Vendée Globe

Vendée Globe, the most impressive single-handed non-stop round-the-world race or the most extreme chalenge a human can face, is starting on the 10th of November.
20 Skippers from 5 diferent countries will be sailing around the world from west to east via the three major capes of Good Hope, Leeuwin and the Horn. That's 27.000 nautical miles and more than 80 days "en solitaire"!

You can follow the race here. They are also launching an mobile app on the 1st of November to be downloaded at the App Store.

Fair and safe winds to all this brave Skippers!


Summer readings

This summer I have read three great books:

DOVE, the 1972 classic book that every sailor or dreamer has read sometime. It's the story of Robin Lee Graham, a guy who spent five years sailing around the world as a single-handed sailor starting when he was 16-years old.
My favourite line from the book:

"It's the next horizon that matters, said Charles. Just think of it that way and you'll be home before you know it."

So true!

SOLITAIRE SPIRIT, from Les Powels, who is now 86 years old and living aboard his self-built yacht in Lymington, UK.
This fantastic book it's about his three successful solo circumnavigations. His first circumnavigation took place when he was 37 years old and only eight hours sailing experience!! On his last one he was 67 when he started it, returning eight years later. He was awarded the Ocean Cruising Award of Merit.

The other book it's called ROUNDING THE HORN - a deck's-eye view of Cape Horn, from journalist and sailor Dallas Murphy.
This is the history of Cape Horn described through some historical chronicles. From Drake to FitzRoy (the captain of the Beagle). It's also a firsthand experience of Murphy´s own trip to Cape Horn.
I recomend this book for the entertaining and historical side of it but mind you that you should read it with an open mind because the author sometimes it's too opinionated and not that historically accurate.


Marketing Lesson

Sometimes you happen to find a great sailing video, photo or article...sometimes...
Well I just found what is in my opinion one of the best (if not the best) and more professional video for a sailing team.
It's from an Hungarian Team called Principessa Sailing Team, and here is their fantastic video

Of course they also have their great own website here and also a very good Facebook page constantly updated.
Don't miss out their sites, videos and photos.

Every professional sailing team (in fact any team or professional athlete) should learn one or two things with these guys! A great Marketing lesson on the importance of communicate with your audiences and targets and provide your sponsors with a great ROI.
Thank you and well done boys!


Fantastic Year

What a fantastic year this has become to the portuguese sailing entusiasts.
We are having some of the best races and sailing events in the world:

VOLVO OCEAN RACE, with one of the most competitive legs ever that happened to finish in Lisbon.

 Team Camper also had an whale collision avoidance when on route to Lisbon!


 TALL SHIPS RACES which will have a have a venue, again in Lisbon, from the 19th till 22nd July.


Act 4 of the Extreme Sailing Series 2012 will be staged between the 5th to 8th July, making its debut in Portugal, this time in the city of Porto.
Eight teams with 40 of the world ́s best sailors from 9 nationalities will line up on the starting grid for four days of intense competition.


Yes, we can find Endeavour right now in the Tejo River, in Lisbon.

Endeavour is a 130-foot (40 m) J-class yacht built for the 1934 America's Cup by Camper and Nicholson in England. She was built for Thomas Sopwith who used his aviation design expertise to ensure the yacht was the most advanced of its day with a steel hull and mast. She was launched in 1934 and won many races in her first season. She failed in her America's Cup challenge against the American defender Rainbow but came closer to lifting the cup than any other until Australia II succeeded in 1983. Source: Wikipedia


Portugal will be represented by 13 sailing athletes, competing in some diferent classes like the 49ers, Laser, 470, Sailboard, Laser Radial, Star and Elliott 6m.


Of course we are also following the La Solitaire du Figaro 2012 where our only professional single-handed sailor is competing right now. Força Francisco!
Here some footage from 2011.


Largest Sailing Regatta

The largest sailing regatta of a single class was achieved by 1,055 participants during an event organised by Fraglia Vela Riva (Italy), in Riva Del Garda, Italy, on 6 April 2012.

The sailing boat for the record was the Optimist, a small, single-handed sailing dinghy intended for use by children up to the age of 15.

Youngsters aged from the age of 9 to14 years old, coming from 27 different countries took place in the regatta. Naturally Italy has the largest representation with 332 entrants followed by Germany with 235 and Denmark 69. Others have come from as far away as Australia, Bermuda and The U.S. with 22 participants.

Source: Guiness Book of Records


Colregs made simple

Very good films about Colregs, the International Regulations for Avoiding Collisions at Sea. Series of 12 videos to accompany the feature in the July 2012 issue of Practical Boat Owner mag.

You can watch (and learn or relearn) the films here

Thank you to Practical Boat Owner!


Lifetime Experience!

In a Marketing iniciative held by Nissan Iberia, I was invited to sail with Francisco Lobato aboard his fantastic Figaro Bénéteau 2.

Francisco Lobato has participated in more than 15 World and European sailing championships, has won the 2008 Les Sables-Azores-Les Sables race and in 2009 he won the 4000 miles transatlantic yacht race, the Transat 6.50 Solo Race.

This year Francisco will be competing in the Championnat Français de Course au Large with his new Figaro Bénéteau 2. This boat created by and for the solo sailor is very popular among them and every year they fight for the best places of tough competition events.

Some of the tech specs:
Lenght: 10,10 m
Hull beam: 3,4 m
Draft: 2,10 m
Light displacement: 3050 kg
Keel weight: 1100 kg
Mainsail: 36 m

 Francisco's office

Thank you Nissan Iberia for conducting this great marketing iniciative and congratulations for sponsoring a true champion!

Thank you, Francisco, for this lifetime experience. You are really a very nice guy, a true professional sailor and a Champion!


100 Lessons the Oceans will teach you

Inspired by another blogger, here goes a list of some lessons the Oceans can/will teach you.
Thank you to Emma Mora for her original list. You can follow her "La Mar d Cosas" blog here.

To develop a sailor's sense.
To anticipate events.
To be patient, much more than you think.
To grow up.
To socialize, if not sailing alone.
To relax, enjoy, relativize ...
To keep calm in difficult situations.
To transmit serenity to those who sail with you.
To develop a spirit of collaboration.
To have an humorous approach on some occasions.
To organize.
To solve unexpected problems.
To be a leader, if you are the boss.
To be a team player.
To deeply enjoy small things.
To grow and to excel.
To be prudent.
To overcome fears.
To learn to admire the simple.
To assess what is important and ignore unimportant things.
To speak clearly, calling things by their names.
To be amazed.
To meet "Mr. Murphy", always present in the boat.
To be a little freer.
To observe, think and act.
To be "Mr. Fixit"
To pee sited (ladies are already prepared in advance).
To adapt to the circumstances.
To recycle.
To know you're not in charge.
To fear, to respect, to love, to fight.
To dream of.
To leave the mind blank.
To breath.
To deeply know the friends with whom you share a navigation.
To use multiple senses, not just sight.
To notice that time has another dimension and another measure.
To care for others and that others care for you.
To learn that discipline and order are positive concepts.
To understand that fear can be controlled.
That in the end you happen to like storms.
That you are more strong to face cold, rain, sun.
That to trim sails gives you stronger hands.
That you gain in balance and reflexes.
That hangovers are worst...
That behind any horizon there's always land.
To realize that the sea is big and we are small.
To be more sensitive as human beings.
To enjoy the good and the bad weather.
To look into the distance.
To not worry about the inconsequential.
To talk, to shut up and to listen.
To learn something new in the sea. Everyday!
In which we learn to be happy.
To enjoy.
To take responsibility.
To live with yourself.
To relativize the problems you have inshore.
Not to spit against the wind.
To have a deeper understanding of yourself.
To enjoy peace.
To let flow your imagination.
To realize that we are insignificant compared to nature.
That the sea makes us equal to all.
To reborn.
To enjoy every moment to the fullest.
To realize the constraints that society puts us.
To need little.
To laugh at oneself.
That where there's a Skipper there are no sailors.
To be silent.
That the wind always comes from the nose.
To act calmly when facing adversity.
To learn how to make knots.
To realize that there are always things to learn.
To realize that the sea always surprises you.
To realize that the sea teaches you something new. Everyday! 
To respect nature and to be a part of it.
To make friends.
To be patient.
To live the present.
To leave rush aside.
That the sea heals and makes you change.
To live with less.
To overcome fear.
To have grease-filled hands.
To see the limitations.
To trust your boat.
To know how to wait.
To miss.
To be more objective (at least a little).
To live in a small space.
To read calmly.
To taste a landfall in a safe place.
To drop unnecessary burdens.
To gain in balance and reflexes.
To smell the land.
To help others.
To navigate.
And above all...To be humble!


Sailing Quotes and Thoughts

Some of the best quotes and thoughts about sailing that I've found over the years. They come from different sources, blogs, forums, magazines, websites...so it's kinda dificult for me to name all the authors. Anyway here they are:

1) "Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than those you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from safe harbor. Catch the wind in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
Mark Twain

2) "A bad day sailing is 100 times better than a good day at work"

3) "Sailing requires the management of all the systems on the boat, plus all the controls on the boat, while assessing the weather and navigation. It's planning everything to a fine level of detail and making the required adjustments all at the same time things are changing"

4) "There's nothing . . . absolutely nothing . . . half so much worth doing as simply throwing money at a boat."

5) "If you want to know what sailing is all about, just get in the shower with your clothes on, turn on the cold water, and eat a soggy peanut butter sandwich. While you're doing all this, drop a $100 down the drain every 2 minutes"

6) "What a ship is, you know, it's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails,
that's what a ship needs.  But what a ship is,... really is, is freedom."
Captain Jack Sparrow

7) "Now I'm sick of a life that is too complicated. I want to wear shorts year round. I want to swim in the morning. I want to fish. I want to shop for fresh food in small markets. I don't want to work my butt off to make payments and then pay for insurance and cleaning and maintainence and upgrades for things that I really don't need to survive. I am cold and tired and I need a break. I don't want my job anymore. I want to laugh with my family in the sun. I want freedom."

8) "If a man is to be obsessed by something, I suppose a boat is as good as anything, perhaps a bit better than most"
E.B. White

9) "20 MPH ain't fast unless, you do it in a 1000sq 3/2 house on 10foot waves"

10) “Would you get bored of cruising?” One of the replies stuck out in my mind. The poster said “I got bored…but it took six years. Best six years of my life! Nothing has to be forever to be worth doing!” In my mind that is perfect!

11) "You haven't been cold until you've been cold on a boat. I guess it's the humidity/moisture, but it is just REALLY cold."
Bill Dietrich

12) “The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.”
William Arthur Ward

13) "Se navega por los astros, por la mar, por la tierra, por las gentes, por los sentimientos...se navega."

14) "How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when clearly it is Ocean."
Arthur Clarke 

15) "Any damn fool can navigate the world sober. It takes a really good sailor to do it drunk."
Sir Francis Chichester

16) "When a man comes to like a sea life, he is not fit to live on land."
Dr. Samuel Johnson

17) "Off Cape Horn there are but two kinds of weather, neither one of them a pleasant kind."
John Masefield

18) "For one thing, I was no longer alone; a man is never alone with the wind-and the boat made three."
Hilaire Belloc

19) "Sailors, with their built in sense of order, service and discipline, should really be running the world."
Nicholas Monsarrat

20) "I was born in the breezes, and I had studied the sea as perhaps few men have studied it, neglecting all else."
Joshua Slocum

21) "Only two sailors, in my experience, never ran aground. One never left port and the other was an atrocious liar."
Don Bamford

22) "Out of sight of land the sailor feels safe. It is the beach that worries him."
Charles G. Davis

23) "The goal is not to sail the boat, but rather to help the boat sail herself."
John Rousmaniere

24) "Prevention is, as in other aspects of seamanship, better than cure."
Sir Robin Knox-Johnston

25) "The question that used to bother me at times, do not weigh anything before the immensity of a wake so close to the sky and filled with the wind of the sea"
Bernard Moitessier

26) "To deal with men is as fine an art as it is to deal with ships. Both men and ships live in an unstable element, are subject to subtle and powerful influences, and want to have their merits understood rather than their faults found out [...] After all, the art of handling ships is finer, perhaps, than the art of handling men."
Joseph Conrad

27) “I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it is because in addition to the fact that the sea changes and the light changes, and ships change, it is because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it we are going back from whence we came."
J. F. K.


28) "Wherever we want to go, we go. That's what a ship is, you know. It's not just a keel and a hull and a deck and sails; that's what a ship needs. But what a ship is...what she really is...is freedom."
Jack Sparrow

29) "Sailing a boat calls for quick action, a blending of feeling with the wind and watter as well as with the very heart and soul of the boat itself. Sailing teaches alertness and courage, and gives in retourn a joyousness and peace that but few sports afford."
George Matthew Adams

30) "Borders? I have never seen one. But I have heard they exist in the minds of some people."
Thor Heyerdahl