Behind the Scenes, February 2020

Published on February 3rd, 2020

Sharon Green

The walls of Scuttlebutt HQ include the Ultimate Sailing calendar, and in this report Sharon Green shares the behind-the-scenes story regarding the February 2020 images.


February’s image comes to you from Cascais, Portugal! That’s ‘Kesh-Kayssh!’ – a city as exotic and unique as its name, with this beautiful and historic coastal town as host for the thrilling Rolex TP52 Worlds.

Cascais is Portugal’s Monte Carlo, where bygone aristocrats took their summer retreats, and it’s easy to see why; with sandy beaches, rocky capes, and vividly painted palaces amidst a charming maze of cobbled streets. (Although I’ll admit it was tough wheeling my camera case down those ancient cobblestone roads!)

A long-time port city – it is just west of Lisbon – yacht racing caught on in Cascais in the late 1800s when King Carlos, who loved sailing, began organizing regattas. It has been a favorite venue of sailors since, with King Carlos still commanding the harbor: his bronze likeness poised at the rail, clutching binoculars, watching the spectacle.

Experiencing the atmosphere, culture, and beauty of magnificent venues around the world, and bringing them to our Ultimate Sailing Calendar fans, is one of the things I love most about my job. In the 2020 calendar alone we bring you to Portugal, Saint Barthélemy, San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro, Miami, Palma de Mallorca, and more.

But jet-setting to exotic locations hasn’t always been the case. In 2006, as a single mother with two young children at home, traveling overseas became tricky. That year I introduced some images from a few of my esteemed colleagues to the Calendar, to create an annual portfolio of the best racing images.

I really enjoy exploring the myriad of photos submitted and curating the images for the calendar. Even now, though my kids have fledged, I continue to solicit shots from other leading yachting photographers. It keeps the Ultimate Sailing Calendar fresh and lively, with different perspectives, techniques, boats, and venues from across the globe.

And then by chance, when we all have the opportunity to meet at a regatta, the fun really explodes! Like it did in Cascais, when I had the pleasure of shooting with an international set of photographers including Carlo Borlenghi, Luis Fernandez, Nico Martinez, Max Ranchi, and Yoichi Yabe.

Every day of the TP52 Worlds was ‘fresh to frightening’ (my favorite!) as you can see from these images of Provezza featured in February 2020. But the TP52s are sailed by impeccable pros who handle the testing conditions with confidence, resulting in racing which is tight and competitive.

Cascais juts out into the Atlantic, where the chill Canary Current that sweeps down the coast of Portugal, and a powerful sea breeze combine to create incredible conditions.

Each morning we would don full foul weather gear, and pull on our hoods before departing the harbor. We were in large open RIBs, super-fast and super-splashy! Once you got locked into your position on the boat, it was hard to move, so it was a challenge (but critical) to pick your spot well: to make sure you were situated to get the best shots, but not all the spray! I was constantly drying and cleaning my camera lenses!

These colorful, romping TP52s are a thrill to shoot, and always a sure pick for the Ultimate Sailing Calendar.

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