“Punched In The Head”

5 Jan

Banque Pop's Brian Thompson, with a little insight into what sailing at 35 knots is like:

The speed of this boat is very deceptive, when you are below, or in the cuddy on deck, or even on the helm looking forwards, it all seems relatively tame. But a couple of times today I have been reminded that 35 knots is very, very fast indeed.

Earlier I went to the leeward side, to look at the gennaker trim, and watched the wake firing off the leeward hull. It's unbelievable how fast that looks, and how strongly you get the impression of

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The 2010 Newport-Bermuda Race (On YouTube)

4 Jan

Did you happen to not score a ride? Want to know how the race went? Thanks to the magic of YouTube, you can watch Gary Jobson's 42-minute report on the race (and start working on a ride for the 2012 edition).  

Sailing action and history brought right to your desktop. We live in a great age for media (even if lots of other parts of it are a mess).


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Volvo Ocean Race Sprints Into Abu Dhabi

4 Jan

At least there was an exciting finish to this strange, two-part, Leg. Groupama snuck by Telefonica at the end to win the 98-mile fast reach into Abu Dhabi by just 52 seconds

Leg 2 leaves Telefonica atop the standings, with 66 points, chased by Camper with 58. Then there is a gap to Groupama at 42 points. After that you have the Leg 1 dropouts, starting with PUMA at 28.

We're going to need Leg 3 (and beyond) to shake up the standings if this Volvo is going to get exciting.

Here's what the sprint mini-leg looked like:

And ...

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Banque Pop Entering The Home Stretch

3 Jan

The big tri, after sailing halfway to Maine to skirt a massive Azores High, is finally starting to change course toward the East, and is slowly bending onto the rhumb line to the finish off Ushant.

BP has a lead of about 844 miles on Groupama's reference time, and just a bit more than 2000 miles to go. As BP hooks into a big low moving out over the Atlantic average speeds are climbing, so Peyron and his crew could/should be home by the end of the week. That would mean shaving 2-3 days off the existing record. 

What ...

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2011 Remembered: Tanker Vs. Sailboat

3 Jan

Blogger Craig Russell calls this (failed) effort by a sailboat racer to sneak across the bow of a massive cargo vessel in The Solent the "Bonehead Move Of The Year–2011," and it is hard to disagree with him. 

It's always amusing to watch the silly risks salboat racers are willing to take in the heat of the moment, but I bow before this skipper's complete loss of perspective and ability to weigh risk and benefit. (cont.)

Or at least to weigh it in any sort of meaningful way. Impressive in a sick kind of way. And very, very, ...

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The Volvo Ocean Race So Far (In One Sweet Video)

2 Jan

It's hard to know what the heck is happening in the Volvo Ocean Race, what with the stealth zones, secret transports, and a Leg 2 that has been divided into stages (click here to find out how to watch the Stage 2 "Sprint Finish" on Jan. 4). 

Hopefully, we'll be back to normal VOR legs, and normal VOR race tracking soon enough. But in the meantime, Volvo will help you get up to speed with this excellent video summary of what has happened so far…(cont.)




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Race Video For Dummies (“Oh, what’s he doing?”)

28 Dec

This video of the Soto 40 racing in the 2011 Chicago-Mackinac Race is unlike any race video you have ever seen. The pictures aren't anything special, but the narration manages to nicely skewer all the things about sailboat racing that must seem ridiculous to non-racers. Pretty funny.

So if you've had your fill of race videos that are overly serious, and aim for a cool, professional, Right Stuff sort of delivery (i.e. BORING)…(cont.)

, then this is just the sort of change-up that you need.

Who knows, maybe it will inspire a new genre of sailing videos in which sailors ...

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Jessica Watson Sails Again

25 Dec

You just can't keep her ashore (or separate her from a slick, high-profile, marketing strategy). Already the youngest ever to circumnvigate the globe solo and non-stop, Jessica Watson, now 18 and eligible for the Sydney-Hobart Race, has put together the youngest-ever crew (average age 19) in a sponsored Sydney 38  called "Ella Bache' Another Challenge."

The early weather report looks a lot more forgiving than the brutal 1998 year, which sank five yachts and killed six sailors. But it won't be a milk run. After an initial northerly serves up an easy downwind run, the ...

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Volvo Stealth Zone Explained

21 Dec

For anyone who is as confused as I am by the Volvo Ocean Race anti-piracy Stealth Zone, this is just the video for you:

Unorthodox, but I understand the concern. Hard for the VO70s to carry bow cannons, which weigh an awful lot and would definitely affect trim....

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Volvo Update: The French Gamble (Again!)

21 Dec

As I watch the strange doing of the the sailors in Volvo Ocean Race, I can't help but admire the Gaullic flair Franck Cammas and his Groupama crew are bringing to this Anglo race. Eschewing the careful, conservative tactics of the rest of the fleet, Cammas has taken big flyers on both legs. His tour of the African coast did not work out so well in Leg 1 (though Groupama still came in third since half the fleet broke down).

In the current Leg they took off again, sailing around a sticky trough that trapped the rest of the ...

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