Brian Hancock

Pro sailing in France: Ultime trimaran Sodebo launched for Thomas Coville

5 Mar
Thomas Coville atop his brand new spaceship


So this is how it’s done in France when it comes to sailing sponsorship. Take a mainstream company, one that started out specializing in frozen pizzas which are consumed broadly across France on a daily basis, and have their marketing people decide that the best way to increase brand awareness is to get involved with sailing; yes ...
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SailGP coming to a city near you

14 Feb
SailGP. Ever heard of it?  I didn’t think so but get ready to hear a lot more about it in the next few months. In my opinion it’s the most exciting sailing event to come around in decades. If you enjoyed the last America’s Cup in Bermuda then you are going to love SailGP.  It’s the America’s Cup on steroids and the first race ...
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Spindrift 2 out due to rudder damage

4 Feb

The crew of Spindrift Racing, the 130-foot maxi trimaran, have been forced to abandon their attempt to set a new fully-crewed, non-stop circumnavigation record. After setting a blazing pace which saw them set a new record for the fastest time from Ushant, on the northwest coast of France, to the equator, and a fast, but tricky passage around the South Atlantic ...
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Mark Slats takes second in the Golden Globe

4 Feb

Mark Slats approaching the finish line in France

The excitement had barely started to die down after the incredible victory by Jean-Luc Van Den Heede in the Golden Globe Race when second place finisher, Dutchman Mark Slats, rolled into town. It was an extremely impressive showing by the 42-year old sailor who had dogged Van Den Heede most of the way around the world. For a while there it looked as if Slats might overtake the French sailor given that ...
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Jean-Luc Van Den Heede wins the Golden Globe Race

29 Jan
Van Den Heede 100 miles out from the finish – photo Jacques Vapillon
It was a fun final few days for Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, the seasoned Frenchman who this morning claimed victory in the Golden Globe Race 2018. After some brutal conditions in the North Atlantic the wind finally swung into the northwest allowing him a downwind slide into the finish where he
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Revisiting two old stories

23 Jan

Sometimes it’s good to follow up on previous blogs and now is as good a time as any. In my last piece I wrote about the French yacht Spindrift Racing and their attempt to set a new non-stop, fully-crewed around-the-world record. The team had been on standby for a couple of months waiting for a weather window that would propel them down toward the equator. ...
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Spindrift Racing set to rumble

14 Jan

It has been a case of standing by to stand by for the crew of Spindrift Racing as they wait for a perfect weather window to slingshot them to the equator and beyond that non-stop around the world on a quest to set a new world record for the fastest circumnavigation time. However, it looks like their wait may be over as the team has ...
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Crazy is as crazy does

4 Jan

Crazy Eyes – an Open 40 – recently resurfaced

Happy New Year – let’s hope that 2019 is a year filled with crazy sailing stunts. I know, that’s an odd wish, but two sailing related stories in the news caught my eye this past week and it’s worth commenting on them. But first…  It used to be a big deal to sail across an ...
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Suicide at sea – whose fault is it?

20 Dec

The charter yacht Cimarron

This is a tricky one and I am not 100% sure where I come down on this. I would have fully backed the captain had his behavior after the suicide been different but he didn’t (apparently) follow some basic seamanship rules and now has been charged with manslaughter. Here is the story as we best can tell and I say ‘as ...
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It’s all about the adventure

11 Dec
Abilash Tomy’s replica of Suhaili – now sunk


I have followed the online comments about the rescue of Susie Goodall, some with bemusement and some with disdain. Before I explain let’s recap what happened. Susie Goodall, a 28 year old British sailor was competing in the https://goldengloberace.comGolden Globe Race when her yacht was pitchpoled in the Southern Ocean. The yacht was dismasted and in
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