Brian Hancock

Another fatality in the Clipper Race

20 Nov
Clipper entry Quingdao in the Southern Ocean
I read an article the other day that posed the question; “Is sailing a dangerous sport?” I kind of scoffed at it after reading that the author of a report concluded that sailing is indeed a dangerous sport. I mean seriously, how dangerous can it be to be on a boat plodding along at 5 knots on a sunny summer afternoon? Well once again I was wrong. I read the news over the weekend that there had been another fatality in the Clipper Round the World Race. A 60 year old former lawyer ...
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Macif smashes the solo 24-hour record

15 Nov
For many years I have been going to the start of the Vendée Globe. I look at the boats and think that there simply can’t be any room for improvement. The boats look amazing, but four years later when I return the new boats make the older generation look like trucks. The performance curve is extraordinary and the way that the sailors sail these behemoths is also extraordinary.

François Gabart aboard Macif
I had the same feeling last year when I watched the French sailor Thomas Coville destroy the singlehanded, nonstop circumnavigation record. He sailed his 100-foot trimaran Sodebo with ...
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Thing One and Thing Two go sailing

9 Nov

I know that I said that I would not give these two hapless women any more ink but I can’t help myself. I had moved on, put them and their ridiculous story out of my mind, but that was until I saw them on The Today Show.  For those that don’t know The Today Show is one of the highest rated morning TV shows in the US and Thing One and Thing Two were there being interviewed by Thing Three; aka Matt Lauer who I used to think was a half decent journalist. That was when I knew that
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Busy weekend on the water

6 Nov
A wet and wild start to the second leg of the Volvo Ocean Race

Yesterday was quite an amazing day for the sport of sailing. First you had the Volvo Ocean Race take off out of Lisbon in spectacular fashion. They rocketed down the Tagus River and out into a stiff northerly breeze in the Atlantic. A couple of hours into the race the boats were sustaining a steady 20+ knots of boat speed with some surfs into the low 30’s. Just terrific sailing as they make their way to Cape Town, South Africa some 7,000 nautical miles away.

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Is this not an absurd story?

31 Oct
Ok so can someone please tell me how this happens. How do two women who claim that they have been marooned at sea for five months completely dominate the news while an American entry, well half American, that just won the first leg of the Volvo Ocean Race get absolutely no play time?  Their story is everywhere, all over Facebook, all over print media and all over television. The other evening my (soon-to-be) in-laws were asking if I had read about their amazing rescue. Sadly I had and it’s an absurd story. For those who have missed it here are ...
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Is it safe out there?

20 Oct

I was trolling Facebook the other day and saw a comment in one of the sailing forums, can’t remember which one. A lady was asking for some advice. It seems that she and her husband have been saving up for years to retire on their boat and to sail around the world, but they were starting to get cold feet. Their reason was the amount of big storms out there these days and the effect that climate change is having on global weather patterns. They were seriously thinking about not going.

At first I saw her point and almost agreed. ...
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The Suits are in Charge

16 Oct

I have been reading about this latest “crisis” to befall the Volvo Ocean Race, formerly known as the Whitbread Round the World Race, and can only smile. Yup the VOR has finally grown up; the suits are “officially” in charge. 

OK for those that have not been following a couple of things. The Volvo Ocean Race bills itself, and rightly so, as the preeminent fully crewed offshore ocean race and the 13th edition is about to set sail from Alicante, Spain this weekend. With just over a week to go to the start of the race one of the
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Them versus US(A)

7 Oct
The Annapolis Boat Show

As I walk the docks at the Annapolis Boat Show I am struck by how different sailing in the US is from sailing in other parts of the world. Add to that the news that there will be an American challenge for the next America’s Cup through the New York Yacht Club and it all starts to make sense. Sailing, or shall is say Yaaahting, has always been viewed as an elitist sport and for good reason. Blue bloods in blue blazers have dominated the America’s Cup which is the most high profile sailing event recognized
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Shake-up at the Volvo Ocean Race

26 Sep

There has been a big shake-up at the Volvo Ocean Race and it comes less than a month before the next race is scheduled to start from Alicante, the port city on Spain’s Mediterranean coast. The big news is that Mark Turner is stepping down from his role as CEO. It’s not clear whether Mark is jumping or was pushed but my guess is that he found it difficult to work within the constraints of a huge organization where there are so many stakeholders each with their own agenda. Mark is used to having pretty much sole autonomy over things
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Mini Innovations

20 Sep
The Mini 6.50 Eight Cube

There has not been any other sailboat class that has sparked as much innovation as Classe Mini, the class association behind the Mini 6.50 sailboats. These tiny yachts are on the cutting edge of sailboat design and have been since the class was first introduced in 1977. Take for example the Mini Eight Cube which will be skippered by the Swiss sailor Simon Koster in the upcoming Mini Transat which starts on October 1. Koster was one of the first to go with the blunt scow-like bow rather than a conventional bow and the boat
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