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Tragedy visits the Clipper Race—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond


21 Nov 2017

Tragedy visits the Clipper Race—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

Great Britain Clipper Race crew at Downing Street  Clipper Ventures
While ocean sailing offers some of the grandest vistas and most personally rewarding miles available to modern sailors, the simple fact remains that sailing small boats across massive oceans is an inherently dangerous pursuit that sometimes ends in tragedy, despite careful caution. This tragically proved to be the case this weekend aboard the vessel CV30, which is competing in the 2017/2018 edition of the Clipper Round the Word Yacht Race, as Simon Speirs, 60, an experienced dinghy sailor from Bristol, UK, tragically died when he was swept overboard whilst assisting his teammates in changing a headsail in boisterous seas and 20-40 knots of Southern Ocean air.

According to reports, Speirs was properly equipped with a full compliment of foul-weather gear, a safety tether that was clipped to the boat, as well as a personal floatation device and an AIS beacon.

It is not currently known how Speirs' tether came unclipped from the boat, but the crew's man-overboard training reportedly kicked into high gear as the team stopped the boat and immediately began searching for their lost mate. Speirs was found some 36 long minutes after being swept overboard, and while a crew of three medically trained sailors (including a general practitioner) performed CPR, the UK-based sailor never regained consciousness.

Great Britain Clipper 2017-18 Race Team  ©2017 BPI

According to reports, Speirs' MOB incident happened on Day 18 of the long leg that's taking crews from Cape Town, South Africa, to Fremantle, Australia, with some 1,500 miles still separating CV30's bow from the finishing line.

Given the situation and the distance to shore, the somber decision was made to give Speirs a Christian burial at sea at 0300 hours UTC (0900 hours, local time) on Sunday, November 19. While Speirs' former crew performed this somber ritual alone, the rest of the fleet reportedly joined their comrades aboard CV30 in solidarity as Speirs was laid to rest.

Evacuated Clipper Race Yacht CV24 partially under water after running aground near Cape Town  Clipper Ventures

While the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race takes careful precautions to safeguard crews, skippers and sailboats, Speirs' death is sadly not the first time this race has lost a sailor, nor is this incident the only significant accident of this edition of the race, as the CV24 crew managed to put their mighty steed aground on the western side of South Africa's Cape Peninsula. While the crew was fortunately unharmed, CV24 will not be participating in the remainder of this year's race.

[N.B., while there's zero excuse for grounding a modern sailing vessel that's equipped with properly functioning GPS, up-to-date cartography and proper chartplotting electronics, a similar situation unfurled during the 2014/2015 Volvo Ocean Race when skipper Chris Nicholson's Team Vestas Wind ploughed into the Cargados Carajos Shoals at almost 20 knots while racing from Cape Town to Abu Dhabi and were forced to abandon their vessel, which was eventually salvaged and repaired.)

November 30, 2014. Team Vestas Wind's boat grounded on the Cargados Carajos Shoals, Mauritius, in the Indian Ocean. Fortunately, no one has been injured. In this image, the crew head back to the boat to retrieve everything they can; including ropes, diesel, Inmarsat dome and sails.   Volvo Ocean Race

Unlike fully crewed, around-the-world races such as the Volvo Ocean Race, which are populated by professional sailors who press their boats to the absolute limits, the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race is designed to serve as an ocean classroom, where experienced and professional skippers are paired with teams of sailors who are eager to increase their skillsets and knowledge.

While this formula is usually successful, the stark truth is that offshore sailing is an inherently dangerous pursuit that can kill professionals and greenhorns alike (case-in-point: professional sailor Hans Horrevoets [NED] was killed on May 18, 2006 after getting swept off of ABN AMRO TWO in the 2005/2006 Volvo Ocean Race). As the old cliché goes, ‘if there's a weak link in the chain, the sea will find it,' and while it's not currently understood how or why Speirs came unclipped from the boat, the sea clearly found-and exploited-a weak spot.

ABN AMRO TWO crewman Hans Horrevoets with his daughter Bobbi, before the start of Leg 1 in Sanxenxo, Spain.

© Oskar Kihlborg/Volvo Ocean Race 2005-2006

For further images go to
  Volvo Ocean Race

It will be critical for the Clipper Round The World Yacht Race to do a full investigation into Speirs' death to ensure that the race is instilling the correct culture of safety and proper safety procedures during their training, and to also ensure that a repeat of this doesn't unfurl again.

While tragedies such as Speirs' are often difficult to examine and discuss, please use this tragic tale to revisit and refresh your own crew's MOB procedures, technologies (read: AIS MOB devices and personal locator beacons for the crew, and a properly working fixed-mount AIS receiver aboard the yacht), and crew culture, as mere seconds often carry life-or-death weight when someone goes overboard.

Great Britain leaving for Liverpool – Clipper Round the World Yacht Race  Clipper Ventures wishes to extend our deepest sympathies to Simon Speirs' family and friends, and we also wish a safe and speedy passage to Fremantle for CV30 so that the crew can begin to mourn the loss of their fellow sailor and comrade.

May the four winds blow you safely home,

David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

J/24 year in review
North Sails,
The Winter events and the 2018 season are just around the corner. If you are interested in new sails, now is a great time to order. North Sails One Design is offering 10% SAVINGS on orders placed by December 15th, 2017 for sails delivered in Europe and North America.... [more]

St Maarten Heineken Regatta – Free concierge guarantees smooth sailing
Kirsten Ferguson,
In the wake of Hurricane Irma, organizers are encouraging participants to utilize the event's free concierge service for assistance with everything from travel and on-site logistics to charter options and beyond.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race – Temperature falling, stealth mode in play
Volvo Ocean Race,
Brunel skipper Bouwe Bekking and navigator Andrew Cape made the call to 'disappear' from the rankings following the 0700 UTC report in an attempt to advance on MAPFRE, some 35 miles ahead.... [more]

Clipper World Yacht Race – Day 20, Race 3 – Sombre mood across fleet
The Clipper Race,
Qingdao and Dare To Lead remain closely knitted together in fourth and fifth place respectively, completing the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint yesterday evening and making good progress towards Fremantle.... [more]

St. Barth Cata-Cup – Victory for Paschalidis and Trigkonis
Event Media,
At the end of the day, they finished with a healthy lead, ahead of, in order, Argentineans Cruz Gonzales Smith – Mariano Heuser (Eden Rock Villa Rental) and Belgians Patrick Demesmaeker – Olivier Gagliani (Les Perles de Saint-Barth).... [more]

Slalom Worlds on line as sailors head to New Caledonia for Finale
Chris Yates,
After a one year absence the PWA Slalom World Tour returns to the beautiful island of New Caledonia for the season finale where the Men's and Women's world titles will be decided between the 21st-26th November. After a long and hard fought season it all comes down to the next six days and with a promising looking forecast there should be plenty of epic racing!... [more]

World's top Kitefoil racers ready for battle in year's biggest clash
Oman Sail,
A clique of reigning and former Kite Racing World Champions are lined up ready to fight it out with a clutch of young pretenders on the flat waters of Oman's dramatic coastline as they vie for the prized 2017 Formula Kite crowns.... [more]

Jimmy Spithill guest speaker at the 2017 Buoyed Up fundraising dinner
Matt Owen,
The Canberra Yacht Club is proud to announce that Jimmy Spithill will be the guest speaker at the annual Buoyed Up fundraising dinner to be held on the 6th December. Buoyed Up is entering its sixth year of providing over 1,600 young kids of disadvantage the ability to build resilience and teamwork on the water and in the classroom. The program eventually aims to train the participants... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - Lining up for the gate start to Cape Town
Richard Gladwell and Volvo Ocean Race,
All boats have now gybed onto port and are lined up, across the lines of latitude, heading for the Volvo Ocean Race Leg 2 finish in Cape Town in five days time. For the past few days it has seemed that there will be gate start for Cape Town as boats jockey for the optimum position before making the decision to break for the east and five days of fast reaching on port tack.... [more]

Transat Jacques Vabre – Imoca podium decided as Class40 trio contract
The Anglo-Spanish pair of Phil Sharp and Pablo Santurde (Imerys Clean Energy) still lead, but the 20 miles they earned yesterday at the end of the Doldrums has evaporated before the Equator with less than 10 miles between all three again.... [more]

J/121 awarded SAIL Best Boats - Performance
The latest in this long line of outside-the-box designs is the new 40 foot J/121, a boat specifically tailored to appeal to skippers who are 1) tired of having to round up eight to 10 people to go racing and 2) are looking for something other the usual windward-leeward “sausage” courses that now dominate inshore racing.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race – Pressure coming on
Volvo Ocean Race,
On Sunday morning, with most of the leading group having finally gybed and sailing an easterly track towards Cape Town, Team Brunel defied expectations and turned back to the southwest in an effort to get closer to the stronger winds of a weather system that is expected to deliver the leading group towards their destination.... [more]

St Barth Cata Cup – Suspense reigns high
Event Media,
Those born in Saint Barth will tell you that wind from the southwest is rather rare on the island. Yet that's exactly what happened on Saturday in the West Indies, with erratic light winds (very instable from five to eight knots).... [more]

Clipper World Race – Day 19 – A time of quiet reflection across fleet
The Clipper Race,
Sanya Serenity Coast continues to lead the fleet with just over 1,000 nautical miles to go to Fremantle and has completed the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint - results will be announced after all teams have done so.... [more]

11th Yisunsin Cup International Yacht Race – Day 2
Icarus Sports,
It was a completely different scenery and racing setup today – as the wind forecast looked promising... while the race course changed from off-shore to the more technical in-shore course.... [more]

18ft Skiffs Spring Champs – Triple M scores second win in Race 7
Frank Quealey,
The final overall pointscore showed Panasonic Lumix on 23 points, followed by Finport Trade Finance on 24, The Kitchen Maker (Scott Babbage) on 32, Triple M 36, Rag and Famish Hotel (Bryce Edwards) 36 and Smeg (Lee Knapton on 39.... [more]

St Michel-Virbac break record to win Transat Jacques Vabre Imoca class
Transat Jacques Vabre,
Jean-Pierre Dick and Yann Eliès on St Michel-Virbac, have won the Imoca class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre after crossing the finish line in the Bay of All Saints in Salvador de Bahia on Saturday, November 18, 2017 at 20:11:46 (UTC), 13 days 7 hours 36 minutes and 46 seconds after leaving Le Havre, Normandy, France. St Michel-Virbac covered the theoretical course of 4,350 NM... [more]

Clipper RTW - Simon Spiers washed overboard on way to Australia
Clipper Round The World,
We are extremely saddened today to report the fatality of Simon Speirs, a crew member on board CV30, (GREAT Britain). Simon, 60, from Bristol, UK, was on the foredeck assisting with a headsail change from Yankee 3 when he was washed overboard.... [more]

Transat Jacques Vabre – Dick coasting to record win
A 19:30 UTC finish would also mean that Dick and Eliès will set a new record for the Transat Jacques Vabre to Salvador, with Dick beating his own record, of 13 days 09 hours 19 minutes and 2 seconds set with Loïck Peyron on Virbac-Paprec in 2005.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race – Weekend warriors prepare for battle
Volvo Ocean Race,
As the fleet approaches the latitude of the finish line in Cape Town, this is hardly surprising. Any progress to the east is a direct mile off the 2,500 or so miles left to the finishing line.... [more]

Clipper Race – Day 18 – Race leaders begin Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint
The Clipper Race,
Other teams will continue to cross the start gate of the Elliot Brown Ocean Sprint throughout the day and Visit Seattle is currently in third place with Dare To Lead and Qingdao in close proximity to each other in fourth and fifth place.... [more]

11th Yisunsin Cup International Yacht Race – Day 1
Icarus Sports,
The event started with the on-water parade followed by the first warning signal of the offshore race of the day. The 50 boats sailed fast downwind to reach the buoy close to the Soji island. The light breeze dropped down during the day making it harder for most of the boats to finish the race.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - No clear leader as fleet dives south before turn
Richard Gladwell and Volvo Ocean Race,
According to the weather routing function of the fleet leaders are expected to finish within a few days of each other when Leg 2 finishes in five and a half or six days time in Cape Town, South Africa. Winds are still moderate in strength with the sleigh ride just two days away once the boats reach the latitude of Cape Town and make the turn for the finish line.... [more]

Busan Cup Women's International Match Race - Tough fight for podium
WIM Series,
Another crazy weather day at the 2017 Busan Cup Women's International Match Race, the penultimate event of the 2017 Women's International Match Racing Series. The cold winds whipped around in all different directions as the finals were played out in the waters off Dongbaek Island.... [more]

Garmin to prepare for non-emergency medevac of Erik Hellstrom
Clipper Round the World,
Skipper Gaëtan Thomas and his Garmin team are making preparations for a non-emergency medevac of round the world crew member Erik Hellstrom who is suffering from an ongoing abdominal condition.... [more]

Perfect performance for Belgians Demesmaeker - Gagliani
Saint-Barh Cata-Cup,
A loop around Toc Vert and Bonhomme by way of Boulanger, then a run between Les Grenadins and Bonhomme with Frégate on the exterior: that was the itinerary of the day for the 47 teams in the St. Barth Cata-Cup, while their nerves were really put to test on this Friday of sailing. “The day was very technical, very interesting, but frankly not very relaxing. It was a real test of nerves”... [more]

St. Barth Cata-Cup - The favorites on top
Saint-Barh Cata-Cup,
On Thursday, the 47 teams of the 10th annual St. Barth Cata-Cup set sail on a serious note for the first day of competition, as the race committee took advantage of winds of eight to twelve knots from the south-southeast for a first tour of the island. As a result of the conditions, it was necessary to be highly observant and show finesse in these kinds of conditions and the favorites... [more]

Fundraising dinner - Total sum released by Sail Aid UK
Peta Stuart-Hunt,
The Trustees of Sail Aid UK, the organisation that is uniting the UK sailing community in a long-term fundraising drive to help the victims of the Caribbean Islands most severely impacted by the September hurricanes, are overjoyed with the results of their first big fundraising event, the Black Tie/Loud Shirt Dinner held on Saturday night 11th November 2017, which has raised an incredible £46,000.... [more]

Storm hits, sailing persists
North Sails,
North U and St Thomas Sailing Center have teamed up once again to host two mid-winter clinics at the St Thomas Yacht Club. With the storms gone, St Thomas is ready and eager to host visiting sailors.... [more]

Transat Jacques Vabre – Dick eyes record books
The podium places look take but behind Des Voiles et Vous!, Three other Imoca finally emerged from the Doldrums last night and have started to accelerate again: Malizia II, Bastide Otio and Initiatives Cœur. They were positioned east and were the big winners.... [more]

Solo Round the World – François enters Indian Ocean in a record time
Trimaran MACIF,
On Thursday, François Gabart entered the Indian Ocean in a record time of 12 days, 22 hours, and 20 minutes. This Friday he is taking advantage of calmer weather to rest up and give his boat a once over.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race teams leverage up with crucial 24 hours ahead
Volvo Ocean Race,
For several hours Bekking's Dutch-flagged boat was actually pointing in the opposite direction to Cape Town, much to the amazement of some race fans glued to the tracker.... [more]

Clipper World Race – Day 17 – Sleigh ride begins ahead of Ocean Sprint
The Clipper Race,
Visit Seattle has moved up the leaderboard into third position and is closely followed by Qingdao, which is playing its Joker, in fourth place. Skipper of Qingdao, Chris Kobusch, said: “We are flying! The westerly winds filled in and we had a great run under spinnaker all day yesterday.”... [more]

Transat Jacques Vabre – The notorious crossing
Phil Sharp Racing,
The stamina and focus required to sail in these extreme conditions has been reportedly “fatiguing”, but the duo are well adjusted to a natural routine that feels “more like home every day”, says Phil.... [more]

Greg Wilcox extends lead in final OK Dinghy World Rankings
Robert Deaves,
Following a record breaking European Championship in Faaborg, Denmark in July, nine national and regional titles were decided in the European autumn, as well as the Nordic Championship in Nykøping, Denmark, where Anders Andersen, from Denmark, dominated the 45 boat fleet to win from Johan Bjørling, from Denmark, and Jonas Børjesson, from Sweden.... [more]

Busan Cup Women's International Match Race – Light air dominates Day 4
WIM Series,
With a forecast predicting light winds early before shutting off later, the race committee got an early start with the goal of completing the quarter-finals and semi-finals. Alas, the wind gods got the better of the mortals and racing ended before the whole semi-final program was completed today.... [more]

18ft Skiffs Spring Championship Final - just 10pts cover top seven
Frank Quealey,
Going into Sunday's final race of the championship, only 10 points separates the top seven teams and the likely overall winner can come from any one of these teams.... [more]

Pensacola Yacht Club to host 2018 Optimist National Championships
Talbot Wilson,
Under the direction of Hal Smith, PYC's Fleet Captain and Principal Race Officer (PRO), many of the 115 volunteers, Race Committee and Race Officers from 2015 will be back with that experience behind them to help run a first class regatta that will once again showcase PYC and the Pensacola area as a choice area for future international regattas.... [more]

Bermuda lands World Sailing Conference 2019
Bermuda Tourism Authority,
Building on the legacy of hosting the 35th America's Cup, the Bermuda Tourism Authority bid to host the prominent group at its Annual Conference in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico earlier this month. Delegates approved Bermuda's bid by a membership vote on November 12, 2017.... [more]

Record-breaking Arkema wins Transat Jacque Vabre Multi50
It was ninth-time lucky for the 53-year-old Lalou Roucayrol. When his co-skipper, Karine Fauconnier, was injured in training three months ago, Roucayrol was looking for the best to help win his first Route du Café.... [more]

New York Yacht Club releases 2018 Summer Regatta schedule
The regatta will conclude with an awards banquet for all classes on the grounds of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, and the awarding of Rolex timepieces to the worthiest of the division winners.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - Fast and tight for the final week to Cape Town
Richard Gladwell and Volvo Ocean Race,
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet continue to be closely bunched on the basis of projected finish times. Using the routing function of the fleet is projected to finish within two and a half hours using the PWG weather feed, and within just 28 minutes using the most accurate feed ECMWF. The fleet is now expected to finish in six and a half to seven days time.... [more]

HUGO BOSS backs Alex Thomson Racing for Vendée Globe 2020
Alex Thomson Racing,
Today we're pleased to announce that our long-term sponsor, HUGO BOSS, has extended its partnership with the team for a further four years, in a deal that will take us through to the end of 2021.... [more]

America's Cup - Is Auckland set to repeat past Cup venue errors-
Richard Gladwell,,
The 19th century line “two men looked out from prison bars, one saw the mud, the other saw stars” seems to characterise the current debate over America's Cup base options for Auckland. The lesson from previous America's Cups is that if a city, or port, is going to host an event then the best long-term legacy is to maximise the return on investment by making the best facility possible.... [more]

Fleet building for 10th RORC Caribbean 600
Louay Habib,
George David has been a longtime supporter of the race, taking Line Honours on four occasions. Rambler 100 reveled in heavy condition in 2011, setting the race record; which still stands today (one day 16 hours 20 minutes and two seconds).... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race – A roll of the dice in the South Atlantic
Volvo Ocean Race,
By comparison, those teams closer to the Brazilian coast – Dongfeng Race Team, MAPFRE, Team Brunel as well as the most westerly boat, Vestas 11th Hour Racing – are likely to pick up the stronger winds brewing 500 miles to the south earlier, potentially catapulting them towards their goal.... [more]

François Gabart sets the outright Ouessant
Trimaran MACIF,
This is an incredible time, since not only has the MACIF trimaran skipper improved the time it took the current record-holder Thomas Coville to pass this point in 2016, by two days, six hours and 24, but he has also set the best time outright at Cape Agulhas, single-handed and with crew combined!... [more]

Clipper World Yacht Race – Day 16, Race 3 – Teams await a wind shift
The Clipper Race,
The team glimpsed one of the world's remotest islands, île Saint-Paul, an uninhabited French territory that is an important breeding site for seabirds and Dare To Lead, in third place behind PSP Logistics is also sailing past it having taken a more northerly route.... [more]

Eighth edition of Superyacht Challenge Antigua – Preview
Event Media,
Designed to be solely for the pleasure of superyacht owners, their guests and crew, the regatta is a wonderful celebration of sailing and parties with one clear objective; to provide all the facilities to stage an ideal event for an exclusive selection of yachts, where fair racing and good companionship are valued above all else.... [more]

Busan Cup Women's Match Race –Day 3 – Three teams through to the semis
WIM Series,
Trine Palludan and her Danish Team Kattnakken continued their domination finishing the round robin undefeated and earning the right to choose their quarter-final opponent.... [more]

Lalou and Alex Pella, winners of Transat Jacques Vabre Multi50 class
Lalou Roucayrol and Alex Pella were well placed from the very start and always in the top two spots among the fleet of the six Multi50 boats in competition. On the strength of their respective experience coupled with an excellent partnership on board, the two skippers succeeded in pushing their machine in the steady wind conditions that it excels in.... [more]

Arkema smashes record to win Transat Jacques Vabre Multi50
Arkema covered the theoretical course of 4,350 nautical miles at an average speed of 16.81 knots, but actually sailed 4,671 nautical miles at an average speed of 18.02 knots.... [more]

St. Barth Cata-Cup – Day 1 tomorrow
Event Media,
There are big champions on the roster, starting with all the winners of the past editions from 2008 to 2016: Dalton Tebo, Emmanuel Boulogne, Tanguy Kervyn, Enrique Figueroa, Keki Figueroa, Franck Cammas, Matthieu Vandame, Patrick Demesmaeker, Olivier Gagliani, Pierre Le Clainche, and Antoine Joubert.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - Blanket finish expected in Cape Town
Richard Gladwell/,
The second leg of the Volvo Ocean race is projected to finish in eight and a half days time in Cape Town. Running the 0700UTC from November 16, positions through the routing function of shows that using one feed ECMWF, the fleet will finish within an hour, and with just a few minutes covering the lead boats.... [more]

Transat Jacques Vabre – Prince de Bretagne dismasts
The 80ft trimaran, Prince de Bretagne was sailing off Palame, in north-east Brazil near the end of the 4,350-mile race from Le Havre in Normandy, France.... [more]

RS Venture Connect Para Sailing Electronics wins Overall DAME Award
RS Sailing,
The DAME Awards winners have been announced at METS 2017 trade show with the RS Venture Connect para sailing electronics pack taking the top Overall title.... [more]

TJV - Franco-Spanish duo set to seal spectacular comeback
Transat Jacques Vabre,
Lalou Roucayrol and his Spanish co-skipper Alex Pella, on Arkema are due to arrive in the Savaldor de Bahia at around 07:00 UTC on Thursday morning to win the Multi50 class of the 13th edition of the Transat Jacques Vabre. That would smash the race record to Salvador for the Multi50 by over four days.... [more]

Mini-Transat La Boulangère - Make way for the young...
Mini-Transat La Boulangère,
Amidst all the fanfare of the finish, the race continues... Indeed, there have been a succession of arrivals in the port of Le Marin, but for the overwhelming majority of the racers, there are still some days to go before they reach their holy grail and the celebratory rum punch of the finish, synonymous with being part of the clan of sailors who've done the Mini.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race – Team Brunel halfway Cape Town
Team Brunel,
Due to the prevailing wind conditions, the fastest route to Cape Town is not the shortest route. Navigator Andrew Cape: 'We're in the North East of Brazil and we're in the trade winds belt here so [we've] just got to push as fast as we can and get south where the breeze moves aft, and make a play later on.'... [more]

Star Sailors League Finals – New faces and pleasant return
Star Sailors,
Francesco is an all-round sailor, he started his sailing life early in his hometown, Palermo, and soon moved to the Laser where he gained the qualifications for Italy to the Olympics in Atlanta in 1996.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race – Halfway home – Race to Cape Town enters a new phase
Volvo Ocean Race,
The south-easterly tradewinds that blow south of the Equator remained kind to the fleet, allowing rapid reaching conditions that have resulted in speeds of up to 20 knots.... [more]

Swiss sailor Simon Koster splendid third of Mini-Transat La Boulangère
Simon Koster,
Third of the second leg in the prototypes category, Simon's aggregated time over both legs is 24 days, six hours, five minutes and 40 secondes. He should, after the jurys' approval, end up third overall.... [more]

Clipper Race – Day 15 – Shifty winds replace fast downwind conditions
The Clipper Race,
Not far behind Dare To Lead, having also taken a northerly route, is Liverpool 2018 in fifth place. Meanwhile Qingdao remains in sixth but is experiencing fickle winds with Skipper, Chris Kobusch, reporting: “The wind died down over night though and, having a look at the weather forecast, there is a risk of yet another wind hole in the south. I have no doubt we will find it. Or it us.”... [more]

Busan Cup Women's Match Race–Day 2– Increased breeze brings excitement
WIM Series,
The teams leading the standings after day one are still on top as Team Kattnakken with skipper Trine Palludan remains undefeated with a perfect 8-0 score while Caroline Sylvan and her New Sweden Match Racing Team suffered one loss to end the day tied for second with French skipper Pauline Courtois and her Match in Pink by Normandy Elite Team.... [more]

Gladwell's Line - Lines drawn in the Battle of the Waitemata
Richard Gladwell, Sail-World NZ,
On Monday morning, ahead of a workshop organised to update Auckland Councillors a graphic was published showing the sites under consideration for the hosting of the 36th America's Cup - if indeed it is to be held in Auckland rather than Italy. Developed from leaked information, it triggered a media conference at 4.00pm... [more]

DAME Award again- We speak to Drue Kerr, Senior Designer at Zhik
Mark Jardine,
We caught up with Drue Kerr, Senior Designer at Zhik, who have just won the DAME Award in the clothing category for their Isotak X Ocean range.... [more]

2018 USSCA NA's Preliminary NOR is now available
Sunfish Class,
The 2018 USSCA Youth NA's will be on July 30 - August 1, 2018. Youth NA's Measurement & Registration will be Monday July 30; racing will be July 31- August 1.... [more]

François beats record for distance sailed single-handed in 24 hours-
After crossing the Equator in just under six days, François Gabart has gained considerable speed since he entered South Atlantic and now has Cape of Good Hope in his sights. This Tuesday, the skipper of the MACIF trimaran, who succeeded in solving his mainsail batten problem, even beat his own record for the distance sailed in 24 hours, with 818* nautical miles on the clock (record in progress).... [more]

Palma plays host to final Melges 40 Grand Prix
Melges 40,
Every regatta has been extremely tight and hard fought - Palma will be no different. So much will depend on each team and their ability to sail well, sail clean and sail fast. This venue will put teams to the ultimate test as the breeze is expected to be perfect for the event.... [more]

Transat Jacques Vabre – Anglo-Spanish duo retake lead
With 60 per cent of the race complete, Sharp and Santurde, despite their communication problems and disrupted weather files, do not seem to be giving anything away to the theoretically faster latest generation French boats alongside them.... [more]

Two sailors to head up Volvo Ocean Race organisation
Volvo Ocean Race,
Richard Brisius and Johan Salén have been appointed as President and co-President of the Volvo Ocean Race, taking over from the outgoing chief executive, Mark Turner. Johan Salén has worked alongside Brisius on all of their previous Volvo Ocean Race projects. He will take a leading role in both operations and in devising a strategy for the future of the event alongside the current leadership team.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race – Back to business in the South Atlantic
Volvo Ocean Race,
After being largely untroubled by the Doldrums, the seven teams were making between 16 and 18 knots in the south-easterly trade winds so typical of this part of the South Atlantic.... [more]

Clipper World Race – Day 14 – Spinnakers emerge as westerlies fill in
The Clipper Race,
The westerlies are really filling in for the teams to the south and Skipper of third-placed Visit Seattle, Nikki Henderson, explains: “We are holding onto our hats over here - after what feels like an eternity of wind holes or just skirting around wind holes, we have wind ... and it's coming from behind us.”... [more]

Australian venue announced for 2019 WASZP Games
Jonny Fullerton,
Located in Peppermint Grove, RFBYC is flanked by river and sea and nestled about halfway between Fremantle and the City. Paired with the world famous Cottesloe beach close by, it is the idyllic place for visitors to experience Western Australia's capital city.... [more]

Busan Cup Women's International Match Race – Sunny and shifty Day 1
WIM Series,
When the second group of six teams took to the water in the afternoon the winds decreased slightly to four or five knots and for a time became even more shifty before gradually increasing to over 12 knots.... [more]

Sodebo Ultim' smashes record to win Transat Jacques Vabre
Sodebo Ultim' beat the previous record of 10 days 0 hours 38 mins set by Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin on Groupama 2 in the 60ft multihull class in 2007 (the last time the race finished in Salvador) by two days two hours and 31 mins.... [more]

New product launches from Allen at METS
Jeremy Nicholson, Allen Brothers,
The largest annual trade show for the marine leisure industry, METS, takes place in Amsterdam from the 14- 16 November. Amongst the new product launches taking place, the UK performance sailing hardware manufacturer, Allen Brothers is introducing an innovative new Autoratchet block, the first ever to feature twin pawls, alongside a new design of mainsheet jammer.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race - Crossing the Line in Video and Images,
The Volvo Ocean Race fleet has crossed the Equator as they head for the finish of leg 2 in Cape Town. Here's some still images and video from onboard as Neptune initiates the pollywogs.... [more]

America's Cup - Space tight in Auckland Cup base options
Suzanne McFadden, Newsroom,
Space will be at premium whatever option is chosen to house America's Cup bases in downtown Auckland, reports Newsroom's Suzanne McFadden. Auckland had better hope that there isn't a huge groundswell of interest from challengers for the 2021 America's Cup. Because under plans unveiled yesterday, frankly there's not a lot of space on the city's waterfront to house more than seven of them.... [more]

Sodebo Ultim' wins Transat Jacques Vabre in record time
Sodebo Ultim' sailed 4,742 nautical miles at an average speed of 24.94 knots. Their time smashed the previous record of 10 days 0 hours 38 mins 43 seconds set by Franck Cammas and Steve Ravussin on Groupama 2 in the 60ft multihull class in 2007 (the last time the race finished in Salvador) by two days two hours and 31 mins and 16 seconds.... [more]

Mini-Transat La Boulangère – The path to glory
Event Media,
They've got the scent of home in their nostrils now. On two converging routes, Ian Lipinski ( and Jörg Riechers (Lilienthal) are rapidly making headway towards Martinique, with the pair of them set to make landfall over the course of day on Tuesday.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race fleet pushes into Southern Hemisphere
Volvo Ocean Race,
Turn the Tide on Plastic and Team Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, in sixth and seventh respectively only 60 miles behind Dongfeng, are tipped to cross the Equator within the next few hours. With the crossing of the Equator came the offerings to King Neptune, the Roman God of the Sea.... [more]

Transat Jacques Vabre – Maxi Edmond de Rothschild finishes second
For their first official race at the helm of Gitana 17, Sébastien Josse and Thomas Rouxel certainly put up a creditable performance! Indeed, they finished just 1hr 47 minutes and 57 seconds behind the winners of this 2017 edition, having headed the fleet during the first three days of racing.... [more]

Volvo Ocean Race – Team Brunel crossed the equator in fourth position
Team Brunel,
For Peter Burling - World Sailor of the Year - (NZL), Kyle Langford (AUS) and Carlo Huisman (NED), passing the equator meant there first encounter with King Neptune. The three former Americas Cup sailors faced the King.... [more]

Melges 24 Stories – TAKI 4 atop the wave
Besides the owner of the TAKI 4 ITA778 team, Marco Zammarchi, following team members have been a part of their success story: Niccolò Bertola as a helmsman, Giacomo Fossati as a tactician, Giovanni Bannetta as main trimmer and Matteo de Chiara as a bowman. Since 2016 autumn TAKI 4 team has been supported by the coach Niccolò Bianchi, also former Melges 24 sailor.... [more]

America's Cup - No easy options for Auckland to strike Cup paydirt
Richard Gladwell, NZ,
Following a closed workshop session with Auckland Councillors, Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED) along with Panuku Developments (the city's development arm) held a media conference in Auckland late Monday afternoon. There the five options for the America's Cup bases were presented.... [more]

An interview with Todd Wake about the 2017 Lightning Worlds
David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor,
The 2017 Lightning World Championship regatta is being held at the Salinas Yacht Club, in Salinas, Ecuador, from November 21-25, and is expected to draw teams from at least nine different nations and five different continents. I caught up with Todd Wake, the International Lightning Class Association's president and a dedicated Lightning sailor, via email, to learn more about this exciting regatta.... [more]


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