Brian Hancock

Cape to Rio Race

3 Jan
Part of the fleet with beautiful Table Mountain

 

 
The Cape to Rio race started this past weekend. It’s one of the world’s iconic sailing events first raced back in 1971. Perhaps it’s more iconic to me than other sailors because I grew up with the race. When I was a kid in South Africa the Rio Race was a big deal. Before the race started the local newspaper would have a supplement ...
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The Joy of Sailing

17 Dec
Sailing Rich Wilson’s IMOCA 60

Yes I know the title is a bit of a play on the title of another well known book, but there really is so much joy to be had from sailing and sometimes it’s hard to express just how much sailing means to us. I tried to do so in an essay I wrote a few years ago and I am sharing it with you here in part to celebrate sailing as well as to celebrate the holiday season. Also, to be perfectly honest I am also using this as a bit of self-promotion (which ...

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Busy day in the Bay of Biscay

3 Dec
Spindrift 2 heading south

It has been a busy day in the Bay of Biscay today. The leading yacht in the Brest Atlantique, Maxi Edmund De Rothschild, is storming toward the finish line to complete a very fast triangulation of the Atlantic Ocean. Meanwhile, a little further to the north, another giant trimaran is about to set out on an attempt to break the record for the fastest fully crewed circumnavigation. Spindrift 2, skippered by Yann Guichard along with his 11-man crew ...
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Thirty years of the Vendée Globe

26 Nov
Titouan Lamazou, winner of the first Vendée Globe aboard Ecureuil d’Aquitaine II

 

This past week marks 30 years since the start of the very first Vendée Globe. It’s also less than a year until the start of the next Vendée Globe, which gets underway from Les Sables-d’Olonne on the west coast of France on November 8, 2020. The Vendée was founded as “The ...
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Female sailing legends

14 Nov
Clare Francis – skipper of ADC Accutrac in the 77/78 Whitbread Race

I have always been a fan of women in sailing. Some of the very best sailors that I have sailed with have been women and they were all a darn sight better than many of the men that I have sailed with. My fondness goes all the way back to Clare Francis who skippered ADC Accutrac in the 77/78 Whitbread Race. Claire, it could be said, loved to chat on the phone, well back then it was the single-sideband radio and all conversations were broadcast for all to ...
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What’s in the water over there?

12 Nov
Jann Elies and Charlie Dalin win the Transat Jacques Vabre aboard Apiva

Right now there are three major ocean races taking place in the Northern Hemisphere, the Transat Jacques Vabre, the Mini Transat and the Brest Atlantiques and they all have one thing in common; they all started from France. Either there is something in the water over there or their love for racing sailboats has seeped into their blood but the French people can’t seem to get enough of it. The lead boats in the Transat Jacques Vabre finished in Bahia, Brazil over the weekend, the Mini Transat fleet ...
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The Brest Atlantiques set to get underway

1 Nov
Four Ultime trimarans ready to race

 

 
Here is another big sailing event that is likely to go unnoticed anywhere outside of France. The Brest Atlantiques. Ever heard of it? Well me neither until recently and I follow the international racing scene quite closely. This one they were keeping a secret I guess. The Brest Atlantiques is limited to Ultime multihulls only, Ultimes being those behemoth trimarans that can only be sailed ...
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Boats, sailors and more boats

30 Oct

 

 

Class 40’s at the start of the Transat Jacques Vabre

 

There are two iconic sailing events taking place right now. Two huge sailing events which I am sure that most sailors have barely heard of or are at least unaware that they are taking place. One is the Mini-Transat, a singlehanded race from La Rochelle ...
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Randall Reeves does a figure 8

25 Oct

Moli – 45-foot aluminum sloop purpose-built for high latitude sailing


It’s getting harder and harder to do something challenging and original in sailing. It used to be that a circumnavigation was a big deal, a solo circumnavigation even more so. Take the Australian sailor Jon Sanders for example. In 1970 he did a solo, non-stop circumnavigation. Ten years later he did a solo, non-stop double circumnavigation. As if that
...
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Britannia AC75 is launched – and she is a beast

4 Oct

Is it a boat or a beast?

Wow just wow, would you take a look at this. Is it a boat, a battleship, or some kind of low flying jet? It’s the fourth AC 75 to be launched and the British America’s Cup entry looks to be the most radical of all. My jaw dropped when I saw the Italian yacht Luna Rossa come ...
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