My apologies to those of you who have been checking for new posts on this site. It looks as if I cannot commit to the steady stream of output characteristic of a true blog – my life just doesn’t work that way. However, I want to assure you that I haven’t given up and gone away – there’ll be another burst of activity in a week or so.
A very quick look at one or two events that I was following fairly keenly until the interruption:
The 2008/2009 Vendée Globe prizegiving featured a huge firework show. The record crowd of 120,000 people thronging the beach were lucky – the afternoon’s thunderstorms faded away before the ceremony.
29 contestatnts have already signed up for the next race, in October 2012, and many of them are competing in this year’s Figaro.
Speaking of the Figaro, Jann Eliés took his first tentative steps at returning to competitive singlehanded sailing after his serious fractures in the Southern Ocean. He couldn’t take it easy though – he won his first race and the next one. His orthopaedic surgeon must be shaking his head in despair.
Meanwhile, the committee that controls the rules for the Vendée Globe boats is having discussions about the number of canting keel system failures competitors suffered. It will be interesting to see what they come up with in the way of rule changes – something on the lines of giant ski-bindings, perhaps? There has been a range of different failure modes, so it’s going to need some serious study.
Hilary Lister is back in action again, now round Land’s End, past the south coast of Wales and across the sea to Ireland. Most of her problems last year were caused by lack of wind, but now the team is facing rougher conditions. The procedures for coping with this are sometimes dramatic, so we shouldn’t be surprised when some of the reporting becomes sensational or controversial. For a dose of reality, check out Hilary’s (proxy) blog posts and Tweets.
By comparison with all this, my life has been rather easy. On a trip to the UK, I managed to meet Russell Ferriday (his site only works with IE, not Firefox, sadly) and even motored a few hundred yards round to the berth where Russell was planning to step his mast. A month later, Phyllis and I attended the Lee-on-Solent Centenary Ball at HMS Sultan and met many old friends, including one who assured me that the pound would recover some of its value against the euro by the end of this month. It’s beginning to look as if he was right, for which I am immensely grateful because my pension is paid in sterling and I live in France.