Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring - Cruising

Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins

by CBC on 19 Jul 2014
Henri Lloyd skipper Eric Holden celebrates with the Clipper Race trophy on the podium after the Round the World Race Finish in London. EMPICS Sport
2013 - 14 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Thousands lined the banks of the River Thames near Tower Bridge to welcome a parade of a dozen 70-foot yachts and 270 crew members back from a round-the-world race — and a B.C. sailor commanded the yacht that led the pack.

Thirty-four-year-old Eric Holden of Vancouver was showered in champagne as the Clipper Race trophy was presented to him and the crew of the Henri Lloyd in London today.

The Clipper Round the World event covers 16 individual races over 64,300 kilometres with an overall winner in a Formula one - style scoring system. It joins together amateur sailors — some who'd never even been on a boat before — with an experienced skipper.

Speaking with CBC News on the phone from the celebration party, Holden called the experience life-changing and said the support from Canada has been superb.



'We're not a huge sailing nation, and the support has just been growing and growing every leg, every success we've had and that's really been keeping me going through some of the tough times,' he said.

'If I've encouraged any people to get out there and try sailing, or offshore sailing in Canada, then that will just be a huge bonus for me.'

Holden was the only Canadian skipper in the race, and was joined on the 11-month journey by a crew that included four other Canadians: nurse Fiona Garforth-Bies, of Bragg Creek, Alta; heavy duty mechanic James Dick, from Victoria, B.C.; construction inspector Michael Jauncey, from Toronto; and recent college grad Morgen Watson, of Calgary.

Experienced skipper, amateur crew

Holden, who was named Sail Canada's sailor of the month for both April and May, sailed for Canada's national team for five years. He was the weather forecaster for the Canadian sailing team at the 2012 London Olympics.

Many of the race's crew members, who are allocated to teams to ensure a similar skill set across the fleet, had no previous sailing experience. They undergo 26 days of training before setting sail.

The race literature warns: 'While the crew may be amateur, no one has told the ocean that. The sea does not distinguish between Olympians or novices and if the Southern Ocean, the Pacific or the South Atlantic decides to throw down the gauntlet, the crews need to be ready to face exactly the same challenges as those experienced by the pro racer.'

'I don't know how we can be labelled an amateur team any longer, considering all we have been through together and how they have risen to every challenge. Many top sailors will have gone their whole careers and never experienced conditions like these.' - Eric Holden, 2013-2014 skipper of the Henri Lloyd

Holden told The Canadian Press earlier this week that he was proud of how well his crew fared in the extreme conditions they faced, saying they developed a good respect for Mother Nature. They saw everything from winds of 160 kilometres per hour and 'mountainous seas' in the Southern Ocean, to lightning, thunderstorms and waterspouts in the tropics, to the dead wind in the Doldrums — an equatorial region known for bringing boats to a halt.

During a particularly challenging stretch between Cape Town and Albany, Australia, Holden wrote: 'The team are loving these conditions and doing everything I could ask of them. I don't know how we can be labelled an amateur team any longer, considering all we have been through together and how they have risen to every challenge. Many top sailors will have gone their whole careers and never experienced conditions like these.'



The gruelling race was conceived in 1995 by English sailor Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who, in 1969, became the first person to complete an individual non-stop circumnavigation of the globe.

Knox-Johnston, who still sails competitively at age 75, chose Holden from some 180 applicants to become the race's first ever Canadian skipper.

'He's very focused. And he's a meteorologist, which always helps with ocean racing,' Knox-Johnston said on Holden's success. 'His crew obviously thinks very highly of him, he's showing very good leadership.'

Holden isn't sure of his immediate plans once the race ends, including whether or not he'll be part of Canada's sailing squad at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

'Offshore yacht racing is what I do for a living, and when I'm not racing, I'm doing weather forecasting for other yachts,' he said. 'This race has taken up all my energy for the past 18 months, so I haven't had time to look past the end of this race.'

To read full story please follow the link: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-s-eric-holden-skippers-winning-clipper-race-yacht-1.2705274

Southern Spars - 100InSunSport - NZT Clewring - Generic

Related Articles

America's Cup - Arbitration Panel Hearing over Kiwi Qualifier for July
ACEA CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. In a yet to be published interview in Sail-World, America’s Cup Events Authority CEO, Russell Coutts has confirmed that the Arbitration Panel will hold its first Hearing in July. This is the first official indication that the three person Arbitration Panel had even been formed, however Sail-World’s sources indicated that it had been empanelled since last January, possibly earlier.
Posted today at 3:19 am
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr