Author Archives: Sailing website

Youth Nationals Begin This Weekend

by Richard Crockett The most important youth sailing event in this country, the Youth Nationals, kicks off this weekend from Stilbaai on the Vaal Dam, and runs until 20 December. It’s an event that attracts all the top youth sailors from across the country, and others who simply attend to gain experience as they climb the youth sailing ladder. So well over 100 young sailors will be pitting their skills against the elements and other sailors. More importantly it attracts ... Read More »

The IMOCA Class Continues to Push Forward

The IMOCA class held its annual general meeting in Paris this week. This gathering enabled the class to present its appraisal of what was a very positive 2018 season coming to a climax with an outstanding edition of the Route du Rhum, destination Guadeloupe. The IMOCA has now included both of the emblematic round the world races in its race calendar: the 2020 Vendée Globe and the 2021-2022 Ocean Race (formerly the Volvo Ocean Race). 2019 looks like being an ... Read More »

Stars & Stripes Team USA confirm acceptance as 5th America’s Cup Challenger

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron has confirmed the identity of the 5th accepted challenger for the 36th America’s Cup is the Long Beach Yacht Club, another historic and internationally respected yacht club. It will be represented by ‘Stars & Stripes Team USA’ which brings the number of Challengers that will race in Auckland in 2021 to five, with Defender Emirates Team New Zealand the 6th team. Stars & Stripes Team USA is the second US challenge after American Magic ... Read More »

Interview. Donald Alexander

by Richard Crockett Donald Alexander, a born and bred ‘Durbanite’ recently completed the Route du Rhum singlehanded race – his first ever solo race, sailing under the Point Yacht Club burgee. Here he chats about the race and his experiences. What made you take up singlehanded offshore sailing as I never saw that side of you – I remember a small boat sailor & kiteboarder? You were there at the beginning of this adventure as you advised me to look ... Read More »

GGR. Istvan Kopar Faces Major Storm

As French race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede works to protect his shrinking lead over second placed Dutch rival Mark Slats, the focus is once more on a violent storm in the Southern Ocean that looks likely to overtake fourth placed American/Hungarian Istvan Kopar on Friday. Race HQ has given permission for Istvan to take evasive action and move south into the NO-GO Zone, just as Estonian Uku Randmaa did to avoid the same storm that left Susie Goodall dismasted ... Read More »

Passage Making in the Company of Sandefjord

Intro. This blog recently carried an announcement on the passing of Barry Cullen, and requested anyone who had sailed the boat to submit their thoughts and pics too. Jack Hargraves was quick to respond with both words and pics. Despite not sailing aboard her, he sailed alongside her for many thousands of miles and has vivid memories of those times. It’s a great read, so take your time to enjoy it. The recent passing of Captain Barry Cullen, who with ... Read More »


  by Brian Hancock 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 Golden Globe Race when her yacht was pitchpoled in the Southern Ocean. The yacht was dismasted and in pretty bad shape and Susie made the decision to seek rescue. Last Friday the Hong Kong registered cargo ship MV ... Read More »

Golden Globe Race. Some Wonder Why?

Here is a personal view about the inspirational ethos of adventure by Golden Globe Race Founder, Don McIntyre. The latest rescue of British yachtswoman Susie Goodall from her dismasted yacht ‘DHL Starlight’ after being pitch poled during a storm some 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn earlier this week has led some to wonder if the event safe? Should the Golden Globe Race be stopped after five boats dismasted and three rescues? This forgoes the simplest fact that the master ... Read More »

GGR. Update on Susie Goodall Rescue

British yachtswoman Susie Goodall remains safe and secure aboard her yacht DHL Starlight after being pitchpoled and dismasted in the Southern Ocean some 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn. Chilean rescue authorities have tasked another ship, the 38,000 ton Hong Kong registered bulk carrier MV ‘Tian Fu’ bound from China to Modran, Argentina, to go to her aid – and it is due to reach her position today (Friday). Conditions have moderated overnight, but seas remain challenging, making life onboard ... Read More »

Airbus Locates Maxi-trimaran Banque Populaire IX

Airbus’ Ocean Finder service located the maxi-trimaran ‘Banque Populaire IX’ (Ultime class) in less than a day after it capsized halfway between Portugal and the Azores on 6 November during the latest Route du Rhum transatlantic race. As soon as the request was received from Team Banque Populaire, Airbus activated the Ocean Finder service and immediately programmed its satellites to collect very high resolution images as quickly as possible, in case the trimaran’s beacon system had failed. Airbus’ maritime experts ... Read More »

GGR. Susie Goodall Dismasted 2,000 Miles West of Cape Horn

British yachtswoman Susie Goodall was pitchpoled and dismasted in the Southern Ocean some 2,000 miles west of Cape Horn. A distress signal was first picked up from her yacht by Falmouth Coastguard at who then alerted Race Control and the Chilean Maritime Search and Rescue authorities responsible for this sector of the South Pacific. Goodall, (29) from Falmouth UK, and the youngest competitor in the Golden Globe Race, was lying in 4th place at the time, riding out a ferocious ... Read More »

GGR. The Race is On to Finish First!

Mark Slats rounded Cape Horn on Saturday 2nd December, 8 days behind race leader Jean-Luc Van Den Heede, having narrowed the lead by 351 miles over the past 7 days. The second placed Dutchman is now within 1022 miles and needs to average 0.75knots faster to finish back in Les Sables d’Olonne at the same time. This takes account of the 18-hour penalty that Van Den Heede must serve before crossing the line for using his satellite phone for non-safety ... Read More »

The Great PFD Debate

  The PFD debate is one which will always rage on – and quite frankly debate on this issue is very healthy. More importantly though, is that those who own and use a PFD should keep abreast of the debates. Scuttlebutt Sailing News covered this a few days ago, so read it (PLEASE) and inwardly digest it! What I Learned About Inflatable PFDs by Glenn McCarthy, Lake Michigan Sail Racing Federation I spent over a decade on the US Sailing ... Read More »

December 2018 ‘Raymarine’ Sailor of the Month – Malcolm Hall

Malcolm led a team of South Africans to the FarEast 28 worlds in China in October. The team was made up of crew from his Cape 31, Magic, which he recently launched in Table Bay with the desire to join in the tight and competitive racing that is provided. His team were made to work hard and learn the FarEast 28 very quickly, as most teams have their own boats, and even brought their own sails! Malcolm showed his class, ... Read More »

Route du Rhumb. Donald Alexander finishes

by Richard Crockett For a man new to solo sailing and in fact doing his very first singlehanded race, Donald Alexander has acquitted himself superbly well as he has finished in 23rd place in Class 40 against over 50 entries. There are some who are surprised at his performance, but those who really know him know how dogged and determined he is when he takes on a challenge – and having a father who was a legendary ‘offshore man’, Donald ... Read More »