During my blog trip to Bermuda last month, I trained with the elite sailors from Team Land Rover BAR, the Great British hope for the 35th America’s Cup and run by the most successful Olympic sailor of all time, legend Sir Ben Ainslie. Whilst they’re a brand new team for this event, they mean business with a 150-strong contingent and a well-funded £80m budget; second place isn’t an option, they’re out to #BringTheCupHome. This was a pretty unique and exceptional opportunity for a bit of an amateur sailing geek like me. I’ve previously featured professional sailing teams on my adventures with Helly Hansen, and indeed myself trained with Team Concise, as well as participating in Cowes Week 2016 (placing third!). The America’s Cup is something altogether different; akin to a Formula 1 on water, it’s the hardest cup in all sport to win, with only 4 nations having won since it began in 1851 – and NOT Britain, yet. This year for the first ever time, it’s being held in the Great Sound, a sheltered yet windy expanse off the Bermuda coastline. This is the most glamorous and intensely competed meet in the sailing calendar, and I was allowed super-rare insight into the team’s training regime. Warning: it’s beyond gruelling! Read on… (more…)
The Bermuda Rectangle. Is what I thought it was called, but it turns out that doesn’t exist either. Apart from a superstitious fiction of vanishing vessels and the even-more-mysterious Bermuda Shorts, I’d not really encountered the island of Bermuda before. This marvel of nature is a long, thin, subtropical, volcanic island (made up of 181 mini-islands!) that’s shaped like a seahorse, and is a veritable slither of paradise with soft pink sandy beaches and turquoise waters. Marine heritage is a fundamental part of daily life here, and it offers simply some of the best sailing conditions in the world. When the Bermuda Tourism Authority invited me to tour the island and train with the Land Rover BAR team ahead of the elite and ultra-prestigious Americas Cup in May, I commenced my research; Turks & Caicos is 1,340km away, this isn’t in the Caribbean, it’s one of the most isolated islands on the planet, and it’s surrounded by absolutely nothing other than the fresh depths of the Atlantic Ocean. And its waters are blessed with lashings of wind; a sailors mecca! What I discovered when I set foot on the island couldn’t have been more unique; this is one of the most welcoming gems I’ve encountered on my voyages! Click more to see behind the scenes from the sailing equivalent of F1, as well as my top 10 wellbeing activities on this stunning, arresting island! (more…)
It’s been almost a year since I embarked upon my grand sailing adventure with Helly Hansen. In Scandinavia, they’re a home-grown super-cool brand, which generates the same patriotic affection as Burberry might here in the UK, so it’s been a bit of a dream partnership for me! Our journey led us from the tropical waters of Barbados to the blustery shores of Cowes where we smashed it to earn a massively unexpected medal position. To celebrate, we’ve put together a Winter Starter Pack of super technical clothing kit & accessories, which one super lucky reader will win! Click MORE to see what’s in the bundle (which is worth over £650!!), and how to enter!
Having placed third at Cowes Week alongside my Team Helly Hansen crew-mates, and after a year of training to sail competitively, I can comfortably say I absolutely adore the sport and couldn’t recommend it more, even for traditional land-lovers! For that reason, I wanted to share my top 5 places to sail in the UK, for those who may be thinking of trying something new this year. It’s a focused post shining a spotlight upon some exceptional sailing spots (and broader cultural gems) from around this wonderfully diverse country, from the northern heights of the Scottish Lochs to the limestone southern coast of England, whether you’re a beginner or a professional! (more…)
It’s almost impossible for me to believe, but last weekend myself, along with three other novice sailors (all of us bloggers) took Bronze position in the Cruiser B Class at Cowes week – the oldest and largest sailing Regatta in the world. We came in with a time of 2:53:41 which was actually second to the first placed 2:49:07 but factoring in the third-placed boat’s ‘handicap’, it meant we took home bronze. It’s a pretty mind-boggling achievement for us, following a solid year of training, study, toil and practise which went into our efforts, with our Helly Hansen family making the whole thing possible! Click more to read about and see the experience, with beautiful photography courtesy of Anthony Potts on the day! (more…)
You might remember this post from my recent trip to Barbados as I learn to sail ahead of Cowes Week in August, where I’ll be competing with team Helly Hansen! Whilst trying to figure out my Spinnakers from my Schooners, I was under the expert guidance of Team Concise‘s Captain, Ned Collier Wakefield; an award-winning, record-breaking professional ‘Competitive Offshore’ Sailor, who I thought would be perfect to tell the story of the physical and psychological challenges, as well as the fitness requirements of doing his job full time! Click more to see our interview together, and see if it can persuade you to dip your toe in the water, so to speak 🙂
Today, I’m over the moon to announce that I’ve partnered with the legendary Norwegian sailing brand, Helly Hansen and am embarking upon a proper adventure with them in the coming 6 months, learning how to sail and eventually competing at Cowes Week in August. But first, I’ll come clean; I’m not a total novice – during my childhood in Sweden I used to sail every summer – as did almost everyone who lived in the maritime environment of the Karlskrona archipelago – and Helly Hansen was the brand to wear, even back then. I’ve literally grown up with them, and have a lot of respect for the way they’ve helped develop the sport. The eagle-eyed reader may have spied over on Instagram that I recently had the mind-boggling opportunity to join them in Barbados and sail with Team Concise. In this little video I put together, you’ll see footage of us sailing the smaller GP 14 dinghies, however we also sailed on the midsized Diam 24 and the monster MOD 70. Click MORE to read about the top health benefits of this sport, which is SO much more accessible than you might have thought! (more…)