41 episodes

In depth and personal interviews from the leading characters of Sailing's diverse competitive arena, hosted by the sport's leading media personality, double Olympic gold medallist, Shirley Robertson.From inside the closed doors of the America's Cup, to the pressures and excitement of the Olympic race course, the danger and jeopardy of racing non-stop around the planet to the ultimate quest for the world's fastest sailing boat, Shirley Robertson sits down and talks all things sailing with the brightest lights in the sport.

Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast Shirley Robertson

    • Sports
    • 4.9 • 173 Ratings

In depth and personal interviews from the leading characters of Sailing's diverse competitive arena, hosted by the sport's leading media personality, double Olympic gold medallist, Shirley Robertson.From inside the closed doors of the America's Cup, to the pressures and excitement of the Olympic race course, the danger and jeopardy of racing non-stop around the planet to the ultimate quest for the world's fastest sailing boat, Shirley Robertson sits down and talks all things sailing with the brightest lights in the sport.

    Season 3 - Ep2 - Terry Hutchinson Part 2

    Season 3 - Ep2 - Terry Hutchinson Part 2

    Season 3 of the Podcast continues here with Part 2 of Shirley Robertson's chat with American Magic main man Terry Hutchinson...:
    Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast continues with this, the second of a two part interview with one of the sport's most decorated skippers.  American sailor Terry Hutchinson has been a world champion sixteen times, he's twice been World Sailor of the Year and has competed in five America's Cup campaigns.  Most recently he lead the New York Yacht Club's return to the Cup as the skipper and Executive Director of AC36 Challengers American Magic.
    Talking in Auckland after the culmination of the Prada Cup Challenger Series, Hutchinson and Robertson spend this Part 2 discussing American Magic's campaign at AC36,  in a franf and candid interview that sees Terry initially reveal how the team  felt about their fellow Challengers heading into the Prada Cup,  discussing the landscape heading into the start of competition in Auckland.  In a pragmatic and candid discussion, Terry then talks Shirley through the race against Luna Rossa on January 17th, as he reveals the impact of the team's capsize on the campaign...:
    "In retrospect the thing I regret the most is not chirping up and saying, having the presence of mind to say  'hey, just protect the asset here' because we had a big lead. but the previous leg, we had done the exact same manoeuvre." It's an honest and revealing discussion that takes place at a difficult time for Hutchinson, clearly disappointed at the end result for a team that he feels had a lot more to give at AC36...:
    "The hard part is that my measure is the scorecard.  When I get on the plane, I definitely know I'm gonna be sad, we're leaving without what we came for, and at the same time I do take solace in the fact that we conducted ourselves in the manner that not only the Club, but our principals would have expected us to.  That has to mean something, but I still use the scorecard as the measure."
    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 Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast and aCast. The podcast is produced and written by Tim Butt - for further enquires, please contact podcast@shirleyrobertson.com 

    Season 3 - Ep1 - Terry Hutchinson Part1

    Season 3 - Ep1 - Terry Hutchinson Part1

    Shirley Robertson kicks of Season 3 of the Podcast with American Magic main man Terry Hutchinson...:
    Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast is here for another Series, and gets underway with this, the first of a two part interview with one of the sport's most decorated skippers.  American sailor Terry Hutchinson has been a world champion sixteen times, he's twice been World Sailor of the Year and has competed in five America's Cup campaigns.  Most recently he lead the New York Yacht Club's return to the Cup as the skipper and Executive Director of AC36 Challengers American Magic.
    Talking in Auckland after the culmination of the Prada Cup Challenger Series, Hutchinson and Robertson spend much of Part 2 discussing American Magic's campaign at AC36, but kick off the podcast here with tales of Terry's early career, during which he shares an admission that as a school boy in 1983, he skipped class to go and watch Dennis Connor, then sitting at 3-3 against "Australia II" ultimately lose the America's Cup...:
    "I thought, there's a big race going on and I need to go and watch this so I asked my teacher if I could go to the bathroom, and I just kept walking and walked down to Marmadukes in Eastport and watched Dennis go from winning that race to not winning.  After the race was over I walked back into school and low and behold everyone was wondering where I was, my Mom was there wondering 'what did you do!', and I was 'Race 7 of the America's Cup was going on, I had to go and watch it!'"
    It was a determination that would see Hutchinson rise through the ranks of the American sailing world, joining Paul Cayard in 2000 as main trimmer on board America One.  The pair discuss Terry's early Cup exploits, including joining the 2003 Stars and Stripes campaign with Dennis Connor...:
    "I went to his house for dinner, he cooked this incredible chicken curry, and I went to his house and when I walked in, he's got this replica of the America's Cup.  To be considered part of his team, was really an unbelievable compliment." Other Cup highlights in this part include sailing against Alinghi for Emirates Team New Zealand in 2007, and then campaigning with Artemis in the build up to San Francisco 2013, during which time Hutchinson sailed on the radical new Extreme Sailing series.  Robertson and Hutchinson also discuss the phenomenal success of Quantum Racing, the TP52 sailing series and Terry's relationship with team owner Doug DeVoss.
    Inevitably though, much of the chat centres around the 36th America's Cup, and Terry's recent campaign with American Magic.  In Part 2 Terry reveals how the team  felt about their fellow Challengers heading into the Prada Cup, as they discuss the landscape heading into the start of competition in Auckland.  In a pragmatic and candid discussion, Terry then talks Shirley through the race against Luna Rossa on January 17th, as he reveals the impact of the team's capsize on the campaign...:
    "In retrospect the thing I regret the most is not chirping up and saying, having the presence of mind to say  'hey, just protect the asset here' because we had a big lead. but the previous leg, we had done the exact same manoeuvre."
    It's an honest and revealing discussion that takes place at a difficult time for Hutchinson, clearly disappointed at the end result for a team that he feels had a lot more to give at AC36...:
    This edition of the podcast is in 2 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 Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcast and aCast. The podcast is produced and written by Tim Butt - for further enquires, please contact podcast@shirleyrobertson.com 

    Series 2 - Ep23 - AC36 - The Final Word

    Series 2 - Ep23 - AC36 - The Final Word

    As the sailing world comes to terms with the withdrawal symptoms brought about by the conclusion of AC36, Shirley Robertson takes one final look back at the three months of Cup action with co-commentator Kenny Read.  Throughout this single episode extra edition of the podcast, there are also appearances from Emirates Team New Zealand skipper Pete Burling, Luna Rossa's co-helm pair of Jimmy Spithill and Francesco Bruni, and an exclusive chat with INEOS TEAM UK front man, now representing the AC37 official Challenger of Record, Sir Ben Ainslie.

    Commentating at his third America's Cup, North Sails President Kenny Read joins Robertson to talk through their experiences from three months in New Zealand, including some insight into the broadcasting of AC36.  They discuss the winning differences between the Defender and the Challenger, but also reveal some  amusing moments from three months spent living in the sailing obsessed city of Auckland...:

    "I walk around the corner and there's a guy standing there with his shirt sleeves cut off, it's about ten thirty at night, and he's got a Burling tattoo on his bicep, he's a big guy, with a big bicep, and I lean over and say 'Is that temporary?' and he goes "Hell no mate, this is the real thing!" and he flexes!  The passion!!  He has a BIG Pete Burling tattoo on his bicep!  So, you know what, this passion is what we want to see behind the curtain, inside Team New Zealand, because it's there!"

    The pair discuss the passion and culture they've experienced while working in Auckland as well as the differences between the two teams of AC36. They look at the personalities involved, and go through some of the rumours circulating around the future of the Cup. Recorded before the official announcement regarding AC37 by Emirates Team New Zealand, Reed and Robertson look at what they already know, and discuss the new AC75 Class and how they have matched up to the foiling classes of previous Cups. And they also talk about how the end of the Cup usually then signals the start of the transfer season for both sailing and back room Cup staff...:

    "This is a professional sporting event right, and free agency just started at about 6:05 last night.  You don't think there's phone calls being made to key players right now, then you're dreaming!  Do you think the Italians will be back...?  I would imagine they would love to be back, but back to what?  You have to preface by saying nobody knows where, when, how or what.  And until that happens, I know the New York Yacht Club, they're sitting there saying 'show me the rules and I'll let you know if I'm gonna come."

    Robertson ends the podcast by talking to INEOS TEAM UK skipper Sir Ben Ainslie, fresh from the announcement that the team will be the Challenger of Record for the next edition.  Amongst other things, Ainslie reveals his thoughts on the declared intention to commit to the retention of the fully foiling mono hull, the AC75, for AC37 and beyond...:

    "The fact that we're committing to the AC75 Class is a massive boost for the Cup, I'd like to see that class committed to for the next ten years or more.  One of the most successful Cups we've seen in the modern history of the Cup was in Valencia with version five of the IACC Class, so sticking to the AC75 Class is really key for the short to medium term future of the Cup."

    Ainslie's interview with Robertson concludes this edition, which marks the end of Season Two of the successful Sailing Podcast.  After a short one month break, Season Three will see the podcast return with a host of new interviews lined up from some of the biggest names in the sport.

    "Since July 2019 we've published thirty eight episodes of the podcast, at an edition a month for almost two years, that's well o

    • 56 min
    Series 2 - Ep22 - AC36 Preview Part 2

    Series 2 - Ep22 - AC36 Preview Part 2

    With the final races of the 36th America's Cup Match now just moments away, Shirley Robertson previews the action in another two part podcast from the heart of the action in Auckland New Zealand.

    In this edition, Part 2 of the Cup Preview, Robertson looks back on the Prada Cup Challenger Selection Series with fellow broadcast commentator and one time America's Cup helm Kenny Read.  The pair discuss the performance of the three Challengers, before being joined by special guest, David 'Freddie' Carr.  Freddie, a one time Extreme 40 team mate of Robertson's, is the lynch pin of the INEOS TEAM UK grinding unit, and still sore from the Prada Cup Final exit, is candid and honest as he talks about the performance of the successful defender, Luna Rossa, but also about the British team's rollercoaster Challenger Series as they bounced back from serious hardware issue heading into the regatta...:

    "It was phenomenally hard, for the design team, they realised there was a problem that was going on with the boat, with the foils, we had a problem with what was going on with the boat and we had to figure out what was the problem.  We had about a week to figure out how to sail this modified boat.  As soon as we put the boat back in the water, after the designers figured out the problem, we knew we were back in the game!"

    Freddie talks honestly about the teams turn around of fortune, before moving on to the loss to Luna Rossa Prada Pirelli.  Carr discusses how he thinks the Cup Match may pan out, beofre leaving Robertson and Read to go over their thoughts on the upcoming action.

    As a preview to the upcoming first to seven wins regatta, it's an insightful hour of chat to take in before racing resumes out on the waters of the Hauraki Gulf.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    Series 2 - Ep21 - AC36 Preview Part 1

    Series 2 - Ep21 - AC36 Preview Part 1

    With the final races of the 36th America's Cup Match now just moments away, Shirley Robertson previews the action in another two part podcast from the heart of the action in Auckland New, Zealand.

    The two part podcast kicks off with an interview with the port side helm of the successful Challenger, the AC36 Challenger of Record, Luna Rossa's Francesco Bruni.  Bruni has been at the forefront of the Italian team's significant improvements in performance over this campaign, and is both realistic and candid as he discusses their Prada Cup success.  He attributes much of that success to the calm and level head of co-helm, Jimmy Spithill, and is both respectful and hopeful when quizzed about their Cup opponents, Emirates Team New Zealand.

    "We know they've ben pushing a lot their package for speed, they have small foils, a small rudder, sometimes they lose control a bit because of that.  They are not unbeatable I think but they will definitely be hard opponents to be sure. And they have experience, their whole campaign, package , people, experience I think is the biggest asset they have."

    Following on from the discussion with Bruni, Robertson talks to Emirates Team New Zealand super coach Ray Davies.  Davies is a mastermind of the new world of Cup racing, and has been a proud member of the Kiwi outfit for almost two decades.  The gossip around the harbour side in Auckland of late has been of the team's sensational speeds out on the water and Davies is quick to dispel any chat that the team are anything but race ready.  While the Challengers have all been fighting out against each other, the Defender has been clocking up the training miles out in the Hauraki Gulf, and as competition draws near, Davies is clear on how pleased he is with the team's progress...:

    "We just get more comfortable all the time now, sailing in breeze.  With these type of boats you get a little nervous when you hit that fifty knot mark, but now it's just standard but once you get comfortable with that, you're just looking for more and more.  The guys are doing an incredible job, sailing the boat, but once you know the limits of the boat and the boat's working well then you can just push harder and harder."

    Both Bruni and Davies discuss their thoughts on their respective opponents, their thoughts on how the racing has been to date, and how and where the match may be won and lost.  Ahead of the first to seven wins match, it's an insightful listen to augment enjoyment of the upcoming broadcast.

    • 52 min
    Series 2 - Ep19 - Giles Scott Part1

    Series 2 - Ep19 - Giles Scott Part1

    This month's edition of Shirley Robertson's Sailing Podcast sees the double Olympic gold medallist talking to one of the current stars of the 36th America's Cup, as she chats with British INEOS TEAM UK tactician, Olympic Gold medallist and multiple world champion in the Finn Class, Giles Scott.

    At just thirty four years old, Scott is already sailing in his third Cup Challenger Series campaign, and has become a pivotal part of Sir Ben Ainslie's after guard.  During racing, discussions between the pair on board the British boat 'Britannia' are available for all to hear on the live broadcasts of the event, and reveal an understanding and relationship that spans over two decades.

    In the first part of this two part podcast, Scott discusses his early days of sailing, and how a move to the Finn Class saw him campaigning with Ainslie in the build up to the 2008 Olympics in China.  Three years later, at just twenty four, Scott was a dominant force in the Finn, but describes the bitter disappointment of  missing out on a London 2012, as Ainslie took the British Finn spot in their home Olympic Games.  It was a set back that would forge within Scott an even greater resolve.  By Rio his domination of the Finn Class was absolute, and his relief at finally clinching the Olympic gold medal was there for all to see as he sailed to victory in Brazil with a day of racing to spare...:

    "I always got a lot of grief in the build up to Rio because I was a boring winner, I'd never celebrate, I'd never give them the amazing photo, or, you know, I'd always just give it the thumbs up but  the reason I did that was because it wasn't the one that I wanted.  So the out roar of winning in Rio was, it was a big release of all that tension, emotion, I kind of, had done what I'd aimed at, yeah, it was a good moment."

    Part one of this edition covers much of Scott's Olympic career, as he remains in hopeful preparation for the postponed Tokyo Games of 2021,  but in Part two, chat turns to the America's Cup, and the British team's goal of winning the Cup back for the first time in it's one hundred and seventy year history.

    • 44 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
173 Ratings

173 Ratings

RabJC ,

Simply the best!

Only discovered Shirley's podcast having followed the excellent AC36 coverage where she was, once again, one of the key expert commentators. Her podcast interviews with Giles Scott and later her AC36 Preview podcasts with some of the key people involved from each of the teams was required listening. I have now gone back to the beginning of her podcast series and so far have thoroughly enjoyed listening to 7 hours of fascinating talk with Nathan Outtheridge, Ian Walker, Francois Gabart, Chris Draper, Paul Cayard, Russell Couts and Sam Davies - my journey was not long enough and I sat in the car to finish! Shirley's interview style is great, and her connections in the sailing world are second to none; she gets the best from her interviewees who know that she knows her subject so well, and obviously hold her rightly in high esteem for her own sailing achievements. Go Shirls!! Really looking forward to the rest of the back catalogue. And hope I can find some recordings of her CNN Mainsail programme that also passed me by...

Bagsy79 ,

Great series, with a few caveats

Hi Shirley. I love your series, and it looks like all your reviewers do too. During COVID lockdowns I’ve started listening to lots of podcasts and I hope you won’t mind me making a few constructive suggestions?
1. Trim down the intros. Most of your guests need little introduction to sailing fans and a 3-6 minute intro is far, far too much. The intro background music is painful too. I fast forward to the actual interviews every time.
2. Take cues from your subjects rather than always moving on to your next (scripted) question. For example, in both the RKJ and Grant Simmer episodes there were some moments where both were opening up about things they were clearly willing to talk about, but you moved them on to your next question. To me that can seem quite stilted and detracts from the natural conversational style that makes good podcasts great.
3. Speed up a bit? Perhaps you are trying to cater for an international audience but at times you speak really, really slowly and this rubs off on the interviewees too. I often listen to the episodes at x 1.25 speed!!
4. Avoid guests who aren’t engaging. Just because someone is a good sailor or has done something amazing doesn’t mean they will make a great interview. For example, Grant Simmer and Giles were both quite dull to listen to. Some top sailors have had a bit too much media training and try to downplay everything and are nearly as boring as F1 drivers / footballers. Spithill and Burling aren’t great chat in interviews whereas Bruni is gold dust - please book him in ASAP!!
5. Ask the difficult questions. Always hard for former sport stars to do when many of the subjects are also friends, but at times your interviews are too cosy. Asking sharp questions is a great technique to arouse your interviewee’s passion and bring them to life. Your subjects are human and have made mistakes alongside their achievements - focussing solely on the latter can easily become sycophantic.
6. Mix the tempo. You ask open questions and let your subjects speak at length. Following up with short punchy questions varies the tempo which keeps both listener and subject engaged. You can even take questions from listeners in advance and have a quick fire round at the end - just a thought!
7. Listen to other podcasts. There are lots of other good ones out there to help inspire you.
Keep up the good work and thank you for keeping this going through lockdown and the AC.

Tazza M ,

Brilliant Podcast series - Thank you Shirley!

This is my new favourite podcast! Shirley interviews some interesting and very inspiring characters from the world of sailing. As a mainly armchair sailor now it makes me itch to get back on the water. Shirley - you have a great interviewing style - which prompts some great insights from your guests. More please!!

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