Volvo Ocean Race. Game On

The Volvo Ocean Race fleet was punching due east on Monday as the sailors settled back into life at sea and faced a tricky opening night of unpredictable weather. There was little chance for the sailors to acclimatise slowly as constant variations in wind direction and strength meant numerous sail changes. “It’s very unstable – the wind’s up and down by ten knots, and 30 degrees left to right,” said team AkzoNobel skipper Simeon Tienpont. “We’ve got plenty going on ... Read More »

MAPFRE Leads Fleet Towards Newport

Large crowds were on hand to see MAPFRE lead the Volvo Ocean Race fleet off on Leg 8 from Itajaí, Brazil to Newport, Rhode Island. It was a familiar sight on Sunday afternoon where the two red boats at the top of the Volvo Ocean Race leader board set the pace at the start of Leg 8. MAPFRE, in second place overall, led throughout the inshore portion of the leg start, with overall race leader Dongfeng Race Team giving chase ... Read More »

It’s Earth Day Today (22 April)

Each year, Earth Day – April 22 – marks the anniversary of the birth of the modern environmental movement in 1970. Earth Day 1970 gave voice to that emerging consciousness, channelling the energy of the anti-war protest movement and putting environmental concerns on the front page. The idea for a national day to focus on the environment came to Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, then a U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, after witnessing the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill ... Read More »

The South Atlantic Race. How It Was Proposed

by Richard Crockett Ever wondered how this race to Rio was established? Well here’s the answer – and you had better believe it as despite this being an undated newspaper cutting, it was loooong before the days of fake news. The race was proposed by Admiral H H Biermann, Chief of the South African Navy, when he and many other dignitaries welcomed Bruce Dalling home after his highly successful OSTAR race in 1968. It makes for interesting reading, and was ... Read More »

Congressional Cup. Wind and “Wow”

The Congressional Cup is one of the most prestigious top-level yachting events in the world. Established in 1965, it is recognized as the “grandfather” of match racing, pioneering the concept of on-the-water umpiring 30 years ago. Each year, this World Sailing Grade One competition features an elite delegation of the world’s best sailors competing in five days of rousing matches, in the waters off Long Beach, California. Dean Barker celebrated his 45th birthday with six straight wins on Day One ... Read More »

50 Years On – The OSTAR, Voortrekker & Bruce Dalling

by Richard Crockett The 1968 OSTAR race is still vivid in the minds of many who would be surprised to know that it is almost 50 years ago that the race set sail, and that sailing in South Africa was thrust onto the world stage by Bruce Dalling and his trusty steed ‘Voortrekker’. 1 June 1968 was the start of this epic race which was almost won by Bruce Dalling. It has been suggested over the years that had he ... Read More »

Vacant Position – Sailing Manager/Trainer

Vacant Position Sailing Manager/Trainer Hout Bay Yacht Club are offering an exciting job opportunity for someone to take responsibility for, and promote, their full sailing programmes including: • Youth Development Training • Controlling and increasing the racing calendar • Managing the use and maintenance of the clubs dinghy and keelboat fleet. The successful applicant will report to, and work closely with, the club’s Flag Officers. The successful candidate will require good organisational and communication skills in addition to personally conducting ... Read More »

World Sailing Offshore World Champs

World Sailing, the world governing body, is pleased to announce that the inaugural World Sailing Offshore World Championship will be held in 2019. Announced at World Sailing’s 2017 Annual Conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico the World Sailing Offshore World Championship will be a powerful platform to accelerate the interest and growth of offshore one-design sailing amongst the sailing community. The Championship is a new annual offshore double-handed mixed competition between nations, featuring 20 boats. It is designed to cater to ... Read More »

Starting to Live the Dream

Siyanda Vato, or simply Siya to his friends, has been around on the sailing scene for what seems like a lifetime now. His sailing career started in Durban at Sail Africa where he soon became something of a legend as he became absolutely passionate about his sailing, and would be out on the water at almost every opportunity, despite school and his studies in general. Vernon Goss took him under his wing, and he became involved in several sailing projects, ... Read More »

USA Olympic Games Proposal

by Richard Crockett A recently published proposal by US Sailing suggests that for the 2024 Olympics the Finn and 470 dinghies and RS:X board be replaced with new equipment and events. The Olympic sailing classes is always an intensely passionate debate, with this proposal being no different as reaction from around the world will be passionate and interesting to say the least. One will need to read the full report before commenting, but their proposal to remove two dinghy and ... Read More »

Higher Concentrations of Microplastics Found Nearer Major Cities

The scientific research, using data collected by Race team ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’, identified 75 particles of microplastics per cubic metre in waters near Hong Kong and 87 particles of microplastics per cubic metre along the coast near Melbourne. Lower concentrations of 39 microplastic particles per cubic metre were found up the east coast of Australia and values of 48 particles per cubic metre were found in South East Asian waters. The highest levels of microplastic so far have ... Read More »

Historical Sprog Dinghy Restoration

The Restoration of ‘Stroppy’ – the prototype Sprog Plus An Appeal for A Permanent Place to Display Her by Frans Loots I could clearly recall seeing a sailing dinghy on display at the Port Elizabeth Museum when we went there on primary school museum day outings. And I especially remember how we would shove the tiller backwards and forwards despite the “no touching” signs. I also remembered that the tiller extension was made out of cane – just like the ... Read More »

Sailing Superstitions: Friday 13th April

Considered to be an unlucky day for some, 2018 sees Friday the 13 occurring twice, the first one today and the next in July. In a number of sporting codes, superstitions are rife! Sailors also fall into the superstitious bunch. Traditionally, sailors believed that having bananas on board, aside from their peels causing many a comedic moment of tripping and falling, bananas have long been thought to bring bad luck. Having ladies on board was said to bring bad luck ... Read More »

Clipper Fleet Fends Off Hurricane Force Winds

Very few professional sailors can say they have sailed in hurricane force winds and a phenomenal sea state with waves greater than 14 metres, but at 1800 yesterday this was the official situation facing the Clipper Race fleet in the North Pacific Ocean. The low-pressure system that arrived close to the north of the fleet yesterday delivered a heavy weather blow which resulted in record-breaking surfing speeds and awe-struck observations of the full power and beauty of Mother Nature in ... Read More »

Sailing Won’t Get You Into College

by Richard Crockett In the Scuttlebutt Sailing News #5058 which I read this morning I was struck by the headline and comments made by its author Lou Sandoval. This is what was said, verbatim: SAILING WON’T GET YOU INTO COLLEGE (#5057) I can’t tell you how many parent’s I’ve run into that want their child to become the next Jimmy Spithill. As much as we’d like this to be the case, it seldom works out that way and often imposing ... Read More »