Episódios

  • Shirley Robertson talks through an amazing sailing career with one of the sport's pioneers of professional sailing, the legendary Tracy Edwards.  Edwards is well known as the force behind the first ever all female crew to complete the gruelling Whitbread Round the World Race of the 1980s, a wonderful story that Edwards and Robertson discuss in Part 1 of this pair of podcasts.

    In this Part 2 of the interview, the pair start by talking about the recent documentary film released in 2019, about Edwards and her 1989 Maiden crew.  After discussing the film themselves, Robertson talks briefly with Alex Holmes of New Black Films, the Director of Maiden, about the inspiration behind the project, and the making pf the documentary.

    Moving on from the Whitbread, Robertson then talks to Edwards about her all female attempt on the Jules Verne Trophy after she bought the record holding multihull "ENZA", renaming her Maiden 2.  A broken mast stopped their attempt, off the coast of Chile.  Edwards' imagination was fired by the potential of racing multihulls, and she went on to establish the Oryx Quest around the world race, starting and finishing in Oman.  It was ground breaking race, attracting four of the word's biggest multihulls of the time.  But financially for Edwards, it was a disaster, a fact that she and Robertson discuss as she looks back on how the traumatic time effected her and her confidence.

    The pair also discuss Edwards' current project, running the inspiring Maiden Factor, a foundation using a now fully restored 'Maiden' to raise awareness and funding for girls' education around the world.  Inevitably Edwards and Robertson look back on the thirty years since Edwards finished the Whitbread and discuss how opportunities for women in the sport have changed as a result.  It's not a very positive conclusion as they reflect on how, despite all of Edwards' accomplishments and efforts, the sport still remains a very male orientated environment.

    "I don't think we've done ourselves any favours with getting women to the top and...at the top of our sport there's a group of men paying lip service to...equality.  It's not hapening, I find it incredibly frustrating that I'm having the same conversations with young women that I was having thirty five years ago....You know, when World Sailing is making decisions, women need to be there and I know often they are not, so lots of changes have to happen."

  • Shirley Robertson talks to one of professional sailings real pioneers as she sits down with Whitbread Round the World trail blazer Tracy Edwards.

    Edwards is best known for leading the first ever all female crew in the 1989-90 edition of the race, a feat she took on at the age of just twenty seven, as skipper of the famous 'Maiden'.  Having raced as a cook onboard 'Atlantic Privateer' in the previous edition of the famous race around the planet, as one of just four women in a fleet of over two hundred sailors, she resolved to do whatever it would take to start the race with a crew of her own.

    "There was no way that a woman could have been on any of those boats as crew. Knowing that these guys who are my friends on shore, but when we get out to sea think that I'm an idiot, I'm not strong enough, I'm not able enough.  I remember the first storm we went through, Paul Standbridge, who's a great mate of mine, as i started coming out of the hatch he put his boot on top of my head and said 'it's no place for girls up on deck right now.'  My reasoning wasn't feminism, girl power or anything like that, and I knew that no man was going to let me navigate on his boat."

    Tracy Edwards onboard her restored yacht 'Maiden'

    The hurdles and barriers at times seemed insurmountable, and Edwards is not reserved in recounting stories of how the male dominated establishment failed to respect her team's efforts to get to the start line.  Tales of outrageous sexism abound as Edwards looks back on the build up to the race, but it's also very refreshing to listen to Edwards' motivations, which came from a drive and focus born from a mix of supreme confidence and an angry reaction to here male detractors.

    The race went well, Maiden won two legs in their division, and finished second overall, experiencing an unprecedented, and unexpected welcome back to their home port in Southampton, England, a finish that Edwards looks back on with a lot of emotion."It was , it was just so extraordinary.  At sunrise we saw the Needles, which is such a beautiful sight, especially when you're coming home.  And then we saw a boat, and then another boat and Nancy (Hill) said 'I wonder if there's a regatta on today?'.  More and more and more came, they reckon there was six hundred boats in the Solent following us.  I remember at one point Sally (Creaser) saying to me 'do you think there's someone more important behind us!' "

    The story of Edwards 'Maiden' team has been made into a  documentary, a hit across the film festival circuit and at the box office, in 2019. In Part 2 of this podcast, Robertson also talks to New Black Films director Alex Homes about making the film, and gathering all the footage to create what has become a new edition to the list of must see sailing films.  Edwards and Robertson then go onto to chat about the rest of Edwards' remarkable career in sailing.

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  • Part 2 of double Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson's chat with America's Cup Hall of Fame inductee Grant Simmer.  Currently in the role of CEO at British Cup hopefuls INEOS TEAM UK, Simmer is into his eleventh Cup campaign, a remarkable feat for a man who's relationship with the oldest trophy in world sport goes back to 1983.

    As a twenty six year old, Simmer sailed as navigator onboard Australia II in the 26th America's Cup, and was a vital part of John Bertrand's afterguard in the Cup that finally put an and to the longest winning streak in world sport.  For one hundred and thirty two years the New York Yacht Club had successfully defended twenty four challenges to the Cup, but Alan Bond's team onboard Australia II finally managed to uproot the trophy and take it back to Australia, to a hero's welcome.  Simmer's memories of this time are a remarkable glimpse into what was one of the most historically significant moments in International sport.

    "When we heard that the Prime Minister of Australia was essentially calling a holiday because we'd won this event, everybody was just shocked by the magnitude of what we'd done.  I remember thinking 'Wow!  He called a holiday!  What's that all about,,,?  We had the ticker tape parade in Perth, it was quite a big deal."

    Post AC26 Simmer initially returned to work as an engineer, but was back working with John Bertrand for the 1995 Cup in San Diego.  As design coordinator, Simmer was responsible for the build of One Australia's Cup boat, but the outcome of their race against New Zealand in the Challenger Series would become Cup legend.

    "It was quite rough and choppy and there was some debate whether we'd race because it was so windy and I'd been arguing we should race so we can find out what would break.  The engineers were a bit nervous, but we raced and famously the boat buckled in the sheerline and broke in half and sank."

    Simmer's stories from throughout his Cup career are illuminating, and provide a wonderful insight into  a life spent chasing one of the most illusive trophies in world sport.  From his campaigns with Swiss team Alinghi, through his relationship with Russell Coutts and his time spent campaigning with Oracle Team USA, Grant Simmer has played a pivotal role in the modern America's Cup era, and has an almost unparalleled place in the sport.

    The pair finish their revealing chat by looking to the future, and the rapidly approaching America's Cup in Auckland, as Simmer discusses his role with Ben Ainslie's Cup team INEOS, and how he hopes his decades of Cup experience will help the British team finally win the the Cup back for a nation that haven't held it since it's very first regatta one hundred and sixty nine years ago..

    "I am confident that we've made some good decisions, over the past year particularly, so making good decisions at the right time in the campaign is important.  Continuing to learn is important and not to be too proud of your decisions, but to understand why other people have made decisions, technically.  I always say if you run out money and time at the same time, then you've manage the campaign perfectly."

  • Sitting in the hot seat this month for Part One of his chat with double Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson is America's Cup Hall of Fame inductee Grant Simmer.  Currently in the role of CEO at British Cup hopefuls INEOS TEAM UK, Simmer is into his eleventh Cup campaign, a remarkable feat for a man who's relationship with the oldest trophy in world sport goes back to 1983.

    As a twenty six year old, Simmer sailed as navigator onboard Australia II in the 26th America's Cup, and was a vital part of John Bertrand's afterguard in the Cup that finally put an and to the longest winning streak in world sport.  For one hundred and thirty two years the New York Yacht Club had successfully defended twenty four challenges to the Cup, but Alan Bond's team onboard Australia II finally managed to uproot the trophy and take it back to Australia, to a hero's welcome.  Simmer's memories of this time are a remarkable glimpse into what was one of the most historically significant moments in International sport.

    "When we heard that the Prime Minister of Australia was essentially calling a holiday because we'd won this event, everybody was just shocked by the magnitude of what we'd done.  I remember thinking 'Wow!  He called a holiday!  What's that all about,,,?  We had the ticker tape parade in Perth, it was quite a big deal."

    Post AC26 Simmer initially returned to work as an engineer, but was back working with John Bertrand for the 1995 Cup in San Diego.  As design coordinator, Simmer was responsible for the build of One Australia's Cup boat, but the outcome of their race against New Zealand in the Challenger Series would become Cup legend.

    "It was quite rough and choppy and there was some debate whether we'd race because it was so windy and I'd been arguing we should race so we can find out what would break.  The engineers were a bit nervous, but we raced and famously the boat buckled in the sheerline and broke in half and sank."

    Simmer's stories from throughout his Cup career are illuminating, and provide a wonderful insight into  a life spent chasing one of the most illusive trophies in world sport.  From his campaigns with Swiss team Alinghi, through his relationship with Russell Coutts and his time spent campaigning with Oracle Team USA, Grant Simmer has played a pivotal role in the modern America's Cup era, and has an almost unparalleled place in the sport.

    The pair finish their revealing chat by looking to the future, and the rapidly approaching America's Cup in Auckland, as Simmer discusses his role with Ben Ainslie's Cup team INEOS, and how he hopes his decades of Cup experience will help the British team finally win the the Cup back for a nation that haven't held it since it's very first regatta one hundred and sixty nine years ago..

    "I am confident that we've made some good decisions, over the past year particularly, so making good decisions at the right time in the campaign is important.  Continuing to learn is important and not to be too proud of your decisions, but to understand why other people have made decisions, technically.  I always say if you run out money and time at the same time, then you've manage the campaign perfectly."

  • Part 2 of this month's Podcast sees double Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson go back to her sailing roots as she talks about success and failure with three very different multiple Olympic medallists. T

    This edition kicks off with one of the podcast's most requested interviews, as Shirley discusses the remarkable Olympic history with reigning NACRA 17 Olympic champion Santiago Lange of Argentina.  Santi discuses the delay in the Games, and how the postponement is effecting his build up, before delving into that incredible Olympic history.  Lange has competed at six Olympics, Tokyo will be his seventh campaign, but it was his gold medal win in Rio that is perhaps the most remarkable of Olympic success stories.

    Just a year before the Olympic Regatta, Lange was diagnosed with lung cancer, and underwent surgery that put his Olympic dreams in severe doubt, but still managed to sail to victory in what was one of the most popular medal wins of all time.

    It wasn't until 1988, at the Korea Games, that sailing held it's first ever dedicated Women's Class, sailed in the 470 dinghy.  In dramatic and challenging conditions, it was American Lynne Jewel Shore and her helm Allison Jolly that took the win, claiming the only gold medal for an otherwise disappointed US Sailing Team.  In her interview with Robertson, Lynne reflects fondly of a rigorous and intense build up to the Games, as the duo tried to prepare for the treacherous Korean conditions...

    "I can't watch the footage, I look at it and I think 'what the heck were we doing out there', it really was dangerous conditions, it was crazy.  I went there feeling very comfortable and confident that we had done everything we could to be prepared for the moment."

    Three of Robertson's interviewees have had their Tokyo 2020 Olympic campaigns completely disrupted by the postponement of the Games to 2021.  The podcast wraps up with defending 49er Olympic Champion Blair Tuke, discussing how the postponement allows full concentration on the defence of the America's Cup, and talks about the logistics of running simultaneous Cup and Games campaigns.  He delves into his partnership with Pete Burling, how the pair won silver in London 2012, and then didnt lose another regatta, all the way through to claiming gold in Rio by an unprecedented Olympic points margin.

  • This month double Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson goes back to her sailing roots as she talks about success and failure with six very different multiple Olympic medallists. The interviews span fifty two years of Olympic competition, feature a total of twelve medals, seven gold, and include some of the biggest names in Olympic Sailing.

    The two part podcast kicks off with London 2012 Laser gold medallist Tom Slingsby, and his emotional account of how the surprise of failure in Beijing 2008 drove him to the top of the podium four years later in London.  Slingsby's is a fascinating account, starting with his memories of how, while watching Sydney 2000, he resolved to one day stand atop the Olympic podium.

    "I'm not the most athletically gifted person, when I started training and sailing I was not a good junior sailor, before the Sydney Olympics, before I dedicated myself to it I finished 61st at the Radial Nationals in 1999, I was mediocre, but I said 'I love this sport, I wanna do it and I'm gonna train and put in the work' and I just felt like a regular kid, I just loved it and dedicated myself to it."

    British 470 Women's Olympic Champion Hannah Mills tells how disruptive a postponed Olympics has been, having decided to return to defend her crown after her win in Rio 2016.

    Mills goes on to reveal to Robertson how the relative disappointment of a silver medal at her home Games in London 2012 really fuelled the determination for herself and crew Saskia Clarke, as they resolved to go the distance one last time together, in a bid to go one better and win in Rio.  Mills discusses the Rio regatta, and what finally winning Olympic gold with her best friend meant to the pair as they began to realise their achievement.

    From the amateur Olympic era of the 1960s and 70s Robertson then interviews British Olympic sailing legend Rodney Pattisson, a double Olympic gold medallist from Mexico City 1968 and Munich 1972 and a silver medallist from Montreal 1976.  Pattisson sailed the Flying Dutchman Class, was a submarine officer in the Royal Navy, and is widely known as being one of the forefathers of the 'no stone unturned' approach to modern Olympic sailing.  His tales of fine tuning and optimisation while simultaneously duping his opposition are not just amusing, but also show a ruthless and dogged approach to competition, here explaining a dominant display at the Munich Games of 1972...

    "People didn't know I'd built another boat, they still thought it was the old one and I kept that a secret right up until after the Games.  It had the same name on the side of the boat, it had the same colours.  One of the things I did was that the old, slower boat had had a prang, and so there was a repair inside the boat that you could see on the varnish work, so I copied that repair and anybody that had a suspicion at all looked underneath the stern deck, knew about the collision and thought it had to be the same boat."

  • This month double Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson sits down for a two part podcast chat with the first man ever to sail solo non-stop around the planet, Britain's Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.  In this, Part 2 of their discussion, the pair talk about life after the return from Sir Robin's incredible 312 day journey.

    Having completed his voyage, and cemented his place in the annals of the history of exploration, Sir Robin's competitive streak soon saw him back on the global race course, and by 1977 he was joint skipper on an entry in the Whitbread Round the World Race, where amongst his crew was a certain Peter Blake.  With the announcement of the Jules Verne Trophy, Knox-Johnston and Blake went on to famously form the eventual record holding team, ENZA New Zealand, breaking the established record in 1994 with a 74 day lap of the planet.


    Robertson and Knox-Johnston then discuss how a trip with British mountaineer and expedition leader Sir Chris Bonnington inspired an idea that would become the 'open to all' crewed around the world adventure, The Clipper Race.  It's a race that has been on going now for over twenty years, and is currently in it's twelfth, a fact that Sir Robin ranks as one of his greatest achievements.

    "When I look at all the lives that have benefitted from the Clipper, and the number of those sailors, forty percent of them have never been on a boat before, who have taken up sailing subsequently as their sport, to my mind that is going to rank pretty highly because there's over five thousand people now that have taken the sport up all over the world." states Sir Robin, on being asked by Robertson what he sees as his greatest contribution to the sport.

    This edition of the podcast is in two parts and is available to listen to via the podcast page of Shirley’s own website, at www.shirleyrobertson.com/podcast or via most popular podcast outlets, including iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast and aCast. The podcast is produced and written by Tim Butt - for further enquires, please contact podcast@shirleyrobertson.com


  • Double Olympic gold medalist Shirley Robertson sits down for a two part podcast chat with the first man ever to sail solo non-stop around the planet, Britain's Sir Robin Knox-Johnston.

    Sir Robin completed his ground breaking voyage in April 1969, after an astonishing 312 days alone at sea.  having sailed his thirty two foot ketch 'Suhaili' thirty thousand miles around the planet.  The voyage is one of the most documented in sailing, and was part of the famous Golden Globe race, initiated by the British newspaper, The Sunday Times.  Nine entrants eventually left to compete in the Golden Globe, but Sir Robin was the only boat that finished, the physical and mental travails of the effort famously proving too much for many of the other entrants.

    Sir Robin spent much of his voyage nursing "Suhaili' around the planet, constantly running repairs as the savage effects of months in the ferocious Southern Ocean took a heavy toll.  But his trusty craft was more than a match for the brutal southern storms, and it is with deep affection that Sir Robin talks of her now.

    "She was a cracking little sea boat, a wave could wash right over and did on a few occasions, she'd just shake herself and bob back up, like a terrier really.  I built up a huge affection for Suhaili, a tremendous trust in her, she is simple, she's not complicated.  Everything's stronger than it needs to be, everything's thought through. She's very important to me, she's been part of my life since I was 23, and I've done so much with her, she's done so much for me too.  I always say any fool could get her around the world, I proved it!"

    Sir Robin Knox-Johnston onboard 'Suhaili'
    Once passed New Zealand, and into the second half of his voyage, a troublesome radio meant Sir Robin struggled to make contact with anyone to inform of his progress, and he was assumed missing until he finally signalled a ship while passing the Azores, just fifteen hundred miles from home.  News of his survival hit the front pages, and by the time he steered 'Suhaili' back into the English Channel, he was a household name in the UK.  Met by a flotilla of well wishers, the shoreline around Falmouth lined with cheering crowds,  Robin Knox-Johnston had become the first man ever to complete the ground breaking voyage.

    This edition of the podcast is in two parts and is available to listen to via the podcast page of Shirley’s own website, at www.shirleyrobertson.com/podcast or via most popular podcast outlets, including iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcast and aCast. The podcast is produced and written by Tim Butt - for further enquires, please contact podcast@shirleyrobertson.com 

  • The first in a two part discussion between two one time TeamGB Olympic team mates sees Shirley Robertson engaged in frank and honest discussion with Sir Ben Ainslie.

    The most successful Olympic sailor of all time, Ainslie won four golds and one silver over an Olympic career that culminated in front of thousands at his home games, London 2012.

    Standing atop the podium at the sailing venue in Weymouth, Ainslie accepted his fourth gold medal to draw the line under an Olympic career that had started as a nineteen year old in the 1996 Games in Atlanta, USA.  Throughout his early appearances on the world stage, Ainslie often found himself locked in battle with Brazilian sailing maestro Robert Scheidt, and as he recounts those early tussles to his then Team GB team mate Robertson, Ainslie's recall and attention to detail is impressive.  One false move, one sloppy tack, and against Scheidt, Olympic success could vanish.  In 1996 he fell foul of the wily Brazilian, and had to settle for silver, but four years later, as the gold medal went down to the final race again,  a determined and steadfast Ainslie sailed circles around his great adversary, in a display of control and aggression that split the sporting world.

    "If you can sail, and get into someone and it's within the rules, and that's not an easy thing to do, that's the game, in my view.  And there was quite a lot of controversy about it at the time....from Roger Bannister, he's a hero in England obviously, the first guy to break the four minute mile...and I could understand (the criticism) but it's interesting how the sport's developed.....I think maybe it was a little bit ahead of it's time."

    Sir Ben Ainslie celebrates winning Gold at London 2012 - © Rick Tomlinson Photography

    Ainslie and Robertson spent three Olympic Games as team mates, twice claiming gold at the same Games, in Sydney and Athens. Their collective recall is therefore insightful, as in this Part 1 of the podcast they unpick Ainslie's Olympic career before reminiscing on Ainslie's final Olympic triumph at London 2012...:

    "You can't really beat that can you, a home Games and being able to get a fourth gold medal in front of a home crowd, it was an incredibly special moment.  I've always liked that element of being up against it, the tougher the challenge, the more exciting it is.  It's a bit of a strange approach, you really shouldn't be looking to make life hard for yourself, but there have certainly been a few occasions where I've managed to do that, and then had that challenge and taken it on and found that rewarding in some kind of perverse way."

    Robertson's chat with Ainslie continues for a second part, in which the pair discuss Sir Ben's America's Cup career and how his team is preparing for the 36th America's Cup, in Auckland, New Zealand.

  • The second part of Shirley Robertson's in depth chat with British sailing legend Sir Ben Ainslie sees the duo delve deep into the America's Cup, as Ben reveals his thoughts and experiences on a career spent chasing the illusive, oldest trophy in world sport.

    Throughout this second part Ainslie and Robertson discuss the Ben's passion for the Cup, and how his early experiences in the Cup world did not go as he had hoped they would.  As his experience in the Cup arena grew, his exploits elsewhere in sailing soon put him on the most wanted list, and after the highs of London 2012, Ainslie joined Oracle Team USA, then watched from the sidelines as the team lost race after race to a seemingly unbeatable Emirates Team New Zealand....:

    "I was in the (chase) boat with Russell (Coutts) and Grant (Simmer) and I remember  Russell's phone going off, and it was a bit, you know, slightly held off his ear,  and it was pretty obvious it was Larry (Ellison) and he wasn't too happy about what he was seeing, you know.  And then he just turned round to me and he said 'You, you'd better get your wet suit on."

    Sir Ben Ainslie

    Ainslie then goes on to share his version of how the team turned a massive deficit into a famous America's Cup victory, and how lifting the oldest trophy in world sport for an American team, solidified his resolve and convinced him that his future in the sport lay in creating a British team, with a long term goal and vision.  His honest and insightful account of the 2013 Cup gives another angle on how this remarkable defence of the Cup unfolded.

    The final points of discussion in the podcast relate to Ainslie's current position, leading the British outfit, INEOS Team UK, into the next iteration of the America's Cup.  The pair discuss how the initial Team came about, the rigours of raising money for such a financially dependent endeavour, and how lessons learned in the last Cup in Bermuda are helping the effort as the Team prepare for the 36th America's Cup in New Zealand in 2021.

  • Shirley Robertson continues her two part chat with offshore sailor Nick Moloney in this the second part of their discussion about the Australian offshore sailor's diverse career.

    This edition kicks off with Moloney's move into solo sailing and jumps straight in with his tense and brutal account of his first Mini Transat race, and attempt that resulted in a badly broken arm and a very near death experience underneath the upturned hull of his 6.5m mini transat boat...:

    "A big wave hit the side of the boat, rolled it on it's side and washed my legs from underneath me and I had my arm around the vertical shroud.  As my legs came out from underneath me my arm slid down the narrowing of the 'v' and snapped my forearm in half.  And I went in the water.  It's hard to talk about it now.  I didn't talk about it for along time."

    Maloney's honest and emotional account of the incident is one of several anecdotes he shares that benefit from his easy, genuine style of story telling.  The near death accident failed to dampen his spirit, and his offshore career blossomed.  It wasn't long before he got the call from French offshore sailing legend Bruno Peyron, offering a spot on the then ground breaking catamaran 'Orange' - their objective, the Jules Verne Trophy.

    Awarded for the fastest sailed lap of the planet, the Jules Verne Trophy os one of the most coveted awards in the sport.  And so it was on May 5th 2002 that Moloney, on board  'Orange', crossed the finish line, as one of thirteen crew onboard the record breaking circumnavigation.  The non-stop blast around the planet had taken 64 days 8 hours and 37 minutes, and for Moloney, sailing with French offshore legend Bruno Peyron was just one of many highlights in an incredible voyage...:

    "Bruno had a lot going on....so you didn't see a lot of him, but whenever you were out of control, which was pretty often in those boats, before we knew it, before we actually knew we were out of control, he'd put his wet weather gear on, his harness on, and as soon as the situation got critical he appeared like a fairy, and just grabbed the helm, laid down command and got the situation back in control immediately, and that for me was absolutely amazing.
    "I remember getting the trophy, and having said to myself 'I'm gonna put my name on that trophy', everyone's name's on the base.....and the trophy itself is this chrome canoe body suspended on a magnetic field.....and when the (black silk sheet) dropped off the base, my name was right there!  It was so emotional!"

    More recently, Moloney and Robertson both held key roles as skippers in the fledgling Extreme 40s Series, the groundbreaking, fast catamaran series that paved the way for inshore, 'stadium' style racing.  Their recollections are of wild early days, racing fast boats in small spaces, with the inevitable collisions and dangers of the new sport pushing them all to their limits.

    But it was offshore that Moloney's calling was strongest.  A tight business alliance with Ellen Macarthur flourished, and set Moloney on an inevitable collision course with the solo sailor's ultimate challenge, the toughest race on the planet, the Vendee Globe.  It's his honest and at times brutal accounts of his exploits alone at sea that are the highlight of this podcast, confessing how at times, he hated the noises, the movements, everything about being at sea, confronting near death experiences with the honest and matter of fact approach of a man that knows things could have ended very differently.  It's a compelling listen, but there's also a passion and transparent emotion in Moloney's story telling that is there for all to hear in an interview that offers a raw insight into the life of one of the sport's real characters.

  • Shirley Robertson kicks off the second Series of her Sailing Podcast with an in depth chat with Australian offshore sailor Nick Moloney.  In another two part extravaganza, the pair spend this first episode discussing much about Moloney's diverse sailing career which has seen him race in amongst other things the America's Cup, the Whitbread Round the World Race, the Jules Verne Trophy and the Vendee Globe.

    In Part 1 of this chat they kick things off with a discussion about Moloney's recent trip to Antarctica, and how having sailed 'down south' in the Southern Ocean on multiple occasions, it was particularly rewarding to be able to stop and spend some time respecting the fragile environment of the  southern continent.

    Moloney grew up on Port Philip Bay near Melbourne, Australia, and spent much of his early life in the ocean, surfing and then sailing, but it wasn't long before his tenacity saw him spread his wings and travel further afield in the search of adventure.  Once in Sydney, meetings with Australian legends John Bertrand, Peter Gilmour and Iain Murray saw Moloney's world of opportunity open up and a career in sailing became a viable option.

    Moloney's first foray into the the world of the America's Cup was with Syd Fischer in 1992, but he was soon involved with several other Cup teams, including Paul Cayard's "Il Moro di Venezia".  From there, childhood hero John Bertrand took Maloney to the Cup in the 1995 campaign oneAustralia, which saw them make the Louis Vuitton Challenger final.

    Moloney's impressive career then took a turn offshore, as he got the call from Dennis Connor, this time to sail the Whitbread Round the World Race in "Toshiba".  Moloney's excitement at sailing the Whitbread is obvious, his passion for racing offshore was being honed during this iconic race, and this is clear to hear in his discussion with Robertson.

    The pair wrap up the first episode with a chat about Moloney's almost impulsive record windsurf across the Bass Straits, a twenty one hour marathon in 1998 that goes well to illustrate the tenacity and drive of the man.

    Robertson's chat with Moloney continues in Part 2 as the stories go offshore, and Maloney tells of his successful Jules Verne Trophy attempt with French sailing legend Bruno Peyron onboard the then groundbreaking catamaran 'Orange'.  From there, Moloney went solo, dodged death in the Mini Transat and took on the legendary Vendee Globe - his honesty and adept story telling make for a compelling listen.

  • This is the second part of multiple Olympic medallist Iain Percy's chat with Shirley Robertson, and is a candid and revealing discussion between to ex Team GB team mates who have known each other for decades.

    In Part 1 Iain discussed growing up ailing in the golden age of British Youth Sailing, regularly competing against the likes of Ben Ainslie, Chris Draper and close friend Andrew Simpson.

    In Part 2, the pair move on to discuss the America's Cup, and Iain's move to Swedish 'Team Artemis Racing'.  It was of course during the build up to the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco that Andrew Simpson tragically lost his life in a sailing accident.  It's a tragedy that has obviously effected Iain greatly, and here the pair fondly share their memories of the generous and giving 'Bart' in an emotional discussion about their friend and what he brought to the British Sailing Team.

    But Percy and Robertson also discuss the importance of the Andrew Simpson Foundation, a sailing foundation created in Bart's memory to continue the generous work and time he put in inspiring children around the world to take up sailing.

    In 2017 Iain Percy was team principal at Team Artemis Racing, finalists in the Challenger Series of the 35th America's Cup in San Francisco.  Iain speaks openly about his time in the Cup, as well as revealing how today, his determination to continue the momentum of the Cup team has led him to form Artemis Technologies, a company taking the technological advancements forged in sailing and applying them further afield.

    This two part podcast is an intimate discussion between two old friends and team mates, and is a revealing look at the professional life of one of British Sailing's most inspiring talents.

  • This month Shirley Robertson sits down for another two part edition - this time talking to her one time Team GB team mate Iain Percy.  A double Olympic gold medallist, Percy topped the podium in Sydney 2000 at the beginning of British Sailing's golden era - Robertson and a certain Ben Ainslie also bringing home gold for GB in those Games.

    Percy bagged gold again in Beijing in 2008, and then silver at home in London 2012.  And it's these years of shared Olympic history that form the foundations of Part 1 of this chat - from their formative sailing years through to sharing digs at the Games in Sydney, Robertson and Percy have much to talk about as they look back on their Olympic years.

    This is a candid interview between two good friends, and Iain is open in discussing how much better the thrill of winning felt when part of a crew - his success in China of course achieved with his best friend and team mate Andrew 'Bart' Simpson.  The pair went on to win silver in London four years later, and Percy describes in detail the moments that saw their firm grasp on the gold medal suddenly slip away.

    This is the first of two episodes of this month's podcast, and it concludes with a brief look at how Iain moved from Olympic sailing into the world of the America's Cup.  Part 2 is also available to download and includes an emotional discussion with Robertson about the loss of Iain's best friend Andrew Simpson, who tragically died in the build up to the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco.

  • This edition of the podcast is the second part of Shirley Robertson's fascinating inside look at the design and build of the boats that will ultimately race in the 36th America's Cup.

    Continuing on from Part1, Robertson talks to the four design chiefs from each of the four America's Cup teams currently building the seventy five foot foiling monohulls, the AC75s.  It's recommended that Part1 is listened to first, as the the first episode includes an intro to the Class Rule, and discusses some of the more general aspects of the challenges and pitfalls of designing this class of boat.  In t his episode the designers go on to discuss some more specific design elements, including the specific make up of the foils, and the differences between the current foils being used by each team.  They discuss the sail specifications of the class rule, looking at how the D-Section mat will promote the use of an innovative double skinned main sail, and they discuss power generation, how the power is to be generated to control the giant loads of the new main sail.  Robertson quizzes the designers on the teams' use of "recon" and how 'spying' on each others' designs helps move design thinking forward.  The role of the sailing team is discussed, as the designers reveal how important the men out on the water are to the design process, before they wrap up by sharing their thoughts on what single aspect of design is most likely to in, or lose, the 36th America's Cup.

    From the Defenders of the America's Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand, Robertson talks to design ace Dan Bernasconi.  From the Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa, she talks to Cup design veteran Martin Fischer.  From British entry INEOS TEAM UK she talks to accomplished Cup designer Nick Holroyd, and from American Magic she talks to race boat design legendary yacht designer Marcelino Botin.

    This edition of the podcast is a fascinating look inside the secretive world of America's Cup design and is a must listen for any sailing fan hoping to follow the action when the Cup gets underway.

  • This edition of Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast this month takes a departure from the norm to talk to the design chiefs of each of the four America's Cup teams.
    Each team hoping to win the 36th America's Cup is currently halfway through a lengthy design process, and with the clock ticking, they are all focusing on the design and build of what they hope will be the fastest racing monohull ever sailed.

    In this edition of the podcast, Shirley Robertson talks to the design chiefs of each of the four teams, to discuss the challenges and pitfalls of designing the foiling monohulls that will compete in the 36th America's Cup.  The end result of each team's endeavours will be a seventy five foot long foiling monohull, powered by an innovative double skinned mainsail.  The boats will be unique, like nothing the sailing world has ever seen.  They will be capable of speeds up to three times the wind speed, and will race each other for the first time in April 2020 at the World Series event in Sardinia, Italy.

    Each of the four teams have already launched their initial Cup boats, the first of two boats that each time is allowed to build, as they strive to refine the foils and systems that will eventually be used in the 36th America's Cup in Auckland, New Zealand.

    From the Defenders of the America's Cup, Emirates Team New Zealand, Robertson talks to design ace Dan Bernasconi.  From the Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa, she talks to Cup design veteran Martin Fischer.  From British entry INEOS TEAM UK she talks to accomplished Cup designer Nick Holroyd, and from American Magic she talks to race boat design legendary yacht designer Marcelino Botin.

    Part1 of this two part podcast sees discussion look at the initial design parameters, as the designers all discuss the requirements of the Class Rule.  They discuss their thoughts on the four Mk1 AC75s currently out sailing, and whether the Mk2s built later this year will change in any way from the initial designs.  They all discuss the rise of simulation and it's importance in the design of such complicated boats.  The designers then compare the importance of hydrodynamics over aerodynamics in boats that are designed to spend much of their time flying above the water, before finishing this edition with a look at how data gathering and analysis in particular has moved on since the last design round, for the previous Cup.

    This edition of the podcast features four of the brightest names in yacht design, all discussing the most pressing aspects of the design and build of what will become the fastest racing monohulls ever built.

  • This is the second part of two time America’s Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill's chat with Shirley Robertson which saw the pair settle down for an extended two part interview ahead of the first round of the America’s Cup World Series in Sardinia.

    In Part 1 Jimmy discussed growing up in the Australian sailing enclave of Pittwater, recalling the endless days spent messing about on the water.  From childhood, through Australia's Young Sailor of the Year, to his first appearance in the America's Cup at just twenty years of age, and eventually onto his first Cup win in Valencia 2010, Part 1 is a great insight into the early life of one of sailing's leading stars.

    in Part 2, things get real serious, as Jimmy recounts the early days of the frighteningly quick AC72, as theCup turned to foils, wings and a massive leap in performance.  In this interview Jimmy tells us the inside story of that incredible comeback to win the 34th America’s Cup in San Francisco, his insight and memories of that sensational victory both candid and illuminating. Starting with the capsizing of the brand new AC72 just days after launching, to the cut and thrust of the daily press conferences and the eventual comeback against an incredibly quick and accomplished New Zealand team. The comeback propelled the sport into the spotlight, and was the start of relentless victory celebrations across the US…:

    “For the next couple of weeks you’re on all the late night shows, Jay Leno and Colbert, all the big ones going around and I’ll never forget we were on the Colbert show, and Tom Hanks was there doing a recording of something, so I’d done my piece and was having a beer and chatting to some of the guys….and it was surreal, sitting in the green room with Tom Hanks, and he’s asking questions about the racing, he’d seen it, we’re having a beer and the whole time his assistant is saying ’Tom, we’ve got to go, the plane’s waiting’ and he’s saying “No, tell them to wait”, he was genuinely interested in what had happened.”

    Jimmy goes on to discuss the disappointment of losing the Cup in Bermuda, and talks about his current role with the Italian team Luna Rosa Challenge. But he's also very open regarding his time spent sailng with french offshore legend Francois Gabart, and how much he loves the prospect of heading offshore on a foiling multihull. From his passion for surfing and foiling to his competitive spirit and drive to succeed, Spithill’s chat with Robertson is illuminating, engaging, and a thoroughly interesting listen.

  • Two time America’s Cup winning skipper Jimmy Spithill joins Shirley Robertson this month, as the pair settle down for this the first of an extended two part interview ahead of the first round of the America’s Cup World Series in Sardinia.

    Spithill has long been a fixture in the America’s Cup scene, having first led the Australian entry to the 2000 Cup in Auckland, as skipper of ‘Young Australia’. He’s skippered in every Cup since, winning for the first time in 2010 at the wheel of Larry Ellison’s BMW Oracle Racing. That first win, helming the giant 90 foot trimaran, secured his spot as the Cup’s youngest ever winning skipper. In 2013 a successful defence of the Cup in San Francisco saw Spithill lead the unlikely comeback against a New Zealand Team that was, at 8-1 up, just one race win away from reclaiming the oldest trophy in world sport. Having then lost the defence of the next Cup in Bermuda in 2017, Spithill is now in a key role at the long established Italian team, Luna Rosa.

    Spithill grew up thirty miles north of Sydney, Australia in the stunning sailing hotspot of Pittwater. He talks fondly of his childhood, taking a boat to school, where he’d whistfully wait for classes to end so he could head back out on to the water. He’s also very candid about his upbringing, and discusses with Robertson how his formative years have contributed to the character we see today out on the race course…:

    “We have a running joke, between Tom Slingsby, or anyone with red hair, and that’s there’s two things you get good at growing up with red hair, and one is running, for obvious reasons. The other is fighting, because you just get sick of running!….At some point you’ve got to decide what you’re going to do, are you going to continue to take this, or is it time to stand up, and when you do it’s an incredible feeling, and it’s an important lesson in life. That at some point you have to stand up for yourself.”

    This is the first of two instalments of Shirley Robertson's interview with Jimmy Spithill, and concludes with his take on how he skippered that 90 foot trimaran to victory in the 2010 America's Cup.  Be sure to download Part 2, which sees Jimmy recount the fascinating story of how Oracle Team USA overcame that 8-1 deficit to defend the oldest trophy in world sport.

  • The second instalment of Shirley Robertson's chat with sailing legend, Ken Read.   The pair continue their discussions following on from an illuminating Part 1 which saw Read discuss his role as President of commercial sailing behemoth North Sails, and his America's Cup campaigns with US sailing all star Dennis Connor.

    In this edition the chat gains momentum, as the stories continue to flow.  Read's easy going style make him a delight to listen to as he reveals how he was lured into a Volvo Ocean Race campaign mid race back in the 2005-2006 edition of the famous race.  From there, Read goes on to reveal how a chance meeting with the owner of Puma set the ball rolling on what would become one of the Ocean Race's most memorable of entries.  For two editions, in 2008-09 and 2011-12 Read was at the helm of the memorable red Volvo entry 'Puma' - and here reveals how both campaigns took shape, and just how close he came to winning one of sailing's most illusive trophies.

    The thrill of racing the planet over with, Read then discusses what happens when a billionaire sailing fanatic decides to invest in building a boat to smash records.  The result was of course the 100ft maxi "Comanche" - the design and build of which was done very much under Read's watch.   Once finished the boat was an absolute beast, a head turner wherever she sailed - in fact Robertson was onboard on one of the first forays in big winds on Comanche, a day the pair remember well - Read's tales of charging the Bass Straits in the iconic Sydney to Hobart Race are compelling.

    The pair wrap up with some thoughts on the future of the sport, chat about the televising of sailing and Read's time on the commentary team of the America's Cup.  They then conclude with an honest, heart felt discussion about what sailing has given Read, how much he has invested in it over his life time, and the inevitable personal costs it's brought.  It's a compelling listen - an honest and forthright conversation with one of the great communicators of the sport of sailing.

  • Throughout her broadcasting career one of Shirley Robertson's most interviewed of subjects must be US sailing's Ken Read.  Currently in the top executive role at corporate sailing giant North Sails, his sailing history includes helming two America’s Cup campaigns, two Volvo Ocean Race campaigns, two US Sailor of the Year Awards and a trophy cabinet stacked with National and World Championship wins.  

    Read a key figure in the sport, and has been on the other side of Robertson’s interview microphone on countless occasions and the result here is a candid and honest exchange, as the pair chat through Read’s early career and move into the corporate world at North Sails, through his early America’s Cup exploits and onto his Volvo Ocean Race campaigns as skipper of Puma, before discussing the future of the sport and Read’s involvement in the record breaking 100ft maxi ‘Comanche

    As a young America's Cup skipper he was under the tutelage of America's Cup Hall of Famer Dennis Connor, and his early Cup recollections are peppered with accounts of his time spent with the US sailing legend.  Read is candidly honest about his time sailing for Connor, and the revealing discussion about the 2000 and 2003 Cup Campaigns are as funny as they are insightful.

    As a special edition this month's podcast will be published in 2 Parts, so be sure to catch up with Part 2 when chat turns towards Read's time at the helm of the Volvo Ocean Race entry 'Puma' and his involvement in the revolutionary 100ft Maxi 'Comanche'.