Skiff sailing is a staple of the dinghy racing scene in Europe and Australia. Yet in the United States, most sailors think these exciting sailboats are fun to watch, but too challenging to try. Perhaps its because they identify skiff sailing with Australian 18s or the Olympic 49er, a boat that, according to class veterans, requires at least 100 capsizes to achieve a basic understanding of how it sails. A couple of slightly de-tuned skiffs have recently pushed into the U.S. market: the 29er, Sailing Worlds 1999 Overall Boat of the Year, and the Vanguard Vector, a 2001 BOTY winner. Each represents an intermediate step between traditional dinghies and the pinnacle of the skiff class: fast and fun, but manageable. To find out what its like to sail one of these boats, Sailing World tasked Peter Beardsley and Francis Shiman-Hackett, two 20-something crash test dummies, with learning to sail the recently launched Vector and documenting their experience. After a summer of training, they tested their skills at the classs inaugural North American Championships. This is their report.