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Cyclops Marine 2023 October - LEADERBOARD

Celebrating sailing's exclusive clubs & latest Caribbean 600 news - Canada newsletter


Celebrating sailing's exclusive clubs and latest Caribbean 600 news

North Sails 2021 Innovation - LEADERBOARD

J Composites 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Mount Everest - photo © anon

Dear Recipient Name

Rarified clubs can be a cool thing, especially if the only way in is to earn it. Just ask Reinhold Messner, the famed Italian (he's from the South Tyrol region) mountaineer, who became the first person to climb all 14 of the world's 8,000-meter peaks without supplemental oxygen over the span of 16 years.

Impressively, Messner also made the first solo ascent of Mount Everest (29,031 feet; 8,848 meters), and became the first person to cross Antarctica and Greenland without dogsleds or snowmobiles. To say Messner is an absolute machine is a little bit like saying that Dennis Conner or Russell Coutts know a thing or two about winning the America's Cup.

But while Messner inspired generations of climbers and wannabe mountaineers (your humble scribe counts himself amongst the latter category), the reality is that others have continued to push this envelope.

Case in point: Nirmal Purja's stunning ascents of all 8,000 meter peaks in under seven months. (There's a great movie about Purja's ascent's called "14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible" on Netflix.)

Granted, Purja is no ordinary Western bumbler, the likes of which can be found by the dozen in Kathmandu's Thamel District. The Nepali national served with honor in Nepal's elite Gurkha forces (think Navy SEALs), and he had climbed several 8,000-meter peaks before commencing his jaw-dropping rampage across the Himalaya.

If you happened to see Purja's now-infamous summit photo of Everest, taken in May of 2019, with a long line of climbers waiting to summit, you'll see what I'm getting at. While climbing Mount Everest (or any 8,000-meter peak) is a seriously hard and high-stakes endeavor, many boots have left their prints on the roof of the world. In fact, it's now estimated that over 10,000 climbers have summited Sagarmatha (this being the Nepali name for Mount Everest).

That's a lot of footprints in the snow. Decidedly fewer have painted their wake around the planet.

This is where The International Association of Cape Horners (IACH) is quite unique. In 2020, the organization created a comprehensive list of all solo sailors who have circumnavigated the planet in organized races (such as the Vendee Globe).

Yannick Bestaven on Maître Coq IV first at Cape Horn in the Vendée Globe - photo © Yannick Bestaven / Maître Coq IV #VG2020
Yannick Bestaven on Maître Coq IV first at Cape Horn in the Vendée Globe - photo © Yannick Bestaven / Maître Coq IV #VG2020

Sea Sure 2021 - RED - MPU   Allen 2020 - A.597 - 600x500

To date, only 180 sailors have circumnavigated the planet nonstop via the three great capes (while I didn't count, there could have been that many down jackets in Purja's Mount Everest photo alone).

More recently, the organization created a list of all known circumnavigations involving multiple crewmembers during organized round-the-world races (e.g. the Whitbread/Volvo Ocean Race), however even this list is limited to some 1,848 brave souls.

While these lists are relatively short compared to Mount Everest's honor roll (I use this term lightly, especially considering Purja's less-than-inspiring image of high-altitude queues), the effort reflects a serious adventure on one side and a serious research project on the other.

Stu Bannatyne and Adam Minoprio on watch as we pass into the 'furious fifties' on our way south to Cape Horn onboard CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil - photo © Hamish Hooper
Stu Bannatyne and Adam Minoprio on watch as we pass into the 'furious fifties' on our way south to Cape Horn onboard CAMPER with Emirates Team New Zealand during leg 5 of the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12, from Auckland, New Zealand to Itajai, Brazil - photo © Hamish Hooper

Aquaventures 2021 Nov - SeaAngel - MPU   Barton Marine 2019 600x500

"The International Association of Cape Horners applaud the continuing interest in sailing around the world, particularly among Corinthian sailors excited by the opportunities that now arise from events like the 2022 Golden Globe Race, the Global Solo Challenge and Ocean Globe Race for fully crewed yachts starting in 2023," said Ashley Manton, chairman of the IACH, in an official media release.

"These competitors and their professional counterparts taking on the challenge of the 2022 Ocean Race and future Jules Verne record attempts, along with those who choose to cruise around the Globe via Cape Horn, have become the life-blood of our Association, so it is only right that we should honor these achievements with solo and multi-crewed registers."

So, if you're seeking some inspiration for a future adventure, or just share my interest in learning more about the sailors and teams who have pushed sailing's high-adventure envelope, navigate your way to The International Association of Cape Horners' website. You'll see the names of modern heroes, as well as those who engaged this lifestyle long before the days of sat phones, COSPAS-SARSAT, and any real expectation (or hope) of rescue, should things go pear-shaped.

(While I haven't been fortunate enough to have ever spoken with Messner or Purja, I'm positive that both men know something about that particular inner dialog.)

Racing (ballpark) 600 nautical miles across Caribbean brine might not be the same kind of adventure as summiting K2 sans supplemental oxygen or sailing solo around the world in an Ultim trimaran, the RORC's annual Caribbean 600 has entered the ranks as one of the world's great middle-distance races, and it comes with a lot of serious on-the-water competition.

Warrior Won wins the 2022 edititon of the RORC Caribbean 600 - photo © Robert Hajduk /
Warrior Won wins the 2022 edititon of the RORC Caribbean 600 - photo © Robert Hajduk /

Cyclops 2020 - Dec2020 - MPU   Colligo Marine 2022 - Seahorse MPU

The 2022 edition of this race saw Swan's newest and mightiest supermaxi take line honors, followed by VPLP's most famous monohull design, however the corrected time winner has also been on a bit of a rampage.

Skipper and owner Christopher Sheehan first made international sailing headlines in 2016 when his Warrior Won team won the Newport-Bermuda Race's St. David's Lighthouse Trophy aboard his Xp44.

Warrior Won wins the 2022 edititon of the RORC Caribbean 600 - photo © Robert Hajduk /
Warrior Won wins the 2022 edititon of the RORC Caribbean 600 - photo © Robert Hajduk /

MPU E6 question mark animated   Henr-Lloyd 2021 For the love of foul weather MPU

Since then, Sheehan upgraded to a Pac52, also called Warrior Won, which is sailed by a star-studded crew including Richard Clarke (CAN) and Stu Bannatyne (NZL), both of whom have won the Volvo Ocean Race, and Sheehan's investment in his team has paid off. In 2021, Warrior One took the overall win in the Transpacific Yacht Race, and last the team was announced as the overall winners of the 2022 Caribbean 600.

"It is very humbling when I think about all of the competitors that have worked so hard in this race; I am overwhelmed," said Sheehan in an official race report. "We have been preparing for this race for the last eight months and when I think of the great teams that have won this race, it is just extraordinary."

Christopher Sheehan, owner and skipper - Warrior Won wins the 2022 edititon of the RORC Caribbean 600 - photo © Arthur Daniel / RORC
Christopher Sheehan, owner and skipper - Warrior Won wins the 2022 edititon of the RORC Caribbean 600 - photo © Arthur Daniel / RORC

Hyde Sails 2017 March 300x250   J Composites 2020 - MPU

Sail-World tips our hats to all of these accomplishments, both on the Caribbean 600's short but tactically complex racecourse, and on the greater circumnavigation stage.

As for Messner and Purja, it's fair to say that their accomplishments fall in similar categories of achievement as Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who won the 1968/1969 Golden Globe Race and became the first person to circumnavigate nonstop and unassisted (this took some 312 days), and François Gabart, the winner of the 2012/2013 Vendee Globe and the current record-holder for the fastest solo and nonstop circumnavigation (42 days 16 hours 40 minutes and 35 seconds aboard an Ultim trimaran).

Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on April 22 1969 at the finish of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race - photo © Bill Rowntree / PPL
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston on April 22 1969 at the finish of the original Sunday Times Golden Globe Race - photo © Bill Rowntree / PPL

While their accomplishments represent the absolute pinnacle of their respective sports - and of adventure itself - they also serve as inspiration (in the paraphrased words of the great Mark Twain) for the rest of us to occasionally throw off life's bowlines and sail away from life's safe harbors. (Ideally without long, cold, and oxygen-starved queues.)

May the four winds blow you safely home,
David Schmidt

Marskeel 2019 600x500   North Sails 2021 Innovation - MPU

America's Cup: Several European venues clear the financial bar to stage 37th Cup
Emirates Team New Zealand CEO, Grant Dalton has advised one of the venue candidates, Valencia that they have been excused from further consideration, due to insufficient financial support, and says they will continue to work with those who have.

Peculiar innovations seen at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show 2022
Determined not to be stuck in his office during another Dinghy Show,'s website developer, Magnus Smith, boldly travelled the 3 miles from his home to the Farnborough International Conference Centre, last weekend.

This Tuesday/Wednesday: Q&A Live Call with Stu Bithell on Winning Tactics
Always smiling, Stu Bithell is one of the most upbeat, most successful Olympic sailors of recent times. With a silver medal in the 470 and Olympic gold in the 49er, the British racer is also one of the most versatile.

Rooster 2020 - Impact BA - MPU   RS Sailing 2021 - MPU
18ft Skiffs: Rob Brown, OAM - Three times a World Champion in the 1980s
Three-times JJ Giltinan world 18ft Skiff champion Rob Brown OAM has a wonderful record of success in a sailing career which has spanned three continents and resulted in three victories in three of the world's most prestigious sailing events.

America's Cup: Spanish central government refuses to finance Malaga's bid
Spanish newspaper Sur in its Malaga edition reports that the central Spanish Government has refused to lend financial support to the Malaga bid to host the 37th Americas Cup.

IOC EB recommends no participation of Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials
The Executive Board of the IOC discussed again today the dilemma the Olympic Movement is currently facing after the breach of the Olympic Truce by the Russian government and the government of Belarus through its support in this.

Vaikobi 2021 Boots - MPU   Selden 2020 - Carbon Masts - MPU
World Sailing statement concerning the situation in Ukraine
World Sailing is very concerned about the situation in Ukraine and we are troubled about the safety of our friends in the Ukrainian sailing community.

Stuart Childerley will be new J Class Association Secretary
Stuart Childerley will be the new Secretary of the J Class Association and is set to play a key role in delivering a bright, stable long-term future for one of sailing's most prestigious and storied class of former America's Cup yachts.

Sailing must make a stand
They say sport and politics should not mix, but the way the landscape has changed over the past week means we simply cannot ignore the horrific situation in Ukraine.

Upffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW MPU   Zhik 2021 Dec Choice of Champions MPU
SailGP announces the Inspire WASZP Grand Final - Championship of Champions in San Francisco
SailGP has launched the first Inspire WASZP Grand Final - Championship of Champions, which will see the top young athletes from around the world (male and female) compete for the overall season podium at the Mubadala United States Sail Grand Prix.

Who needs to go to sea...
Who needs to go to sea to battle water? And just exactly what does it all have to do with participation and SailGP?

Mav Tec Polo Blu from Henri-Lloyd
Quick drying and built for life on shore and on water. The High Performing Mav Tec Polo Blu is the perfect combination of timeless design and versatility, that is equally at home on and offshore.

Armstrong-FG-5 300x250   Predictwind - Iridium 250
Nacra 17 rudder system upgrades to debut in Palma
Fresh for Paris 2024, the Nacra 17 fleet will debut two upgrades to the rudder system in Palma 2022.

18ft Skiff Super Sprints for President's Trophy at the Australian 18 Footers League
With the 2022 JJ Giltinan Championship starting on Sydney Harbour next Saturday, today's racing at the Australian 18 Footers League was a final opportunity for teams to sharpen up their crew work in preparation for the world's biggest 18ft skiff regatta.

America's Cup: Kiwi Home Defence launch 11th hour bid to stage AC37 in Auckland
The Kiwi Home Defence Group appears about to launch a concerted effort to stage the 37th America's Cup in Auckland, using high profile NZers pleading for the America's Cup to be staged in Auckland.

SOUTHERNSPARS_MAST-&-BOOMS_SW_300X250-melges   SW Newsletter Sign-Up
2022 RORC Caribbean 600 wraps up in Antigua
The 2022 RORC Caribbean 600 attracted 74 teams with 738 sailors from 32 different nations. The Caribbean classic is back with the most impressive fleet in the 14-year history of the race.

America's Cup: ETNZ designers leap into the unknown with wind-powered landspeed record
In Emirates Team New Zealand's 30 year history they have designed and built over 20 different race boats but it will come as no surprise that not one of them involved any amount of R&D on tyres.

Transpac 2023 - Save the dates
The Board of Directors of the Transpacific Yacht Club are pleased to announce that start dates are now chosen for the 52nd biennial running of the Los Angeles to Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race, better known as the Transpac.

Hella Dual Colour Floodlights - 300x250px - 002 gif   Lloyd Stevenson Catalyst 45 300x250px2
Sleeping Tiger wakes to win Concours d'Elegance at the RYA Dinghy and Watersports Show
The attention to detail shown by so many classes made finding a winner especially difficult, but Glen Truswell's International Canoe took top honours, thanks to detailing which was simply breath-taking.

Letter from the Antipodes: Rebuilding for Paris2024 despite the Lockdown
While New Zealand, and sport, in particular, struggle to cope with the current COVID lockdown restrictions, Sailing seems to be faring better than most. The two latest regattas are highlighting new talent

18ft Skiffs: Dramatic reactions at early 18 Footer Worlds
Two Australian skippers from the earlier years of World 18 Footer Championships (aka JJ Giltinan Championship) were totally unimpressed at actions which they each believed deserved very strong reactions.

Warrior Won is overall winner of RORC Caribbean 600
The overall winner of the 13th edition of the RORC Caribbean 600 is Christopher Sheehan's Pac52 Warrior Won (USA). None of the teams still racing under IRC has any realistic chance of beating Warrior Won after time correction.

Emirates Team New Zealand's core sailing team line up confirmed
The core sailing team consists of 6 key sailors led by Skipper Peter Burling who is joined by Blair Tuke, Andy Maloney, Nathan Outteridge, Glenn Ashby and Josh Junior whose focus will be on the performance and development of the boat.

Switzerland strengthens SailGP team with Olympic recruits
The team will first race its cutting-edge, hydro-foiling F50 in Bermuda, the first event of SailGP's third season, with an all-star line-up which was announced today.

Start fresh in 2022!
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Henri-Lloyd M//PRO BLU 2.0
Meet the new and imrproved M-Pro Jacket Blu 2.0. This jacket is feature heavy without sacrificing design and is the perfect balance between durability, weight, breathability and is made from recycled GORE-TEX® Pro face fabric.

Zhik to extend Official Supplier partnership with Danish Sailing Team for 2024
On the back of a successful four year partnership, Zhik are extending their contract as an Official Supplier to the Danish Sailing Team through to the Games in 2024.

RORC Caribbean 600: Record win for Jason and the Argonauts
Jason Carroll's MOD 70 Argo (USA) crossed the finish line of the RORC Caribbean 600 to take Multihull Line Honours and set a new Multihull Race Record of 29 hours, 38 mins, 44 secs.

2.4 Meter CanAm 3 Edge Midwinters at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club wrap up
Wow, CanAm #3 Regatta (Edge Mid-Winter), at Charlotte Harbor Yacht Club over this last weekend did not disappoint! We finally got out some of the North American top 2.4mR sailors.

Henr-Lloyd 2021 For the love of foul weather FOOTER

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