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News & Views

Updates on what’s going on in the sport of sailing generally (most usually, but not always, relating to cruising under sail) and in the sailing industry, plus news nuggets and personal views on all manner of nautical subjects.

What did it take to get ex-Beatle John Lennon off his butt and back into a recording studio? A little dose of the Big Blue is what. Evidently, it was only after Lennon indulged a lifelong desire to learn to sail, and after he crewed aboard a 43-foot Hinckley sloop bound for Bermuda in June...
I have been remiss in not remarking on the passing of two sailors of note, both of whom were important to me. A couple of weeks ago I learned of their departures on the very same day, within the very same hour, and was a bit stunned by the news.
Our hurricane forecasting capabilities are now so excellent we normally have many days to fret over the advent of potentially catastrophic tropical weather. The much heralded approach of Hurricane Earl provides an excellent case in point. We here in the Northeast have seen him coming for about a week now and just two days ago...
  It seems the sailing world's latest child circumnavigator, Laura Dekker, age 14, confounded hovering media vultures over the weekend by suddenly appearing in Gibraltar, then leaving again in secret to set out alone on her trip around the world. Dekker originally planned to make her solo departure out of Portimao, Portugal, where she and...
  Those in the sailing universe will instantly recognize Neil Pryde primarily for all its windsurfing mojo, but also as a straight-up sailmaker. I made my second transat, for example, back in 1992 under a suit of sweet Neil Pryde sails on a recently built Taswell 56 named Antipodes. So I was more than a...
Here we go again. It's getting so you can write these "youngest solo circumnavigator" stories just by filling in some blanks on a form. Except in the case of Laura Dekker, age 14, who set out yesterday from Den Osse, Holland, on her 38-foot Jeanneau Gin Fizz Guppy on a shakedown cruise to Portugal with...
  I have just spent more than 24 hours during this weekend's Downeast Challenge (Marblehead to Rockland race) listening to fellow crew and SEMOSA member Charles "May I Cast Off Now?" Lassen explain to me that the now famous whale-jumping-on-boat photo on which I blogged earlier is naught but a clever Photoshop image. Mr. Lassen...
Just a few hours ago that crazy Italian guy, Alessandro di Benedetto, arrived safely in Les Sables d'Olonne, France, thus completing his solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world. He now holds the world's record for smallest boat (21 feet) ever to do this. The fact that he was dismasted and has been sailing with a...
  Cynics at various online forums are insisting this must be a Photoshopped image, but I don't think so. News outlets in South Africa are reporting this as fact: on Sunday a large southern right whale hurled itself on to a 33-foot steel sloop belonging to Paloma Werner and Ralph Mothes, who run the Cape...
Some Australian news outlets reported yesterday that Plastiki, the unique 60-foot plastic catamaran constructed of 12,500 plastic bottles, had "come to grief" some 200 miles off the east coast of Oz and was in the midst of being rescued. The crew of Plastiki, meanwhile, have adamantly insisted they are fine and merely called for a...
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