Stories with Shirley

Published on January 23rd, 2020

Calling all sailors, or at least all sailors who enjoy podcasts: listen to Shirley Robertson. Carol Cronin caught up with Shirley to talk about their mutual passion for audio.


Shirley Robertson won the Yngling gold medal in 2004, and I caught up with her again at the Star Sailors League Finals in Nassau. We shared a very special #Yngling2004 reunion with a member of team Canada, as well as a fantastic ocean swim only hours before we both flew back to winter. It was great to really dig into what she’s doing now, sixteen years after spending so much time in the same boat parks.

While I’ve been diving into audiobook production, Shirley’s developed a monthly podcast that features a well-known sailor. It’s more like a fireside chat at the pub than a formal interview, and as a respected competitor, she’s able to dig deeper than the usual journalist.

My favorite to date is her discussion with Sam Davies, mostly because I had a front row seat for the embarrassing moment they laugh about, which took place shortly before Sam (now one of the most respected offshore singlehanded sailors in the world) announced that Miami’s Biscayne Bay was “too wet, and too cold” for her. Listen in for the real story, but first, read on to learn why Shirley developed the podcast, and where she hopes it will go.

What’s the best part of doing these monthly podcasts?
I worked for 15 years in broadcast journalism, where you are so time aware, every word is precious and considered, and all the components fit together like Lego. The clock is a constant, words are slashed here and there, much of the ‘good stuff’ never leaves the edit room.

A podcast breathes, there is time for anecdotes; actually the best pods are full of stories no one has had time to tell. My favorite part is how relaxed they seem, how intimate, how fresh they feel.

Favorite guest or story?
There’ve been moments for sure. When Chris Draper starts to remember the Athens Olympics and gets really emotional, 15 years since he thought about it all. Kenny Read talking about sailing on Dennis Conner’s teams and just how crazy it all was. Kyle Langford describing what it was like inside the Oracle Shed in San Francisco when they were 8-1 down to the Kiwis. So many stories. – Full story

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