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Whats in the Sailing Bag: Middle Distance Racer | Expert Advice

Whats in the Sailing Bag: Middle Distance Racer feature image

It’s St. Mary’s College Governor’s Cup time again. One of the APS employees is packing up his sailing bag and headed out for a night of bounding down the Chesapeake. Customer Service rep, Matt was willing to give us a peak at the gear in his sailing bag to give people an idea of what he packs for a middle distance race.

For those that don’t know the Governor’s Cup is a  night race starting at 6pm just off Annapolis and finishing 70 miles later in the St. Mary’s River culminating in a half-awake bash on the campus of St. Mary’s College.

St. Mary's College Governor's Cup

Matt is an SMCM alum and bowman. He knows this race pretty well and has the packing for this one down pat. If you are getting ready for your next overnight or middle distance race this bag has the perfect balance you would need:

sailing bag packing list

1. Musto MPX Smock: The main reason I like the MPX smock is breathablity. Being on the foredeck or rain where waves can get to you makes having some waterproof layer needed to enjoy the ride. There isn’t a huge reprieve from the heat at night during summer months so having something that allows heat and moisture to escape is perfect.

2. Patagonia R1 Fleece Pullover: Lightweight, warm, and very stretchy. Provides a great freedom of motion and just the right about of protection from the chill of night sailing. It’s great for sailing because it has a snug fit so loose fabric won’t get in my way during maneuvers. It’s also moisture wicking.

3. Musto LPX Pants: Like the MPX Smock, breathablity is key, but with pants being as lightweight as possible is also huge. Being active on the deck builds up some body heat, the LPX does a great job of allowing the moisture and heat to transfer through the fabric. Hi-tech, Low-weight, and very chafe resistant.

4. Harken Squall Bag: First this is a very durable well constructed sailing bag, but even more important its waterproof and compact. It’s a pretty good party down at St. Mary’s and walking around in soaked clothes would put a damper on on things.

5. Ronstan Sticky Race Gloves: On watch there is plenty of long stretches of trimming. These gloves are very comfortable  made with special “sticky” Amara for maximum durability, minimum stretch and extra grip. They can reduce fatigue by minimizing the physical effort required to hold line.


6. Sperry SeaRacer Shoe: Longer races may require some boots, but inshore medium distance sailing shoes are just whats needed. The Sperry SeaRacer has great tread and stick combined with a very light frame. I feel like sailing shoes allow me to be more agile and step lighter on the deck. Check out our Blog review of the SeaRacer GripX3


7. 3M Rigging Tape: An essential. Quick fixes and covering up sharp edges. White is KEY to not leave black goo residue all over the rig and deck.


8. Atlas Gloves: Awesome for gripping halyards and sail material. Perfect for the foredeck gripping the kite and jumping the spinnaker halyard. They are my bowman gloves for sure.


9. Quick Dry Socks: Breathable sailing shoes provide great drainage and air flow but it will get chilly during the night. Quick Drying Socks gives you a layer for warmth and still allows draining and drying you want.


10. Blue Lizard Sunblock: For a night race? Put a cover on as the sun comes up and keep yourself from burning up before you hit the dock and when you zonk out at the part.


11. Kaenon Burnet Glasses: Prescription lens too. Sunset and Sunrise are always harsh. Who doesn’t go sailing without their sunglasses? Burnet’s have an great look and Kaenon makes some of the best lenses on the water.


12. Spinlock Mast Pro Harness Mark II: Other climbing harnesses are very minimalist and often do not provide the comfort padding on the leg straps. The Mast Pro has a sheath for your fid as well. Longer review of the Mast Pro Harness


13. Leatherman Skeletool: Ultra light at 5oz it has everything I need. If its in a pocket or sheath it does not have a weight down feeling and is easy to hold onto when having to do work that takes a little while.

Thanks Matt. Enjoy the Party!

St. Mary's College Governor's Cup party 

If you have questions about what gear you might need for future regattas don’t hesitate to call or email our customer service guys. They have done it all and know exactly what you’ll need.
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