Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clew Ring New Generic

Looking back to 2012's sailing adventurers

by Nancy Knudsen on 1 Jan 2013
Paul Larsen .. .
The two words that most come to mind when you think of sailing are 'freedom' and 'adventure'. Just stepping onto the boat can give you a sense of both, but in 2012 there were those who took their adventure seriously. Here's a round-up of the most adventurous non-racing sailors of the year, some of whom were attempting to be the 'first', some trying for speed records, others just sailed for the love of it.

January 2012:
The year began with Australian Paul Larsen announcing that he was going to try - yet again - to beat the world sailing speed record in Namibia in a strange craft called SailRocket 2, and he spent the year doing it - more of Paul later.

Still in the speed stakes, in the middle of the month, French sailor Loick Peyron with a crew on Banque Populaire V, completed a journey which would have thrilled Jules Verne - a new world circumnavigation speed sailing record, in under 46 hours.

Before January was finished, 16-year-old Dutch/New Zealand teen sailor Laura Dekker completed her own circumnavigation of the world, becoming the youngest (by far) person to complete such a voyage.


February 2012:
During February, tearaway Norwegian sailor Jarle Andhoey, whose three crew had died the year before in Antarctica when their boat Beserk II was lost in a storm, had returned in another newly purchase boat, Nilaya, to 'investigate what happened.' Controversy followed him all the way, with illegal departures and stowaways, lack of permission to enter Antarctic waters, false radio information and the flying of pirate flags.


March 2012:
Intrepid almost-seventy-year-old solo adventurer, British sailor Jeanne Socrates, set off from Capetown to return via the Southern Ocean to Vancouver where she intended to commence yet another attempt at a solo non-stop circumnavigation. On arrive in Vancouver she had already become the oldest woman to solo circumnavigate the world, but this wasn't enough.


Also in March a Ukrainian yacht crew on a sailing boat called Scorpius, skippered by Sergei Nizovtsev, claimed a new world record in sailing further south than any other boat had gone. This was challenged in a number of quarters (including a moth which had sailed IN but not TO Antarctica and Beserk II, which had sunk) but it was a tremendous achievement for the 98ft boat.


April 2012:
In April the most spectacular adventure sail to be completed was by American sailor Matt Rutherford, who sailed a 27ft boat in the first ever non-stop solo circumnavigation of the Americas. Towards the end of the voyage, which took approximately ten months, most of his electronic systems and his motor had failed, the wind generator and solar panels had also failed. He reported his position with a failing cellphone. But, against the odds, he did it, and arrived home to a hero's welcome.


May 2012:
All the adventures weren't by solo sailors in small boats. The world's tall ships are mostly used these days for sail training, and it's not only the well-known sailing nations who undertake these tall ship adventures. In May a replica of Captain Cook's famous vessel, the HMB Endeavour, returned to Sydney following a 400 day circumnavigation of Australia. Indonesia's tallship, the Dewaruci arrived in Miami Florida, just half way round a circumnavigation for dozens of lucky sailing students and their crew.


June 2012:
It was June when most cold-adventure-seeking yachts set off for the Northwest Passage, the warming of the planet making it a possible, but still extremely difficult and dangerous journey. Among them were Canadian Sailor Nicolas Peissel and Swedish sailor Edvin Buregren, sailing a 31st Hallberg-rassy, Belzebub II. The difference was they were going for an even more northerly route than 'usual'.

July 2012:
In July British sailor Ludo Bennett-Jones, sailing a 16ft Wayfarer dinghy, completed a circumnavigation of Britain, being the youngest to complete such a journey. He did it two-handed, sometimes solo, and in so doing raised substantial funds for the Ellen Macarthur Cancer Trust.


August 2012:
In August word came through that Belezebub II had conquered the McClure Strait in the Northwest Passage, while in the other hemisphere Laura Dekker, who had become the youngest ever circumnavigator back in January, had sailed to New Zealand to make it her home, rejecting the Netherlands, who had used all their powers to prevent her from going sailing.


September 2012:
Scorpius, which was last heard of in the Antarctic in March, had sailed north to conquer the Northwest Passage. She had been stuck in heavy ice flows in the Northwest Passage (in the East Siberian Sea) but had now broken free and was continuing her journey.


October 2012:
The Northwest Passage was still making the news with about 40 boats this year taking it on. In October the Italian sailing world was celebrating because the first ever Italian sailing boat, Best Explorer, a 51ft steel cutter, skippered by Nanni Acquarone, conquered the once-dreaded Passage.

November 2012:
Remember Australian sailor Paul Larsen? Announcing in January that he would again try to break the world speed sailing record? All year he's been there, trying, recalculating, redesigning, trying again. It's taken most of the year, but in November he was able to announce he had actually sailed at 68knots, and had set a world speed sailing record over a sustained period of a mind-boggline 65.45 knots.

Also in November the indomitable now-seventy-year-old Jeanne Socrates sets off from Vancouver on her 38ft Nereida to attempt, once again, a non-stop solo unassisted circumnavigation. As the year ends she is heading for the curling tail of South America and worrying about reports of heavy ice in the vicinity of Cape Horn. Good luck Jeanne!

November seemed to be a good month for starting sailing adventures. Early in November Indian naval officer and sailor Abhilash Tomy set off in an Indian-built Hallberg-Rassy designed yacht aiming to become the first ever Indian solo nonstop unassisted circumnavigator, while in China a 47-year-old former scientist and experienced sailor, departed in a Class 40 boat, a light racer, hoping for the same achievement.


December 2012:
In December 23-year-old Andrew Lewis, a Trinidadian sailor, successfully crossed the Atlantic between Tobago and Trinidad in a 14ft Laser. In addition, adding to the number of adventurers in small craft, British sailor Pete Goss, well known to more than very keen sailors because of a heroic rescue that he carried out in the Southern Ocean some years ago, has set out with a friend to circumnavigate Tasmania by sailing kayak.


So it was quite a year. Sail-World Cruising followed all these adventures, reporting on them from time to time. It's time now to congratulate them, one and all, for following their star and embarking on what, without exception, was the stuff of dreams for most of us.

Related Articles

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
The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
Rio 2016 - Kiwi women sailors jump to escape Olympic Selectors' axe
Two New Zealand sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team Two New Zealand women sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team in what is expected to be the final round of announcements.
Posted on 18 Mar
Schaefer 2016 660x82T Clewring One DesignSouthern Spars - 100