In the last edition of the race Sam Greenfield was the first…

Friday, May 25th, 2018

In the last edition of the race Sam Greenfield was the first person to fly a drone from a racing sailboat in the middle of the ocean. A few hours ago he uploaded this footage from the North Atlantic: The first time someone’s flown a drone from an ocean racer surfing in gale conditions.

It is to boggle. 😀

(Also, nice one-handed catch by Kyle WHILE CONTINUING TO DRIVE THE BOAT.)

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Turn the Tide on Plastic, Volvo Ocean Race Leg 9, 2018-05-25I…

Friday, May 25th, 2018

Turn the Tide on Plastic, Volvo Ocean Race Leg 9, 2018-05-25

I haven’t been obsessing in here that much about the race (not that you’d notice, unless you followed me during the last edition when I talked about it all the time). But I’ve been following it, mostly through my project to describe and tag all the “raw content” videos being uploaded off the boats. 1,087 videos so far; whew.

But I wanted to share this one. The race is winding down; they’re doing the last big ocean-crossing leg (the transatlantic). They should be finishing in Cardiff in a few days, and after that there are just two relatively short legs to decide the final results.

I love this video. It feels nostalgic after all the “washing machine” shots I’ve watched. This could have been just more of the same, but on-board reporter Martin Keruzoré manages to make it meaningful. I think he’s probably feeling similarly about the end of the race. This could be his last chance to document what it’s like on board in these conditions.

I also just really love this crew. You feel like you’re on board when you watch all the videos, and there’s something about being part of a crew that just seeps into you. I guess it’s human nature.

This crew, in particular, has been special. Coming in at the last minute with a bunch of under-30s who in many cases had no previous offshore experience, it’s been wonderful to watch them grow into the badasses they are now. Yes, they’re not super high in the standings, but they’re absolutely competing with the leaders. They are right there.

And for anyone to be out in conditions like this, racing a boat like this, is an accomplishment. I’m so proud of them. They give me hope for the future.

Personal highlights:

0:10 – Martin flexing some life into his gloved hand. It’s been *cold*. One of the boats had an iceberg on the radar last night.

0:21 – Bernardo’s face. The determination. Ugh.

0:38 – 1:15 – Liz and Bianca coiling lines in the pit. They just did a sail change, and they’re cleaning up the mess.

1:35 – Goofball Boat Mom Dee. That she’s taken a crew like this around the world, keeping them safe and in the hunt, is super-impressive to me. An icon.

2:15 – Bianca. I love comparing this shot of her to the sequence of her back on Leg 2, when her life vest deployed and Liz grabbed her and she told her mum not to worry b/c she was clipped in.

2:57 – 3:04 – Dee’s and Liz’s expressions really get me here. These two (and Martin) are the most experienced on the boat, the ones who’ve carried the most responsibility in terms of looking out for the others and getting them home safe.

So far all this footage is from inside the cabin. There’s a pair of brief interviews below with Bernardo and Bleddyn, and then Martin (the OBR, I mean) gets the waterproof housing and gets out into it with the crew. And it’s just so cool. It’s the difference between epic slomo footage of mythic heroes and heroines, and being part of it, in the midst of all that craziness and feeling that adrenaline.

4:50 – Bianca dancing. Liz on the helm joins in (b/c of course she does). Even Mr. Serious Bernardo, on the mainsheet, busts a move. How can you not love these people?

5:25 – Liz ducks a wave. Steering in these conditions is a non-stop firehose of salt water in the face. Their eyes are red and streaming when they come off the wheel.

5:35 – Liz goes into her tube stance, surfing a barrel, dude, under the cabin coaming. 😜

6:31 – The crash cam. The OBR’s editing bay has a button they can hit that will save the last few minutes of video to permanent storage. They usually leave it on the stern camera, so when you see a stern camera clip like this you know something’s coming. And… bam. Triple wipe-out. Grinder, trimmer, and helmsman, all washed into the back of the boat by a wave. It’s hard to tell, but I think that might be Lucas on the helm, Bleddyn on the sheet, and Annalise, who had the least protection and got washed the farthest, the last to resume her position on the pedestal and give a thumbs up.

So awesome.

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Carlo Horse-man.

Friday, May 25th, 2018

OMG I know, right? How about the drone footage of the horse *at the helm*? I couldn’t not think of John Mulaney: “There’s a HORSE… on the WHEEL… of the SAILBOAT!!” 🤣

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a-solitary-sea-rover:Drone shot of Team Brunel underway. Sam…

Friday, April 27th, 2018


Drone shot of Team Brunel underway.

Sam showing off. Here’s the youtube version:

Probably just a me thing, but I kind of wish he’d used the actual audio rather than dubbing in the soothing sound of the sea. I mean, I like this version fine. I just wish I could be right there with the actual whiny drone noise. But I understand why they rarely leave it in.

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Do you think that by the time the race ends, you will have enough videos to make a VOR “FRIENDS” intro parody?

Friday, April 27th, 2018

I think you could do it with the videos from TTToP alone.

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I haven’t been obsessing as much about the Volvo, at least not…

Monday, March 26th, 2018

I haven’t been obsessing as much about the Volvo, at least not here on Tumblr, this time around. But I’ve been following the race closely as part of my project to tag and describe all the “Raw Content” videos that have been uploaded from the boats.

So it was a blow to learn today that John Fisher, crewmember on Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag, had gone overboard in rough conditions in the Southern Ocean west of Cape Horn and is presumed lost.

It’s a hazard all the sailors talked about, including John. In a video in Leg 4 he talked about his memories of being a boy going to the Solent to see the Whitbread racers depart. Although he had extensive ocean racing experience, this was the 48-year-old’s first time in the Volvo.

“It isn’t for everyone. But you should always challenge yourself,” he said.

Videos from the race in which John appeared:

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lies: Two kinds of people. :-) Source Before the start of the…

Sunday, March 18th, 2018


Two kinds of people. :-)


Before the start of the 2014/15 edition of the race. Stacey and Sophie are both competing again in this edition.

Stacey is aboard Vestas 11th Hour Racing, now returned to the race after retiring from Leg 4 and missing Legs 5 and 6 due to the collision and fatality they were involved in during the approach to Hong Kong. They are currently ranked 5th overall, and are in 6th on the live Leg 7 tracker as the boats head south along the coast of New Zealand.

Sophie is aboard MAPRE, currently ranked 1st overall and leading the fleet on Leg 7.

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lies: Sophie Ciszek, Team SCA, interviewed by Leighton OConner…

Saturday, March 17th, 2018


Sophie Ciszek, Team SCA, interviewed by Leighton OConner before the start of Leg 1. Source.

Before the start of the 2014/15 edition of the race.

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Sophie Ciszek: Unproblematic Fave [source]Leg 3 of the Volvo…

Saturday, March 17th, 2018

Sophie Ciszek: Unproblematic Fave [source]

Leg 3 of the Volvo Ocean Race, 2017-12-16. As of the start of Leg 7, MAPFRE holds the overall lead in the race.

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a-solitary-sea-rover: Go Team TTOP! Not having Martin is a big…

Saturday, March 17th, 2018


Go Team TTOP!

Not having Martin is a big deal; he was basically their teacher and reliable voice of experience in the pit when they were a bunch of kids, some of them never really having gone offshore before. Now they’re going into what’s arguably the scariest leg of the race — down to the ice limit, across the Southern Ocean, and around Cape Horn — without their mentor.

They’re not the the same kids that started Leg 1. They’ve raced halfway around the world, including 6500 miles through the Southern Ocean from Cape Town to Melbourne back in Leg 3. But this is a little like the third act in a movie when the plucky heroes have to stand up and show what they’re made of.

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Boats Deserve Worthy Names >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Boats Deserve Worthy Names >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News:


The poet in me absolutely agrees with Damian Christie’s editorial here, boats named for sponsors in major events seem dull and unromantic compared to some of the more poetic names their predecessors had. At the same time, however, I realize that those poetically-named-boats were typically backed by single wealthy individuals in a time when participation in sailing was even more restricted than it is today, and that in the corporate era many people from comparatively humbler backgrounds have been able to participate in these events by recruiting such sponsors with the caveat that they name their boats after them. 

Perhaps typical teams with brand names that are themselves poetic-sounding, such as Artemis and Luna Rossa, and two-part names that are half-brand, half-original, like Kilcullen Voyager-Team Ireland and Sun Hung Kai Scallywag, are the best compromises possible at present.

It’s a gross disappointment that the names of boats in global events like the Volvo Ocean Race and the America’s Cup – even down to a domestic regatta like the Superfoiler series in Australia – are little more than unmemorable, unflattering billboards for their sponsors.

I thought I was relatively familiar with the VOR teams in this edition but if you asked me to rattle them off on my fingers, the only one I could automatically name is Scallywag for the joint Hong Kong/Australian entry – and that’s not even its official name! In fact, I quite like Scallywag as a name for a boat – it’s certainly better than Sun Hung Kai team!

In the Superfoiler series, we have unedifying names like Euroflex, IDTech and Kleenmaid, which are mere sponsor names. Considering Euroflex has a ‘dream trio’ of Australian superstars – Glenn Ashby, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen – flying on the foiler, you’d think a combination like that would be worthy of a more dynamic name!

The same is true of the America’s Cup in recent times (with a few notable exceptions, eg Alinghi, Luna Rossa, Artemis). Most people would know the 2017 Cup winner as Team New Zealand – but the boat’s actual name was Aotearoa (the Māori name for New Zealand).

Interesting side note: The boat that actually won the last edition of the Volvo was the only one with a proper name. Ian Walker’s Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was the team that won, and in the video coverage they always called the boat that, but in fact the boat was named Azzam (Arabic for “Determination”), the same as the Volvo 70 Ian raced in the 2011-12 edition of the race.

The Volvo 70 Azzam was destroyed in a fire in 2015, but the Volvo 65 formerly known as Azzam is still racing: She’s now Scallywag. 🙂

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kaiyves replied to your post “Please tell me that “completely fucked” is a Pascal…

Friday, March 16th, 2018

kaiyves replied to your post “Please tell me that “completely fucked” is a Pascal meme, because in…”

Is it “completely”? I remembered it as “absolutely”, but then I have bad memory.

The original video (which was not bleeped) was pulled down, but this version exists still on youtube:

My video description from the obsessive spreadsheet (747 video descriptions and counting):

With Charles at the helm, Dongfeng gybes from port gybe to starboard as dawn is breaking. Slomo of the crew working in the cockpit. We then see them gybing back to port? Sunrise. Then they’re on starboard again. Jack, sitting in the cockpit, talks about the tactical situation and the remainder of the leg. “We’ll find out in two hours at the next sched report. Everyone’s a bit anxious for that.” Pascal, at the nav station, looks at the latest sched. He rubs his face. On deck, Dongfeng is sailing on starboard gybe around midday. Marie, sitting on the cabin: “I think it is not really good. We did a mistake, maybe, gybing too late. It’s not a good moment to talk to Pascal. We have to let him… alone.” Pascal stands in the cockpit, reading from a piece of paper. Marie and Horace stand close to him; Darryl steers. Pascal: “MAPFRE is 89 miles at 244.” Marie: “Eighteen, uh, eighteen, uh…” Darryl: “Eighty-NINE.” Marie: “Eighty-nine!” Pascal: “We are fucked. [beeped in FB video] Darryl: "We are what?” Pascal: “We are fucked. We are completely fucked.” Stu: “Well, well, well. Three holes in the ground. I’ve seen some very strange stuff happen out here on the ocean. It’s never over till it’s over… Nothing we can do about it now, except keep sailing our boat. Who knows what might happen.” [NOTE: This video does not appear in the Raw Content feed. I’m taking this from the version posted on the VolvoOceanRace YouTube channel, and taking the time of it from the time of the two stills posted to the Raw Content feed showing the same events.]

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Please tell me that “completely fucked” is a Pascal meme, because in my head he’s just “completely fucked” guy.

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Haha. I’ve definitely seen it immortalized on the Sailing Anarchy forums in someone’s sig. But you’re right; that needs the meme treatment so Tumblr can enjoy it properly.

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Dongfeng passes Surprise Atoll, New Caledonia, 2018-02-22Drone…

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Dongfeng passes Surprise Atoll, New Caledonia, 2018-02-22

Drone footage by on-board reporter Martin Keruzore.

As of the end of Leg 6, Dongfeng Race Team is in second place in the 2017/18  Volvo Ocean Race. Leg 7, from Auckland, New Zealand to Italjaí, Brazil, starts Sunday, March 18.

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Sailing: James Blake looking to capture best and worst of human emotion

Friday, March 16th, 2018

Sailing: James Blake looking to capture best and worst of human emotion:


James Blake might have already had his most special moment as part of the Volvo Ocean Race.

The onboard reporter (OBR), who sailed into Auckland with Turn the Tide on Plastic, was greeted by loud cheers before he had even set foot on land.

It was an unexpected, but memorable surprise – his mother, Pippa, and sister, Sarah-Jayne, were out on the water to welcome him home.

“I didn’t realise they’d be out on the water, so I just heard these shouts and screams out there in a tug boat,” Blake said with a grin.

“It was great to see actually, and seeing them on the dock was fantastic. We all hadn’t been together in ages, so that made it special…nothing can beat that. That was fantastic.”


While some parts of the leg would be horrible for the sailors, Blake said he was excited to capture the raw emotion the challenging sea brought out of those onboard.

For him, it was that emotion going from bad to good that he was hoping to shoot when he signed on for the job.

So trying to capture that and show really what it’s like onboard and what the sailors actually go through, a bit more of that human side, that’s what really interests me and actually how tough it is for them.

“They don’t enjoy it all the time. I think they actually find it quite miserable, and it’s trying to capture that and then when they do have their highs they are very good.”

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a-solitary-sea-rover: Not a caption, but… I am definitely here…

Friday, March 16th, 2018


Not a caption, but…

I am definitely here for all the Pascal memes.

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a-solitary-sea-rover: lies: In which I briefly appear! (in…

Monday, January 8th, 2018



In which I briefly appear! (in the “Dial-a-Fan” segment). Alan and I talked a bunch more about my favorite videos from Leg 3, though that part didn’t make the cut. But they kept the part in which I explain the motivation behind my curation of the Raw Content video spreadsheet, which is the source for the video part of the VOR Raw Content Metadata site.

Bril! I’ll check this out tonight!

So what WERE your favorite videos of Leg 3?

Here’s the list I sent to Alan before the interview:

#3: Jen Edney’s video of MAPFRE’s gybe-o-rama

#2: Sam Greenfield’s footage of Vestas’ start

#1: James Blake’s drone shots of AkzoNobel repairing the mast

…though that needs a bit of an asterisk, because James Blake’s video of the bad Akzo gybe and its aftermath was really a tie for #1.

I felt like the crash-cam footage of the gybe and (especially) the crew trying to get things under control afterward with Nicholson driving and monster waves overtaking them was probably the best reporting of the leg. But those drone shots of them up the rig doing repairs and the pull-back to show them completely alone in the Southern Ocean were artistically the most amazing thing I’ve seen in the race so far.

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In which I briefly appear! (in the “Dial-a-Fan” segment). Alan…

Sunday, January 7th, 2018

In which I briefly appear! (in the “Dial-a-Fan” segment). Alan and I talked a bunch more about my favorite videos from Leg 3, though that part didn’t make the cut. But they kept the part in which I explain the motivation behind my curation of the Raw Content video spreadsheet, which is the source for the video part of the VOR Raw Content Metadata site.

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allopolo:volvo ocean race Found it on the Volvo site with…

Thursday, November 30th, 2017


volvo ocean race

Found it on the Volvo site with Google’s reverse image search:

October 17, 2014. Leg 1 onboard Team Vestas Wind. Maciel Cicchetti driving, Tony Rae on mainsheet and Nicolai Sehestead on trim as the boat surfs at 25 knts on the morning of Day

…and then it cuts off, in mid-sentence. 😜

I thought that looked like Nicolai (on AkzoNobel this time). And I wondered about that smooth-ish dome on Maciel (on Brunel this time).

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a-solitary-sea-rover: a-solitary-sea-rover: Computer-Background-W…

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017



Computer-Background-Worthy photos of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet arriving in Cape Town this past weekend. (x)

For those who missed it. 

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