Fall 2000: Buy a used boat; recruit regular Wednesday night crewmembers.
Winter 2001: Bring hull, deck, sails, and rigging to competitive standard.
Spring 2001: Launch in April, refine systems, tune and practice for first race May 2.
Summer 2001: Finish in top 10 on a regular basis and top 5 for the season.
September 2001: Finish top 10 at Nationals.
Buying a 30-foot Shields one-design and bringing it up to a competitive standard began with a casual comment from my college teammate Reed: "Hey, let's race next year on our own boat." Our motivation had nothing to do with undertaking a boat project--we wanted to play the game as well as we could in Newport's 30-boat Wednesday night fleet and to simultaneously rekindle our friendship.