Archive for the ‘Sailing’ Category

Alex Thomson does it again for his sponsors

March 4th, 2014 Comments off

Alex has totally nailed what it takes to get a decent sponsorship – and his long term agreement with Hugo Boss is testament to this. Watch this video where he once again does some crazy stuff and in the process ruins a perfectly good suit!

These stunts are more than just fun – they are serious attempts to maximise brand awareness through social media and they work!

Kudos to you Alex!

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags: , ,

Americas Cup down to the wire

September 25th, 2013 Comments off

Wow!  What more can be said?  Thrilling racing and an amazing comeback for the Americans with 8 wins in a row.  This was the Kiwi’s cup to lose a week ago and now they face the prospect that that could happen this evening.

Let’s not forget that without the pre-race penalty of 2 races the Americans would already have won the cup.

Somehow Team Oracle seems to have found that extra boatspeed that they were lacking in the early races and its more than the Kiwi boat.  Tonight’s viewing promises to be awesome!

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags:

America’s Cup

September 20th, 2013 Comments off

Watching race 12 of this crazy competition.  I was one of the many who thought there would be tears in this race, and to be sure there were with the sad accident that lead to the death of a crew member.  But I have to say – these boats are awesome! 

I doubt there is a sailor in the world who doesnt deep down really really really want to have a go on one of these. Beautiful, optimal, supreme racing machines. Oracle looks nicer but seems to be vulnerable with less  bouyancy in the bows.  New Zealand had wonderful balance – they really seem to have nailed the issue of balancing on these foils.

I am surprised neither boat has approached or beaten the sailing speed record.  Held until now with weird asymetrical boats (with the exception of Hydroptere) that cant really sail normally, it would be great to see one of these beasts take it out.  And I think they could. Easily.  Forget the 20knt wind limit – once this cup is decided I want to see one of these teams go out there and go for it in 25 to 30 knt of breeze.  I reckon they could find the extra 10 knt.  And what a blast that would be!!!!!

Anyway – who knows where this competition goes in the future – we still dont have a winner although its New Zealand’s to lose.  I hope they continue in multihulls. Maybe a bit smaller (although these are so frigging awesome I wonder if they arent the right boat?).

Americas Cup - New Zealand chasing Oracle

Americas Cup – New Zealand chasing Oracle – Photo courtesy ACEA/Gilles Martin-Raget



There is much talk of cutting costs. There always is.  But this is the Americas cup. I’m not convinced its that important!

In the interim I for one am loving this series.  Thanks Larry/Russell!

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags:

The Amazing new IMOCA 60 boats

October 10th, 2012 No comments

The IMOCA 60 class has always been a hotbed for development but I have to say these latest shots from Christophe Launay (arguably one of the best sailing photographers around) are just stunning and show what a great boat the “new” Hugo Boss is.  It’s not actually new – more like revamped – but what a stunning boat!

Stunning shot of Hugo Boss on a plane - I live for sailing like this!

Stunning shot of Hugo Boss on a plane - I live for sailing like this!

But they do get wet these boats.  Around the world in these conditions?  Crazy way to have fun!

But they do get wet these boats. Around the world in these conditions? Crazy way to have fun!


Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags: ,

Banque Populaire smashes round-the-world sailing record

January 7th, 2012 No comments

Maxi trimaran Banque populaire has smashed the round-the-world record, completing a circumnavigation from France to France in 45 days, 13 hours and 42 minutes.

The 40m trimaran screamed around the world with average 620 mile days – truly exhilirating! Having had the good fortune to cross the Atlantic on a smaller trimaran I speak from experience when I guess that all the crew are at the same time excited, exhilirated and more than a bit happy to have made it back in one piece!

The Jules Verne record was named after the book “Around the world in 80 days” at a time when it seemed unlikely to be possible to achieve a circumnavigation that fast. Here we are nearly twice as fast not more than 30 years since the original 80 day record tumbled.

Now we just wait for a foiler such as Hydroptere to take it to a new level …

Thrills and Spills at Americas Cup in Plymouth

September 22nd, 2011 No comments

Had to share this video – all the crashes from the final day in Plymouth of the prelim america’s cup series. There are a number if tit-bits one can take away from this:

  1. The wings will break if you fall through them
  2. These boats are GREAT FUN!!!
  3. I can’t imagine how a similar scenario in the eventual 90 foot versions will pan out – consider falling throught he wing from 50 ft in the air rather than 20 foot on these things
  4. The wing provides a handy bit of floatation which stops them going completely upside down
  5. You need lots of money for repairs when you sail in these conditions on these fragile boats

The last point got me thinking.  It would be awesome to have a large multi with wingmast for long trips – in theory would be way quicker than the current record holders.  Problem is – are they manageable in extreme conditions? On the balance at the moment the answer would seem to be no, but no doubt over time more technology and ideas will surface and perhaps that will change.

I am finding the current slant on the AC to provide entertaining watching (particularly in these conditions) and it would seem a more open playing field (think “overtaking” in Formula 1).  We dont have domination by any one team which bodes well for an interesting AC – unless one team gets a far superior big boat to the others.

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags: ,

Nice Whale Story

August 17th, 2011 No comments

Not really a topic that I would normally post about, but I like creatures of the sea and this is a cool video.  Seems this whale got tangled in a fishing net and these guys managed to free it – with the whale providing a nice “Sea World” type experience at the end.

I ran over a whale once on a transatlantic trip on a small sailing trimaran. Thankfully neither the whale nor I was injured, but I think we were both equally shocked by the encounter! They are rather large and solid – I wouldn’t have liked to have hit the whale with a keelboat. Luckily I was running downwind and had my centerboard up so the tri just bounced off the whake who then serviced at the stern and gave me a beady eye look!

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags: , ,

Alinghi spear Team Extreme in a big Cat Crash!

May 31st, 2011 No comments

Team Alinghi showed just how much damage can be done with a small miscalculation in the ferocious Extreme 40 Catamarans when they misjudged a duck around the stern of starboard tack Team Extreme in the recent Istanbul round of the series.

With damage so severe that the Team Extreme boat is a near right-off – the Extreme team can be forgiven for being more than a bit pissed off with the seemingly light sentence handed down in the post race protest meeting. Having said that, it is this author’s opinion that the accident could have been hard to avoid given that Alinghi’s rudders were practically out of the water at the time so steerage would have been tricky!

The really interesting thing will be to see if this classic catamaran nosediving tendency carries forward to the Americas cup boats.  So far they have seemed to be more buoyant in the bow but I am not sure they are really pushing them yet.  For sure what will make for exciting sailing is the speed of these machines – the 45s will be way faster than the extreme 40s and the AC90 will be beyond extreme!

Bring it on!!

Tour de Belle-Ile – France

May 9th, 2011 No comments

With close on 500 boats the Tour de Belle-Ile is the second largest sailing event in France by number of boats.  Here are a few selections of the great photos of this event from Christophe Launay – one of the world’s premier sailing photographers.  To get prints of these or many other fine pictures from this event visit his site at

This year the 77-foot maxi tri Gitana 11 broke the record for the 41 nautical miles round trip journey in 2 hours and 42 minutes with Seb Josse at the helm, although they were  nearly overtaken at the end by Lionel Lemonchois on the Irens Multi 50 trimaran Prince De Bretagne.

First monohull was the VOR 70 Groupama with a journey time of 3 hours and 23 minutes.

Categories: Arthur, Sailing Tags:

Which multihull for the Olympics 2016?

May 5th, 2011 No comments

The following article appeared in the daily Scuttlebutt email this morning.  Very relevant for my pet topic – sailing multihulls – so I have reproduced it here.  I think its probably unlikely but it would be really great to have an 18 foot version of the AC boats (see the pictures in the previous article) for the olympics. It puts this radical new technology into the reach of the average you and me – Yee HA!!!!

With the selection of events to be decided in the next few days in St Petersburg, the multihullers look set to get back in for 2016, with every submission put forward having either one or two multihulls on the slate. Given that the most likely outcome is a mixed multihull, the main topic of discussion in St Petersburg is what to do between now and November 2012 when the decision on the boat to be sailed and which class should be chosen for 2016. Given that there is only one multihull, it is extremely difficult to cover the whole spectrum of multihull sailing, so ISAF needs to decide if they want a simple “Laser equivalent” boat, or a high tech “49er equivalent”. Going the simple route would guarantee a large number of new nations would have a shot at Olympic selection, while the high tech route could catapault sailing into the 21st century.

After each Olympics, the IOC presents their Gold Rings Award to the sport that provided the best TV coverage of the Games, and in 2008, in a huge surprise to everyone, this went to sailing. Given all the negative comments about suitability of sailing for TV, this was a great achievement and a huge coup for ISAF. The way the award is decided is that the IOC Broadcast division put together a highlights package for each sport and these are then judged by an independant panel. The highlights package for sailing was put together exclusively on the Tornado medal race, with a mix of onboard, helicopter, boat level and tracking graphics. So the class that provided ISAF with it’s greatest media coup was immediately dumped from the event lineup. However this then provides the opportunity to upgrade the boat, much the same as the Flying Dutchman being dropped for 1996, and replaced by the much more modern 49er in 2000.

As for classes, the following are the likely candidates and a few fors and againsts for each one. With the multihull likely to be a mixed disciplines, one of the key aspects of choosing the boat will be whether the design dictates that the skipper could be either the male or the female member of the crew.

Everyone in the multihull fraternity agrees the Olympic Mulithull should be a twin trapeze boat, true one design (so no development costs) with spinnaker. The only real discussions have been about whether it should be a 16, 18 or 20 foot boat, with most likely boats being an F16 such as the Viper, an F18 one design such as the Hobie Tiger, or the 20 foot Tornado or Nacra. However, a very recent addition into the mix is a proposal from the design team behind the America’s Cup multihulls to design an AC18 with either a soft sail, or preferably a wing mast. So as of today, the most likely candidates for selection in November 2012 are:

* An F16 design – such as the Viper. Most inexpensive, loads would allow a female to be either skipper or crew. Other manufacturers such as Nacra likely to have an F16 soon.
* An F18 design – such as Hobie Tiger. Well established class and dealer networks for all major F18s, heavy boat, would probably mean skipper has to be female. Would mean instant Olympic fleet by many countries and probably the largest number of boats attempting to qualify.
* Tornado – Well established Olympic boat. Needs to work on one design issues. Longevity of platform keeps costs down, but development costs of rigs made it unpopular with not enough countries willing to campaign. Skipper would almost certainly have to be female.
* Nacra 20 – New kid on the block. Manufacturer class, so race it straight out of the box. Skipper almost certainly female.
* AC18 – New design, with a wing mast. One of the advantages of a wing mast are that the loads are significantly less, so skipper could be male or female.

There will no doubt be more information about the AC18 in the forthcoming months, but this look a very exciting project – on that will provide a very clear career path for sailors from the Olympic Games to America’s Cup and bring the sports two premier events closer together. What does remain to be seen is how many countries are prepared to take the step on campaigning such a high-tech boat.