GGR. Susie Goodall Survives ‘Horrific’ Storm

In a satphone call to Race HQ today, British skipper Susie Goodall spoke for the first time about an ‘horrendous’ few days when her Rustler 36 yacht ‘DHL Starlight’ was caught in a horrific Southern Ocean storm some 250 miles south of Cape Leeuwin, Australia. The storm developed just as suddenly and with the same ferocity as the one that led to Gregor McGuckin and Abhilash Tomy being rolled and dismasted two weeks ago. “The storm really kicked in between ... Read More »

In Memoriam. Barry Cullen

by Richard Crockett Barry Cullen passed away last week after a long illness. Together with his brother Patrick they were cruising pioneers in this country after fully restoring an old Norwegian lifeboat named ‘Sandefjord’ and sailing her around the world from Durban to Durban. They made a full-length movie of this circumnavigation, and after its premier in Durban, it went on a national circuit. The movie ‘Sandefjord’ inspired many people to take up sailing as a sport and pastime. I ... Read More »

2018 Etchells Worlds. Day One – What a tease!

By Richard Crockett The first day of any regatta is a nervy one, more so when the wind does not play ball – which is what happened in Brisbane this morning as just one late race was possible. The Race Officers had been clear about the use of the U Flag, so it was good to see that the fleet adopted a no nonsense policy when it came to starting, even if it did mean the spectators were not going ... Read More »


by Richard Crockett Over the weekend Loïc Lepage was dismasted 600 miles SW of Perth, Australia, reporting that ‘Laaland’s’ mast had broken in two places while sailing in 25 knot winds and 3 metre seas. After cutting away the rigging, the 62-year old sailor from Vannes, expressed some concern that one section of the mast may have damaged the hull near the keel, but that the initial ingress of water had stopped. He did not ask for assistance and was ... Read More »

Laser Nationals 2018. Langebaan Pulls Out ALL the Stops

by Alan Keen Twenty one Standards, seventeen Radials and eleven 4.7s competed in the Laser Nationals, 10 of whom travelled from KZN, 3 from the Northern region and 2 from George Lakes Yacht Club in the Southern Cape. The event was held over three days, 5 – 8 October, in Langebaan and what a fantastic three days it proved to be. Thanks must be given to Langebaan Yacht Club and Colin Whitehead for their assistance in getting it all together ... Read More »

Lipton Cup. The L26 is Confined to History – For Now Anyway

by Richard Crockett The ‘great debate’ about the future class for Lipton Cup is now over and has resulted in the L26 being superseded. The Lipton Cup trustees recently called for a vote on this matter, giving Clubs 3 options as follows: • No Change • The Cape 31 for 2019 and the J22 for 2020 • The Cape 31 for both 2019 & 2020 The vote showed that 14 were in favour of 2 trial years, and 7 against. ... Read More »

Golden Globe Race. Jean-Luc Van Den Heede passes through Hobart film gate

Jean-Luc Van Den Heede reached the Hobart film gate on Saturday to drop film and letters before heading out of Storm Bay to resume his lead in the Golden Globe Race. The 73-year old Matmut skipper was in good spirits and sighted the lengthy preparation work for his 1,600 mile lead. “The boat is good, the self steering works well and I have only minor problems like a leaking window to deal with.” Jean-Luc remained at anchor for over ... Read More »

International Schooner Association Founded

by Richard Crockett There is absolutely no good reason for this to be of interest to local sailors other than there are some stunningly good looking boats to look at. So if you don’t read this blurb, feast your eyes on the great pics. The grace, power and complexity of classic schooners engenders great passion in all who see these wonderful examples of naval architecture, mostly heralding from that golden age of yacht construction in the first decades of the ... Read More »

The Route du Rhum – Destination Guadeloupe

Record Entry in its 40th Anniversary Year The Route du Rhum-Destination Guadeloupe – one of the classic races in solo ocean sailing – has attracted a record entry this year as it celebrates its 40th anniversary, and which starts in just 30 days time. This is a 3,542-nautical mile race from Saint-Malo in Brittany to Point-à-Pitre on the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. It was first held in 1978 and has since established itself as one of the big targets ... Read More »

Alex Thomson. On a Mission to Complete the Climb

Britain’s Alex Thomson may be best known for his stunts but he really wants to win the Vendée Globe. Thomson failed to finish in his first two attempts, but a third and a second in the last two additions has given him hope that he can conquer this solo non-stop race around the world. “It doesn’t compute in my brain to give up,” says Thomson, though he has probably been more tempted than most of us to do just that. ... Read More »

Sailing’s James Dean – the Mike Plant story

  by Brian Hancock I watched a terrific movie last night. It was the kind of movie that would have changed the trajectory of my life had my life not already been on a similar trajectory. The movie was Coyote and it’s the true story of the American sailor Mike Plant and his ambition to win the Vendée Globe. I met Mike many years ago. I was introduced to him by my friend Roger Martin, a fellow South African living ... Read More »

‘Vixen’ of Victoria B.C. – Her Visit to Rodrigues

 by Richard Crockett The world is a very small place today, especially as one can communicate with others almost anywhere in the world at lightening fast speeds! In August I wrote a short piece about ‘Vixen’ of Victoria British Columbia having come across two pics of the boat taken when moored on a chain mooring in Durban. It was in 1958 that those pics were taken. I super-sleuthed on the internet and found ‘Vixen’s’ current owners, Bruce Halabisky and Tiffany ... Read More »

The Yacht Racing Forum 2018

The 11th edition of the Yacht Racing Forum will take place in Lorient, France, on October 22 & 23. A business oriented conference, the Forum will reassemble the sport’s leading brands and personalities for two days of conferences, debates, networking and business. The Yacht Racing Forum is the unique opportunity for everyone involved in yacht racing to reach out to the international sailing community in two days and one location. More than 300 delegates including twenty-five media representatives from all ... Read More »

Golden Globe Race. It’s Tough Being A Singlehander

Gregor McGuckin arrives in Perth Gregor McGuckin arrived into Rockingham, Perth, Western Australia aboard the Australian frigate ‘HMAS Ballarat’ following the dismasting of his Biscay 36 yacht ‘Hanley Energy Endurance’ during a southern ocean storm on 21 September. Speaking at a press conference, the 32-year old Irish yachtsman said “It’s fantastic to be here in Perth. While Australia was never my intended final port, I couldn’t be happier and more grateful right now. My journey started some 92 days ago, ... Read More »

October 2018 ‘Raymarine’ Sailor of the Month – Dave Shilton

Dave Shilton was invited to join a group of Finn sailors in a 2-week ‘Emerging Nations’ Programme before the 2018 Finn Gold Cup in Denmark. He received intense coaching and support both before and during the Gold Cup. The programme proved a great success for Shilton as he was 5th in the first race of the regatta against the best in the world. His final position was a credible 56th out of 90 boats. Shilton’s dream was to come back ... Read More »