7m day

Looks great, was gustier than i thought – 18knots gusting 28+

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Best Sailing Movies …… EVER

from sailfeed

Sailors are always moaning about how the rest of America doesn’t really care about their sport. And they don’t. So it is no surprise that sailing and sailboats are not exactly a preoccupation in Hollywood, or regular fodder for big screen blockbusters.

But in a world where even animal crush videos have a fan base, the odd sailing movie sometimes makes its way to the movie theater. And sailors naturally like to obsess over which ones are worthy.

The latest effort to celebrate the small archive of decent sailing movies (it’s like the joke about the Thinnest Book, featuring titles such as “Great Italian Naval Victories”) is over on Sailing Anarchy, which has ranked the top 10 sailing films of all time.

Predictably, WIND gets the top ranking. The trailer will take you back to the world of Whompers and Ted Turner caricatures:

And here is SA’s argument for WIND:


Still the gold standard by which all other crappy sailing movies are judged, Wind succeeds for sailors because a) it’s our only real ‘sports/drama’ movie and it loosely follows the reality from 1983 to 1987, and b) because of the utter ridiculousness spewed in nearly every scene.  From the sail that goes “Whomp” to the pickup truck/salt flat wind tunnel tests to the stupid Geronimo dance, it keeps you laughing even as you check out Jennifer Grey’s sailor chick credentials.  We don’t need no stinkin’ rules for yacht racing, do we?  Not when it goes from flat calm to ocean gale in the middle of a single buoy race!  For all of its substantial stupidity, Wind was still the first movie to really capture some of the excitement of sailing that Hollywood’s ever seen; the 14-foot skiff (a/k/a I-14) footage is breathtaking, and some of the AC racing scenes in the big stuff will be remembered forever.  And as long as we keep it alive for the next generation, there will be Whompers in the sail locker for another 50 years.  Bonus Fact:  Iconic lifetime yachting commentator Peter Montgomery does most of the ‘TV commentary” in the movie.

Some of the other movies on the list are also not terribly inspired, like Pirates Of The Caribbean, but as noted above, it’s not like there is a huge choice of titles to debate. And the list does at least include three movies which I consider the core of the sailing film canon.

The first is Dead Calm, starring a young Nicole Kidman, a crazed Billy Zane, and a bumbling Sam Neill. A great horror movie made even better by the fact that all the action takes place aboard two yachts.

The next is a documentary, 180 South: Conquerors of the Useless, which features a voyage in search of meaning. It does not stay focused on sailing, but the big questions about the ocean, happiness, and humanity are questions that every sailor has lurking somewhere deep inside.

And, finally, another documentary, about the most tragic and mysterious figure ever to step aboard a sailboat:Donald Crowhurst. The movie is called Deep Water, and if you haven’t seen it then I envy you because it lies in your future.

Check out the rest of Sailing Anarchy’s list here. What is missing? Maybe there is a gem out there that no one ever noticed.


Cycling London – info graphics shows where the cyclists are and where they ride to….

We hear a lot lately about the risks that London bike commuters face every day. In the last few weeks no fewer than three people on bike have been killed in collisions with trucks, and just this morning a 44-year-old man was in serious condition in hospital after being crushed by a tipper truck.

However, in analysing where the popular places for bike commuters to live and their commuting routes, renting advice site rentonomy points out: “Cycling in London is generally quite safe. While it’s true that last year 16 people were killed cycling, Transport for London estimates that people make around 540,000 bike trips every day in the city.”

Blue areas indicate the highest density of bike commuters (Graphic courtesyrentonomy.com)

“The number of cyclists on the Capital’s major roads has more than doubled since 2000 – up nine per cent in the year 2008-09 alone,” writes rentonomy’s David Butler.

The stereotypical view of London cycling is that typical bike riders in the capital are fixie-riding Hackney hipsters. Rentonomy doesn’t have any data on bikes and lifestyles, but Butler says the the top five areas where bike commuters live include Dalston, Stoke Newington and Clapton, all in the borough of Hackney, plus neighbouring Clapton in Islington.

Butler says that 12% of all commuters cycle into work from Dalston. “Others in the top five are Stoke Newington (10%), Highbury (9%), Clapton (9%) and Herne Hill (8%), according to the 2011 census.”

The money saved by commuting by bike is substantial. “With annual Travelcards costing £1,200 (zones 1-2) and £1,400 (zones 1-3), these savvy cyclists could be saving between 8% and 15% of their rent,” says Butler.

And where are these commuters going?

Butler says: “We used data from the 2001 census to see where people from these top 5 cycle areas are cycling to in their daily commute, and created the map at the bottom of this article. With the exception of Dalston, by far the most popular commuting destination is Victoria and St James. This is to be expected as this area is the most common commuting destination of all methods of transport. Dalston residents are most likely to cycle to Haggerston, Bloomsbury or the West End.”

Strava Addict – here are some sites that let you get more

The Multiple Ride Mapper

This great app / (website) pulls in all of the rides and runs you’ve ever logged on Strava and displays them on one map. Simply copy and paste your athlete number into the box and be amazed as it pulls in every ride and maps it. If you are struggling to find your athlete number then hit profile in strava and it will show a number in the address bar – this is you.

The website uses opaque lines so if you’ve ridden or run certain roads many times, you will end up with a darker line, whereas roads you’ve only ridden once will be more pale. The map is clickable, and the list on the left hand side takes you back to the ride screen on strava.com if you wony to see an indication of frequency then set opaqueness down to see all your routes clearly.


Here is a map of some of my rides over the last few months – some road, a few mtb and one or two commutes or runs.

KOM Notifier Service

Created by the same author as the multiple ride mapper above, Jonathan O Keefe, the KOM notifier service will give you detailed notifications about any changes to your KOMs, or indeed any changes in the top 10 positions.
Segment details

Yet another brilliant bit of coding from Jonathan again, Segment Details can be accessed separately as a standalone thing, but it is also linked from the Strava KOM Notifier Service, above.

This one is really useful for tracking the history of a segment – who’s been KOM in the past, when did so and so take it, how many people have ridden it, what’s the average time taken etc.


RaceShape is essentially about analysing the differences between people riding a segment. Say you lost your KOM or if running your CR to someone – you can use this tool to analyse where they were quicker, and so help you to develop your strategy. It works by analysing how the gap changes between two riders, and works with segment data from Strava or Ride with GPS.

Here is a screengrab of a flat canal path section that I took my road bike on – it analyses your time over distance and although I am 3rd on this section I can see that in the first wee bit of the trail where I was chatting to someone with a flat tyre – suddenly that is the 40 sec gone. Although slower than no 1 and possibly no 2 it was close.

Using no 2 as a baseline you can see where I level out and we are quite matched. By comparison my friend Keith did the route and you can see the slope of his pace and where I eventually catch up and pass. So now that I know this is a section I might just burn it along here (although not on a weekend when there are so many dog walkers perhaps.


It gives you more stats to play with and get twitchy about than you might ever want. Dig around and you’ll discover a great new way to explore the segments you’ve done, and get ideas about which ones you want to revisit.

Tip: Click the table column headings to sort on that column. You can sort this on average speeds or overall length or steepness and so on.

You’ll discover segments you’ve already done, but never realised were there, prompting you to think about targeting them for a serious effort.

Here is a mtb climb once again using Michael D as the base line and my pal Stuart who is notionally behind me. Interesting to see I started fast but burnt out a bit on the muddy section with the big puddle. I could pretend it may have been dry on the days the others did it or it could just be that I was tired. Stuart and I swap the lead a lot towards the end. Does really let you see where others or quick and where you are slow.


Ten of the best cycle races in the UK and Europe – GUARDIAN

With cycling in the UK enjoying phenomenal success as both a sport and a hobby, we asked the editor of a new book, the World’s Ultimate Cycling Races, to pick his favourites in the UK and Europe, including a few new races suitable for all levels

Giant's Causeway Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive passes through spectacular scenery and is open to riders of all levels

Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive, Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland’s coast roads provide both the challenge and the scenery at this sportive, first held in 2011. There are three distance options for the field of 1,000 riders: the 56km Causeway Coaster, the 125km Glens and Coast Route, or the 185km Giant Killer. There’s plenty of climbing, and some very steep descents too, so care is needed, particularly in wet weather, which is a real possibility in this part of the world.
September 2013, dates to be confirmed, entry fee £35,giantscausewaycoastsportive.com

Lincoln Grand Prix

Lincoln Grand PrixPhotograph: Larry Hickmott

The Lincoln Grand Prix combines a spectator-friendly circuit with tough, spirited racing to make this race the British Premier Calendar series’ flagship event. While the glorious Lincolnshire countryside makes a real impression on those visiting the race, it’s Lincoln itself that packs the real punch, both in terms of the town’s stunning architecture, dominated by the towering cathedral, and the punishing ascent of cobbled Michaelgate. For professionals only, this event was first held in 1956 and has places for 160 competitors.
Next race: 11 May 2013, lincolngrandprix.org.uk

Cycletta, UK-wide

CyclettaPhotograph: Richard Blake

This series of women-only events was held in seven venues across the country in 2012: Cheshire, Wiltshire, Bedfordshire, East Sussex, Hampshire, Cornwall and Warwickshire. The courses chosen are challenging but not too tough or long, so that even novice cyclists should be able to complete them with some training. The races are supported by Olympic gold medallist Victoria Pendleton (pictured in the centre, wearing white) and were first held in 2011. There are 1,000 places in each event.
• Entry costs £38 for 40km routes (all venues) and £42 for the longer routes (between 55 and 80km); dates for some locations are already confirmed for 2013, details at cycletta.co.uk

London Nocturne

London Nocturne 2012 winner Ian Stannard (Team Sky) on the Smithfield Market circuit.London Nocturne 2012 winner Ian Stannard (Team Sky) on the Smithfield Market circuit. Photograph: Alamy

Since 2007, the Smithfield Market area of London has been brought alive on a June evening each year by the sights and sounds of high-octane bike racing. With plenty of food and drink venues surrounding the Smithfield circuit helping to draw a large crowd, it’s a fantastic evening for spectators as well as competitors. One of most enjoyable races of the evening is the folding bike race, which requires competitors – dressed as commuters – to run to their bikes and unfold them before hitting the circuit. Anyone can take part, with 500 people racing, the event was first held in 2007.
Next meeting: Saturday 8 June 2013, londonnocturne.com. Indoor event on 17-20 January 2013, at the London Bike Show

Jurassic Classic, Devon

Jurassic Classic, Devon

Enjoy east Devon by bike and raise money for the Prostate Cancer Charity, while the “events village” keeps friends and family fed, watered and entertained – and does the same for the returning cyclists. The event offers the 700 riders a choice between a 100-mile Epic route or the 100km Challenge. Both start in Exmouth, with the Challenge’s most difficult climb coming at Gittisham Hill. That route then turns inland after the feed station at Sidmouth, while the Epic continues along the spectacular Jurassic coast, over Salcombe Hill, then on to Lyme Regis before heading north. The routes come together again at Honiton and complete the circle back to Exmouth.
• 2013 date to be announced, jurassic-classic.org.uk

Good Friday meeting, south London

Bradley Wiggins racing at herne hill velodrome, london,ukPhotograph: Alamy

The iconic Herne Hill velodrome – venue for the track cycling at the 1948 London Olympics – hosts a popular Easter race meeting, first held in 1903. The meet has always attracted big-name riders from abroad, as well as a regular stream of well-known homers, including Bradley Wiggins (pictured above, competing at Herne Hill in 2007). Club riders can also enter, for a chance to race against some top names.
• 2013 date to be announced, 2012 prices adults £12, children £6,bristowevents.co.uk, hernehillvelodrome.com

Four Days of Dunkirk

Four Days of Dunkirk cycling racePhotograph: Pascal Pavani/AFP

This stage race in northern France is easily accessible to British fans. The race name is confusing and could play havoc with your hotel booking as it is actually staged over five days. The extra day was added as the race grew in popularity, but it still has a friendly, traditional feel and stays faithful to its name in one respect – it always starts and finishes in Dunkirk. The first race was held in 1955 and the current field size is 160.
2013 date to be announced, but it is held in May,4joursdedunkerque.org (website in French)

Dresden Race, Germany

Pathway along Elbe river with view of cityscape Dresden, GermanyPhotograph: Alamy

The historic city of Dresden (pictured) in Saxony, eastern Germany, hosts both the start and finish of this race, which anyone can take part in. With the sportive taking place on the same day as the pro Sachsen Tour, participants can feel proud to have participated in the same race as the elite riders. Riders have a choice between two routes (106km or 75km), and there is also a ride for six-13 year-olds.
• 2013 date to be announced, but it is held in July, sachsentour.org

Granfondo Milano-San Remo, Italy

Granfondo Milano-San Remo, Italy

The tough climb from Milan to the 591m Passo del Turchino means anyone doing this race is rewarded with the most fantastic backdrop of the Mediterranean before dropping down into San Remo on the Italian riviera. It’s held in June so you are virtually guaranteed sunny (and hot) Italian weather. At the end of the the 290km race, event buses will take you and your bike back to Milan. It was first held in 1969.
• Next race 9 June 2013, registration €51, bus back to Milan €55, milano-sanremo.org

Race Across Europe

Covering a total of 2,933 miles, this route starts in Calais and heads into Germany and then through Austria. From there it heads south to Slovenia, and then westwards through Italy and back to (southern) France. Then it’s on into Spain and the long ride down the length of the country to Gibraltar. Though anyone can take part, this race is seriously tough. Riders have to provide their own support crews and must devise the best strategy for moving as quickly and efficiently through Europe as possible. It’s a relatively new event: the first race was held in 2011.
• June 2013, dates to be confirmed; entry from £750 per rider,theraceacrosseurope.com

World’s Ultimate Cycling Races is published by Collins, RRP £20

Riding giants

I must have seen this countless times but it always amazes me……

Sujit R. Varma
A semiserious, often rollicking, multigenerational insider’s look at the origins of surfing, the colorful and subversive birth of surf culture, and the mythology and lure of the big wave. This passionate and fluid film is without question the first authentic history of surfing from its humble Hawaiian beginnings to the big business it became to the still-rebellious universe it inhabits today. Riding Giants is a study in individuality and freedom, the pursuit and techniques of pure kinetic pleasure, and the risk taking and attitudes that characterize its leading figures.

For some viewers, this is perhaps more than they ever wanted to know. But Peralta’s detailed knowledge of the surfing lifestyle, its icons and locations, its boom and exploitation by the media, and the fascination it has held for young men for more than five decades is unparalleled and fuels this expedition for the expert and initiate alike. Closely chronicling the sometimes-life-and-death drama that big-wave riding entails, Riding Giants is an often-mesmerizing visual thrill ride. But the most appealing aspect of this often revelatory documentary is the realization that the man versus nature dialectic never ends; the search for the ultimate wave and the spiritual pinnacle can only be pursued but never reached. — IMDb Plot: Riding Giants (2004 Documentary)

Tiree – is this the best place in the UK to kitesurf?

wind and waves in three the UK hotspot


maybe kitesurfing in the waves – I can’t believe this forecast – wind and waves look epic … wind might require a 5m kite but still ….. 11.5 METRE SWELL

is this the biggest forecast i have seen?