This is the Longest Sailable Straight Line Path on Earth

by Mike Schuler In 2012, reddit user kepleronlyknows posted a map claiming to show the longest straight line a vessel could theoretically sail on earth without hitting land. The map showed a route from Pakistan, through the Mozambique Channel, around the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn, and north through the Pacific to eastern Russia. The user provided no details about how he came to his conclusion, writing only “The Longest straight line: you can sail almost 20,000 miles ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. MAPFRE Win Into Newport

The Spanish team MAPFRE stunned the Volvo Ocean Race fleet on Tuesday morning by stealing a win in Leg 8, with a shocking come-from-behind victory into a foggy Newport, Rhode Island. One day before the finish, with just 300 miles to go, MAPFRE was in fifth place. As Tuesday morning dawned, and with the fleet ghosting towards the finish line in extremely light and shifty winds, Xabi Fernández’s team was among the leading quartet, battling in slow motion with Team ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. What a close Finish

by Richard Crockett 24 Hours ago MAPFRE was in 5th position overall having had a tough leg with keel canting problems and electronic issues, yet pure determination, skill and a never-say-die attitude saw them win the 8th Leg by 61 seconds. The finish was in tough, light conditions, and with a tide against the boats as they battled through fog to get to the finish. It was neck and neck between Brunel and MAPFRE, with no team giving an inch. ... Read More »

Vasco da Gama Ocean Race 2018

by Richard Crockett This was a ‘David and Goliath’ race – one of extreme contrasts and a battle between big and small. The weather, as I suppose one has come to expect, played a tough hand to competitors, with a complete compliment of good running downwind, strong headwinds to put it mildly, and patches of very light or no wind at all. That’s the Vasco da Gama Race – full stop. Tough and unrelenting. That’s what makes it challenging, that’s ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Closing the Game Out

The final 36 hours of Leg 8 will be decisive with the teams set to choose their final approach line into the finish in Newport, Rhode Island… Team Brunel continue to hold the lead although Bouwe Bekking’s team have an advantage of less than nine miles on second-placed Dongfeng Race Team. What’s more, the top five boats are only 36 miles apart after 14 days at sea and with just over 500-miles of race track still remaining. The positions are ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Small Changes Making the Difference

The Volvo Ocean Race crews were putting the pedal to the metal as they enjoyed fast sailing conditions in the northern hemisphere trade winds. At 1300 UTC on Thursday every team apart from Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag had broken the magical mark of sailing 500 miles in 24 hours, lapping up the fast sailing that the stable north easterly breeze has granted them. Dutch-flagged Team Brunel continued to lead the charge, opening up their advantage on second-placed Dongfeng Race Team to ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Fleet Speeds Towards Newport

The Volvo Ocean Race teams were enjoying full-speed trade wind sailing as they knocked off the miles to the Leg 8 finish in Newport, Rhode Island. Stage leaders Team Brunel continue to set the pace as they blast along at more than 22 knots, matching the wind for speed, and holding a narrow 15-mile jump on second-placed Dongfeng Race Team. The top trio, which also includes Turn the Tide on Plastic, were less than 30 miles apart as the battle ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Tactical Battles Ensue

Dongfeng Race Team snuck into the lead on Tuesday as the Volvo Ocean Race fleet continued to skirt Leg 8’s first major obstacle – the St Helena High. The famed anticyclone is renowned for dominating the South Atlantic and making tricky sailing for Volvo Ocean Race teams heading north or south. Constantly expanding and contracting, the St Helena High – also known as the South Atlantic High Pressure Cell – is currently centred around 1,300 miles east of the Leg ... Read More »

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 »