Volvo Ocean Race. An Electrifying Time on Brunel

by Richard Crockett Being a crew member on a VOR yacht is far from being glamorous. Yes, people around the world may look up to you in awe, but the dangers involved go far beyond the dangers of bad weather and big seas. Just ask Bouwe Bekking who is on his 7th race around the world! “Yesterday we ran through a massive thunderstorm, with a huge amount of lightning. The stable breeze instantly changed and before we knew it we ... Read More »

DIY Boatbuilding. Building ‘Ongemak’. part 2

Part 2 of 3 parts by Oloff de Wet Brothers Oloff and Muir de Wet recently launched their aluminium sloop, ‘Ongemak’, which they built over a period of five years. This is part 2 of their nautical adventure in their backyard which offers some very sage advice to anyone contemplating a self-build sailing yacht project. Money One can not discuss the idea of building one’s own boat, and of extended cruising, without considering the question of money. “How can you ... Read More »

DIY Boatbuilding. Building ‘Ongemak’. Part 1

Part 1 of 3 parts by Oloff de Wet Brothers Oloff and Muir de Wet recently launched their aluminium sloop, ‘Ongemak’, which they built over a period of five years. This is part 1 of their nautical adventure in their backyard which offers some very sage advice to anyone contemplating a self-build sailing yacht project. The Name Occasionally one has the rare privilege of reading a sentence or two that capture your sentiments much better than you yourself could. ‘There ... Read More »

Clipper Race Departs for Final Stage of All-Australian Leg

The final stage of the All-Australian Leg in the Clipper 2017-18 Race, officially known as Race 6: The Wondrous Whitsundays Race, is now underway from Hobart, Tasmania to Airlie Beach, in the Whitsundays. Overall race leaders Sanya Serenity Coast, Skippered by Australian Wendy Tuck, was the first across the line, followed closely by Visit Seattle and Dare To Lead, continued to lead the fleet up the River Derwent. The fleet is expected to face a predominantly upwind race with crews ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Who Would Want To… ?

By Richard Crockett Who in their right mind would want to be the navigator, weather guru and tactician on a Volvo Ocean Race boat? Many hands will undoubtedly go up, yet it has to be one of the toughest jobs in the race. No, it’s not necessarily physical, although these guys do also sail the boat, but it takes many hours of brain power, tons of time pouring over GRIB files, looking at ocean currents – and much, much more. ... Read More »

Jon Sanders Completes a Record 10th Circumnavigation

Just before Christmas (2017) Jon Sanders left Rottnest Island on the last leg of his mostly single-handed circumnavigation last week. The passage was approximately 500nm. He arrived in Carnarvon, Western Australia, aboard s/v Perie Banou II, an S&S 39, on Wednesday the 20 December, 14 months after departing Fremantle. Once again Sanders has accomplished the extraordinary, fuelled by his mantra, “Why be ordinary when I can be original?” The 78-year old, who underwent open heart surgery in 2015, achieved yet ... Read More »

Sailor of the Year – Role of Honour

The SAILING Mag Blog ‘Sailor of the Year’ role of honour consists of many fine names of top South African yachties. The latest sailors to receive the SAILING Magazine Blog ‘Sailor of the Year’ award are Alex Burger & Benji Daniel who won the 29er Worlds in August 2017. This is the very first time since inception of this award has there been a joint award. These two up-and-coming young sailors have been interviewed by William Crockett. READ THE INTERVIEWS ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. The 25 Best Pics of Leg 3

by Richard Crockett Before we look at these impressive pics from Leg 3, give a thought not only to the crew sailing the boats, but also to the OBRs (on board reporters) who take the pics and send them ashore for us to enjoy. Their job can be as taxing as those sailing the boat, and confines them below deck to their cramped quarters for long periods while they write reports, edit and send pics. Leg 4 to Hong Kong ... Read More »

Sailors of the Year – Alex Burger & Benji Daniel

by Richard Crockett It is never easy as a judge deciding who is the SAILING Mag Blog ‘Sailor of the Year’ as competition for the top spot is always tight. This year was no different, although two young sailors stood out head and shoulders above everyone else, and were a unanimous choice of the four anonymous judges in this competition. This competition has always been about one individual, not a team, but the judges felt that this year that rule ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. MAPHRE’s Slaughter of the Southern Ocean

by Richard Crockett Now that AkzoNobel has finished the leg from Cape Town to Melbourne after some damage early in the leg, it’s worth just stepping back and taking a look at MAPHRE’s great victory, how the fleet finished and what changes the teams are making for the next leg to Hong Kong. MAPFRE slaughtered this Southern Ocean leg, and the opposition too, and she did it in style and without significant breakages. Xabi Fernández and his crew sailed the ... Read More »

Rolex Sydney Hobart. It was all for ‘Nought’!

Having traversed the Sydney to Hobart race course in record time, Wild Oats XI had her line honours victory and race record taken away from her after an International Jury applied an penalty as she ‘failed to keep clear’ shortly after the start. LDV Comanche has now been awarded line honours PLUS the race record. International Jury Chairman, John Rountree said: “Wild Oats XI on port had to keep clear of LDV Comanche under Rule 10. Wild Oats XI failed ... Read More »

Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. A Record on the Cards

The two leading supermaxis LDV Comanche and Wild Oats XI are heading to a race record finish in the Derwent later today. They are each sailing down the Tasmanian east coast at 20-30 knots before a strong north-easterly wind, LDV Comanche 11 miles ahead of the eight-time winner. The computer prediction shows a finish for both after 10h00 today, although that could be later once they turn at Tasman Island and tackle Storm Bay and the river. The good news ... Read More »

Podium Christmas Gift for Asenathi & Alex

Yesterday in Palamos, Spain, Asenathi Jim and Alex Ham plucked a great Christmas gift from under the tree when they finished 3rd overall in the Christmas Regatta for Olympic classes. Alex Ham sent this brief report: “The medal race was tough, we were leading by quite a margin, but confusion caused by the Race Committee not displaying the correct course saw us lose out. Second place was within our reach if we won, but we had to settle for third ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Pushing to the Limit

by Richard Crockett It’s been a physical battle and a mental challenge as the crews fight off exhaustion on a final push to the south – with MAPFRE being the first to have broken through the 1000nm to go barrier. She has also extended her lead over rivals Dongfeng Race Team, but with Dongfeng having chosen to go into ‘Stealth Mode’, her performance and position is unknown at the moment. While the finish line isn’t quite in sight, the most ... Read More »

Ham & Jim in 470 Medal Race Today

Yesterday in Palamos, Spain, the day started with a Northerly wind of about 15 knots which by early afternoon had dropped to about 10 knots. Alex Ham reported: “Today was super tricky sailing; lighter wind with choppy sea state. The fleet was far more bunched up. We’re lying comfortably 3rd now with the medal race tomorrow”. Their results after 7 races are: 3rd overall Asenathi JIM & Alexander HAM 11; 4; 2; 2; 3; 3; 4 Good luck guys, all ... Read More »