Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Visit LP on the Docks This Weekend!

If you haven't had the chance to take a close look at Le Pingouin since the race, I will be hanging out on Saturday afternoon at the Cooper River Marina. Le Pingouin will be open for tours and we'll also be raffling off a free private sail for six to one lucky guest. Come check it out and enjoy the beautiful fall weather on the Cooper!

Saturday, November 5
Cooper River Marina


Rain date: Sunday, November 6

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Storm Stories: First Irene, Now Katia...

 Hurricane Irene really threw our Le Pingouin Summer Tour off track and now our finale of the summer sailing is in the hands of Katia. These women are high maintenance and no fun! I am grateful that Irene spared us any damage, but that was not without a lot of prep and loads of help from friends.

As I arrived in Newport aboard Le Pingouin, after brief visits to New York and Boston, it was time to get ready for some swank hospitality and sailing during the Bucket Regatta. We were not an entry in the regatta, but had plans to take sponsors out on the water and view the amazing fleet of 100+ foot yachts. It was to be a VIP weekend full of sailing, parties and schmoozing. Well, Irene didn’t like that idea and sent the mega yachts sailing for cover in Maine and poor LP and I in Newport to await the unknown voracity of the storm ahead.

I decided to prepare for the worst and hope for the best, following the sage words of Mayor Bloomberg. This is not an easy task when the subject at hand is a 60-foot light weight carbon sled weighing in at only 8000 tons and boasting a mast of neatly 100 feet. We decided to take everything off the boat we could to reduce windage. This involved removing all the sails, lazy jacks, and wind instruments. We entered storm track mode!
We tied LP off the dock at the Newport Shipyard between pylons so she was suspended in the basin. The process was nerve racking and took a lot of extra hands. I am mostly a crew of one these days, so I was grateful to have some temporary crew support in the form of local friends and Newport Shipyard’s great team. The storm was not as bad as forecast. The storm surge definitely happened and we did see 50 knots and gusts a bit higher, but LP hung in there and handled it well. After a full day of watching and waiting, we faced putting LP back together and readying ourselves for the penultimate leg of the summer tour - Newport to Bermuda.

Let me introduce Katia. She sounds nice but is unpredictable, just like most of her friends. As I prepare this morning, loading provisions and fuel, the intent is to sail to Bermuda, unless Katia gets in the way. Danny Havens will join me as crew and our two guest crew onboard include Shana Bagley of California and Jay Nadelson of Florida. They are fired up for the ride and have helped a great deal in the preparations.

Katia looks like she will form into a major hurricane and might affect our plans to get to Bermuda. If she grows into the bruiser she looks to be, our destination may be altered. If she heads toward the U.S. coast we will likely keep the bow pointed to the tropical shores of Bermuda (although my family is in Charleston and that could be stressful). If she heads for Bermuda, I’ll either be headed home or back to Newport. We’ll error on the side of caution. I am usually telling people we don’t have an ETA only a destination, but in this case the destination is a bit unknown as well. Be nice to us Katia! Stay tuned for more news as we throw the dock lines off for the next adventure.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Awaiting Irene in Newport

I am here in Newport, RI with Le Pingouin, awaiting the brunt of hurricane Irene. So far so good. We have her tied down very well and the Newport Shipyard has been a great help, along with many local friends that chipped in to get us ready. Now it is a waiting game. We will be updating throughout today with photos and notes as the situation allows. Please check in for the latest news at


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

On the Water Again - Headed to NYC

I left Newport about 24 hours ago sailing with Tom Haycock. He is a fellow solo sailor hailing from the UK, who owns a mini transat and works on boats like Bandit and Tribe. It has been a good sail so far and we anticipate arriving in New York by this evening. I haven’t sailed into New York Harbor since my 2002/3 campaign with Tommy Hilfiger. I’m certain it will bring back memories of the summer of 2002 when I lived in the city for 3-4 months doing non-stop client entertainment and media sails. We would sail down the Hudson for a spectacular view of the Statue of Liberty and then back to the dock, or head out to the Jersey shore to showcase the massive TH sails along the beach. It was busy and fun, but a bit overwhelming at the time with a newborn child in the intense non-stop action of New York and prep for the Around Alone race. I look forward to a brief stay for media visits and catching up with a few friends.

We’ll be at the North Cove Marina before heading off to Boston on Aug 12. There is still time to join us onboard to experience offshore sailing on an Open 60. Here’s the deal:

·         2 slots remaining for NY to Boston transit: August 12-14, this one will be a fun weekender!
·         Limited space remaining on Boston to Newport transit: August 22-24
·         Limited space remaining for Newport to Bermuda: August 29 - Sept 3
·         4 berths available or one on one double-handed sailing from Bermuda to Charleston: Sept 6 – 10

I’ll keep you posted as we get to New York and continue the Le Pingouin Summer Tour!


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

It is August and you may feel like summer is quickly coming to an end. Not so fast! There is still time to enjoy the sweet freedom of summer. Come sail with me aboard one of the fastest boats in the world! There is limited space for individuals and small groups to take off on Le Pingouin, the Open 60 speed machine which recently took 1st Place honors in the VELUX 5 Oceans race. Options range from sail training to corporate events and include visits to Newport, New York, Boston, Bermuda and Charleston. Don't miss out!
Sail one-on-one honing your sailing skills and experiencing the thrill of manning the helm of an Open 60 speed machine; or share the experience with fellow sailors for a full day on the water or taking off on a transit to various northeast ports or Bermuda. SEE FULL DETAILS:

Looking for an exceptional platform for client hospitality this summer that will leave a memorable impact? Please take a moment to consider this unique opportunity to showcase your brand and entertain key clients, new business prospects, employees and media. Options include corporate sailing outings, dockside receptions, and speaking engagements. SEE FULL DETAILS   

Cheers, Brad

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Getting Back in the Game

It’s been exactly three weeks since I flew home from France following the finish of the VELUX 5 Oceans race. I’ve enjoyed some time at home with my family and nearly conquered the simple, yet extraordinary, task of building a tree house in the backyard. All is well and I have actually had time to sleep and recover a bit.

It is time to get my head back in the game. I’m currently headed to Boston (again via plane) to the Harbor Fest event featuring the Extreme 40 circuit and their first event here in the USA. I am looking forward to connecting with the Extreme 40 crowd, many who have travelled from all corners of the world to be here. Tomorrow is Opening Day and I’ll be participating in a variety of events, most notably getting on one of these bobsleds to sail as the 5th man. This should be fun! I’m going in with very little knowledge of the whole scene: tight, city-front racing on extreme 40 foot multihulls. It will be an entirely different type of sailing circus with spectators and media lining the docks! This has been very successful in Europe and it will be exciting to see how Boston engages in the event. I will definitely report back via blog with some news and photos. Thanks for keeping up with my activities and stay tuned at


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Flag Day

Enjoy this article detailing today's Flag Day celebration and the remote locations Old Glory has visited:,0,5023262.story

Friday, June 10, 2011

Transition Time

The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind of emotion as we wrapped-up the Velux 5 Oceans race and now consider what will be next for me and the rest of our clan.  Since fighting to the finish in La Rochelle through heavy north Atlantic weather my life has quickly evolved from my offshore persona into my daddy persona and into my small business partner persona.

The finish ceremonies in La Rochelle were emotional as the extended Velux 5 Oceans family enjoyed a last few days together. Then, in what seemed like one day the family disbanded. Patianne Verburgh (Derek’s wife) left solo on Active House for Halifax. On the same tide cycle Chris Stanmore-Major motored out the gates of the basin in La Rochelle and pointed his boat toward England and his triumphant return celebrations.  A day later Gutek got on an airplane headed for Poland and his newfound fame as Poland’s first solo circumnavigator. Finally, Le Pingouin headed off to sea with Jeffrey Wargo at the helm and our good friends Tim Eble and Brad Cavanaugh under his watchful leadership for the long delivery back to Charleston. The race management and media teams left with the Velux sponsorship team close behind as everyone headed for Paris to board flights to all corners of the world from which they came.

My wife, children and I boarded a train to Paris for a quick ascent of the Eiffel Tower and then one night in a hotel before getting on a flight to our home in Charleston.  Now I sit in my living room while I catch up on land-based life and begin the process of considering what will be next for my career and life.  It feels odd after being attached to Le Pingouin (LP) for more than a year and a half to be separated by an ocean as she works her way home.  LP has been put on the market and as she waits her next date with destiny she and I will be doing some sailing to wrap up our responsibilities to sponsors. This will include sailing to Bermuda and up and down the east coast. We will be inviting sponsors old and new to participate in this “post-race tour” with perks such as offshore sail training, deliveries, and corporate hospitality events and sails in the markets we visit.  There is a slim chance we will be returning to France for the double handed Transat Jacques Vabre in the fall, which is a hugely popular race counting 20+ entries in the last edition.  While all this goes on, I will begin working toward a book project to share the experiences of my three solo circumnavigations with the world as well as doing some speaking engagements for corporations, clubs and conferences. There is of course that lingering question of continuing my competitive sailing career and there is no doubt that this will be a process. I simply can’t ignore what seems may be my calling in the form of offshore racing.

In the meantime, tinkering around the house for a couple of days and beginning the project of building the tree house I promised my children upon my return is way high on the priority list.

Thank you for being a part of this huge adventure!

Best for now,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Thoughts on Water

Hello from the nasty little low that could!  47 knots of wind and big ole waves but LP and I are steadily making progress to fair winds and warm croissants!

Well, after sending in my latest video, which was when I really began to think about our sustainability message of the leg, I began doing some thinking about how the offshore racing environment applies to the topic of water in a real way.  My life on the oceans of the world in my own little universe of my boat applies in two ways that I can see are real and that can act as a voice for the plight of our world and its population.  

First of all, 70% of the planet Earth is covered in water as is a commonly known fact, but what is not widely enough recognized or acknowledged by those of us creatures that live on land is how bad the quality of the water that makes up those oceans is and how fast it is changing.  Among the scientific community that focuses on the marine environment it is largely agreed that the quality of water in the oceans and in particular its acidification has started to seriously affect the sustainability of the sea life and growth in the oceans.  I can't begin to hypothesize on how fast the change will continue or how it can be reversed but it is a topic the needs addressing before the oceans and the life in them becomes the first item to trigger a serious collapse of the way the oceans are used as an important contributor to the sustainability of life on shore as well as at sea.

Below is an article that is relevant in a couple of ways.  Firstly, it speaks to exactly of what I speak but, it is also contributed by the crew of friends aboard Ocean Watch which undertook an around the America's trip to highlight the changes in our oceans from a scientific point of view.  Mark Schrader, the captain of the Ocean Watch is a dear friend as well as a previous competitor in this race as well as being the race director of this event when I first did it in 1998.  The journalist and writer during the voyage was another great friend Herb McCormick who has a way with words that can function as a voice for the Oceans of the world in a way I can only dream of.

Essay #1 (thanks to Sailors for the Sea who host to the Ocean Watch Essays):
Perhaps our planet should have been named "Ocean" rather than "Earth" given that the majority of Earth is comprised of water not land: seventy-one percent to be precise. Humans are also comprised mostly of water, a strikingly analogous seventy percent. In both cases, a proper pH is required not only for vibrant health, but for long-term survival. However, recently the pH of our oceans has been changing, becoming more acidic. Seawater is naturally alkaline, with a healthy pH ranging from 7.8 to 8.5 (7 is neutral). Since the industrial revolution, and the accompanying atmospheric pollution, the pH has dropped nearly thirty percent, the largest change in our water's pH in the past two billion years.  CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE

Secondly, I think that my little offshore universe can contribute to the discussion of water in the sustainable sense in that the clean and potable water that is needed to sustain human life is a very precious commodity out here in the big wet desert that is a salt water ocean. Without being able to carry, or generate through seawater filtration, enough water to drink, one's life on the ocean becomes compromised very quickly.  Well, this applies to the world at large in a very real way.  The growing population of the world and the need to sustain it with food and agriculture fed by water and the hygienic and drinking needs of those millions of people is going to be a bigger demand than the supply that exists.  Many people say the next world war could be triggered by water rights.  Go figure?  In many parts of the world the lack of fresh water is already a very serious issue (just like aboard the LP's of the world) and the need to come up with cost effective and sustainable ways to purify water will become a mandatory need for the global population.  Below is another article that addresses this issue with the raw reality of facts.

 Some amazing stats from the World Water Council:
1.1 billion people live without clean drinking water 
2.6 billion people lack adequate sanitation (2002, UNICEF/WHO JMP 2004)  
1.8 million people die every year from diarrhoeal diseases. 
3 900 children die every day from water borne diseases (WHO 2004) 
Daily per capita use of water in residential areas: 
- 350 litres in North America and Japan 
- 200 litres in Europe
 - 10-20 litres in sub-Saharan Africa 

Over 260 river basins are shared by two or more countries mostly without adequate legal or institutional arrangements. CLICK HERE TO READ FULLARTICLE

I am sure, because we are smart creatures with a real desire to continue to exist we will address these needs. I just hope we are smart enough to address them before the way of life the Earth has provided for centuries can be preserved, and that the history books of the future praise our ingenuity in dealing with our water issues rather than simply showing us a bunch of pictures of sea life that no longer exist and a lifestyle when water could be considered a simple to find commodity.

All the best from the last hammering LP and I should be getting on our epic trip around the big blue marble,