New Year sailing news that is no surprise


I’m relieved (sort of) to see that despite emulating Team Origin and ‘standing down from full operational mode’, I missed nothing over Christmas.

The most widely reported story says it all, I think. Largest yacht in Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race wins line honours. (Wild Oats, picture above courtesy of Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi.)

Did anyone feel there was a touch of irony in this as a major sports story? If so, no-one commented. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not seeing what’s special about the biggest maxi, crammed with top-dollar professional crew with over 300 Sydney-Hobarts between them, managing to reach Hobart first. Talk about taking a gun to a knife fight.

Another one you may also have missed: leader of Barcelona World Race still leading.

The most interesting and impressive ongoing achievement has been that of Francis Joyon who, while we had our feet up, was galloping across the Southern Ocean at a hectic pace. Last week he was chasing his longitude down to Cape Horn at a rate of 500 miles a day and now he’s halfway up the South Atlantic.

Joyon is over 3,300 miles ahead of Ellen MacArthur’s progress in B&Q and on the way to a new solo world record. This is an outstanding feat of seamanship.

It is a pity that his sponsors IDEC resolutely refused to spend a few bob on an English translation. Still, you get the gist and can see Joyon’s position on their excellent French website,