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Round–the–World Sailor Pete Hogan Goes Virtual Sailing

6th January 2018
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Artist Pete Hogan says he seems to have become a virtual sailor, thanks to the internet Artist Pete Hogan says he seems to have become a virtual sailor, thanks to the internet Photo: Pete Hogan

How many times have you heard it said ‘Sailing is not a spectator sport’. Well, it is now, says Round–the-World Sailor Pete Hogan, all thanks to the internet. Below, Hogan, who built a 30' gaff rigged ketch, called Molly B, and sailed her around the world by way of Cape Horn, lists some of his favourite hangouts but warns if you are one of those people who daily buy your copy of the Times at the local newsagent, this little piece is probably not for you...

I seem to have become a virtual sailor. I spend hours gazing at a computer screen. I am transported to the Southern Ocean, the Solent, Coral Grove, or Long Island Sound. I am there on board the foiling Cats as they compete for the Americas Cup. I cavort with scantily clad Australians as they anchor in remote tropical lagoons all over the Pacific. I have traversed the NW passage several times. I have competed in the Volvo Ocean race, along with 300,000 others. All from the comfort of my own living room. And all largely for free.

How many times have you heard it said ‘Sailing is not a spectator sport’. Well, it is now. The watershed moment must surely have been the wonderful presentation of the 34th Americas Cup 2013, in San Francisco. Whatever cruising die-hards might think of the strange foiling craft, the on board cameras, the computer graphics, the instant editing, the expert presenters, analysis and interviews all combined to make sailing in this historic event more than real. I did not sleep for the entire competition.

These are some of my favourite hangouts.

Afloat.ie

Starting at home. Why would anyone buy a yachting magazine any more? Here it is, all for free, Covering a wide range of maritime matters of interest to Irish readers, much more, sooner and in greater depth than can be contained in the hard copy. It is worth logging into every day as it updates constantly. It is always ready and happy to host news of your event or adventure. Presently free, with a pop up plea for voluntary subscriptions, I would urge sailors to subscribe to Afloat to keep this important resource going. There are of course many other yottin mags online, some free and some with paywalls. But Afloat is Ireland's Own.

Wavetrain

There are many blogs by sailors. I even tried to do one myself for a while but one runs out of wind. This is a very professional blog by one Charlie Doane who is the cruising editor for Sail magazine and a keen cruiser in his own right. It has a super archive section covering many cruising topics, personalities and controversies. That such blogs exist is an indication of the difficulties which sailing mags and all hard copy media are facing today.

Facebook

I’m 'friends' with John Bertrand, Julian Everitt, Prof Maurice O Connell, Damian Foxall, Lin Pardey, among many other famous and just plain ordinary sailors on Facebook. I know where they are what they are doing and can contact them. Also I can contact in the same way 147 of my fellow ICC members (out of a possible 550 or so) who are part of the ICC Facebook group. How amazing is that? In fact a little fission broke out in the FB group recently when somebody commented that members should not be posting updates of their cruising adventures. A lively debate ensued….

For die hard virtual sailors, sailonline is a separate Facebook group which runs virtual races.

Scuttlebutt 

Good, established, mainstream sailing news website.

Sailing Anarchy 

Based in San Diego this is the bad boy of writing about sailing. While a lot of it is racing oriented it also carries content about cruising matters, designers, builders and equipment. Can be amusing though they use the f word and other Americanisms a bit. Their forums frequently feature wonderful anecdote from long forgotten celebrities and events from the classic days of offshore sailing. Google, Wikipedia, Youtube. The gateway to almost unlimited information, resources, opinions and advice about sailing - locations, personalities, vessels and equipment.

Apollo Duck 

Hours of idle window shopping. Also includes countless boats for sale worldwide.

Published in Cruising
Afloat.ie Team

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