Another Canadian ocean racer who rocks

The following text is coppied from the Globe and Mail Article linked here:
Globe and Mail article

Canadian skipper Eric Holden is the leader in a race around the world.
The 33-year-old Vancouver native and his Henri Lloyd team are in first place after Race 4 of the 16-race Clipper Round the World Yacht Race.
Holden finished the 5,000-mile race from Cape Town, South Africa, to Albany just 27 minutes behind the winners from Great Britain, but his second-place finish was good enough to secure first overall, three points clear of the Brits.

Here's some video:

Canadian ocean racers rock!

I bet you didn't know there were any Canadian ocean racers, much less Ocean racers that rock!

Right now is the season when many many ocean racers depart Europe and head south down the atlantic.  The goal is to get to cape horn in the southern hemisphere summer, when the winds only average 40knots and the waves are only 10 meters high or so.

I have been following Diane Reeds One Girl Ocean Challenge.  She is racing a mini in the mini transat race accross the atlantic.  The reason I think she rocks is that it is very long term challenge to get qualified for the race.  She started hunting for a boat in January 2010, purchased it and started working on the boat and then training for the event.  She sailed several East coast races such as the burmuda 1+2.  Then comes the qualification part.  You have to complete some Mini races which means racing in France.  Also a long single handed qualification sail that Diane sailed out from Florida and around the caribean and back.  Huge miles on a small boat sailed single handed.

Here is her 2012 schedule from her website:

The Schedule

March 2012 – Ship OGOC to France
April 14, 2012 – Demi-Cle 6.50, 150 miles double handed
April 21, 2012 – Pornichet Select, 300 miles single handed
May 13, 2012 – UK Mini Fastnet, 600 miles double handed
Feb / Mar 2013 – Training Bay of Biscay and the Solent
April 2013 – Demi Cle 6,50, 150 miles double handed
April 2013 – Pornichet Select, 300 miles single handed
May 2013 – UK Solent, single handed
May 2013 – UK Mini Fastnet, 600 miles double handed
2013 – The Transat Race, 4000 miles France to Guadeloupe

This October was the start of her race.  There were many weather delays, but finally they got off!
Départ de la Mini Transat - 29 octobre 2013, 09H19 by minitransat

The fleet was beaten up rather badly by the weather and the race was canceled.  The fleet sailed into Gijon Spain and restarted from there.  Diane restarted with the fleet.  After a technical stop for repairs she is once again on the way across the Atlantic to Guadalupe.

Links to follow the fleet in English are here:

Here she is starting for the second time:

Exciting low tech adventure

Sailing is a sport of extremes.  The opposite end of spectrum from the high tech adventure seekers are the low tec adventure seekers.

My favorite example of this is the recreation of Shackletons Antarctic voyage to get help for the men from his expedition.  The goal of the expedition had been to cross the Antarctic continent over land but turned into an epic voyage to save the men of his expedition.  Shackleton sailed 800 miles across the southern ocean in an open boat and then climbed over a mountain to reach the help he needed. 
The recreation voyage team used a replica boat and period correct gear and equipment.  Check out more at the expidition website at:


There is also a film on discovery channel and other places:

The age of sail was a full of spectacular adventures.  There are many other groups sailing tall ships around the world.  Some are designed as tourist experiences, others as leadership training programs. 

One such group close to my interest in sailing for disabled person is the jubilee trust.  They have three ships rigged for disabled people to sail.  Info here:

and here:

Extreem high tech adventures

Sailing rocks because our sport includes high tech adventures, pushing the port and expanding the limits.  Because these sailors are contributing to our sport the sport as a whole benefits.  For example America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race teams developed laminate sail cloth and this technology lead to laminates for cruising use that last longer and hold their shape better than Dacron.

What will the recently completed 34th America's Cup bring to the sport?

Other high tech projects are contributing technology to our sport in there pursuit of speed records over courses ranging from 1 nautical mile to cercomnavigations.  These include:

The outright sail powered speed record is held by Sail rocket

The Jules Vern trophy is held by Bank Populaire for the fastest cercumnavigation of the planet under sail.  This record has no restrictions on the boat or the crew.

Team Hydroptere, a french group run by Alain Thébault are developing two very specialized craft to beat both of these records.  There speed record boat is similar to Sail Rocket, but bigger and hopefully tougher and their round the world boat is a development of there foiling trimaran that can change between displacement mode for storms and foiling mode to go freaking fast.  Check them out here:

All of these teams advance all areas of our sport as they develop their specialized craft.

Absolute equality between men and women in sailing

Sailing rocks because there is absolute equality between men and women.

Amateur racers are commonly a husband and wife team.  Every team is different and each divide up the rolls differently.  Examples of this range from 505 dinghies where the wives typically helm to Tasars, where the husbands generally do.


The sport of Olympic sailing has been challenged by the International Olympic committee to make its classes affordable, fast and representative of the boats that are sailed internationally.  The International Sailing federation has met this challenge when it introduced the Nacra 17 as its catamaran class and required the boat to be crewed by a man and a woman.  We have a local team preparing to represent Canada at the next games in Rio .  You can find information on them here:

and here:

Internationally, there are several successful women sailors sailing on equal footing against men.  Canadian Diana Reed from Toronto who is doing the single handed Mini Trans-at race from France across the Atlantic in a 20 foot ocean racer.  She is currently waiting for a weather window for the event to start.  Maybe Tuesday October 29th? See here:


and her website here:

Sam Davies is also a successful single handed ocean racer, but this year she is part of a different project.  She is part of the womens team that has started preperations for the Volvo Ocean race that starts next fall.  Check out these videos:

Basically its all about the boat.  When the boats are equal, both men and women can race together or separately in the same event or on the same team with absolute equality.  Just another thing that makes sailing an awesome sport.

Amature racing rocks

The sport of sailing rocks because there is such a wide variety of amateur racing available.

Ranging from the Polar Bear winter series that my friends and I do with the local fleet of cruiser racers like this:

Our crew is having lunch as we drift downwind.  We are racing, but we are pretty low key about it.

The other end of the spectrum would be one design racing like the Melges 24 worlds that is on right now.  There are all amateur crews competing against boats with one or two pro sailors.  The racing is at a very high level of competition.  The all amateur crews are scored separately and a Corinthian champion is awarded as well.

Saturday Sailing is dead

As you can tell I haven't put up a lot of posts recently.  I haven't been interested in posting a bunch of links.

I have decided to change the format to pick one video or picture that makes "Sailing Rock" and share it and perhaps write a bit about it.

What I want to share this week is the polar opposite of the current America's cup.  In this cup cycle its all about developing new bleeding edge technology to make a boat go extremely fast and accomplish Russel Couts goal of an event that appeals to "The face book generation, rather than the Flintstones generation."

Once upon a time yachts were designed to be loved, cherished and enjoyed as well as raced to win.  The video link bellow is an episode of CNN's sailing show "Main Sail" that shares the history of some of these yachts and has fabulous  video of the yachts in action.

How do current race boats compare to these yachts?

Race Timers

I have recently been asked about options for race timers.  Here's some info.

A lot of the Sailors at DSA like this watch or a similar Timex.

This is the one I use.  It can be mounted to the mast or boom

Ronstan also makes a several other nice sailing watches.

West Marine has one as well:

You can also go high end with


Saturday Sailing #63

Two weeks to go until the Vende Globe single handed non stop around the world race

Follow this link, or see the video below.

Vendée Globe: Two weeks to go before the start! by VendeeGlobeTV

The wave Muscat is still leading the extreme 40 series.

It's Summer in Austrailia.  The 18 foot skiff series is up and going.