Andy & Mia

ARC 2012- Volvo Ocean Race Sailors in the ARC

20 Dec

Last year I wrote about how the ARC attracts professional sailors. I highlighted two in particular, Volvo Ocean Race skipper of Team Russia and two-time Olympic sailor in the Star class Andreas Hanakamp, and ocean racing legend Magnus Olsson. Both are back this year, and doing more than ever to make the ARC a unique event in the sailing world. I’ve been having technical difficulties with the SAILfeed site, so follow this link ( to read the full article on the ARC Website....

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ARC 2012 – Norwegian Father & Son Duo Sail Double-Handed

19 Dec

Here’s yet another report from the ARC finish in St. Lucia that I’ve been working on. This one is particularly significant to me because of the subject(s). Sven and his dad Kenneth sailed all the way down from Norway together, joining the ARC in St. Lucia, and have a one-year plan to go off on this great adventure together, just the two of them.

My website, in fact, began as, thanks to all of the sailing I’ve done with my dad Dennis. Back in 2006, I was off to Bermuda for my first delivery. I wanted to take ...

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ARC 2012 – St. Lucian culture in Anse La Raye

15 Dec

This is adapted from my latest feature on the ARC website, with just a bit more personalization from my own experience. Enjoy!

The locals call it 'bay of the rays.' It's a fishing village south of Castries (St. Lucia's capital), a sleepy place on the beach, quite the opposite of the hustle and bustle of Rodney Bay marina, where the ARC has taken over for a couple of weeks. It's crazier than ever in the ARC Village at Rodney Bay marina – just this morning, five boats crossed the finish line within minutes of each other, making for some ...

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ARC 2012 – Handling Breakages at Sea

15 Dec

Note: This article originally appeared on the ARC website. Mia and I have been working for the ARC finish in St. Lucia for the past four years, and lately I've been doing a lot of media work for them. This is one of the stories that I wrote a couple of days ago. +Andy

It's almost a foregone conclusion that on any ocean passage of any real length (and the ARC is indeed a long one, at 2,800 miles), most boats will experience some sort of gear failure. Some major, some minor. But it's simply part of the ocean ...

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What Inspires You? -or- Reflecting on the past eight years

10 Dec

"Man is not a camel – he must drink."

That's a sign I saw in a bar in New Zealand in 2004. It's also one of the very first entries in my journal from that trip, the first real length journey I've ever been on. I started reading it today on the plane ride to St. Lucia to work for the ARC Rally finish because I'm doing a 'Voice of Experience' article for SAIL and wanted to refresh my memory of that anchor debacle in Endeavor Inlet.

All it has done thus far is put a yearning in my soul ...

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ARC 2012 – 40 foot boat is first arrival after 12 day crossing

7 Dec

I just got news from the Rally Office in St. Lucia that Vaquita, a Class 40, skipper by my friend and former Volvo Ocean Race skipper Andreas Hanakamp, has just crossed the finishing line of this year's ARC, a full 20+ hours ahead of the next boat (a Swan 80 no less!). I'm thrilled by this news! Mia and I met Andreas last year at the ARC and became quick friends with he and his partner Nina over a couple of rum drinks at the marina in Rodney Bay. We head down there on Sunday to work for the ...

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Ranting about safety at sea

7 Dec

I feel like I'm decidedly in the minority when it comes to the modern ocean sailing game. My boat is from 1966, my GPS a handheld unit from 1993, we've got paper charts onboard and no electrics whatsoever besides the LED lighting. Hank-on headsails (we carry five of them), tiller steering and a 35-gallon water tank. The engine only works to charge the batteries and get us in and out of the dock.

But I feel safe aboard Arcturus. ...

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Home from the Caribbean – 60 miles on the bike, and one felled tree

27 Nov

It's way past fall now, and my sailing days are over for a while. Mia and I got back from Tortola last Sunday after an awesome week running the Caribbean 1500 cruising rally finale. We had a blast at the prize giving ceremony, the highlight of which was when Martin, skipper of the Australian-flagged JAC,  came onstage to present the 'Best Bruise' award (quick aside: Mia had created an Excel list of prize distributions before the event. I was reading down the list preparing my speech, and came across the 'Best Bruce' prize. Excuse me? I thought. Ironically, there was ...

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The Caribbean 1500 and the people that make it special

13 Nov

My favorite thing about big sailing events – whether boat shows, rendezvous', pot-lucks or rallies – used to be the boats. I love nothing more than walking the docks and looking at boats, and I like them all. Some more than others to be sure (give me an old classic over a modern plastic bottle anyway), but all of them nonetheless. 

There's just something about being around boats that lights me up inside. Looking at the subtle differences in the way they're rigged. How some catamarans have spreaders on the mast and some don't. How clever little design touches like ...

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Caribbean 1500: The Decision to Depart Early

5 Nov

I'm writing this from my hotel room in Hampton on Sunday night, the day after the Caribbean 1500 fleet went to sea (the day it was supposed to go to sea). I need to confirm this with Steve Black, but I think it's the first time in the event's history that it actually left the Chesapeake early. 

Fall on the US East Coast is always a difficult time for weather forecasting, and this year was perhaps the best (or worst, depending on your perspective) example of that. The challenge in planning an offshore voyage this time of year is the

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