Sailing

I can't really remember a time when I couldn't sail.  I started sailing Thistles with my parents as a baby on the Delaware River, and when I was around three we started chartering boats on the Chesapeake.  For much of my childhood we had a Choy Lee Rob Roy 35 named Virtue.  As you can see, she was beautiful, with lots of teak, but what a lot of work!  It seemed like the whole time we owned her our weekends were spent either working on the boat or sailing it. 

In high school most of my sailing was actually windsurfing.  I quickly got into short boards, which are very fast (and fun). Here is a picture of my last board.  I got it from Boardworks, a former custom shop in Annapolis.  It was a 9.5' board that could just float me.  It was made of carbon fiber, which at the time was still a pretty new material.

I moved back to Annapolis in 1999.  I ended up buying a Melges 24.  Here is a picture of the boat going downwind in the first regatta I sailed her in.  Unfortunately, the Melges fleet in Annapolis wasn’t the strongest, and owning a boat takes a lot time and money.   When my family grew, the boat didn’t make the cut.

I spent several years in Annapolis sailing on a J/29 called Rhumb Punch.  Here is a picture of us on the cover of Spinsheet, our local sailing magazine.  It’s from the last race of Key West 2003.  We went into the race with only .1 point separating us from Hustler, the first place boat. Whoever won the race would win the week-long series.  Because the wind was blowing 25+ knots, we were the only two boats that decided to compete.  After exchanging positions several times, we passed Hustler on the last beat in a heavy tacking duel to win the day, and the series, awesome!

Here is the crew from Key West 2004. We won second place that year sailing in one of the most difficult PHRF fleets.  We led the series for several days, but towards the end of the week the wind picked up and the larger boats in our fleet were able to move ahead.  That's why I prefer to sail one design:  your fate is in your own hands, not the weather’s!

Next year (spring of 2013) I’ll be starting a new adventure with a brand new J/70.  It’s a new fleet but already growing strongly here in Annapolis.  Can’t wait!