Brian Hancock

AC retrospective – and a change of opinion

25 Jul
The dust has long settled on the 35th America’s Cup and many a pundit has weighed in on what went wrong and what went right. The Auld Mug rode a First Class flight back to the Land of the Long White Cloud and knowing how Kiwis are when they celebrate I am sure that big drinks were drunk out of the cup. And goodonthem;  they won. Now it’s my time for a little opinion piece. 

It’s funny how a single image can change the way you think, isn’t it?  I read a long piece by Angus Phillips, ...
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A New Transatlantic Record

17 Jul
Thomas Coville claims the Single-handed Transatlantic record 
Another record has fallen and this one is huge. And not surprisingly, set by a Frenchman. What’s in the water over there that produces these amazing offshore sailors? Last Tuesday Thomas Coville set off from New York in an attempt to break the single-handed Transatlantic record; eastbound. Unlike his fellow countryman Francis Joyon (who set a new Transatlantic record last week) Coville waited for the perfect weather window and when his team deemed it right he took off like a slingshot with the hope of a crossing in under five days. Joyon’s time ...
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More records tumble

12 Jul
Before I launch into today’s blog let me correct a mistake I made in the  piece I wrote yesterday about Mighty Merloe and the Transpac. In the blog I mentioned that Phaedo3 might well have beaten Mighty Merloe had Crew Boss Brian Thompson not been sidelined with an injury. Brian is an incredibly talented sailor and they may indeed have won, but they didn’t. I then went on to state that Brian Thompson would have to wait to add Transpac Record Holder to his resume. Well I was wrong. Pete Melvin from Melvin and Morelli Design and Engineering kindly pointed ...
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Race records tumble

11 Jul
Mighty Merloe approaching the finish – Photo courtesy of Lauren Easley/
The America’s Cup may be over but since the last race on the Great Sound there has been some thrilling sailing in other parts of the world as two long standing ocean race records tumble.  On Monday evening the Shelter Island based yacht Prospector knocked more than two hours off the existing course record of the Marblehead to Halifax Race, while on the opposite side of the world Mighty Merloe rocketed into Honolulu harbor to break the Transpac multihull record. The Halifax Race record was set just two years
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Four trimarans and a ship

30 Jun

Here is a story that was about to go by unnoticed unless someone wrote about it so I figured that scribe might as well be me. On June 25 a very unlikely race set off from Saint Nazaire on the west coast of France bound for a finish under the Verrazano Narrows bridge in New York harbor. It’s a race to celebrate a 100 years of friendship between France and the United States, but here is the kicker. The race is between the luxury cruise ship, the Queen Mary 2 and four Ultime trimarans.

Queen Mary 2 way ahead of
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The Dalts Factor

27 Jun

The 35th America’s Cup is now history and it ended, as the poet T.S. Eliot once wrote, “Not with a bang but a whimper.” A whimper from a thoroughly defeated Oracle Team USA who simply could not rise to the occasion. As I have always said, a little bit of extra boat speed can make you look like a tactical genius and Emirates Team New Zealand had boat speed to burn. ETNZ could sail deeper downwind and higher upwind while maintaining the same speed as OTUSA and that, my friends, is how you win boat races. So let’s congratulate Peter
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Home Team Advantage

20 Jun
I have been watching the America’s Cup with interest not only because I love the flying boats and the technology that is on display, but it’s also been interesting to look closely at the various teams and how they function as a unit. There is one component that is not visible and one that money cannot buy and it’s going to be the deciding factor in the Final Series. I have been predicting that Emirates Team New Zealand is going to win this thing and that’s because they have this secret potion in abundance. And the secret potion? National pride. ...
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A Grand Adventure it was

15 Jun
Forty nine years ago yesterday marked the start of one of the greatest sailing adventures in modern history. A young British naval officer by the name of Robin Knox-Johnston set sail aboard his double-ended wooden ketch Suhaili on a quest to win the Golden Globe Race. The race, sponsored by the Sunday Times newspaper, was the first ever circumnavigation race and Knox-Johnston and eight other sailors left the shores of England and set off to sail around the world via the five great capes. There was no formal start; it was up to each competitor to leave when they felt
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Dee Caffari to skipper mixed crew in the Volvo Ocean Race

14 Jun

I was thrilled to read that the British sailor Dee Caffari  had secured sponsorship for the upcoming Volvo Ocean Race. Thrilled on so many levels. Up until now there have only been five confirmed entries; not enough for a decent boat race in my opinion. Dee’s entry makes it six so we are getting closer. Two more entries would be great. Dee is without a doubt one of the most experienced sailors in the world and certainly the most experienced female sailor. Again that’s my opinion. There are two more reasons why this is such great news. No let’s make
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Carnage in the OSTAR and TWOSTAR

12 Jun
There was a little bit of carnage out there on the open ocean toward the end of last week as the OSTAR and TWOSTAR fleets dealt head-on with an intense low pressure system. The boats racing solo and double-handed from Plymouth, England to Newport, Rhode Island had no way to escape the depression which registered a low of 967 mb at it’s center and packing sustained winds topping 60 knots. One yacht sunk, two yachts were dismasted, and five crew were rescued while other boats sustained enough damage to force them to retire.

Furia – Luffe 37 – sunk
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