The following is the February APS Chesapeake Racer Profile, a monthy hi-light in Spinsheet Magazine (written by Molly Winans):
Some sailors seem to have a more prominent give-back gene than others. A Hampton, VA native, David Taylor learned to sail at the Hampton YC (HYC) junior program and on his father’s Columbia 10.7 and J/24 (one of the first dozen made). He got back into sailing more seriously when he was home on breaks from his studies at Radford University. With a bunch of years under his belt racing locally and at out-of-town regattas on his J/24 MidMorning Buzz, a few years ago, he bought his Andrews 27 Wham Bam.
Taylor has raced and crewed on a variety of boats, ranging from the Hampton One Design he owns with his brother Steve to the Cal 39 Glory Days on which he was the watch captain twice for the Annapolis to Bermuda Race (2002,2004) and once on the Annapolis to Newport Race (2005). As skipper, he’s won his class (J/24) and taken second (Andrews 27) at Southern Bay Race Week (2006,2007),and as crew, he’s competed in numerous regattas on various boats including a Pearson 30, Hobie 33, J/105, J/24s, and Cal 39.
A member of HYC and the Cruising Club of Virginia (CCV), Taylor was the CCV treasurer for three years, its vice commodore for two years, the youngest commodore in the history of the club for two years, and now a member of the CCV board of directors for two years. He is also involved in CCV’s crew training program. “I don’t think I’ve held a job as long as I’ve been with the organization,” says Taylor.
“I’ve learned a whole lot about sailing by sitting on the other side of the desk. It’s been interesting to learn the organization and structure behind the scenes. You can actively strive for improvement and help to grow the sport. We’re lucky. Our membership in the Southern Bay has been pretty steady, but we still face the challenge to get new people into sailing.”
In an effort to match skippers with willing, available crew—for both racing and cruising—Taylor has volunteered to organize SpinSheet’s Southern Bay Crew Listing party April 3 at Marker 20 in downtown Hampton. We are very grateful for his planning and look forward to meeting more Southern Bay sailors. Look to the March issue of SpinSheet for details; sign up for our e-mail updates at the bottom of the home page at spinsheet.com
SpinSheet: Who are your mentors?
Ben Owens, John Blais, and Mike Nestor.
Who are your best sailing buddies?
Tom Dixon, Jay Matteson, Dave Ashcom, John Lenard, Tom Fitzsimmons, Tom Wood, Tim Fallaw, Steven Taylor (my brother),and John Taylor (my dad).
What special place on the Chesapeake reminds you why you want to live here?
Definitely the Lower Bay. My first job out of college had me traveling for three and a half years. When you leave it, you really do realize how nice this place is. I couldn’t live anywhere land-locked.
Can you relate a scary sailing experience?
During the second Bermuda trip, someone forgot to secure the bow hatch, and we took on water. Seeing the life raft bag floating around the cabin while screaming through the Gulf Stream, at night, upwind in 30 knots of wind, was disconcerting.
What sports team do you follow?
The Carolina Panthers.
Do you have a favorite watering hole?
A few of the bars in downtown Hampton: Marker 20, Goodfellas (for blues bands), Goodies, and the Tap House.
Do you have any non-sailing passions?
Not really. As soon as sailing season is over, I start planning next year’s sailing season. Oh and my girlfriend, Maria!
Do you have a routine on the day of a race?
Get down to the boat, get ready. Do a pre-drill for the crew about the race and ask, “What’s everyone doing today?” You never have 100 percent consistency in crew, so it’s good to talk it through.
Do you have advice for a young racing sailor?
Hop on as many different boats as you can. You really learn a lot from other boats. Keep an open mind. Once you quit learning, you get stuck. Keep learning. Also, don’t get caught up with the need to always be on the flashiest ride. Egos can kill the sport.
What gear do you depend upon?
Gill dinghy boots. When I am on someone else’s boat and get to do bow or sail dinghies, good dinghy boots are important for keeping your feet planted to allow you to pay attention to more important things.
Do you have a dream purchase when it comes to boat gear?
To build up my sail inventory—starting with a new light #1.
What boat would you buy if you won the lottery?
I’d stay in one-design boats in the 24- to 30-foot range. Maybe a traveling Melges 24/32 program. Who am I kidding? Bring on the TP 52!