Atlantic Cup. A Brutal Passage For Donald Alexander

by Richard Crockett The lone South African entry in this two-handed race, survived the brutal conditions on the 360nm second leg, to finish, while others were not as fortunate. For Donald Alexander (yes, the brother of that highly passionate Laser sailor from Durban), started the leg badly as his electronic nav and weather systems all failed to ‘talk’ to each other – which even had the experts baffled! Then not long after the start he had to make a passage ... Read More »

New Ownership for Volvo Ocean Race

As the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-18 builds towards an exciting finish in June in The Hague, organisers can confirm the next edition of the race will start in 2021, under new ownership. Atlant Ocean Racing Spain, led by Richard Brisius, Johan Salén and Jan Litborn, will take over the Volvo Ocean Race from Volvo Group and Volvo Cars, the co-owners of the event for the past 20 years. Brisius, Salén and Litborn have extensive experience in the premier round the ... Read More »

Atlantic Cup. RSA 7th on Leg 1

by Richard Crockett Donald Alexander and his crew Paul Peggs had a tough slow ride into the finish covering just 85nm in the final 24 hours, and finished under the watchful eye of the Statue of Liberty. Their extreme inshore leg looked as if it was going to pay big dividends at one point, but light winds and a poor heading away from the coast put paid to that strategy. However their 7th place over the line on this first ... Read More »

Atlantic Cup Teams Consolidate Off Maryland

South African Donald Alexander on Power of One is into 5th place now and handily placed on an inshore leg. In the last 24-hours of the Atlantic Cup there’s been a significant consolidation in the fleet. Yesterday afternoon the boats were sailing north fast and furiously and were divided into three strategic camps–left, centre and right. Overnight, the French team skippered by Catherine Pourre and Pietro Luciani on Eärendil decided to change course and head west across the top of ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean race. Brunel Win Leg 9

The Team Brunel crew held its nerve to take a hard-fought win in Leg 9 and move within striking distance of the overall Volvo Ocean Race lead. Since arriving in Auckland with a disappointing sixth place finish, the Dutch team has posted a 1-2-1 scoreline, including wins on the final two double-point scoring legs and moved from also-ran to a firm podium position with an eye on the top spot. To get the leg win, Bekking had to fend off ... Read More »

Atlantic Cup. RSA Class 40 Two-Man Team Competing

by Richard Crockett There is many a local RSA sailor who will remember Donald Alexander as a tough and wiley competitor on the race course when he sailed, Dabbies, Sprogs, Fireballs and Lasers. In fact in juts about anything he sailed he was able to go fast and always be a threat. Having recently hit the ripe old age of 60, Donald, the younger brother of Campbell Alexander a doyen of the RSA Laser Class, decided to embark on this ... Read More »

Team Akzonobel Breaks 600-nautical Mile Barrier

Team Akzonobel has become the first crew in Volvo Ocean Race history to exceed 600 nautical miles (1,111 kilometres) in a 24-hour period during Leg 9 across the Atlantic from the United States to the United Kingdom. The team clocked up 602.51nm (1,115.8 kilometres) in a single 24-hour period, averaging 25.1 knots (46.48 kilometres per hour), and beating the previous record of 596.6nm (1,104.9 km) set by the Volvo Open 70 Ericsson 4 in the 2008-09 race. Only hours earlier ... Read More »

Volvo Ocean Race. Advantage Ebbs and Flows – and Record Being Eyed!

The fleet is beginning to converge after a big split early in Leg 9. But who will come out with the advantage is not yet clear. Conditions for the next 30 hours are favourable for posting big miles – and some sailors are talking about breaking the 24-hour distance record. With the wind above 25 knots, the sea relatively flat, and the wind angle favourable to the Volvo Ocean 65s, there is a possibility of breaking the 24-hour distance sailed ... Read More »

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 »