The following is part 1 of a five part series written by Rick Pryor, one of our crew members from the ARC Bahama, many thanks to Rick.
ARC Bahamas 2014 (Annapolis MD to Portsmouth VA to Marsh Harbor Bahamas)
Wednesday October 29 – Sunday November 9, 2014
Where do I start?! When I first saw that JWorld Annapolis announced they would be participating in the ARC Caribbean/Bahamas I thought…wow a race from Portsmouth Virginia to the Bahamas sounded cool, but I really didn’t give it serious consideration. My family had just enjoyed a wonderful BVI charter in July and I figured the timing wasn’t quite right for a selfish blue water bucket list adventure for myself. Over the next several weeks I continued to daydream about what it would be like to really sail non-stop for days on end on the deep blue sea, especially with a crew I knew very little about! By the way the ARC – Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is professionally coordinated by the World Cruising Club, they offer ARC’s all around the globe including a 26000 NM circumnavigation if you have some spare time! check them out at www.worldcruising.com
In preparing for the 2014 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race I came across this great article by Wally Cross of Quantum Sails. Wally is a veteran of both Mackinac races. Find the article here: Read Article
Here is a little history about the 90 year old race. The inaugural race course was 235 statute miles (378 km) up the Michigan shore line south of Bois Blanc. Originally it was started at the same time as the Chicago Race to Mackinac with the yachts crossing the finish line from two different directions. In 1935, the course was lengthened to 290 miles (470 km) and required participants to round Cove Island Buoy just south of Canada’s Georgian Bay. Fog created confusion and the longer course was abandoned as dangerous and slow in 1936. In 1940 the race rounded the Six Fathoms Shoal buoy for that year only. The following year the race went back to shore course but left Bois Blanc to port. In 1972 the 290-mile (470 km) Cove Island course was restored. Twenty years later, participating yachts were divided into two separate fleets, with one heading east to round Cove Island and the other following the original shore course. After the Canadian government’s decision to decommission the Cove Island buoy in 2000, the longer course was replaced with the Southampton Course in which sailors are directed towardSouthampton, Ontario and then to the finish line at Mackinac Island.
Almost nothing gets the staff of J World Annapolis more excited than acquiring new boats and getting to test them out. As you may have heard we have acquired the J 120, Euro Trash Girl. Though she has done the race many times, never with J World. The race offers some great competition, night sailing and legendary morning pool party.
Our student Justin and coach Dave enjoying great breeze and finally some sunshine! As most of you know, I think the springtime is the best sailing on the bay. Lace up you Sperry’s, grab a fleece and join us out on the water.
J/80 US Midwinters Report
(Key West, FL)- Top J/80 sailor Andrew Kerr has been going down to Key West as part of his annual pilgrimage south to escape the frozen Midwest. He provided a great report on how it all went down for the J/80 class in their recent Midwinters.
“This year’s Key West Race Week was also the venue for the J80 Midwinter Championships; it is hard to think of a better venue for a championship in January! Peter Craig and his team from Premiere Racing always make the event a World class event with top level race management on the water and great shore side activities after wards.
On the Sunday evening I participated as a member of the tactician’s panel representing division three (J80 class and PHRF 1 and 2 fleets) with Ed Baird as moderator, Ed does a great job keeping everyone engaged and the ideas and conversation flowing and as a result the interaction with the audience was highly effective with great insight and thoughts from the panel and questions from the audience. Read more
Three days before I leave for the warm waters of Florida and the Caribbean we get hit with a “polar votex”, really a vortex? So enquiring minds want to know why this happened. So here is the explanation, http://www.cnn.com/2014/01/06/showbiz/polar-vortex-explanation/ . By the way, it was 28 degrees south of Jacksonville this morning.
Welcome to the second installment of “What’s in my sea bag?” We are going to share with you what kind of things we would pack depending on what kind of trip and the location. Up next, Jahn Tihansky, as many of you know Jahn has a formidable sailing resume but this time around packing was a new experience. How do you pack for your first ocean crossing? So Jahn, What’s in the bag?
I am preparing to embark on a trans-Atlantic passage from Portimao on the south coast of Portugal to St. Maarten in the Caribbean via Tenerife in the Canary Islands. Read more
Whether you are a fair weather sailor or a die hard winter warrior, it is never too late to think about next season and how to maximize your sailing enjoyment.
With the arrival of the “frankenstorm” many sailors have pulled their boats, stripped their canvas and may have had their last sail of the season. Others, like the 16 J World Frostbite students will be suiting up to enjoy whatever mother nature can throw our way on any given Sunday. J World Annapolis wants to help sailors create plans or campaigns to enjoy their sailing more, and for winter bound racers and cruisers we offer some outstanding programs to help keep your sailing skills sharp.
Every January we head to Key West, Florida to compete in the annual Quantum Key West Race Week. We offer racers two unique and low stress ways to enjoy North America’s best winter racing event including racing yacht charters and coach supported racing programs.
For most teams the cost of hauling, prepping, storing their boat is an overwhelmingly daunting task that ultimately destroys the enjoyment of an already expensive away event like Key West Race Week. For others, the draw of One Design racing is fascinating, and for international teams, the logistics of getting your boat here is simply cost prohibitive. For those experienced teams that want to come to Key West Race Week, but want to focus on sailing and not their boat, we do offer J/80 charters. For our charter clients, we deliver a boat and sails that is prepared and ready to compete at the highest level. We invite our Key West Race Week charter clients to join us for two days of on the water practice prior to the event and we are on site to provide technical and coaching support throughout the week of racing.
J/80 Coached Programs
For individuals and teams that seek both the Key West Racing experience, but also the support and learning that an onboard coach can provide we offer our Key West Race Week Racing Program. Our two days of training and five days of racing have been compared to going to driving school and then racing in the Daytona 500. We believe deeply in the value of cross training and the understanding of the delicate choreography that is learned by rotating positions. So between each race, clients will move from position to position. In this program you hone your existing skills and develop new skills while racing against top competition! We provide you with a race ready J80, onboard coach and 2 days of pre-regatta training followed by 5 days of racing. Three participants will rotate through all positions onboard including helm, trim and bow. Truly a turn-key program, you simply show up with your deck shoes and sunscreen. We take care of the rest! Plan to arrive in the evening on Friday, January 18th in Key West. We train Saturday and Sunday. Racing begins Monday January 2oth, 2013. Regatta ends Friday January 25th.
Applicants must have prior racing experience including tiller steering and spinnaker work. Experience level is subject to review prior to acceptance of your application. Participants must be in excellent physical condition. Boat delivery, setup and dockage, regatta entry, J World Racing Team wear, daily lunch, and entry to regatta parties is included in the price. You will need to cover transportation, accommodations in Key West, meals and entertainment.
It is never too early to start planning your 2013 season. There are only a few spots still available for Key West Race Week. Deadline for registration is November 15, 2012 – so call to reserve your spot TODAY!