a-solitary-sea-rover: oledavyjones: No known details here… but…

Thursday, March 19th, 2020



No known details here… but one might think it’s a Danish or American boat, judging from the flags on the stearn. 

The Volvo Ocean Race?? Looks crazy. They better wear a harness.

That’s Vestas 11th Hour Racing in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race!

Pretty sure that’s from Leg 1 (which they went on to win) as they were exiting the Mediterranean and we got those cool helicopter shots. Looks like Charlie on the helm and I think Jena by the satellite dome at the back; I can’t recognize the rest with their harnesses covering their names.

More images in this post, and a link to video here.

Reposted from https://lies.tumblr.com/post/613033935128182784.

Team Brunel in the mid-Atlantic / Volvo Ocean Race Leg 9,…

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

Team Brunel in the mid-Atlantic / Volvo Ocean Race Leg 9, 2018-05-25

Helm: Kyle Langford
Windspeed: Gusting to 30 knots
Boatspeed: 25 knots
Drone operator: Sam Greenfield

I gif’d this from the Season’s Greetings from The Ocean Race! video that came out on Christmas Eve. But if you like it you should totally check out the original raw-content video uploaded by Sam:

My partial transcript/commentary, entered as I was first watching the video, from my obligatory obsessive spreadsheet:

Sam: It’s blowing 30 knots outside, and we’re going 30 knots, so we’re gonna try to launch the Phantom Pro in these conditions. He launches the drone. Amazing footage of Brunel surfing in 30 knot winds from the drone. Major stuff of the bow. Title (as the picture goes wobbly): Finally the camera gimbal starts shorting out from salt and moisture. Drone comes in for the recovery, but the crewmember with a chest camera waiting to catch it misses it and it goes back aft toward Kyle, who makes a one-handed catch of it while continuing to HELM THE BOAT WITH HIS OTHER HAND. Thank you and good night.

Extra fun: Here’s a screenshot of the live tracker from that day showing the weather system they were riding:


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According to my Discord friends, Bouwe Bekking looks like “bald Simon Cowell”.

Tuesday, November 26th, 2019

I guess I can kinda see that? I’ve watched him in so many videos through the last two editions of the race that I see him more as the standard to which OTHER well-known people would be compared. So, Simon Cowell looks like “hairy Bouwe Bekking.” 😜

Reposted from https://lies.tumblr.com/post/189324488361.


Wednesday, July 17th, 2019


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a-solitary-sea-rover: What nobody told us about attending the…

Saturday, May 4th, 2019



What nobody told us about attending the stopover was that the Volvo Ocean Race sailors were just casually walking around the Race Village, mixed in with the crowds, and pretty much always willing to stop for photos with people.

It was incredible, you guys. 

 – Sophie Ciszek, at Pit Row, just after returning from the practice racing around the harbor on Thursday.

– Xabi Fernandez, same.

– Blair Tuke, I told him I had an online friend whose real name I didn’t know (@foreveralonewithfiftyyachts) from the same part of New Zealand who saw him as an inspiration and that both of us wanted to thank him for everything he’s done. So now he knows you exist, I guess.

– Okay, so this is kind of embarassing, but on Thursday after the practice racing, Turn The Tide On Plastic was docked at a slip on the opposite side of the Pit Row from all of the other boats, next to the dock that the water taxi from elsewhere in Newport was coming in at, so there weren’t as many people gathered to watch/cheer for them. I went to the end of the dock to watch and I shouted “AW YEAH TTOP!” and some of the sailors turned their heads to look. Dee Caffari actually looked up and said “What?”, so then I was really embarrassed and said, in more of a normal voice, “GO TTOP!”

So then the next day, when we were touring the Boatyard as part of the Race Village Experience, we saw Liz Wardley and when I asked if we could take a picture, she said “You’re the one who was shouting.” But she wasn’t annoyed and she liked that I liked the team and her videos of Wisdom. She said she would have to make more!

– Then when we saw Dee Caffari, she also said “You were yelling yesterday.” She was fine with it, too, and was glad that I was a fan. 

– Bouwe Bekking, this whole set were right before the Sailors’ Parade on Saturday before the In-Port Race, so there were a lot of people who wanted pictures and I didn’t get to talk as much. But they were all still really nice. 

– Kyle Langford, I said I had seen him at the America’s Cup World Series New York and he said it was a great event. Unfortunately, the person who took the picture of us caught me with this stupid expression on my face.

– Another awkward pic, I clicked the button right when Pascal Bidégorry blinked and didn’t realize until later.

– David Witt, who called his companion “the infamous” Andrew Cape.

– Martine Grael, I tried explaining “My Dad doesn’t know anything about sailing, but when he watches the videos of the arrivals, he says that your Dad and you remind him of when I come home from college so our family is rooting for you” but I was starstruck and in a hurry because of everyone else, so I think it came out sounding kind of jumbled and she may not have understood. Sorry if I seemed weird. 

– Charlie Enright, who was probably pretty tired of taking pics by this point in the stopover.

– Peter Burling, just before the Sailors’ Parade for the departure. I was actually just walking around thinking “The only person I follow closely I haven’t met yet is…” right before this, so of course I went over. 

(And yes, I am very short and they are all very tall.)

Bonus famous people:

Keep reading

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a-solitary-sea-rover: vaylence: a-solitary-sea-rover: vaylence: So I’m trying to get into…

Wednesday, August 15th, 2018





So I’m trying to get into competitive sailing and it’s the World Championships right now, and some of the races are being livestreamed for free on YouTube (which is crazy to me just how accessible the races are?? You can follow along legally if you have an internet connection what a concept). I finally had the time to sit down and check out the livestream today, only for the races to get postponed, and after a few false starts they were canceled :’( ugh

Joinnnn usssss…

Oh myyyy I would love to! But I also feel utterly clueless, I’ve been following mostly in-shore/Olympic sailing and even then I can’t keep up with all 10 classes haha. And I’m also really curious about the big offshore races…

There’s no big secret, just follow whatever interests you and bookmark Sailing Scuttlebutt to visit every day! Research the things that catch your curiosity and you’ll be surprised how much you learn how quickly. 

In a nutshell, the events that I post the most about are…

The America’s Cup: 

The Golden Globe Race:

  • Basically: Nine entered, one died, one finished.
  • In 1968, nine sailors set out to win a prize offered by the London Sunday Times by becoming the first person to circumnavigate the world solo and nonstop. Five retired due to accidents, Bernard Moitessier chose to resign out of personal convictions, Nigel Tetley nearly became the first to circumnavigate in a trimaran but was wrecked in the North Atlantic on the way back, Donald Crowhurst never left the Atlantic at all but sent false radio positions back and slowly lost his grip on reality, and Robin Knox-Johnston made history as the only one to make it back to England, record set. Earlier this year, the race was the subject of a British drama film, “The Mercy”, staring Colin Firth as Crowhurst. 
  • Currently, a fiftieth-year anniversary race is underway in which the entrants must circumnavigate using 1960s technology. Most of them are already ahead of where Knox-Johnston was at the same point in 1968!
  • Official website (Tracker)
  • Wikipedia 
  • Outside Magazine
  • tagged/Golden-Globe-Race, 1968, 2018
  • Recommended reading: Peter Nichols’ “A Voyage for Madmen”
  • Recommended watching: “Deep Water” (2006)

World Records:

  • Basically: One of the best reasons to learn French.
  • There’s something inherently cool about something being the biggest/fastest/longest/smallest/MOST of its kind in the world, that’s why we all spent lunch in the school library reading the Guinness Book of World Records when we were 11-year-old nerds, right? Or did only I do that? 
  • In transoceanic sailing, most of the records for fastest passages are held by giant trimarans like the Ultim/Ultime class. 
  • The Jules Verne Trophy is awarded (generally, it’s a little complicated) to the crew that make the fastest nonstop circumnavigation of the Earth. When it started in the 80s, the goal was just to see if it was possible to beat Jules Verne’s fictional character Phileas Fogg and go around the world in less than 80 days, but today the record is down to 40!
  • Other high-profile records include the west-east transatlantic route (New York City to Lizard Point in Cornwall), and several courses that follow the paths of historic ocean voyages– the Discovery Route (the course of Christopher Columbus’s voyage, from Cadiz in Spain to San Salvador in the Bahamas), the Golden Route (from New York to San Francisco around Cape Horn, like during the Gold Rush of 1849), and the Tea Route (Hong Kong to London).
  • Offshore sailing is really popular in France, like crazy popular. The Vendée Globe and Transat Jacques Vabre were in the top ten most-watched sporting events in France in 2017. Most of the sailors, sponsors, and fanbase for attempts to break offshore records are all French, and most of the media coverage is, in French too. But Scuttlebutt is pretty good about posting updates during attempts and if you know your way around Google Translate you can usually do okay. 
  • Jules Verne Trophy official site
  • Ultime class
  • tagged/Jules-Verne-Trophy, Ultime, world record, circumnavigation

The Vendée Globe and the IMOCA Class:

The Volvo Ocean Race and the Whitbread ‘Round the World Race:

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/177040351916.

On a mission to set an example >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News

Friday, August 10th, 2018

On a mission to set an example >> Scuttlebutt Sailing News:


“When we started this campaign, we knew we wanted to bring attention to important ocean health issues such as plastic pollution and climate change,” said Charlie Enright, Skipper, Vestas 11th Hour Racing.

“I’m proud to say that not only did we raise awareness on these issues, but we also walked the talk, paying close attention to our environmental footprint and compensating for both our carbon and waste footprint where we could not eliminate or reduce,” added Mark Towill, Team Director, Vestas 11th Hour Racing.

• The team calculated and offset their carbon footprint of 1218 tonnes of CO2 emitted. The offset will be carried out through Seagrass Grow, a program of the Ocean Foundation. It is estimated that seagrass is up to 35x more effective than Amazonian rainforests in their carbon uptake and storage abilities. Vestas 11th Hour Racing is the first Volvo Ocean Race team to track and offset their carbon footprint.

• Through their legacy project with 11th Hour Racing, the team awarded $120,000 in grant funding to local environmental organizations ($10,000 at each stopover) to support and raise awareness to the incredible efforts happening worldwide to restore ocean health. (See Route Map.)

• By adopting Meatless Mondays, the team reduced their carbon footprint by 2.72 tonnes and prevented the use of 671,000 liters of water. These actions not only helped the team reduce their water usage and carbon footprint, but it helped them raise awareness of this global movement. In fact, if you eat just one less burger per week, over the course of a year, it’s the same as driving 320 miles less in your car.

• 92% of the team’s accommodations were within walking, biking, or public transport distance from the race villages. This careful planning enabled the team to reduce their reliance on cars and taxis as well as their overall carbon footprint.

• 99,300 people visited the public Exploration Zone in the team base, learning about renewable energy, ocean science, the circular economy, and microplastic pollution. Additionally, over 550,000 people viewed the team’s sustainability-focused videos on social media.

• The team was able to achieve a 74% diversion rate (62% recycling, 13% composting) meaning that only 26% of their waste went to the landfill. By comparison, according to the World Economic Forum, Germany has the highest recycling rate in the world at 56%.

• The team removed 212 kilos of trash from beaches. Combined with the 2.1 tons of abandoned fishing gear that will be removed from the ocean by 11th Hour Racing’s grantee Healthy Seas, the team will compensate for the waste they sent to landfill, and for the rig and sails lost overboard during their dismasting in the Southern Ocean.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/176851819931.

Winners 😀

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Winners 😀

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lies: Calling it now. No but seriously. It’s a big world, and…

Sunday, June 24th, 2018


Calling it now.

No but seriously. It’s a big world, and they’re gonna be spending a lot of time in the Southern Ocean where anything can happen. But if you’re one of the other competitors you’d better get busy.


Heh. Clearly it was never in doubt. 😜

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It’s looking better for Dongfeng with each passing minute.

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

It’s looking better for Dongfeng with each passing minute.

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Still too close to call. Dongfeng’s sailing about a knot faster…

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Still too close to call. Dongfeng’s sailing about a knot faster than MAPFRE and Brunel.

A couple of side plots:

Brunel, behind MAPFRE, gybed away to the south a few minutes ago. Presumably that looks like a slightly slower course, but when you’re behind with the finish approaching you have to take chances. MAPFRE gybed a few minutes later to cover. Covering makes sense, but there’s a potential downside: If they fool around too much with Brunel it increases the risk that Dongfeng will pass them both for the win.

At the back of the fleet another cool story is playing out. TTToP (blue tracker symbol) and Scallywag (gray tracker symbol) are close together at the bottom of the overall standings. Everyone on TTToP has been saying the last few legs that their goal is to get out of last place by passing Scallywag in the overall standings. But to do that they not only have to beat them; they have to finish with at least one boat between them.

I can’t say for sure, but it looks like Vestas might be that boat. Not only is there a nail-biter at the front of the fleet, there’s a secondary nail-biter at the back. And it’s all going to play out over the next few hours.

Guess the birds will have to wait a bit longer. 😜

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Me too! MAPFRE has retaken the lead in the western group, which…

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Me too!

MAPFRE has retaken the lead in the western group, which is now heading in toward shore. Brunel is less then a mile behind them, with the no-longer-in-the-running (in terms of overall standings) AkzoNobel in between.

Dongfeng is approaching from the north, roughly 2 miles behind MAPFRE in terms of the distance they’ll need to sail to the finish, but with a faster angle such that they’re (right now) sailing about 3 knots faster. So they’re catching up, but we’ll just have to wait to see if they’ll have enough time to catch them.

I’d planned a long birdwatching outing this morning, but I’m postponing to watch the race finish instead. 😜

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/175203801481.

anonsally replied to your photo “Brunel is still narrowly leading MAPFRE in the western group;…

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

replied to your photo “Brunel is still narrowly leading MAPFRE in the western group; Dongfeng…”

I only follow this through your posts but now I am very curious how it will play out!

Me too!


MAPFRE has re-taken the lead in the western group; Brunel is less than a mile behind them (with the no-longer-in-the-running-for-the-overall-win AkzoNobel in between). Dongfeng is chugging down the coast with about 2 miles more to sail to the finish, though they’re also sailing about 3 knots faster over the bottom, with part of that being because they’re at a faster sailing angle and the other part because they’re closer to shore with less adverse current.

I still have no idea who’s going to win. But I’ve cancelled my birdwatching plans for the morning. 😜

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/175203791941.

So mapfre is behind now… To be honest, I think it would have been a safer call to just stay ahead of dongfeng. There is no certainty about inside vs outside but staying ahead of dongfeng was one certainty and they had the possibility of being ahead of Brunel too. Not sure I agree with their move

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

I don’t know if you saw Blair talking about the decision in the latest video, which Ugo uploaded about three hours ago:

We were lining up to go on the inside, down toward Germany and along the beaches on the top of Holland; made a late call to go to the west. As a result we lost quite a lot on Brunel and AkzoNobel who had decided to go this way earlier, and doing so we split from Dongfeng who were carrying on down. It’s a tricky one, but at the end of the day we have to do what we think is right to get us there fastest, and both the boats we had to beat are going different ways, and we feel this way’s fastest. Got Brunel about a mile above us now, so we’re gonna have to fight to the end. But that’s the way it is. All good really. Wouldn’t want it any other way.

I think he lays it out pretty well. At first they were covering Dongfeng, and Dongfeng was going inside all the way. But as they got closer to the final decision they decided (where “they” is some combination of Xabi and Joan and the crew as a whole) that the outside route looked better. So even though it meant throwing away their lead, they were willing to switch to the outside.

I don’t think the difference between second and third makes that much difference to them. It’s all about still having a shot at winning. In a weird me-specific way it feels like the choice in LOTR to send the Ring to Mordor. Yeah, it was a dangerous choice, one that increased the risks. But sometimes risks are worth taking.

On your point about them still having a chance to beat Brunel by going inside even if the western route was (somewhat) better, I think there’s probably a bias on their part to want to control their own destiny. That is, if they switched to the west they knew they’d be close to Brunel, on the route that they thought had the best chance of being fastest. So they’d be able to try to beat Brunel with boatspeed. If they stuck with the inside route and it turned out to be slower it’s true that their earlier-today lead over Brunel might still have been enough for them to beat them. But that would have meant relying on the wind gods, rather than their own abilities.

We’ll find out in the next 12 hours or so whether the risk they took was worth it.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/175197090991.

Brunel is still narrowly leading MAPFRE in the western group;…

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

Brunel is still narrowly leading MAPFRE in the western group; Dongfeng and the inshore group are losing ground. But that was expected; they knew they’d be sailing a slower angle for a while. Their hope is that the inshore route will pay off at the very end, when the western group has to fight their way in through light winds.

The whole race is totally going to come down to the last few miles.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/175196352086.

Sunrise on the North Sea. Brunel has taken a tiny lead over…

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

Sunrise on the North Sea. Brunel has taken a tiny lead over MAPFRE in the western group; Dongfeng is sailing 5 miles off the Dutch coast in the east.

Seven teams have covered 45,000 miles in nine months of racing. There has been a collision and sinking, a dismasting, and, tragically, two deaths.

I feel like I’ve come to know the sailors, watching and annotating 1,331 on-board videos (and counting). To me they embody the best part of what it means to be human. I’m proud of all of them, and I can’t wait to see who wins.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/175192636096.

lies: dreaminsailor replied to your photoset “Ooh, split developing with the upcoming exclusion…

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018


replied to your photoset
“Ooh, split developing with the upcoming exclusion zones. Dongfeng…”

I wonder if this also means that Brunel can bear away and make more speed and actually overtake Mapfre now

Seems like Brunel will have a faster angle than MAPFRE as they head for that gap in the exclusion zones. So yeah, they should be able to make up some distance. And of course, Brunel’s position with respect to AkzoNobel doesn’t matter in terms of the overall race. It’s a match race between Brunel and MAPFRE in terms of that outside route.

Super interesting. By giving up the inside route, MAPFRE put themselves in a position where they were likely to end up behind Brunel. So they preferred to be in that position, needing to pass Brunel for the win, than being just ahead of Dongfeng on the inside.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/175187794606.

To be honest I would still be happier with Brunel winning rather than dongfeng. Poor Bouwe still has to win a race so he actually deserves it probably

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

At this point, honestly, I agree. I love a come-from-behind victory. But for myself I’ll be thrilled no matter who wins. It’s a no-lose scenario for me.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/175183093251.

dreaminsailor replied to your photoset “Ooh, split developing with the upcoming exclusion zones….

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

replied to your photoset
“Ooh, split developing with the upcoming exclusion zones. Dongfeng…”

I wonder if this also means that Brunel can bear away and make more speed and actually overtake Mapfre now

Seems like Brunel will have a faster angle than MAPFRE as they head for that gap in the exclusion zones. So yeah, they should be able to make up some distance. And of course, Brunel’s position with respect to AkzoNobel doesn’t matter in terms of the overall race. It’s a match race between Brunel and MAPFRE in terms of that outside route.

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Split continues.All the teams have talked in the latest videos…

Saturday, June 23rd, 2018

Split continues.

All the teams have talked in the latest videos about how much this leg has been like a three-day in-port race, with constant maneuvers and hardly any sleep for anyone. It must be quite an emotional ride on board right now. And big conditions: The live helicopter shots of them surfing at 25 knots down the Danish coast in the past few hours were amazing.

Win or lose, they are going to be exhausted when they finish tomorrow.

Reposted from http://lies.tumblr.com/post/175182598846.