July 01, 2018 by James Kell

Top 10 Coolest Things in Sailing (2018)

Our Favourite Sailing Boats, People and Sites

There are some things we like so much, we just feel the need to list them. So here is the list. It's not strictly over the past year (like number 9, Comanche), and it's not necessarily the top of sailing (ahh, number 7), but it's our list so here it is. We hope you like it. At the top is our Youtube Episode, then we list each item.

10. Sailing Anarchy - keeping it real

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Sailing Anarchy deserves a special mention as the site every sailor turns to when any rumours start flying about anything in the industry. Keep doing what you're doing Scot and the team.

9. Jim Clarke - Comanche. What a boss.

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A prize needs to go to the guy who for builds a a ridiculously big ass $30mil, 100ft weapon, just because. Comanche recorded the fastest trans-atlantic time for a monohull, and with skipper Ken Read also set the Newport to Bermuda record. Kenny deserves a special mention for his full-service approach to skippering his owner’s boat.

8. New Ran Fast 40 - Niklas Zennstrom. Sexiest boat in 2018.

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We are totally counting our eggs before they hatch here, but omg what a sexy beast. The Ran Fast 40 designed by Shaun Carkeek - no stranger to designing for America's Cup and Volvo OR - looks the real deal. And it's electrically powered. Now let's see if she sails as well as she looks.

7. Jennifer Appel abandoned boat after 5 months. Apparently...

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A refreshing reminder that sailing is a broad church, the world heard the amazing newscast of two women who were rescued after being adrift for five months. Eyebrows began their ascent as we subsequently learned they had two large, well-fed dogs on board, reported epic storms that did not exist, and had never activated their emergency beacon. Oh, and Appel is a dominatrix. Awesome.

6. Arkema 3 Mini 6.50 prototype. French innovation machine.

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The French are a tremendous force in sailing, and the Arkema 3 Mini is a great example of their ingenuity. Full recyclable, this 6.5m snub-nosed rocket sports foils, canting keel and a bunch of other innovations.

5. Blair Tuke. The most underrated sailor this year.

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If Blair Tuke were teammates with anyone else, he would be a household name in sailing. But when you are teamed with Peter Burling, it's easy to get lost in the shadow. Olympic gold in the 49er class, an America’s Cup win and quite possibly the first “triple crown” in sailing (if Tuke’s MAPFRE win the Volvo Ocean Race), this is one sailor worth knowing.

4. Peter Burling. Legend.

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Awarded World Sailor of the Year last year, 27 year old Peter Burling is the 2017 America's Cup champion helmsman, an Olympic gold medalist in the 49ers as well as a regular podium finisher in the moths. To top that off he is sailing with Team Brunel on this year’s Volvo Ocean Race. An all-round legend.

3. François Gabart, smashes world record on Macif JVT.

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Although his Vendee record may have been broken (see above), Gabart smashed another, the single handed around the world record. Sailing the 30m MACIF trimaran, Gabart’s time of 42 days was six whole days faster than the previous record (only set in 2016). His average speed was 27 knots. Incredible

2. Armel Le Cléac'h for winning the Vendee. And Blue Steeling his Foil.

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At 74 days, meaning an average speed of 13.8 knots, he smashed the previous record by four days on his 60ft racing yacht Banque Populaire VIII. And by all accounts he's a solid dude.

1. Grant Dalton, ETNZ, new mono-foilers, Godfather of Sailing.

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As CEO of ETNZ, for winning the Cup, then posing as a traditionalist wanting to go back to monohulls, before announcing the next great innovation in sailing; fully foiling monohulls. We wanted to celebrate one of the guys who creates the champions. Grant is a controversial figure, like most of the souls who really change things. We think he is improving sailing.

About Sailing Virgins

Sailing Virgins is the world's leading adventure sailing academy for people in their 20s and 30s. If you want to up your sailing game, get in touch with us via email or secure a spot on one of our courses by visiting us online.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to the following legends for helping us compile this list: Alexander van der Torren (Chindragger), Tassos, David Maximus Boyajian (Double D), Uwe Dettelbacher (Gay Orgy), Mikhail Murineanu, Guy Bottomley (BDB), Brett Umberg, Daniel G. Monroe (Sensei), Dale Geddes (DILF), Joe Bottomley (BBDED), Harry Aitchison, James Wierzbowski (who will likely make this list sometime), Stuart Dawe.

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