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What’s your ‘new horizon’? - April 2014
Thursday, 03 April 2014 00:00

All At SeaIt may be that you’ve been on and around boats for as long as you can remember, or it may be that you’ve only recently stepped afloat. Perhaps you even have yet to do so – in which case we hope All at Sea’s diverse range of stories inspires you to go ahead!

But for the more experienced boaters out there, whenever it was that you took on your very first boating experience, can you remember what it was that motivated you to do so? Why you first decided to give sailing or powerboating a try?

It was a question asked to me this month by a friend as conversation led us to compare our sports; turns out, she has long been tempted to give sailing a go, but has yet to make time in her busy triathlon training schedule to make this happen.

Overlooking this (poor!) excuse, her questions left me pondering long and hard. Having started sailing at the age of 13 at the instigation of my parents - the obvious push factors - it was a tough memory to recall. I guess the prospect of adventuring on our own, across the lake in our bright yellow Cadet, and the fact I was willing to try pretty much anything new and exciting at that age, formed the pull factors.

But that led me to wonder, what is it that’s kept me in the sport? Two decades on and I am just as keen to be on the water as ever before, no matter what boat, where it is, or even what the weather is doing. Is it the challenge of taking on the elements? Stretching my tactical knowledge? Pushing my boat-handling skills? Seeing new places? Meeting new people? Learning new things?

Water water everywhere - March 2014
Thursday, 27 February 2014 09:34

All At SeaJanuary was the wettest on record since 1766. We fear there are many readers who will, unfortunately, be only too able to testify to this. As we suffer what’s looking likely to be the wettest winter ever recorded, our thoughts go to the communities - both coastal and inland - who have been affected by the extensive floods in recent weeks.

Fortunately the AAS office has remained high and dry.

It’s been hugely encouraging to see the response to the flooding from the marine industry, as many commercial businesses and organisations such as the British Marine Federation and the RNLI have sprung into action to help wherever and however possible. We’re pleased to report on some of those endeavours in this issue.

A moment of cheer came also from seeing the images shown by BBC South of the intrepid dinghy sailors who launched their Mirror for a sail through swamped suburbia. The sight of the classic red sails bobbing along between trees and lampposts was a reassuring reminder that there’s none like the British public for making the best of a bad situation!

Announcements and awards open 2014 - February 2014
Friday, 31 January 2014 08:14

All At Sea2014 has begun with all the usual glitz and glam of the London Boat Show, and January has been filled with news of launches, awards and announcements, making it an exciting month to report on.

The organisers of the Boat Show have been quick to hold their hands up this year and admit that visitor numbers were down on the previous year. But that’s not to say the show was unsuccessful. Quality not quantity was the motto for this year amongst exhibitors, and it seems business is beginning to boom once again, with plenty of positive feedback emerging from the Show.

Over the course of the nine days, there seemed to me to be more than the usual number of major announcements, which gathered a large number of high profile sailors and sponsors in one place. Seeing the Show used as a platform for this kind of launch, and bringing larger-than-life sailors - and their boats, Ben Ainslie’s AC45 and Land Rover’s Extreme 40 in particular – to the public, was a great way to inject additional interest and kudos to the Show.

Visitors I spoke with, certainly in the latter half of the Show, were eager to testify to there being a definite buzz in the aisles. Could the tide be turning? Share your views: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

New year, new horizons - January 2014
Friday, 03 January 2014 00:00

All At SeaFirstly, a very happy New Year to all our readers!

Whether you managed to brave the elements for a festive sail or stayed tucked up indoors for the duration this Christmas, I hope that the blustery winds and high tides of recent weeks have not unnecessarily dampened your festive celebrations.

2014 has plenty in store to look forward to – and this issue of AAS is a great place to start...

If you need a splash of sunshine to carry you through until spring arrives, you are in for a treat! AAS’s sailing holiday special has a review of the latest new destinations and boats on offer for 2014; so for some summer sailing inspiration, take a look at page 24. Now’s the time when holiday companies are offering plenty of deals and incentives, so whatever sort of sailing holiday floats your boat, there’s no better time to book.

For more inspiration and 60 years of boating heritage, join the annual influx of sailors and motor boaters to London’s ExCel for the London Boat Show, which this year starts this year on 4 January and celebrates its 60th anniversary. It’s fair to say the show has come a long way since its humble origins in the early 1950s at Olympia – explored further in our feature on page 12 – and a trip down memory lane reveals not only how much the exhibition has changed in six decades, but also how much our sport has developed too.  

2013: The year of the cat - December 2013
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00

All At SeaDecember: it’s that time of year when one is drawn to reflect on the last 12 months, and pick out personal highlights.

For me, from the hands-on side of things, it was hitting 19 knots on a J/70 as we flew across Freshwater Bay in this year’s Round the Island Race – absolutely a contender for the top spot in my best-ever sailing experiences.

If you ask me from a spectator’s perspective, however, the pick of 2013 has only one contender: the 34th America’s Cup. This spectacle, through all its highs and lows, brought sailing into the spotlight as a spectator sport in an unparalleled and breath-taking, larger-than-life way. The drama unfolded in ways that no-one could have predicted, played out on awesome machines that pushed the limits of not only the sport but indeed our imaginations.

The world now waits for details of the 35th America’s Cup to be announced – with rumours of a venue being announced by the end of this year, and the details of the next protocol quite possibly being revealed early in the new year.

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