VOLVO OCEAN RACE: Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag retain the lead in Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, despite a dramatic man overboard scenario on Sunday. Crew member Alex Gough was washed overboard by a wave during a sail change, near midday local time on Sunday afternoon, in winds of 15-20 knots.The team swung into recovery mode, and Gough was back on board within seven minutes, unharmed. Scallywag resumed racing immediately. Dramatic video from the Scallywag OBR, and interesting to hear Skipper David Witt's (AUS) reaction and words he had for Mr Gough....
SYDNEY-HOBART: Ray Roberts' (AUS) Farr 55 HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD sank in icy waters 150km east of Flinders Island on Sunday night. She was being delivered back to NSW by a crew of six after the 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. All crew members were winched to safety. Veteran of 40 Sydney Hobarts, Michael Spies, and 1984 Olympic sailing representative Jamie Wilmott were among the crew members rescued by Air Ambulance. Mr Spies told Channel 7 that he believes a collision with a sunfish was the cause of the incident. Post-rescue video of the relieved crew here.
AUS DRAGON CLASS: Congrats to our longtime friend and former Australian AC helm, Gordon Ingate (AUS) who, at age 91, has won the Australian Dragon Class Championship yet again. Racing his yacht WHIMSICAL with Amy Walsh and David Giles, they bested the other 25 teams. Now it's on to the Dragon Worlds.
Gordon Ingate, 92 years young, won yet another Australian Dragon national championship over the weekend.
INNOVATION: Not strictly a yacht racing story, but St Francis Yacht Club is now live-streaming their Wednesday Yachting Luncheons to the club's Facebook page. Each week member-host Ron Young (who's been organizing and emceeing these for 14 years) has a guest speaker of note, and the luncheons are attended by 50-100 people, sometimes a lot more if the speaker is a noted yachtsman like Paul Cayard or Tom Siebel is speaking on a current topic of major interest such as the America's Cup, Olympics or VOR. Mr Siebel's recent talk was about his new J Class yacht SVEA, and had well over 100 people in attendance. Last week's show (Wednesday 10 January) was "Saving the World One Ocean at a Time" by life-long racing and cruising sailor David Thoreson (USA, Iowa). Watch a replay of that interesting show here; it has already had over 1,400 views. The push to livestream these luncheons, given the interesting and, act times, historic content, has come from a number of members, including and especially Sailing Illustrated backer Julia Wedekind.