Brian Hancock

The Future is Here – embrace it

25 May
The Volvo Ocean Race – wet all the way

It has been a week since the Volvo Ocean Race made their big announcement in Sweden about the future of the event and I have found it interesting to read all the comments both for and against their proposed changes. Was it Abraham Lincoln who said “You can fool some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never fool all of the people all of the time?” I think it was him ...
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Great Circle Sails to the Rescue

23 May
Esprit de Corps IV (EDC) – the boat that came to the rescue of Monterey
Ok that attention grabbing headline is a bit of click baiting to get your interest in this story. To be exact it was a boat that has new Great Circle Sails that went to the rescue last week of another yacht during the Antigua to Bermuda race. Esprit de Corps IV (EDC) is a Volvo 60 and they were sailing north on a clear moonlit night when ahead of them they saw a flare go off.

“It was perfect sailing conditions,” Gilles Barbot, ...
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A foiling future for the Volvo Ocean Race

18 May

There was a much hyped, big announcement this morning about the future of the Volvo Ocean Race and the announcement lived up to the hype; at least I think that it did. The big question to be answered was would future races be raced in  monohulls or multihulls and I think that the event CEO Mark Turner split the issue quite nicely when he stated, “We had a lot of debate about multihull versus monohull – strong arguments in both directions. We decided on three hulls – a monohull plus catamaran.” What he means is that the offshore part ...
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The Maiden Factor

2 May
Ok, so this story is very close to my heart. I have known this boat for almost four decades. I first met her during the 81/82 Whitbread Round the World Race. It was painted in colorful horizontal stripes and for a period we sailed up the Atlantic together. I think that we were in sight of each other for about a week and it was fun to come on deck each morning and there she was. Like a friend. Back then the boat was named Disque d’Or and was skippered by the Swiss sailor Pierre Fehlman. They ended up coming ...
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The Analysis of a Tragedy

13 Apr
The Clipper Round the World Race is one of the safest global sailing events.
I recently read the MAIB (Marine Accident Investigation Branch) report on their findings regarding the deaths of two sailors in the last Clipper Round the World Race. It’s always a tragedy when someone dies at sea (if that’s not stating the obvious then I don’t know what obvious is…:), but life at sea is a little like life on land; there are risks and potential dangers everywhere. I used to be of the mind that screw it, things are going to happen, sometimes people ...
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The next Volvo Ocean Race in multihulls?

7 Apr
I was thrilled to read this week that the Volvo Ocean Race is considering changing from monohulls to multihulls for the 2020/21 race. They will make an official announcement at a big press event in Gothenburg, Sweden on May 18. The announcement, which they bill as one of the most radical shake-up’s in the events history, will also include changes to the course.

I have been a big advocate for multihulls for a very long time and while I can easily see both sides of the argument, I am fervently hoping that they choose multihulls; here’s why. The Volvo Ocean ...
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Sailing is DEFINITELY not broken

31 Mar
Nothing boring about flying boats

I wrote a piece a couple of weeks ago refuting another writers assertion that sailing was somehow “broken.” I claimed the opposite citing flying boats and unbelievable record setting circumnavigations by some extraordinary French sailors, and I believe that my assessment was the right one. While I totally dislike the notion of ‘doubling down’ – because that’s what crooked politicians do when caught out – I feel that I need to double down on this one. I think that sailing is far from broken. Instead I think that sailing has never been stronger and more ...
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Parenting – Then vs Now

20 Mar
I had dinner with a friend of mine the other day. She was constantly checking her phone. Her 20 year old daughter had moved to live with her father in Germany and her three-times-a-day text had not arrived. She was worried. “She usually text’s at the same time every day,” my friend said. “I can’t imagine what’s gone wrong.” I nodded in sympathy. I am a parent and I totally understand.

The next day I had lunch with one of my oldest and sweetest friends. Without her I would never have had the most awesome life that I have had. ...
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No sailing is not broken

2 Mar
Flying sailboats are not boring

I recently read an article by a man named Bill Canfield. It was titled “Sailing is Badly Broken.” Of course it got my attention. I don’t know Bill but it seems he has vast experience in the sport and he comes to his point of view from a very thoughtful perspective. I too come at this from a thoughtful perspective and here is my response; sailing has never been so alive, so vibrant, so exciting and so extraordinary, at least in my lifetime which, I cringe to say, is approaching six decades.

There is a ...
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Unreal acts of seamanship

27 Feb
Conrad Coleman sails his crippled IMOCA 60 across the finish line in France

It was a pleasure to watch Kiwi Conrad Coleman cross the finish line to complete his Vendée Globe. He lapped the planet without using any kind of fossil fuels; just wind and solar to power an array of instruments as well as the all important (and power hungry) auto-pilot. He became the first New Zealander to complete the Vendée and I hope that he will get a hero’s welcome when he returns to his home country. He did get a hero’s welcome when he finished in Les ...
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