Keane and I had a lot of fun iceboating last winter but boy, did we pick the wrong winter to kick off that hobby. Hopefully we won’t have as mild a season and can get out more this winter.
This was an epic year for spending time with my family. We converged on my niece in Richmond for her birthday in April then we got to take her sailing for the first time in Marblehead in July. They came back up to Concord for Thanksgiving and we’re all on Martinique for the holidays. For what’s usually a once or twice a year gathering, this was a big step up.
The sailing season kicked off with the IMOCA 60 in-port race in NYC over Memorial Day weekend. Rich Wilson’s boat was already in Europe but he was able to score me a crew spot for Armel Le Cléac’h on his foiling Open 60, Banque Populaire. Armel is one of the great French solo sailors and is presently in first place in the Vendée Globe, a solo, non-stop, around the world race. It was an amazing experience to race in New York Harbor with him.
Jeroboam’s first race of the season was the Bermuda Race in June at which Russ and I were defending our doublehanded win from the last running. We sailed very well but not well enough, placing second to our friends Zach and Gust on the Morris Justine 36, Yankee Girl. Jeroboam also made the rounds at Beringer Bowl, One Regatta, Around Islesboro and Maine Rocks. I got out for some fun, fully crewed racing in Boston Harbor, on my buddy Dave’s boat, Pressure Drop.
The main event this year was the start of Vendée Globe. All solo sailors view this race as the pinnacle of our sport and I would argue that in terms of intensity and endurance, no other sporting event on the planet comes close. For 3+ months, these competitors are racing around the planet, covering >25,000 miles, alone, without assistance and without rest. On top of that, my buddy Rich is conducting a K12 school program reaching millions of students in over 50 countries while competing. Helping Rich prepare in Les Sables-d'Olonne and witnessing the start of that race was unlike any sailing event I’ve ever seen. The French people truly honor the sport of solo sailing.
The big news at Brook Venture is that we are gearing up launch Fund V in the first quarter. We’ve worked hard this year to pre-market our investment thesis to institutional investors and have received a tremendous response. Fund V is tailored to their needs and we expect a successful launch.
Wishing you all the best this holiday season,