Brian Hancock

Standing fast

18 Jun
I think it’s true to say that we all experience some stress in our daily lives. It comes with being an adult. Yet I wonder if the stress that Team Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking has been under recently is a little more than necessary. This is his ninth lap of the planet, presumably his last, and the will to win this edition of the Volvo Ocean Race must have been the driving force behind his amazing come-from-behind win of Leg 10 into Gothenburg, Sweden. 
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I hope that you enjoyed this blog.  I invite
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Nail biting sailing in the Volvo Ocean Race

14 Jun

Team Brunel move into the lead

There is some very dramatic racing going on in the Volvo Ocean Race as the boats close in on the finish of the penultimate leg of the race. After a very slow start out of Cardiff that saw the boats drifting on a glassy sea, things quickly changed as ...
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Remembering Eric

13 Jun

Twenty years ago today the world lost a great sailor. Eric Tabarly was regarded by many of his peers as one of the best offshore sailor ever and he inspired more than a generation of French sailors to follow in his wake. It’s probably true to say that the reason the French are such incredible offshore sailors is because Tabarly inspired them. He inspired me. ...
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Is there a future for the Volvo Ocean Race?

12 Jun

Mapfre passes the iconic Fastnet lighthouse
I read with interest an article by British sailing journalist Magnus Wheatley. He had a pretty acerbic take on the state of the current Volvo Ocean Race and I have to say  that agree with him. His article starts, “Like the drunken uncle that refuses to leave the coming-of-age party, the Volvo Ocean Race staggers on.”  That
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Putting the foot to the floor

1 Jun

With a race that spans more than 45,000 nautical miles, there are many opportunities for snatching victory or having victory snatched from you and it comes down to consistency. Consistency when the wind is up and the boats are hitting blazing speeds, and consistency when the last puff fades within spitting distance of the finish line and steely nerves come into play. Those teams that are able to play at peak performance no matter what hand they are dealt are the ones that come out on top and there was no better example of this than the incredible performance turned ...
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Records fall and a nail biting finish in the Volvo Ocean Race

29 May
Wet and wild and record setting

This Volvo Ocean Race is turning out to be one of the best and most badass in history and much of the basassness was captured in Leg 9, the transatlantic blast from Newport, Rhode Island to Cardiff in Whales. The leg started off fairly benign but it soon turned into a battle of wits as the fleet diverged with Brunel, Vestas and AkzoNobel diving south in search of a chicane that they could ride. Turned out that they indeed found a slice of perfect sailing conditions and four days after the start it was ...
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Not an open and shut case

24 May

Ant Steward’s recently refit Open Boat

I don’t mean to be too picky about this but I was not the one that started it.  I wrote a piece about the amazing solo circumnavigation by the Polish sailor Szymon Kuczynski and compared it to a similar small boat voyage done by the South African sailor Ant Steward back in the early nineties. Ant sailed his ...
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The hard yards – Volvo Ocean Race

22 May

It’s somewhat of a dichotomy that an event like the Volvo Ocean Race, which covers over 45,000 nautical miles and spans close to nine months, is won and lost in the tiniest of moments. Take for example the heartbreak that was felt on board the Dutch yacht Team Brunel when, after leading for most of Leg 8, they had their victory snatched from them in the final few minutes of the leg when the Spanish entry Mapfre snuck by them in light winds and in thick fog to cross the finish line in first place. There was not a thing ...
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Around the world the hard way

21 May
Szymon Kuczynski aboard Puffin
It’s getting harder and harder to do something original in sailing, something that someone before you has not already done. There was a time when a circumnavigation was considered a mammoth accomplishment especially if it was a singlehanded voyage around the world. Now you have to sail three times around the world without stopping and with one hand tied behind your ...
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Lock ’em up, lock ’em up…

21 May

The VOR fleet in Newport, RI

I should know better than to step into this quagmire but sometimes I just can’t help myself. This, coming from someone who has been chucked out of a number of bars in my lifetime, is going to sound a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. However, I think it’s a bit of a disgrace (well maybe that’s ...
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