Twin Spacecraft Launch to Track Earth’s Water Movement

A joint U.S./German space mission to track the continuous movement of water and other changes in Earth’s mass on and beneath the planet’s surface successfully launched on Tuesday from the California coast. The twin spacecraft of the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment Follow-On (GRACE-FO), a joint NASA/German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ) mission, lifted off on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 4E at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, sharing their ride into space with five ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Advantage to the South As Fleet Splits

by Richard Crockett Now a few days in to the leg, and all settled down to their routines at sea, we have a fascinating battle on our hands with two distinct groups in the fleet both looking for supremacy from their chosen routes. Most telling is that both MAPFRE and Dongfeng are not letting each other out of their sights so to speak, as MAPFRE covered Dongfeng when she went north. These two teams are slugging it out for overall ... Read More »

Richards Bay Lighthouse Demolished

Transnet National Ports Authority (TNPA) has erected a temporary light and structure on the site of the old Richards Bay lighthouse to guide vessels navigating the surrounding waters. This follows the recent demolition of the 39-year-old lighthouse due to severe coastal erosion. The new, temporary structure was successfully commissioned on 1 April 2018 after a period of testing and calibration. The steel structure was fabricated by a local company, while the LED long range beacon was shipped from the United ... Read More »

New Data Reveals Microplastics in World’s Remotest Ocean

The samples were taken close to Point Nemo, the furthest point from land on Earth, where the nearest humans are on the International Space Station. The Volvo Ocean Race Science Programme found levels of plastic in areas of the Southern Ocean that have never before been tested. The groundbreaking data is set to be released today (18th May) at the Volvo Ocean Race Ocean Summit, which explores the issues and solutions to the plastic crisis, at the Race stopover in ... Read More »

South African Clipper Race Skipper Claims First Win

Dare To Lead, skippered by Capetonian Dale Smyth, has taken first place in the 4,100 nautical mile Race 10 from Seattle, USA, to Panama, one of the closest races so far in the Clipper 2017-18 Round the World Yacht Race. Race 10, officially known as the Garmin American Challenge, was dominated by light winds, which compressed the Clipper Race fleet of eleven identical 70-foot ocean racing yachts. This resulted in the teams being in either visual or AIS range for ... Read More »

World Sailing Olympic Decisions

World Sailing fully embrace IOC Olympic Agenda 2020 with proposed events for the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition that are gender equal, youthful, universal and include four mixed events following the decisions made at the 2018 Mid-Year Meeting in London. From 10-15 May 2018, more than 200 delegates met in London for the meetings of the Board, Events Committee, Equipment Committee and World Sailing’s Council. Discussions on the Paris 2024 Olympic Events ebbed and flowed and the sports stakeholders sought ... Read More »

Response to World Sailing Petition re 2024 Olympics Equipment Selection

by Roy Dunster Anyone has the right to start a petition. However, when it’s as misleading as the one about the equipment for the 2024 Sailing Olympic Games, it deserves a response. Some of the impressions that you might have from the petition motivation: 1. Our sport is under imminent threat! 2. The very future of our sport is at risk! 3. Accessible classes like the Laser Radial will be excluded from the Olympics! 4. Up to 8 of the ... Read More »

In Memoriam – Ankie Roux

by Richard Crockett Harken South Africa this morning announced the passing of Ankie Roux, their CEO, on Thursday evening after post-operative complications. I have always enjoyed a very good relationship with Ankie who was always a man willing to listen and support thoughts and ideas put to him. He was a great supporter of our sport, and especially SAILING Magazine, which is how I got to know him. A passionate sailor, astute businessman and friend to many who will be ... Read More »

A Record Wave Height Measured in the Southern Ocean

On 9 May the MetOcean Solutions wave buoy moored in the Southern Ocean recorded a massive 23.8 m wave. “This is a very exciting event and to our knowledge it is largest wave ever recorded in the Southern Hemisphere,” says Senior Oceanographer Dr Tom Durrant. “Our own previous record was one year ago when we measured a 19.4 m wave, and before that in 2012 an Australian buoy recorded a maximum individual wave (Hmax) of 22.03 m. So, this is ... Read More »

Where is Sailing Actually Headed?

By Richard Crockett Has World Sailing (WS), the governing body of our sport, finally lost the plot? It’s tough enough as it is getting bums on boats, but now they have launched the eSailing World Championship – or should it be ‘Chumpionship’! Yes, a world championship where one does not have to leave the comfort of your armchair, nor get your favourite slippers wet, all the while having limitless stocks of your favourite tipple close to hand! It’s simply all ... Read More »

An Uneasy Feeling

by Richard Crockett I have followed the ‘politics’ of sailing in this country for many years now, especially the role our various State Owned Entities and other government bodies that affect our sport – that being recreational boating, and in my case, specifically recreational sailing. My uneasiness comes from the fact that Transnet, and more specifically TNPA (Transnet National Ports Authority), appears to have placed a target on the back of recreational boating, and is slowly but surely shooting arrows ... Read More »

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 »