Cruising, Crashing and Cupping – Marion to Bermuda

Corinthians Race to Bermuda to Catch the America’s Cup

pesca bdaThis Friday, June 9th marks the start of the 40th anniversary of the fabled Marion to Bermuda Race. This 21st running of the race has been rescheduled to an earlier start date to align the arrival of the fleet in Bermuda with the America’s Cup final races in mid June. Alternating every other year with the Newport Bermuda Race, the Marion race has long been more of a cruisers delight, with the high-tech race boats that frequent the Newport version heading to Storm Trysail Block Island Race Week on these “off” years.

Of course Team TotalBoat will be rooting for our friends on Pescatore, a Hinckley Sou’wester 59 hailing from Mattapoisett, Mass. Racing in the Youth Challenge division (a certain number of crew need to be below age 23- so in their case- 5 crew under 23), Team Pescatore is hoping to beat their record from the last Marion Bermuda Race, when they were 3rd over the line, and finished 2nd in class. We will be following the boat on the race tracker and will report from Bermuda. If you’re around town and spy the TotalBoat ensign flying on Pescatore, knock on the hull and ask Captain Twice for a TotalBoat hat. Tell him we sent you.  Continue reading

The Greenest Jury-Rigged Hero

Screenshot 2017-03-03 11.29.38

There is one story left to tell in the epic Vendee Globe Race – with the final sailor still not yet across the finish line. However – one week ago on Feb 25th – another record setter crossed the finish line and that’s the story we want to share with you here. *With no disrespect to the final racer Sebastien Destremau… But we love the story of the Crazy Kiwi sailor, Conrad Colman, who is one of the 18 solo sailors who will have finished the race out of the 29 that started. Conrad’s finish – like all the others before him – is a massive victory (and like we said about Rich Wilson in this blog post, they are all winners for just finishing at all!) for a few special reasons.  Continue reading

Rich Wilson: Greatest American Ocean Hero

Photo by Olivier Blanchet/ DPPI

Photo by Olivier Blanchet/ DPPI

Congratulations and bienvenue to American solo sailor, Rich wilson, who has just completed his solo circumnavigation of the world in his 2nd Vendee Globe Race. We have already declared Rich the winner of the race, despite his actual 13th place finish in just over 107 days at sea. His interview below, done soon after he arrived on shore, shows just how tired, emotional and mentally exhausted the 66-year old sailor is after the race. However he learns, mid-press conference, that his own route mileage on the 29,000 course was the same as the race winner, Armel Le Cleac’h. And this put Rich amongst the leaders, just in a slower boat, and arguably in an older (and more experienced) body! Continue reading

Vendee Globe: From France to France

BanquePop

Let’s be clear, there is a big difference between winning and getting first place. Every entry that gets to the starting line of the 2017 Vendee Globe race is an amazing competitor. And every skipper who crosses the finish line, regardless of placement, is a winner. Yes – there is only one first place and that belongs to Armel Le Cleac’h on Banque Populaire. Second place finisher, Alex Thomson aboard Hugo Boss, however is also a major winner… ratcheting up his collection of Vendee Globe hardware, adding this second place finish to the third place trophy he earned last time around. Leaving only the first place trophy remaining for his bookshelves. 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

World Sailing Show – November 2016

 

safran

So maybe you’re not a sailor, but if you like being on the water or just reading about it, and you have a healthy respect for the ocean – then this wrap up of recent sailing news has lots to offer.  From Olympic sailing news (they added foiling to the next Olympics!) to updates on the Vendee Globe (they are rounding Cape of Good Hope right about now) – there is exciting news from oceans around the world delivered to you via You Tube. And of course, thanks to TotalBoat Show!  Continue reading

Vendee Globe: Dock Walk, Race Tracker & Videos from the Race

greatamericaniv_wilsonw

If you read our recent blog post on the amazingly radical and extreme race around the world that is the Vendee Globe,  then you need to check out this dock walk video below featuring an inside look at every boat doing the race (Thank you Sailing Anarchy). And since they are all still at it, with no breakage and no drop outs to date, each of these boats is making it happen, with the current leaders screaming towards the equator at speeds of about 20 knots. On a sailboat. Alone. And often times on autopilot.  Continue reading

NonStop & Alone – Racing Around the World

2016-10-03_6-55-47

Follow This: Singlehanded Race Around the World – The Vendee Globe – Starts Sunday

When the rate of attrition for a sailing race is more than 50% of the fleet, you can bet on being entertained, even glued to, following these sailors as they circumnavigate the globe. 29 sailors are planning to make it all the way, but only a portion of them will reach the finish line. We have blogged here about British sailor, Alex Thomson and his foiling 60-foot IMOCA monohull, Hugo Boss. Thomson has been training hard and pulling off some pretty cool publicity stunts along the way for suit-maker, Hugo Boss. We have high hopes for this English speaking sailor in a sea of dominant, ocean-going Frenchmen, for whom this race was dreamed up. Continue reading

Chaos and Champagne in the 50th Newport-Bermuda Race

comanche bda

In this 50th edition of the famous ocean race, an early forecast threatened the fleet with nasty wind and waves in the Gulf Stream, but it didn’t stop ‘Comanche’ from setting a new course record. The rest of the racers now battle light air instead of gales, with most only halfway to Bermuda.

Comanche, the super fast 100-footer built by Hodgdon Yachts of Boothbay, Maine was built to shatter records and she has done just that with a new course record for the Newport – Bermuda Race. In this 50th anniversary running of the race, Comanche finished the 635 race in 34hrs 42min 53sec, almost five hours ahead of the previous record of 39:39:18 set in 2012 by George David in Rambler. 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