Copernicus Enters Legends Race

Polish yacht Copernicus, the smallest yacht to complete the very first Whitbread Round the World Race in 1973-74, will compete in the Legends Race starting on 21 June from Gothenburg and finishing in The Hague. Copernicus was built especially for the first Whitbread by the Gdanska Stocznia Jachtowa ‘Stogi’ boatyard in Poland, with a lot of help from the members of the Yacht Klub ‘Stal’ Gdynia on the Baltic Sea coast, who has owned her ever since. She is their ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. It’s Been A Very Tough 7th Leg

This was always a leg billed as the toughest, yet the one crew were most looking forward to. It was also the leg in which a man was lost overboard and in which Vestas was dismasted. Plus, MAPFRE had mast damage which she chose to affect temporary repairs too just shy of Cape Horn, and having suspended racing for 13 hours, she ruled herself out of the running for the leg. And then, after the leading two finished within 15 ... Read More »

36th America’s Cup Class Rule Published

The Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and Circolo della Vela Sicilia, together with their respective teams Emirates Team New Zealand and the Challenger of Record – Luna Rossa, have published the AC75 Class Rule for the 36th America’s Cup. The AC75 Class Rule defines the parameters within which teams can design a yacht eligible to compete in the 36th America’s Cup. It regulates all aspects of the boat to ensure fair and exciting racing, whilst leaving plenty of freedom for ... Read More »

US Virgin Islands Defy Hurricane Wrath

Just six months after the devastation caused by Irma and Maria, two category 5 hurricanes that swept through Caribbean last year, life in some areas, including on the US Virgin Island of St Thomas, St Croix and St John, is beginning to return to some sort of normality writes Sue Pelling. I use the word normality fairly loosely because following a visit to the US Virgin Islands during the three-day 45th St Thomas International Regatta (STIR) the week before last ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Brunel Win Toughest Stage

by Richard Crockett Watching the final stages of this leg unfold on the tracker and later the livestream, it was tense stuff, even for viewer and must have been thousands of times tougher for those aboard Brunel and Dongfeng. It was slow, intense and enthralling as one watched the distances change, and Dongfeng at times close the gap to under 1nm, and for Brunel to counter that and extend her slender lead. But with world class sailors aboard Brunel, and ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Vestas Dismasted & MAPFRE Injured!

By Richard Crockett The Easter weekend was anything but peaceful for the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, and in fact was drama filled. Vestas lost her mast, MAPFRE stopped just short of Cape Horn for repairs, and Brunel has been reeled in at the head of the fleet by Dongfeng. So while Brunel and Dongfeng go hammer and tongs at each other, the rest of the fleet plays catch-up as they have simply fallen off the back of the leaders in ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Brunel 1st to Cape Horn

by Richard Crockett This is the leg all crew have been waiting for, and which many armchair sailors dream about doing. The Southern Ocean holds a mysterious allure – as it is just that – mysterious. Yet it’s the toughest leg in the race by far, and so far the most dramatic – and regrettably tragic too. Earlier in the week John Fisher was lost overboard from Scallywag, and never found. Just west of Cape Horn MAPFRE suspended racing to ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. How John Fisher Was Lost Overboard

by Richard Crockett The questions many have been asking since John Fisher was lost overboard earlier in the week have now been answered by Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag. The important thing to remember here is that experienced sailors go to sea because they love it for many different reasons. More importantly experienced sailors will only sail with people they trust and know, and on boats they deem to be seaworthy and ‘fit for purpose’. And, accidents do happen at sea ... Read More »

ECDIS*: What Happens When the GPS Signal Goes Away?

* Electronic Chart Display and Information System This editorial from ‘The Maritime Executive’ was written by by Captain Richard Madden and should be of interest to all those who rely on GPS when going to sea. While common practice is to have multiple GPS units as backup if one fails, failure of the GPS system itself will require the need for alternative navigation – probably celestial navigation if out of sight of land. The U.S. Maritime Administration issued U.S. Maritime ... Read More »

Lost at sea in the Volvo Ocean Race

The Great Circle Sails blog is written by Brian Hancock who has a wealth of experience in major ocean races, including the Whitbread Race. His latest Blog airs his forthright views on the recent man overboard tragedy in the Volvo Ocean Race. Subscribe to his Blog, or see what else he writes HERE 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 ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Man Overboard

by Richard Crockett This is a very sad day for our sport, the Volvo Ocean Race and of course the family of the missing sailor. The Volvo Ocean Race prides itself on the safety measures it puts in place to prevent accidents, plus it equips each and every crew with the latest in tried and tested safety gear in case of such an emergency. Below Are the Two Statements Released by the Volvo Ocean Race on this Incident So Far. ... Read More »

Point Nemo

On Sunday morning Brunel led the Volvo Ocean Race fleet past Point Nemo, the most remote spot on the world’s oceans. Point Nemo is nearly 1,400 nautical miles from the nearest land, meaning the closest people to the sailors, apart from their fellow competitors, are the astronauts on the International Space Station, some 220 nautical miles overhead. Here Are 8 Facts About Point Nemo by Jonno Turner The Volvo Ocean Race boats have raced past an iconic point – Point ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. It’s Tough Out There, Very Tough!

By Richard Crockett Since last posting info on the race on Friday morning, lots has been going on deep in the Southern Ocean, with damaged gear, lots of high wind gybes and more. The fleet has passed Point Nemo. What’s that you may ask? Or where exactly is that? All will be revealed in a separate post, suffice to say that it is defined as the place furthest from land in the world. Day 6 of this leg dawned with ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Bouncing Off the Ice Limit

The fleet continues its relentless charge east towards Cape Horn, all the while enjoying the best the Southern Ocean has to offer. The teams have been skirting the southern race course boundary and racing in strong but manageable winds in the 20-25 knot range which have allowed the crews to rack up 500 mile days. But that’s all about to change. As of this morning (Friday 06h00 UTC report), Dongfeng had taken the lead from MAPFRE, but with a mere ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Pointing at Cape Horn

Four days into Leg 7 of the Volvo Ocean Race, the teams have reached the Furious Fifties and made their turn to the east, pointing towards the famed Cape Horn. There has been little let-up for the seven teams as they continue to push ever deeper into the Southern Ocean. Vestas 11th Hour Racing posted the first 500-mile run of Leg 7 on Wednesday as the fleet charges towards the ice exclusion zone. Until now the race has been to ... Read More »