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Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD

Where there's a will there's a way

by Mark Jardine 5 Apr 2020 22:00 BST 5 April 2020
Sam Kurtul's iconic photo of the Australian SailGP team hitting 50 knots at the Cowes SailGP in 2019 © Sam Kurtul / www.worldofthelens.co.uk

If there's one thing that the past fortnight has proved, it's that sailors are a resourceful bunch. The vast majority of the sailing world can't get out on the water, but it certainly doesn't mean we're idle. There may be few of the traditional event reports on Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com right now, but we've been running so many inspiring stories, videos, podcasts, vodcasts, webinars and live events that we've seen an increase in visits.

So how are you handling lock-down? Offshore sailors are well used to solitude, and we've had isolation tips from Amory Ross of 11th Hour Racing and Phil Sharp which are well worth a read. Positivity, routine, communication, refocusing, down-time and adapting all are key, personally and in business, and both Amory and Phil have some great advice.

Many sailors have turned to eSailing to keep themselves connected to our sport. For sure it's not quite the same experience as getting out on the water and feeling the wind on your face, but it provides you with competition and camaraderie. We've taken this a step further, livestreaming Virtual Regatta races with full commentary and chat with the skippers. The competitors included many of the British Sailing Team and a slew of World Champions, but the banter was superb and provided fun viewing for thousands of sailors. This is something we're extending over the coming weeks, attracting the very best inshore and offshore sailors around the world, and providing you with opportunities to race against them.

The need for PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) for front-line workers, such as doctors and nurses, has been regularly on the news worldwide and we should all be proud of the marine industry companies who have stepped up to the challenge to produce equipment. One such example is the technology team at The Ocean Race, re-purposing the office 3D printer to manufacture protective face shield masks for the hospital in Elda, 40km inland from the race headquarters in Alicante, Spain. Iker Martinez, a veteran of The Ocean Race in 2011-12 and 2014-15, has been spending his time in 'self-isolation' sewing masks for health care workers from his home in Palma de Mallorca. To every single person playing their part to help protect those who put themselves at risk helping others: thank you.

Podcasts, vodcasts and webinars have popped up everywhere, and we've heard from top sailors throughout the world. North Sails' Rob Greenhalgh gave his expert opinion on the latest developments in the International Moth class, answering questions from the viewers as they came in, and the Sailor Girl Nic Douglass has managed to broadcast her 'Adventures Weekly' from on board a boat, albeit in a swimming pool...

We've sent out requests to our readers to hear your stories, including 'Calling all boat bimblers!'. Last year we followed James Sainsbury building his foiling Moth Valkyrie, and now we have more great renovation stories, including Clare Giles' 1979 wooden Europe dinghy, Howard Massie spending one hundred pounds well on ebay, Daniel Hollands' first-time varnishing experience on a Contender and Rob Evans' restoration of a very early International OK Dinghy.

With people spending more time at home, the shed or garage is inevitably getting a clear-out and we want to know what you find! Perhaps an elaborate gizmo that promised to revolutionise the world in 1994 but curiously never saw the winners' podium?

We've had videos aplenty lately, including the Official Films of the Whitbread Round the World Race of 1973-74, 1977-78 and 1981-82 which are a must-watch for fans of the race.

One of our favourite videos this past week was from 49er World Champion Dylan Fletcher, who captured some incredible footage of himself clocking 21 knots upwind in a foiling Moth. As Dylan described, "The difficulty for me is my lack of weight compared to the other guys. I have always pushed towards lower rigs and flatter sails to help me compete against the heavier guys. It's electric fun going this fast upwind, I actually find it more enjoyable than downwind. The apparent wind is nearing 35 knots!"

We had a bit of fun on April 1st, announcing the Star class return for Tokyo 2021. A fair few were fooled, a fair few more wished it was true... either way, we hope the story gave you a smile.

Thank you to all our readers and marine industry partners. We hugely appreciate your support and continue our aim of promoting all that is positive and good about being on the water. During this time we will be sending you the global picture weekly with John Curnow, David Schmidt and myself writing our thoughts in rotation. Please continue to follow government advice and remember #WeAreInThisTogether.

Take care and stay safe.

Mark Jardine
Managing Editor, Sail-World.com and YachtsandYachting.com

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