Extreme Sailor ‘Captain Calamity’ capsizes his boat Mischief for the final time

The moment disaster struck

30/9/2010 UPDATE: A week on and the boat incident has hit the national and local news. With full page spreads in the Neqwquay Voice and Cornish Guardian, Glenn’s story hasn’t stopped there because its also made it into the The Daily Mail, The Telegraph and The Mirror! I even saw it mentioned on Derren Brown’s blog – weird.

His quote is now legendary: “If you don’t capsize your not trying hard enough….Go hard or go home – thats my motto!” – Glenn

This doesn’t seem to have resonated much sympathy with some of the right wing press.

VIDEO: If you want to watch the original video footage NewquaySurfer filmed that day you can find it on the Telegraph website here.

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Original Blog Post starts here:

Down at Little Fistral in Newquay today while filming some of the guys surfing, a catamaran boat sailed into the bay area right through the line up of surfers and into the shallows. This seemed a bit odd because the surf was pretty chunky (overhead and fairly hollow) and things then went from bad to worse for the boat… and captain.

The moment disaster struck
The moment disaster struck

Stokesy (and Tom Butler in particular) were unable to see the wreck as they make drops for waves.  They both manage to pull off some pretty sick surfing – inspite of having a live boat wreck infront of them! Fortunately no one was hurt… well, apart from ‘Mischief’ of course.

A keen sailor – Glenn Crawley is no stranger to incident in this particular vessel. His unique personal style of ‘extreme sailing’ has always been controversial. Some locals recall him launching out of Newquay harbour to sail the Cribbar when it was so big surfers were towing in!

You get the impression Newquay harbour master was never a great fan of Glenn’s ‘extreme sailing’. He once referring to Glenn as a ‘bloody menace’ 2 years ago. The RNLI also suggested he even find a new hobby, as rescuing him was costing them too much money! Anyway he’s certainly a character and a really nice guy, you just might not want to go sailing with him, though he has taken his boating license exam more than once!

I reckon life needs people like Glenn…a bit out there, eccentric, pursing their thing in their own way. So I reckon there’s almost something kind of quirky and tragic about today’s events – especially when you watch the video and you see him leaving the water with all that is left of his boat held in just two hands.


Some interesting links to press articles that show how Glenn came to be known as ‘Captain Calamity’ (it’s quite an entertaining read)

Captain Calamity: The sailor rescued four times in four hours


Ban threat to ‘Captain Calamity’


RNLI tell Captain Calamity: find a new hobby


Newquay bans solo yachtsman who can’t keep afloat


‘Menace of sea’ in port ban


RIP Mischief 22/9/2010


  1. good on you Glenn!
    i think there should be more people like you having fun
    i also think that your motto is damn right
    and i think you should tell the RNLI to try to make a catamaran
    surf a wave!

  2. Good work Glen ,I just hope youre nephews in Australia follow a more orthadox method of sailing. Best wishes Tony

  3. What the hell is wrong with British news anyway? I say boo on the rescuers for not knowing anything about small catamarans. If you don’t capsize at least once an outing you’re not using the catamaran. Apparently the “experts” they’re talking to have never actually sailed a small cat. Capsizing is part of the experience. BASIC catamaran instruction shows you how to right your boat with step by step instruction right in the owner’s manual. My prindle is that way. You should be able to save from anything but a complete turtle by yourself, and if you’re small (like a woman or tiny man) then you’d need a bucket to help add weight but you should be able to right the boat.

    I’d say officially this is the FIRST real wreck he had.

    I’m surprised this news isn’t viral in California and Hawaii for how uninformed and idiotic the reporters sound.

    There are experienced Hawaiian sailors that would find Crawley’s experience laughable, but laugh even harder at the rescuer’s overreaction to a capsized Hobie. Big deal!

    Good god, just search for “extreme catamaran” on google videos and you’ll find thousands of videos of sailors doing much crazier things than what Crawley is described as doing!

    Search for “Righting Catamaran” and you’ll find a thousand times more instructional videos for the NOVICE sailor.

    The only thing I see wrong with what he’s doing is that he doesn’t have a mate. When you’re sailing small cats, especially in extreme situations, you get the best use of the craft if you have two sailors aboard even if one just trapezes the whole time.

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