Solo adventurers, Shackleton re-enactment, new life jacket rules...
Solo sailors are a different bunch. A couple of years ago we had a raft of teen sailors who sailed solo round the world – British Michael Perham, American Zac Sunderland, the spectacular Australian young sailor Jessica Watson and finally, the youngest of them all, Dutch New Zealander Laura Dekker. Now, at the other end of the scale, there seems to be a raft of sailors in their 70's trying to do the same thing. This week we tell of Jeanne Socrates, on her way past the equator and heading for the Horn on a non-stop attempt, and of a new contender, Stanley Paris, preparing a boat called Kiwi Spirit for the same quest. Of course it will be almost impossible to outshine Japanese sailor Minoru Saito, who, at 76, last year completed his eighth solo sail around the world.
Speaking of Kiwis, I couldn't help noticing that Yachting New Zealand have generously included a Cruising Award in their annual Yachting Excellence Awards, but Yachting Australia persists in completely ignoring this growing sector of Australian sailing. Come on, cruising sailors, bring some pressure to bear on Yachting Australia - after all, your dollars are supporting them too!
Two new yachts and a new mast are in the news. From superyacht to Laser. The latest superyacht's resemblance to the Maltese Falcon is hotly defended, the new Laser mast is carbon fibre and virtually unbreakable, and the aluminium lifting-keel Allures 39.9 is worth examining as your next around-the-world cruising yacht.
Solar - not like Maltese Falcon at all? .. .
AMVER, that fabulous voluntary reporting system is in the news - again - with a rescue by a superyacht, and Britain's RNLI has passed an amazing bench-mark – their 140,000th rescue.
'Practical Boat Bits and Tips' is the name of the eBook just released by our own Australian adventure cruiser Jude Binder; there's a feature on the Marine Commander, a multi-talented display screen which will show all your safety navigation features at once; and Des Ryan tells us how to keep our precious topsides safe with smart fendering.
Finally, I have to mention a sailing adventure it will be well worth following when it starts next month:
Alexandra Shackleton - the original James Caird setting off .. .
Tim Jarvis is the adventurer whom the granddaughter of Ernest Shackleton has chosen to re-enact her grandfather's legendary rescue sail from Elephant Island in the Antarctic to the island of South Georgia.
Much more too, so browse the headlines to find your interest.
Sweet sailing and don't forget to read the new life jacket rules!
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