Rolex Yachtmasters

The atrocious, dated decor of a bygone era jarred against the fabulous content and excellent presentation of the World Sailor of the Year Awards 2021 last night as Tom Slingsby, Hannah Mills and Eilidh MacIntyre were rightfully crowned, anointed by 40,000 voting peers. The Victoriana aside – quite why they didn’t shoot the show inContinue reading “Rolex Yachtmasters”

Rolex World Sailors

On balance, World Sailing got the nominations absolutely spot on for the Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award 2021. All credit to them. It’s an easy one to get so wrong but the right names are in there and it’s now a public vote to decide the winners. But do you know the reasonContinue reading “Rolex World Sailors”

Flying and Trying

Hands up who wishes they were out there in the Transat Jacques Vabre? Well that’s all of you…what a great race they are having and it’s all action across the fleets. Lead changes, collisions, breakages – it’s a real test of survival, knowing when to push and when to back off. Sad news last nightContinue reading “Flying and Trying”

Flying and Surviving

The easiest thing would have been to not go. It was a solid 20 knots, cold and a lee shore off the Island with breaking waves on the beach. The club was closed and the only boats on the Solent early on Saturday morning were of the cruising variety, most were motor-sailing. Determination took overContinue reading “Flying and Surviving”

Golden Goose

I guess it’s ‘Chapeau!’ to the organisers of The Ocean Race – a race that I had completely and utterly forgotten about – for announcing a route and a firm intention to get a start going sometime in either December 2022 or January 2023. We all know it as ‘The Whitbread’ whilst those a fewContinue reading “Golden Goose”

To be continued…

Thirty-three hours. Cowes, Fastnet, Cherbourg. Wow. But we really haven’t seen anything yet. The unbelievable Gitana Team of Franck Cammas and Charles Caudrelier have laid down a marker for the new Rolex Fastnet Race course and for now, we just stand back and admire their work. What a performance. What an incredible group of sailors.Continue reading “To be continued…”

Local Knowledge

Leaden skies, rain squalls and commercial shipping – welcome to the start of the Rolex Fastnet Race 2021. The summer in England served up its very finest traditional weather for the 300 boats but the wind was warm and the sea temperature high as all along the waterfront, thousands of spectators lined the banks fromContinue reading “Local Knowledge”

Big Machinery

As Cowes Week comes to a conclusion, sadly without the traditional bang of its annual firework display, slowly, almost by stealth the town changes with the Rolex Fastnet crews arriving. Suddenly it’s all very different. The red trousers disappear. The dated victoriana of the royal clubs with their traditions, dress and standards melts away andContinue reading “Big Machinery”

Shared Experience

“We had the chance to experience something intense in emotions, exceptional…What unites us: the same emotions, the same difficulties”. The words of Giancarlo Pedote, Vendee Globe survivor and finisher sum up for me the essence of this great race. The Prysmian Group skipper was reunited with his fellow skippers at the prize-giving recently and clearlyContinue reading “Shared Experience”

Different Breed

We are all frustrated Formula 1 drivers, golf pros, football or rugby players. Pick your poison. Racing sailors are not immune. Some are wannabe multihull-ers, most are Olympic gold medallists in the bar. There are those that missed the foiling generation completely and others are solo round the world-ers. Personally I fall into the latterContinue reading “Different Breed”

Life’s a bitch

Can you imagine how Alex Thomson feels right now? Gutted doesn’t do it justice. A friend of mine aptly put his race-ending rudder break, presumably caused by a collision of some sort (the world’s oceans are littered with debris) as “the tombola of offshore racing” and it’s poor, poor luck for Britain’s offshore icon. ButContinue reading “Life’s a bitch”