Why You Should Stop Reading Sailing Anarchy (.com)

So apparently there was this cool sailing race in Russia, where this badass sailor featured below was participating. But that’s all I know because the popular website Sailing Anarchy, posing as a sailing news outlet, chose not to include any information about the sailor, the boat, or the race. In fact, they didn’t even use this photo featured here. Instead they used a photo from astern when she tipped her boat and had to maneuver herself back into it. The photo reveals quite an act of clambering, and quite the feat of athleticism. But that’s not all that it revealed.

why you shouldn't read sailing anarchy, boycott sailing anarchy, sailing anarchy is sexist
Boycott Sailing Anarchy

Not only did the angle of the photo reveal this sailor woman’s buttox and crotch area, but the context in which Sailing Anarchy published it (and then their response when people expressed opposition) revealed a sexist agenda that promotes a male first environment within the sailing community, and a publisher that refuses to take accountability for discriminatory content.

The photo in itself is not discriminatory at all. The subject is doing something pretty awesome that requires skill and the frame absolutely captures that. Plus, the female form should not be banished because men are unable to control themselves from sexualizing it. But Sailing Anarchy posted that photo by itself, with a sarcastic caption. It was posted under a type of reoccurring “series” on Sailing Anarchy, tagged as “SCOTW” which seems to be the publisher’s kind of photo of the week. This category regularly demeans women sailors and propagates an environment where women are not welcome to participate as equals to men, but as subjects to be gawked at where their worth as humans (and as sailors) is measured by how they look.

There are several accounts of lewd comments surrounding female sailor content written all over the Sailing Anarchy “news” feed and the forums. In the instance of this particular post, many women and men wrote in expressing why they felt the context of the photograph was wrong. Some even tried to open a conversation and ask why. The problem would be so easy to fix. Simply stop posting photos and stories of women where their bodies and what their bodies look like is the main focus.

In between insults hurled at me personally, the publisher’s only defense to my question of why was there no mention of the sailor’s name, race, class, etc., was “The photo was submitted.” However upon further investigation it’s very clear to see that the race coordinators are active on the thread for this featured photo, and they can be seen asking Sailing Anarchy if they would include some actual info about the race in the post.

Sailing Anarchy officials chose to respond to comments protesting this type of sexist content by using derogatory slurs for the word vagina, calling protestors psychotic, and otherwise personally attacking anyone urging for a more equal rights approach to content surrounding women.

The definition I’ve always liked to use for the word anarchy is “the ability to be so free that you are ungovernable.” Sailing Anarchy is a bastardization of the word. Real anarchists are freedom chasers. They are freedom fighters. They are allies. And they will speak up when there is discriminatory content. Sexist discourse is hate speech, and I wonder what Sailing Anarchy’s sponsors would think of that?


  1. Thanks for the heads up. This can of shit has got to stop! Thanks for calling them on it =\

  2. Thank you for your comments, I will join your boycott.

  3. Interesting post. Part of the reason I don’t read Sailing Anarchy is this sort of garbage. As a longtime publisher in another life (before I sold out to go sailing), I would never have published this photo. Notwithstanding that my publication’s didn’t have a readership that would ‘appreciate’ this photo, it’s simply too over the top for any audience outside of Playboy or Hustler imo. A sailing mag? Nope.
    The best thing to do is to ignore it, and stop reading the publication – they don’t deserve your support. And it wouldn’t hurt to suggest to advertisers that you are not impressed that they support this kind of faux journalism, and misogyny towards an important sector of our sport.
    Now, to annoy everyone else who’s been nodding in agreement so far – this lady should have been wearing proper sport’s gear, not a thong bathing suit – under her top and PFD.
    I’m sure she’s thought ahead to the impact her suit would have on getting her photo published and how that could help her career, and thought it a good thing – a certain amount of ‘sexy’ sells and we all know that – but this is the downside of that approach. I’d be interested in knowing what she thought of this photo and the ensuing uproar.
    Those who say it demeans women in our sport are correct, and the behaviour of SA in this is unconscionable – but this sailor needs to own up to her share of the blame too. If she doesn’t want to be sexualized, looked at for her looks than her skills at sailing, then consider a more appropriate outfit.
    As for the SA commenter – I don’t know who he is, but he should not be a part of this industry if that’s how he speaks to other sailors, much less women sailors.

    • Thanks Wally. I agree.

    • Hi Wally,

      Thanks SO much for your comment. I damn near agree with just about everything accept the whole thong bathing suit thing. She’s actually wearing a one piece bathing suit with a brief bottom that is riding up her tush from her maneuver ! Thanks again!!!

      • Although I spent years as a beach lifeguard in university and thus can claim some expertise in observing women’s bathing suits, I wasn’t able to ascertain that much detail about her bathing suit. Still not really an appropriate item for a race, but to each their own.

    • Thong bathing suit?….where?

      She’s wearing a one piece activewear suit that has a bikini style bottom and is completely appropriate for the type of sailing that she is doing. This kind of sailing is very wet plus, with an unballasted boat, you end up in the drink a lot. Anything more than a bathing suit would be inappropriate, especially in a warmer climate and a competitive race situation where you are generating a lot of body heat.

      The other part of the comment above that really bothers me is the assumption that the woman is partly to blame for the uncompromising photo of herself. The statement “I’m sure she’s thought ahead to the impact her suit would have on getting her photo published” is completely off base.

      Sir! If you want to get completely legal about it, it is not her photograph!

      What it is is a surreptitious photo of her in an uncompromising position for the purpose of sexual exploitation without her consent or knowledge as she is scrambling to right and reenter her boat after a capsize. The comment is just so astonishingly wrong on so many levels. It’s kind of reminiscent of that old worn out paternalistic argument that women who presumably dress provocatively deserve to get harassed or even raped. Anyone out there who has ever dinghy sailed and had to recover from a capsize will know that it is not a graceful exercise. It involves spreading one’s legs wide apart, crotch exposed, to climb ungainly out of the water and back into the boat period.

  4. Scot Tempesta, the editor and, as far as I know, the owner of Sailing Anarchy, is a jerk, and always has been. Besides being a sexist, he is full of himself, hot tempered, and tends to carry humungous grudges against people who he feels crosses him. Here is a link to a poster who really has him pegged: http://sailinganarchy.com/2009/09/21/14768/

    My friends who sail in San Diego know him and agree he is a jerk.

    So don’t expect him to act like a normal human being, or even a normal male sailor. He’s in a nasty league by himself.

  5. Thanks Emily, for taking this on. I am only vaguely aware of Sailing Anarchy, and I will stay well clear. They appear to resemble a vessel not under command, and a threat to other sailors.

  6. Totally agree. I unfollowed them years ago after a similar photo. So disrespectful and unnecessary. The guy who runs the page is obviously an idiot.

  7. Very interesting and totally agree that is a discusslting picture and very demeaning. Ridiculous that they did not give any information about what she was doing.

  8. Agreed, never followed that site anyway.

  9. sailingtranquilitybay.com

    Ever since we saw how that forum of people treated Reid Stowe, it became clear what kind of creeps they were. It seems to be a place for really small-minded people to gather.

  10. I have to agree with Fred though I dont know the San Diego sailing scene, but I will continue to read SA but only because it does pick up on some more interesting stories and the occasional very obscure stuff which can be worth knowing about. Dont waste any energy on Scot or Clean for that matter, not worth it in my opinion they are way too Narcissistic.

  11. I couldn’t agree more. This type of promotion and degradation of women should have no place in our society. But, unfortunately it continues and is somewhat promoted by the current American leadership.

    There was an interesting article on Sailing Totem once about the Boob effect and how blogs such as SV Delos utilize it. It is a good read. You can find it here: https://www.sailingtotem.com/2018/07/cruising-and-social-media-what-works.html

    Mark and Cindy
    sv Cream Puff

  12. I’m sorry, but forgive me for being less than impressed with a sudden upswelling of anger directed at Sailing Anarchy. This is routine stuff there. As long as that site has been around, women have been treated as objects. If an accomplished woman sailor was ever recognized you can bet her looks were part of the discussion. How has anyone who has ever read Sailing Anarchy missed this until now? Suddenly there are a bunch of men who are horrified by this treatment of woman?

    Not reading Sailing Anarchy won’t make a difference. They have an established base of sexist loyalists who eat this stuff up. Want to make a difference? Call the companies who advertise on their site and tell them you will not patronize their business so long as they support a business that revels in a culture of misogyny. Call Chicago Yacht Club and express your outrage that they hired the publisher of Sailing Anarchy to do their social media and videos for the 2018 race. Reach out to the Volvo Ocean Race and tell them you never want to see Alan Block working for them again.

    This effort might not be too little, but it’s pretty damn late in coming. Where were you five years ago when this same behavior (and worse) was going on there?

    • Here here! THANK YOU. People should definitely contact advertisers and some have already mobilized and are doing so. Five years ago I was 24 and had not yet discovered what Sailing Anarchy was. I even had something published on their website once and failed to really pay attention to their blatant sexism. Thank you so much for your suggestions and contribution to this post.

    • Reverend Malama Robinson

      “Want to really make a difference “…

      Anarchists could and should care less! As do I, sail on and f**k ’em if they CAN’T take a joke!!!

  13. Wow…pathetic. Guess I picked up on the Sailing Anarchy angst long ago…know lots of incompetent racers with similar narcissism traits. Love Sailing too much to be around or even give attention to those kinds of toads~

  14. I recently made a sailing news site for me to keep up with just the news, no crazy comments. It’s very new, feedback is welcomed.

    • Yeah, but for some reason that isn’t as bothersome. I mean, it’s actually kind of funny and like I wrote in my post we can’t just banish the female form. I think you’re right though—by them making it a photo contest it once agains takes the spotlight off the sailor and onto a girl’s buns. The patriarchy could use a lesson in subtlety.