Countdown to the Volvo Ocean Race

Photo by Nick Dana

Photo by Nick Dana/ Team Abu Dhabi

In just 27 days, sailors in the Volvo Ocean Race will set off on their around the globe journey. October 22nd marks their departure from Lisbon, Portugal when 7 teams from around the world will compete in this crazy 9 month race. And we can’t wait. Our TotalBoat Ambassadors, Charlie Enright and Nick Dana are on our favorite boat, Team Vestas 11th Hour Racing, and our bets are on them and their top notch team to pull out some impressive sailing and an eventual win at the end.  Continue reading

Closing in on La France, Quickly!

HugoBoss Record

With the Vendee Globe solo ocean racers closing in on day 70, both the predictable and the unpredictable has happened. Quite predictably, 11 skippers and yachts have retired from racing with only 18 left to race to the finish line off Les Sables D’Olonne, France. And quite unpredictably, Alex Thomson, who is not far off the pace, pushing hard behind the leader, Armel Le Cleac’h on “Banque Populaire VII,” has set a new 24-hour for distance and speed covered in 24 hours on a monohull with a blistering average speed of 22 knots!  Continue reading

‘Hugo Boss’ Skippers Abandon Ship and are Rescued off Spain

What a huge bummer for Alex Thomson and Team Hugo Boss. In a “shakedown” of sorts – and a rather aggressive one, at that – Thomson and his co-skipper for the 2 man Transat Jacques Vabre Race, Guillermo Altadill, started the 5400 mile Transat Jacque Vabres race from Le Havre, France to Itajai, Brazil on Sunday the 25th of October.  On October 31, a scary day indeed for the 2 sailors, they set off their EPIRB requiring a rescue from their brand new, sinking IMOCA 60 monohull, Hugo Boss.

The entire fleet who set off from France on the 5,400 mile double-handed race to Itajai, Brazil, confronted seriously damaging winds and huge seas and many of the boats were forced to retire from the race. Thomson and Altadill had turned Hugo Boss around to head back to Spain to look into repairs needed to repair “structural issues” to the new boat, and in the 36 hours heading back to shore, the boat continued to break and it became obvious that it was starting to sink forcing the rescue some 82 miles off the coast of Spain.

Once the 2 men arrived safely back on land, the team began the effort to recover the damaged boat and tow it safely back to make further repairs in hopes to get the boat in shape to race in Alex’s goal: the Vendee Globe which starts on 6 November, 2016. Plenty of time, we would hope, to get the boat in proper ocean going shape for a round-the-world adventure. Thomson hopes to become the first non-French skipper to win the Vendee Globe, a crazy solo, non-stop race around the world.

Check out the rescue video from the Spanish Coast Guard. They must have been very busy with all the retired boats off the coast of Spain. It is great news that Thomson’s boat has been recovered and is alongside in A Coruna, Spain.

Maybe they should have brought along some (lots) of THIXO? It’s boat repair magic…

Follow the team’s rebuild and news updates on their website: http://www.alexthomsonracing.com/news

 

Across the Atlantic in my Folkboat

Leo Goolden tells the story of his voyage from Falmouth, England to the Caribbean, much of it solo and without GPS, in his rebuilt 25-footer.
(Article of Courtesy Classic Boat Magazine) 

clas15-1544 I hoist the mainsail with the mooring lines still tied. A few curious faces peer over the railings. “Is that a Folkboat?” says an old fella’ with a bag of chips. “Where you off to?” “France!” I say. He gives me an odd look and wanders off down the stone quay. I hoist the jib, untie the spring, and flick the bow line over the bollard.

I back the jib, holding the clew to leeward on the foredeck until the bow falls off a little, and then give the wall a good kick from the stern. I take up the slack in the main sheet as Lorema bears away and the sails fill, the wake widens, and I hear the sound of the water accelerating over the clinker planks.

As I pass Trefusis point, I turn and wave goodbye to Falmouth and Cornwall and all the friends I have made there – until next time. After two years it feels like home, but I am finally embarking on the trip I have planned for so long, and I can barely contain my excitement and nerves. I am heading south, destination unknown, and it feels good.clas15-2234
Continue reading

Donna Lange: Underway Blog & Position Report

 

Donna Lange left Bristol almost 2 weeks ago now and she has made good progress and while her blog says the North Atlantic squalls have been challenging, her mood seems good and the optimism we expect from the accomplished sailor is inside the tone of her blog posts. Not one to let a bump in the road or some ten-foot seas get her down, Donna is battling some slow leaks and a soggy cabin but she seems to be doing well with her celestial navigation, checking her position with Bob, her partner who is keeping a close eye on her.

Enough from us! Head over to her blog and check out her posts. She will continue to add reports and her position is posted right on the homepage at www.donnalange.com 

We sure feel good knowing we helped outfit Inspired Insanity with plenty of TotalBoat supplies and a nice package of all the THIXO products she could carry before she left. Some of those Thixo products could be life saving – like the Fast Cure which doesn’t take days or need perfect conditions to do it’s job. Donna accepted the last minute extra Thixo tubes and tips like we had handed over a few Filet Mignons before her departure….and we were happy to provide it for her.

Follow Donna and wish her well on her blog page. I am sure a few notes from her followers will brighten up even the stormiest day in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean!