How long does it take to get addicted to speed? Not long, aboard the foiling trimaran, l’Hydroptère DCNS. The big, French “water wing” holds the nautical-mile record at 50.17 knots and now has its sights set on a Los Angeles-Honolulu record.
Forget about the speed, what about the noise? It was the pre-start of a 150-mile race from Newport, Rhode Island, to New York City, and I was one of four sailors manning the dual coffee grinders aboard the Multi One Design (MOD) 70 Race for Water.
Team Sanya had a run of bad luck in the Volvo Ocean Race. Really bad luck. Sanya Lan, skippered by Australian Mike Sanderson, is a VOR veteran, yet in this race it seemed like she spent nearly as much time out of the water being fixed as she did in it.
It was a Newport-Bermuda Race competitors will not soon forget, with “perfect” conditions that allowed race leaders to not just break records but shatter them. Leading the charge was George David’s 90ft maxi Rambler.
Twenty-something years ago I stood at the mouth of the Solent and watched the start of the Whitbread Round the World Race. I counted 23 boats making their way into the English Channel, with 32,000 miles of hard racing ahead of them.