Happy New Year
2012 and 2013 were both memorable years – not just for sailing, but for all sports writers. We were treated to the most incredible events to report on, with the London Olympics and the 34th America’s Cup, not to mention the Vendee Globe and all the other superb events which barely warrant a mention in the mainstream press.
While other elements of the media were attracting attention for all the wrong reasons – phone hacking, the Leveson enquiry, the gleefully sordid reporting of the Nigella/Saatchi fraud case – the sports pages continued, in the main, to offer something positive. A source of escapism, a chance to celebrate achievement. A chance, in the case of both the London Games and the San Francisco Cup, for sceptics to swallow a good dollop of humble pie and admit that they were wrong, these events could be truly great.
2014 has two hard acts to follow. There is potential for this year’s highlight, the Volvo Ocean Race, to be another game-changer. Certainly the doubters are already rumbling away – will the new one-designs be any good, is the route a ‘true’ round the world race, and just where are all the boats coming from anyway?
But the stories that are already coming out of it, not least the incredible commitment of Team SCA to creating a truly competitive all-female team, suggest that we are in for another treat. I was lucky enough to speak to two of the Brits on the crew – Sam Davies and Annie Lush – at length in October, for a major feature in the February issue of Yachts & Yachting magazine.