Sailor of the Century - 8 solo circumnavigations and he's only 77 - Dekker heads into Indian Ocean...Vital standing rigging checks...SolarPlanet makes it to Singapore...why does red protect night vision?... and much more...

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 29 Sep 2011

Eight solo circumnavigations and he's only 77

Minoru Saito, 8 solo circumnavigations and he's only 77  
Two solo adventurers - one 77 and one 16 - are in the news this week – Japanese sailor Minoru Saito has become the first sailor, racing or cruising, who is known to have completed eight solo circumnavigations and he is the oldest known solo sailor to have completed a circumnavigation at all. What an achievement!

At the other end of the age spectrum, Dutch/New Zealander Laura Dekker, who has so far crossed two oceans with a minimum of fuss, has just left Darwin in Australia heading west into the Indian Ocean, her route a well-guarded secret.

It's timely that Tom Sampson, who organised convoys through the Gulf of Aden in 2010, is warning this week about the dodgy convoy leaders advertising convoys for 2012 through the dangerous waters of the Indian Ocean.

Just to remind us how dangerous they are, Bruno Pelizzari, kidnapped almost a year ago off the coast of Africa with his partner Deborah Calitz, has made his first telephone call to the outside world. The Somalis are still asking $4 million for their release.

The interview that had me guffawing in a most unseemly manner this week was that with an experienced old salt, New Zealander Frank Cooper, who was reported missing when he and his Norwegian boat-owner were 'overdue' on a trans-Atlantic crossing. Don't miss this story – his opinions, which wouldn't please many a marketing company, show a fine appreciation of what it is to be a good seaman.

Lots of practical information here too, as onboard equipment gets smarter and smaller – this week a clever clever autopilot, and an enhanced AIS half the size of its predecessor and quite a lot smarter.

Skip down the headlines and see lots more stories to amuse, entertain or inform.

Sweet sailing!

Nancy Knudsen, Editor

Sailor of the Century: Eight solo circumnavigations for Minoru Saito

He has done it. Minoru Saito, seventy-seven year old Japanese solo sailor, has completed his eighth solo circumnavigation. There were times when it seemed as though the famed hardy sailor would never make it, but that would be to underestimate the incredible toughness of this gentle hero. He is now the first - and oldest - sailor to make eight circumnavigations solo.... [more]
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Teen solo sailor heads into the Indian Ocean - route secret
Lyall Mercer/Sail-World,
Sixteen year old sailor Laura Dekker glided out of Darwin Australia early Sunday morning aware that she was heading into the most dangerous section of her journey as she attempts to become the youngest person to solo-circumnavigate the globe.... [more]
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Dangers of Gulf of Aden Convoys: A previous convoy leader warns
Tom Sampson/Sail-World Cruising,
In 2010 Tom Sampson, a retired British Royal Air Force officer, organised a convoy through the Gulf of Aden for 27 yachts. To do so, he devised a military-style set of guidelines which, while the convoys had some scary moments, served them well and was to be used as a blueprint for future convoys. However, in Sampson's opinion the 'game changed' in 2011:... [more]
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South Africa stays firm - no ransom payment for cruising sailors
TimesLive/Sail-World Cruising,
Somali pirates who kidnapped Durban couple Bruno Pelizzari and Deborah Calitz almost a year ago have promised to kill them if the $4-million ransom is not paid soon. However, the South African Government, along with the British Government and many others, considers that the payment of ransoms by governments will only increase the risk to future sailors, and have refused.... [more]
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Missing Kiwi sailor turns up in Ireland unaware of search
Michael Field,,
A New Zealand seadog believed lost aboard a small yacht in the hurricane-swept North Atlantic turned up alive and well today in Portmagee, Ireland. Frank Cooper, 62, did not know three nations were looking for him and the 10-metre Golden Eagle. 'Delivering boats and living on 'em and sailing 'em is all adventure as long as you survive mate,' he said between a meal of roast duck and promises... [more]
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New Product of the Week: Autopilot with 'Safe Helm' and power steering
Nancy Knudsen,
This Product of the Week is the Furuno's Navpilot 700 series autopilot, introducing two exciting upgrades to earlier models. Now, great for emergency manoeuvering, you can just touch the helm to take over the steering and it will later return to autohelm mode automatically or manually. The other is a real boon for difficult sea conditions - a 'power-assist' that resembles power steering in a car.... [more]
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New Product Feature: AIT 2000 from Digital Yacht
Tracy Comer/Sail-World Cruising,
It's absolutely a no-brainer that the AIS is, if not an essential piece of equipment, then one any prudent sailor would be mad to go without one if you can afford it. So it's always great news to hear that they are getting smaller, smarter or cheaper. Now Digital Yacht has introduced a new class B AIS Transponder called the AIT2000.... [more]
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Yacht Feature: New NEEL 45 trimaran
Multihull Solutions,
Innovative trimaran builder NEEL has produced an exciting new model, the NEEL 45, which has been greeted with enthusiasm from multihull enthusiasts worldwide.... [more]
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A year later and Turanor PlanetSolar has reached Singapore

In all the places that they have visited along the way, the Turanor PlanetSolar has received a warm, if sometimes a somewhat astonished reception. However, as the fame of the great craft grows, so does the astonishment subside, replaced by a awe at their achievement..... [more]
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Standing Rigging Checks - the vital checklist
John Jamieson,
Could you name the single most important standing rigging fitting to check each time before you set sail? John Jamieson (Captain John) here shows you the most vital rigging checks you need to make aboard your cruising sailboat for trouble-free cruising.... [more]
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Book of the Week: Two's a Crew by Jack and Jude Binder
Sail-World Cruising,
Now in its second edition, Two's a Crew is a cruising narrative by Jack and Jude Binder of their circumnavigation of Australia between February 2007 and June 2009. As they say in their first chapter, the story really starts many years before.... [more]
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Red lights for good night vision - but why?
Lee Mylchreest,
Red lights in the cockpit or cabin are there to protect your night vision - that critically important sense to achieve the very best outcome when scanning for objects on the horizon at night. But have you ever wondered just why the red lights achieve this? Read on...... [more]
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New Ownership at UK Sailmakers Northwest
Chris Dudenas,
Local sailmaking mainstay UK Sailmakers Northwest is pleased to announce the successful transition of ownership from Tim Knight to Stuart and Joy Dahlgren. While the actual purchase took place earlier this summer, all parties were committed to ensuring a high level of continuity for customers and industry partners and thus executed a 'soft handover' that has resulted in seamless client service.... [more]
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Crew who 'vanished' in Atlantic get heroes' welcome in Ireand
Majella O'Sullivan,,
The two-man crew of a yacht that had gone missing during a transatlantic voyage were last night settling down for their best night's sleep in weeks. New Zealander Frank Cooper (62) and Norwegian Arvid Moe (69), owner of the Golden Eagle, arrived safely in Portmagee, Co Kerry, yesterday afternoon -- 36 days after they had set sail from Bermuda.... [more]
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