Brian Hancock

Tense finish to Volvo Ocean Race Leg 8

8 May

That moment when Mapfre found a puff and overtook Team Brunel – Kristin Browne photo

This morning’s finish of Leg 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race was both excruciating to watch, and extremely exciting. Yes I know; the top speed was barely one knot and the fog so thick it was all but impossible to see the yachts, but it was still very exciting. For
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To go or not to go – that’s the question

2 May
The 33-foot sailboat Hecate aground on the beach. Screen shot from CBS SF Channel 5 click for link.


When I started out sailing for a living in the late 70’s there was no money in it, well very little. I made ends meet by repairing sails for other boats on my hand crank Singer sewing machine, banged out articles on an old manual typewriter ...
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Sure footed

30 Apr

Racing sailboats is more like playing a game of snakes and ladders than it is playing a game of chess. Navigators pride themselves on plotting a strategy that is five steps ahead of their opponents, and sometimes their strategy works. Other times, well, it’s just a slippery ride down the back of some random snake, at least that’s how it feels for the seven boats competing in the eighth leg of the Volvo Ocean Race.

Since leaving Itajaí, Brazil the boats have been sailing upwind in moderate conditions not unlike a bunch of dinghy sailors short tacking up a windward ...
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The future of the Volvo Ocean Race

24 Apr

Wet, wild and unsafe

A while back I wrote a piece about the inherent ridiculousness of the current Volvo 65 and I stated that I thought that the boats were unsafe and a little bit absurd with all that water cascading down the deck. Well I am sure that you can imagine the hate mail that I received. Yes there was plenty of it and
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Where did all the seamanship go?

10 Apr

There are times when things have to be said and if no one else is prepared to say them, I will and yes I am fully aware that some people are not going to be happy but that just too damn bad. Let me start by saying that I am a fan of the Volvo Ocean Race (even though some would beg to differ). I
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Team Brunel wins VOR Leg 7 into Itajaí, Brazil

3 Apr

The Dutch yacht Team Brunel has won an exciting and very tense Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race. They crossed the finish line off Itajaí, Brazil at 14:57 UTC
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Bouwe Bekking in the Volvo Ocean Race

30 Mar

The Dutch sailor Bouwe Bekking is most certainly one of the most qualified sailors competing in the current Volvo Ocean Race. This is his eighth time to lap the planet and over the three decades of his sailing career he has most definitely had some amazing experiences. Possibly the most amazing took place earlier today when Bouwe and his crew aboard Team Brunel blasted around Cape Horn well ahead of the rest of the fleet. Bekking and his team passed the famed Cape at 13:01 UTC (provisional) on Thursday, March 29.

Cape Horn is the sailors Everest. It’s the most ...
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Team Sun Hung Kai Scallywag report on the man overboard incident

29 Mar
RIP John Fisher

Earlier this week a sailor in the Volvo Ocean race was lost at sea. The following story has been issued on behalf of Team Sun Hung Kai Scallywag
On March 26, 2018, Team Sun Hung Kai / Scallywag lost John Fisher overboard in the Southern Ocean, approximately 1,400 nautical miles west of Cape Horn.
Despite conducting an exhaustive search in gale force conditions, he has not been recovered.
“This is the worst situation you can imagine happening to your team,” said SHK/Scallywag Team Manager Tim Newton, who has spoken with skipper David Witt and navigator Libby Greenhalgh
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Lost at sea in the Volvo Ocean Race

27 Mar

I will deal with the pleasantries first then get into the meat of the matter. I wish to extend my condolences to the family and friends of John Fisher, the crewmember who was tragically lost overboard from Team Sun Hung Kai Scallywag in the Volvo Ocean Race. It was first light on board Monday morning as the boat was romping downwind in very fresh conditions ...
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Has the world gone mad?

23 Mar

Sometimes it feels as if the world has gone mad and no this time I am not referring to the absurd political machinations going on in the US. I am taking about a much smaller world; the sailing world. I read online that so far it has cost
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