Monday, December 29, 2014

Year End Sailing Wrap Up

2014 was a little on the quiet side but after the transatlantic last year, just about anything would feel that way. Reliving the experience via talks at various yacht clubs around New England has been a lot of fun and a great way to meet other sailors interested in shorthanded cruising and racing. I’m presenting to the Blue Water Sailing Club on January 10th in Charlestown, MA – if you’re interested in attending, please let me know.

My buddy Rich Wilson continues his training and preparation for Vendee Globe 2016, a single handed, non-stop, around the world race and it’s been a blast to assist where I can with his campaign. During the race, he will conduct a K-12 education program through his non-profit. For those interested, I encourage you to visit for more information about this amazing teaching tool for educators all over the world.

This summer, my biggest race was the double handed Bermuda Race which I entered on my boat Jeroboam with my buddy Russ Hancock. Light winds tested our patients and my skill set but as Russ races often around Marblehead (or Marble-dead to which it’s often referred), he excels in these conditions and we managed to pull out a class and division win.

Jeroboam also posted solid results at the One Regatta, Beringer Bowl and the Maine Rocks Race this summer with the final race on New Year's Day in Boston Harbor. 

The big race this coming June is Bermuda 1-2 which is single handed to Bermuda then double handed back to Newport. I’ve entered twice before on Jeroboam in 2009 and 2011 but this year my buddy Mike Piper suggested I race his very sporty J/111 down, with him joining for the double handed return. This is a great opportunity for me to test my skills on a proper race boat and we have already begun preparation and training in earnest.

Wishing you all the best in the new year!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Vendee Globe Press Conference, Paris Boat Show

Rich Wilson was in Paris for the boat show last week when the Vendee Globe race committee released the NOR and held a press conference introducing the 15 skippers (so far) who are planning to be on the starting line in November 2016. (note, this video is in French and if you want to skip ahead to when Rich is introduced, move the slider to 30:42 when the ad is finished)

Of the 15 who plan to enter, 7 are building new boats:

Morgan Lagravière (FRA / Safran)
Armel Le Cléac’h (FRA / Banque Populaire)
Alex Thomson (GB / Hugo Boss)
Sébastien Josse (FRA / Groupe Edmond de Rothschild)
Andrea Mura (ITA / Vento Di Sardegna)
Jean-Pierre Dick (St Michel-Virbac)
Nandor Fa (HG / Spirit of Hungary)

And 8 intend to enter on existing boats:

Vincent Riou (FRA / PRB)
Yann Eliès (FRA/Groupe Quéguiner)
Jérémie Beyou (FRA / Maître Coq)
Tanguy de Lamotte (FRA / Initiatives Cœur)
Louis Burton (FRA / Bureau Vallée)
Eric Bellion (FRA / Comme 1 seul Homme)
Rich Wilson (USA / Great American IV)
Armel Tripon (FRA / For Humble Heroes)

Monday, December 8, 2014

2015 Bermuda 1-2, NOR & Preliminary Scratch Sheet

The Bermuda 1-2 Race Committee released the Notice of Race for the 19th edition of this fine event. Since 1977, on odd years, skippers have been piloting their boats single handed to Bermuda and double handed back to Newport in the US east coast's premier short handed race. I did this race twice, in 2009 and 2011 on Jeroboam, but missed out in 2013 to participate in another race.

I went through the NOR and didn't see any surprises, but then again the Bermuda 1-2 race committee has always been good about giving participants an early heads up on anticipated changes to safety requirements, unlike some other races I know.

Quite a few have already declared their intent to participate and others have in recent years regularly entered so I compiled a preliminary scratch sheet. Granted, not all these people will make it to the starting line but here's a matter of infinite hope: