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Posted by on Mar 26, 2009 in Sailboat Racing, UK, US | 2 comments

Boats on Video: Keeping it Light

From boat shredding to storm-force waves, video offers a good timeout.

Bill Sisson, editor of Soundings and Soundings Trade Only

Bill Sisson, chief editor of Soundings and Soundings Trade Only

This morning, I visited my colleague, Bill Sisson, in Essex, Connecticut. He’s the Editor of Soundings and Soundings Trade Only, about 90 minutes down the road from me in Newport. We had some business ideas to discuss ( and Soundings are both owned by Dominion Enterprises, in Virginia), and I’m hopeful  you’ll see some of the results here as the year unfolds. In the meantime, I’ll share with you an observation he made, that’s been incorporated in Soundings Trade Only, which is a business publication about the marine industry.

Essentially, business is tough in many quarters these days, so Bill’s decided to offer a light touch called Video Timeout in their daily e-newsletter to the trade. One recent example shows helicopter fishing where the angler host of an Australian TV show is video taped jumping out of a helicopter to wrestle with a Marlin. And there’s another one I watched the other day of a kiteboarder getting a colossal amount of air. Over on the Soundings main site, which had a nice redesign last month, Bill showed me an otherwise serious article on the problems with abandoned boats that had three videos on where old boats go to die and my favorite, a boat shredder in action.

A windy day at New Smyrna's inlet in Florida, is child's play compared to Brittany in December.

A windy day at New Smyrna's inlet in Florida, is child's play compared to Brittany in December.

If you’re at all like me, you’re not averse to watching some web video now and then. And it doesn’t have to be X-rated to get the adrenalin pump going. My boat partner, Peter, sent me this one a while ago, showing what kind of a pounding lighthouses take in a storm, when most of us are hopefully far away on dry land.

And Pierre Orphanidis has some really high-speed sailing footage on his always-current sailboat racing blog called Valencia Sailing. I was there checking out Ericsson 3′s victory today in the 12,300-mile leg of the Volvo Ocean Race (the longest of 10 legs, from China to Brazil) when I found his post from yesterday of Banque Populaire…it’s a 131-foot trimaran that’s getting set to break a transatlantic record. If you thought watching sailing was the next best thing to watching paint dry, this might change your mind a bit.

—John Burnham


  1. Thanks for the videos John – the lighthouse one was spectacular. I always thought it would be cool to live in a lighthouse, but not so much now.

  2. I agree! The romance of the sea might wear a little thin with that kind of pounding. :)