real andContinue reading “Locker Room”

Dante’s Inferno

It’s mind boggling to think that just fifteen years ago Instagram, Snapchat, Bitcoin, Spotify, Pinterest, Whatsapp, Uber, Tesla, YouTube, and AirBnB didn’t exist. We were also yet to see an iPad or experience 4G and the blockchain was simply an idea, an algorithmic fantasy on mathematician’s blackboards. And this was just fifteen years ago. TheContinue reading “Dante’s Inferno”

My Generation

As a sports fan, last night was just sensational. In the dying moments, Christian Ronaldo sent Old Trafford into orbit with a 95th minute winning goal before running to the corner-flag, be-shirted, muscles oiled with sweat, glinting under the floodlights, to receive the adulation of a disbelieving faithful. Electricity shot through the stadium and theContinue reading “My Generation”

Whispering Angel

In March 1950, at the tender age of just 15, Brigitte Bardot appeared on the front cover of Elle magazine and the Earth’s axis shifted. Exuding glamour, pictured barefoot in the then unfashionable St Tropez, she defined beauty, challenged accepted wisdom and became not only a French icon but a global one. By 1970, StContinue reading “Whispering Angel”

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”

Bright Stars

Questions to ponder: Where on earth do we find the next generation of foiling superstars? Where is the next Tom Slingsby, Paul Goodison or Nathan Outeridge going to come from? What classes are the feeders? Where are the national authorities on this? The direction of travel in sailing is set but what’s being done atContinue reading “Bright Stars”

Extravaganza

Wonderful news filtered over the social media channels this week that Ben & Georgie Ainslie became parents again with the announcement of the birth of Fox Ainslie, understandably explaining his ‘planned absence’ from the global Sail GP circuit. Family comes first and it’s an awesome time for them as a family as they welcome aContinue reading “Extravaganza”

Honesty

Sir Francis Drake would approve. Whilst the sight of the Spanish Armada hoving into view whilst he played a gentlemanly game of bowls on Plymouth Hoe wasn’t such a welcome vista, the imminent landing of the foiling beasts of the Sail GP circuit certainly would be. Allegedly the cool-as-a-cucumber Drake carried on, ignoring the maraudingContinue reading “Honesty”

Superstars

Sport is about doing it when it matters. Champions are decided in key moments. Medals, championships, (local races even), are won by those who can handle the pressure. As the famous film quote goes: “Life all comes down to a few moments.” We’ve seen it time again when the red hot favourite, or the personContinue reading “Superstars”

Rocket League

The Brits did it first. The Aussies hold the record. That’s the usual world order in sport and in Sail GP it’s pretty miraculous that these foilers can break the 50 knot barrier. Tom Slingsby lays claim to the official record, smashing through sailing’s equivalent of the sound barrier in Cowes of all places (everythingContinue reading “Rocket League”