Our experts get the most out of a two-boat J/24 tuning session.
After reading a draft of Mike Ingham’s latest article on mast bend for our September issue, I had the good fortune to hitch a ride with him and fellow Quantum sailmaker Tim Healy for some two-boat J/24 tuning on a beautiful afternoon in Newport, R.I. With about 10 knots of breeze and minimal chop, we set off with the end goal of the J/24 Worlds in Rochester, N.Y., in mind. Here’s how a couple of our experts made the most of their practice session:
A first-time big boat tactician discovers that it's not nearly as easy or as much fun when everyone else is expecting you to make the right calls.
A few years ago, a veteran America’s Cup headsail trimmer told me that he’d never really aspired to move any further back in the boat. He liked, he said, being in the engine room. It was a great quote and part of me understood exactly what he was saying.
But there was another part of me that didn’t completely buy it, and wondered if that was simply his rationalization for the fact that he’d found a niche where he could make a good living and that the risk/reward ratio in an attempt to move into the afterguard simply wasn’t promising.
Shaking it out in Fireflies at the Charles River Open Team Race.
I found myself back at the MIT Sailing Pavilion this past weekend crewing at the Charles River Open Team Race. Having sailed this regatta some years ago and competed there at a number of college regattas since, I had a pretty good idea of what I was in for: good competition, some crazy wind shifts, and lots of races.
I’m in the Caribbean for my first time at the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta.
“Ting!” My best friend exclaimed when I told her I was going to St. Maarten for the Heineken Regatta. “Bring back lots of Ting!” She digs the grapefruit soda after she spent two summers working in the Caribbean.
I’m not too excited to figure out to get a case of this into my suitcase at the end of the trip, but it was good to get a bit of local guidance from her. This trip is my first one to the Caribbean, and after talking to her and others who were familiar with the place, it wasn’t too hard to leave gray, sub-freezing Newport yesterday morning.
Skipper Robin Team mans the winch on his J/122 Teamwork as the boat works downwind along the Florida keys in a light easterly during the 2012 Key West Race.
A DNF doesn't define a distance race. There's a lot to be learned from competing and overcoming adversity even if the finish line is never crossed.
I was surprised when, early Friday morning, Robin Team fired up the Yanmar with just six-tenths of a mile to go to the finish line and decided to retire from the 2012 Key West Race. For the previous 36 hours, he’d been the primary reason we hadn’t pulled the plug.
St. Mary's annual alumni regatta, the Possum Bowl, offered some chilling lessons for this recent grad.
I graduated from St. Mary’s in May, and there are a few things I haven’t missed about college sailing: excessively long van rides, sailing in the cold, making myself into a small ball in the bottom of an FJ…
So, logically, I packed up my drysuit and wool socks, hopped into the car for a 9-hour ride from Rhode Island to southern Maryland, and mentally prepared myself to crew in an FJ for a couple of races at our annual alumni regatta, Possum Bowl.
Patrick Rynne coaches sailing at Florida's Lauderdale YC.
Ask yourself these three simple questions. Your answers could lend a new, stress-free focus to your racing.
Everybody called him “Sully.” In retrospect, it wasn't a particularly creative nickname for a Massachusetts sailor, but with him it really fit. Sully raced J/24s at my local club, drank tons of beer, always laughed, and was the coolest sailor I knew. Nearly 20 years later, I can still picture how Floridays, the name on his boat's transom, stood out to me from my Optimist-level vantage point. But Sully's words, passed down to him from his father, struck me the most. I was about 10 years old, had just won one of my first regattas, and he yanked me aside.
Sjoerd-Jan Vanderhorst looks in the rearview mirror during the exciting conclusion to Race 2 at the 2011 George O'Connell Fall Bay Regatta. The blue boat in the background may already have run aground.
The George O'Connell Fall Bay Regatta lets racers stretch the sailing season in the Lake Erie Islands.
I don't like being places after everyone else has gone. It's that circus-has-left-town feeling, and it has always creeped me out. I recall an instance in the parking lot of Pennsylvania's Pymatuning YC following a Thistle fall series regatta a while back. Trophies had ended about 45 minutes before, and the other teams had all driven off, trailers slowly crunching gravel. My dad was taking forever refastening all the tie-downs I had secured, and I was leaning against the boat feeling this inexplicable loneliness.
Had Jim Carey's alter-ego Hank Evans, from the comedy Me, Myself & Irene, been onboard the Crack of Noon for the final race of the 2011 Summer Series, he might've done just this to hopefully restore some sense into the tactician.
Bad luck happens, and when it does, the key is keeping your cool and looking for a solution. But, we're all human.