Author Archives: Sailing website

Broken Gear, Broken Wrist

The Marine Accident Investigation Branch (MAIB), a UK government agency authorized to investigate maritime accidents, provides this sobering account of a keelboat winch failure. A privately-owned, 52-year-old maxi-yacht was at sea and the crew was training for a forthcoming race; conditions were ideal, in sheltered waters: a steady breeze, calm seas and good visibility. On its coach-roof, the yacht was fitted with two pedestal-style winches (Figure 1), known as coffee-grinders. The winches were operated by two crewmen working together to ... Read More »

2018 Etchells Worlds. A 5th for Voermann

by Richard Crockett When the Race Committee sent the 94 boat fleet out for racing, and it looked like there was more than a great chance of getting two races in. Opting for the shorter Course Two, which is two complete windward returns, also set it up beautifully, and having them radio everyone to indicate most strongly that this was a Code Flag U start, meant there were no prisoners to be taken. Despite this both races claimed victims! But ... Read More »

GGR. Loïc Lepage Rescue Successful

French solo yachtsman Loïc Lepage has been successfully transferred from his dismasted yacht ‘Laaland’ by the Japanese bulk carrier ‘Shiosai’. The rescue, which took place in the South Indian Ocean some 670 miles SW of Perth Western Australia, commenced shortly after first light once the Australian P-8A search and rescue plane was overhead. Members of the ‘Shiosai’ crew were lowered down in the ship’s recovery vessel, and though the rolling swell presented a few challenges, Lepage was plucked from his ... Read More »

Mirabaud Sailing Video Award

Rob Dickinson (Orillo Films) is the winner of the second edition of the Mirabaud Sailing Video Award. The winning video was selected by the international jury of the Mirabaud Sailing Video Award video competition. It is a very dynamic clip, which summarizes team AkzoNobel’s journey in the Volvo Ocean Race. English producer Rob Dickinson submitted a film recounting team AkzoNobel’s journey in the Volvo Ocean Race ‘17-‘18. A very dynamic and entertaining one-minute clip that combines sailing, emotions and human ... Read More »

2018 Etchells World Championship. Voermann 26th Overall

Just 1 race again today due to the vagaries of the wind – which also played havoc with some of the top guns, yet our man William Voermann took it all in his stride to finish 31 – and lie 26th after 2 races. Not bad at all for a “Japie” in a 95-boat fleet! Course One was designated, meaning an extra leg back to windward for the finish, but there was a long way to go before that. There ... Read More »

GGR. Susie Goodall Survives ‘Horrific’ Storm

In a satphone call to Race HQ today, British skipper Susie Goodall spoke for the first time about an ‘horrendous’ few days when her Rustler 36 yacht ‘DHL Starlight’ was caught in a horrific Southern Ocean storm some 250 miles south of Cape Leeuwin, Australia. The storm developed just as suddenly and with the same ferocity as the one that led to Gregor McGuckin and Abhilash Tomy being rolled and dismasted two weeks ago. “The storm really kicked in between ... Read More »

In Memoriam. Barry Cullen

by Richard Crockett Barry Cullen passed away last week after a long illness. Together with his brother Patrick they were cruising pioneers in this country after fully restoring an old Norwegian lifeboat named ‘Sandefjord’ and sailing her around the world from Durban to Durban. They made a full-length movie of this circumnavigation, and after its premier in Durban, it went on a national circuit. The movie ‘Sandefjord’ inspired many people to take up sailing as a sport and pastime. I ... Read More »

2018 Etchells Worlds. Day One – What a tease!

By Richard Crockett The first day of any regatta is a nervy one, more so when the wind does not play ball – which is what happened in Brisbane this morning as just one late race was possible. The Race Officers had been clear about the use of the U Flag, so it was good to see that the fleet adopted a no nonsense policy when it came to starting, even if it did mean the spectators were not going ... Read More »


by Richard Crockett Over the weekend Loïc Lepage was dismasted 600 miles SW of Perth, Australia, reporting that ‘Laaland’s’ mast had broken in two places while sailing in 25 knot winds and 3 metre seas. After cutting away the rigging, the 62-year old sailor from Vannes, expressed some concern that one section of the mast may have damaged the hull near the keel, but that the initial ingress of water had stopped. He did not ask for assistance and was ... Read More »

Laser Nationals 2018. Langebaan Pulls Out ALL the Stops

by Alan Keen Twenty one Standards, seventeen Radials and eleven 4.7s competed in the Laser Nationals, 10 of whom travelled from KZN, 3 from the Northern region and 2 from George Lakes Yacht Club in the Southern Cape. The event was held over three days, 5 – 8 October, in Langebaan and what a fantastic three days it proved to be. Thanks must be given to Langebaan Yacht Club and Colin Whitehead for their assistance in getting it all together ... Read More »

Lipton Cup. The L26 is Confined to History – For Now Anyway

by Richard Crockett The ‘great debate’ about the future class for Lipton Cup is now over and has resulted in the L26 being superseded. The Lipton Cup trustees recently called for a vote on this matter, giving Clubs 3 options as follows: • No Change • The Cape 31 for 2019 and the J22 for 2020 • The Cape 31 for both 2019 & 2020 The vote showed that 14 were in favour of 2 trial years, and 7 against. ... Read More »

Golden Globe Race. Jean-Luc Van Den Heede passes through Hobart film gate

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede reached the Hobart film gate on Saturday to drop film and letters before heading out of Storm Bay to resume his lead in the Golden Globe Race. The 73-year old Matmut skipper was in good spirits and sighted the lengthy preparation work for his 1,600 mile lead. “The boat is good, the self steering works well and I have only minor problems like a leaking window to deal with.” Jean-Luc remained at anchor for over ... Read More »

International Schooner Association Founded

by Richard Crockett There is absolutely no good reason for this to be of interest to local sailors other than there are some stunningly good looking boats to look at. So if you don’t read this blurb, feast your eyes on the great pics. The grace, power and complexity of classic schooners engenders great passion in all who see these wonderful examples of naval architecture, mostly heralding from that golden age of yacht construction in the first decades of the ... Read More »

The Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe

Record Entry in its 40th Anniversary Year The Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe – one of the classic races in solo ocean sailing – has attracted a record entry this year as it celebrates its 40th anniversary, and which starts in just 30 days time. This is a 3,542-nautical mile race from Saint-Malo in Brittany to Point-à-Pitre on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. It was first held in 1978 and has since established itself as one of the big targets ... Read More »

Alex Thomson. On a Mission to Complete the Climb

Britain’s Alex Thomson may be best known for his stunts but he really wants to win the Vendée Globe. Thomson failed to finish in his first two attempts, but a third and a second in the last two additions has given him hope that he can conquer this solo non-stop race around the world. “It doesn’t compute in my brain to give up,” says Thomson, though he has probably been more tempted than most of us to do just that. ... Read More »