Golden Globe Race. Van Den Heede to Earn His Passage Around Cape Horn

The embattled French leader nursing a damaged mast on his Rustler 36 ‘Matmut’ after the yacht was pitchpoled in a storm a week ago, has the prospect of having another Southern Ocean buster roll over him this weekend followed by two more when rounding the infamous Cape. The 73-year old veteran is now within 1,300 miles of the Horn, speeding along at 5.3 knots, having ‘fixed’ the damage to his mast by climbing up and lashing the lower shroud fixing ... Read More »

Raymarine Showcases Industry-Leading Innovations

Unique technologies and product updates harness the benefits of augmented reality, drone integration, and advanced MFD integration to open up new possibilities for boat owners. Leading the industry in bringing a new era of navigation and awareness capabilities to boat owners through the most innovative developments in marine electronics, Raymarine is bringing together its game-changing range of technology advancements at this year’s METSTRADE. Its unique product range for 2018 includes the new award-winning Raymarine® ClearCruise™ AR (Augmented Reality), Axiom® XL ... Read More »

Route du Rhum. Closest Finish Ever

In the closest finish since it was first staged in 1978, the French ocean racing veteran Francis Joyon won the 40th anniversary Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo transatlantic race from Saint Malo to Pointe-À-Pitre early this morning. In the clammy heat and very light winds of the Caribbean night, Joyon, 62, glided across the finish line on ‘IDEC Sport’ at 23:21.47 local time (03:21.47 UTC) to pip the poster boy of French sailing, François Gabart on ‘MACIF’ by just seven ... Read More »

Donald Alexander. Repairs Before Returning to Racing

by Richard Crockett Donald Alexander has been dealt a cruel blow on his debut solo ocean race across the Atlantic when on his third night at sea, during a stonking gale and massive seas, his main bulkhead started cracking and delaminating. Being the tenacious type that he is, and with his normal never-say-die attitude he hoped to be able to shore things up with locker doors and continue racing. But after sending pics to his shore team he was strongly ... Read More »

Route Du Rhum. Another Pasting to Come for Class 40s

by Richard Crockett Followers of Donald Alexander, who is sailing his Class 40 ‘Power of One’ under the Point Yacht Club burgee, will be pleased to hear that he is safely docked in La Coruna, Spain, and busy effecting repairs so that he can get back onto the race course as quickly as possible. Way down south, more than 1,800 nautical miles southwest of Saint Malo, in the warmer climes and flatter seas west of the Canaries, François Gabart continues ... Read More »

A Brilliant Innovation – Electronic Telltales

by Brian Hancock Michel Desjoyeaux is one of the most successful solo offshore sailors in the world. He not only won the Vendee Globe twice, he also won the Route du Rhum as well as numerous other offshore races. Now semi-retired from offshore racing he has a company in France called Mer Agitée. Desjoyeaux and his partner Régine Bornens created Mer Agitée in 1999 to bring innovation to the sailing world. Their latest product, an electronic telltale is pure genius. ... Read More »

Route du Rhum. Things Improving But More Bad Weather to Come

by Richard Crockett On day 3, with such a big fleet now spread over a large area of ocean, skippers in the solo transatlantic Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe are beginning to experience wide variations in weather conditions after three very challenging days at sea. There are few exceptions to this, and our very own lone sailor Donald Alexander has succumbed to the frenzied conditions as his boat is damaged and he is heading to port. Since my report last evening, ... Read More »

Route du Rhum. Alexander Dashing to Port

by Richard Crockett If you have been wondering why Donald Alexander has been sailing such an erratic course, here’s why. Conditions are horrendous in the Atlantic and specifically the Bay of Biscay with rough seas and very strong winds due to an ongoing series of low pressure systems. As a result Donald’s boat has taken a pounding and is starting to delaminate. After discussions with his shore team of Pip and Paul, and the boat manufacturer, he’s going to La ... Read More »

Route du Rhum. An Update from Donald Alexander & Armel Le Cléac’h Capsizes

by Richard Crockett Donald Alexander has been in my thoughts a lot during the past two days as I have wondered how he is faring and adjusting to life on the big bad sea! I was therefore delighted to have received a message from him – and it’s anything but easy out there. “I’ve slowly been adjusting to the boat after not sailing it since August and having a lot of new equipment on board. The first 24 hours were ... Read More »

Route du Rhum. A Hectic First 24 Hours and As the Storm Looms

The majority of the 123-strong Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo transatlantic fleet has enjoyed a brisk first 24 hours of racing as they head west into the Atlantic. Our man Donald Alexander on ‘Power of One’ certainly seems to be using his nous as from the tracker it shows him altering course either in search of better wind and direction, or that his routeing software shows that to be the optimum course in light of the massive storm that is ... Read More »

GGR. Van Den Heede Suffers Knock-down and Mast Damage

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede called GGR Founder Don McIntyre to advise that his Rustler 36 ‘Matmut’ had been knocked down badly to about 150° which had damaged the connecting bolt attachment to the mast that holds all four lower shrouds. The mast was not in danger of falling, but it was not securely tensioned. The bolt has slipped 5cm down in the mast section and slackened the rigging. He is still in the storm with 11 metre seas and 65 ... Read More »

Route du Rhum. They’re Off

by Richard Crockett The 11th edition and 40th anniversary staging of the Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe solo transatlantic race got underway in spectacular style today off the Brittany port of Saint Malo, as a record entry of 123 skippers set sail for Guadeloupe. Conditions could not have been better for spectators and sailors alike as the fleet revelled in 20 knots of breeze coming off the land on a beautiful Autumn afternoon. After a very conservative start with no one ... Read More »

Route du Rhum. Donald Alexander on the Enormity of this Race

by Donald Alexander Debra and I are in St Malo, and suddenly it’s the night before my departure on the Route du Rhum, the solo sailing race from St Malo, France to Guadeloupe in the Caribbean. I cannot begin to describe what a spectacle this event is and the reverence it has amongst the French. To get the best impression its definitely worth checking out the website ( which also enables you to follow the race. I must confess to ... Read More »

Route du Rhum. The South African Connection

by Richard Crockett As we are starved of local sailors competing on the world stage, the local sailing community quickly latches onto anyone with a South African connection sailing internationally, and especially in high profile classes or events. Malcolm Hall and his crew recently won the Fareast 28 Worlds, while William Voermann and his crew won the last race of the Etchells Worlds, finishing 10th overall in a start-studded fleet. These recent events saw the guys enjoy a high level ... Read More »


by Brian Hancock The Route du Rhum is one of the greats and this years race looks to be one of the greatest ever. The race is run every four years and goes from the beautiful walled city of Saint Malo on the north coast of France to Pointe-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe. It’s a solo Atlantic crossing and in 2014 there were 91 competitors. When the start gun goes this Sunday there will be 125 sailors on the line ready to ... Read More »