Aside from the pleasure that sailing brings to people of all ages, the great thing about the sport is that there continues to be notable aspects that inspire and amaze us, both in terms of the environment and technology.
Britain’s Dee Caffari led the ‘Turn the Tide on Plastic’ in the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. Her campaign highlighted the important issue of the sustainability of our seas and the need for greater marine conservation, firmly to the attention of the sailing world.
It is also with the advent of technology that other dreams are realised. One example being the brainchild of competitive catamaran sailor, William Sunnocks, who in 2009 started the ‘Vampire Project’ – an innovative hydro-foiling experiment for a 20’ long, 10’ wide catamaran. The approach was a ground-breaking design and foil system that lifted the catamaran out of the water, enabling it to race at a stable height at high speeds. Nine years on, the craft is now winning events. The most recent being the 80km Whitstable Thames Estuary Forts Race, that I was lucky enough to be crewing for William, where the craft won in a record time of 2hrs 34 mins.
It all goes to show that with a little belief and dedication, anything can be possible.