Sailing & Fun Stuff

Fun and interesting information on sailing


2013 ICSA/APS Team Race National Championship

It’s that time of year again: College Nationals! As in many seasons past the 2013 ICSA Team Race National Championship is sponsored by APS.

For those new to team racing or college sailing in general, we have a great write up about the event and the skills needed to be a champion at Team Race Nationals
APS Team Race Decals

A big congratulations goes out to all the teams that qualified for this year’s edition of the event:

  • Georgetown
  • Brown
  • Boston College
  • Mary’s College
  • Rogers Williams
  • Navy
  • Hobart & William Smith
  • Yale
  • Hawaii
  • Stanford
  • College of Charleston
  • Washington
  • Texas A&M
  • Wisconsin

Racing begins on Saturday May 25th at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club in FL. All the updates including live video and commentary can be found here so don’t miss a moment of the action.

Ahead of this year’s event the team from Stanford asked Crugear to make up some excellent tech shirts.

To beat the Florida heat and sun protection they went with the long sleeve Crugear Transport Shirt. The Cardinal red logo pops well with the dye-sub process. Economical and looks great. For more info check out our Crugear homepage.

College sailing is an important part of the racing community and through our annual commitment to the ICSA and the sailors themselves we feel that APS helps foster growth and strength in the up and coming population. College sailors always enjoy a 15% discount here at APS.

Past your college days?  We also sponsor Regattas!  If you are interested in having your regatta sponsored by APS contact us with info about your event.

Women's UV Gill Shorts

Testing out Women’s UV Gill Shorts at Key West Race Week

What a week for racing! Conditions couldn’t have been better for my first Key West Race Week with temperatures in the mid-70s and winds around 15kts each day.

I spent my week aboard the GP42 Stray Dog in the competitive HPR class – although the results weren’t quite what we hoped, we still had some great racing… and some great team gear!

I was given the chance to check out the Women’s UV Tec Gill Shorts that were sporting our logo all week, and overall they are a great pair of shorts.  With not a whole lot out there on Women’s Sailing Shorts, here’s a chance to check out the full scoop.

Women's UV Gill Shorts

Women’s UV Gill Shorts, The Good

The Fit:

Finding a nice, well-fitting pair of women’s sailing shorts isn’t any easy task.  Name a description of clothing you don’t want to find… a pair of women sailing short has it.  But these were a nice surprise.  The waist fit just right – tight enough to stay put but loose enough to not restrict.  The length was exactly what I’m looking for, falling about an inch or two above the knee. They even had a bit of stretch to them that made them comfortable even when hiking.   No matter what activity I was doing, they worked.

The Look:

Women's UV Gill Shorts - belt loopsOverall they have a nice look. Certainly functional enough to take you to the tent party with a clean, simple design.  We had the silver gray color which worked, although the darker colors might have hid the dirt a bit better.  To add a little flair, Gill added contrasting
red stitches to the reinforcement points on the belt loops and made the inside of the shorts a different color making them a bit more stylish than similar shorts.

 The Feel:

The nylon fabric was soft against your skin, with a very lightweight feel that made them perfect for the warmer temperatures of Key West.  There was no additional fabric on the seat, which made them feel a lot lighter and more flexible than those with a reinforced seat (I have mixed thoughts about this point – see The Bad for more).  The fabric dried quickly and didn’t seem to hold moisture, always a plus in any sailing short.

The Features:

Women's UV Gill Shorts - pocketWith a minimalist design it had just enough features to make them practical without adding the bulk of pockets everywhere.   It had two standard pockets – nothing fancy but large enough that if you wanted to pack them full you could.

A zippered pocket on the lower thigh allowed for storage of items if you wanted to have them close by – a roll of tape and a knife certainly would have fit.  Complete with an easy to maneuver pull cord, it was easy, simple and a great addition.

Women’s UV Gill Shorts, The Bad

My one concern about the shorts themselves is that the soft nylon material wouldn’t hold up against tough non-skid over time.   There was no abrasion resistant seat – the whole short had the same fabric.  After a couple of days of use the seat seemed to fair pretty well but I’m not overly confident that it would continue to hold up with hard use.

The only other bad thing I can find is the actual sizing.  The shorts only go down to a woman’s 6.   They fit pretty true to size, which means anyone smaller is out of luck.

 Overall, Women’s UV Gill Shorts are a hit! 

The shorts are a great addition to my sailing kit.  Testing them out in the warm conditions of Key West definitely put them up against the situation they were designed to excel in – and they did just that.  A nice look, great feel and good fit has made them a definite favorite for me.  I think I’ll have to pick up the graphite pair before the season starts here in Annapolis.

Editor’s Note: Although this only a women’s shorts review, there were also many on the boat that tried out the Men’s UV Tec Shorts and were equally happy with theirs.  Fit and feel were also found to be great.  They come in a varied range of colors for the men or silver gray and graphite for the ladies.


Interview with Jennifer Chamberlin fresh off Olympic Trials

Jen Chamberlin gave us a few minutes to talk about her women’s match racing campaign in the Elliot 6m with with GETsailing. Two years of racing and preparation got them all the way to the US team finals in Weymouth, England.


What was your favorite event of the Campaign?
The final month of our campaign was a really good run, it consisted of two events and two weeks of training. We started off racing in Hyeres, the World Cup Event in France and training in Weymouth and then our Olympic Trials in Weymouth. It was breeze on for the entire month! It was cool to push the limits in the Elliott, this may of  included some swimming, sailing in a hail storm and a few extra days off because it was blowing 50+!! It had been hard to get a lot of big breeze practice and we got our share during this time. Our final month of the campaign we had our goal of where we wanted to be physically and mentally for the US Trials, I believe we meet those goals and put up a solid fight at the end, the results just didn’t quite go our way. 


What was the craziest moment during racing you had?

Olympic Trials in Weymouth this May, 2012, Race 1 on Day 2 against Sally… Long story short we spun 4 penalties, we got a 5th but it was offset and still won the race. (To break that down…We spun 4 penalties, a penalty takes about 15 seconds so we spent a minute of that race just doing penalties and were still able to come out ahead).
We got our 1st penalty in the pre-start. We were behind at the top mark and passed on the downwind but got another penalty for rule 17 close to the bottom starboard layline, (We then had 2 penalties, so we had to spin it immediately) we rounded the leeward mark a BL behind. We followed her into the top mark and passed her on her left and were able to gybe across, she got a penalty that offset our penalty.  She was to our left and we gybed for the RC, missing the anchor line by a hair! At this point we got another penalty for gybing too close. We spun it while missing the RC’s anchor line and then were given a double penalty at the finish. We managed to spin them and finish ahead. In these type of scenario’s there is a lot going on with boat handling and driving so it was a really nice team
effort to pull off a race like that! GETsailing

How do you enjoy the transition from college dinghy sailing to match racing

I’ve enjoyed it. There are quite a few similarities from Match Racing to College Sailing. Ex. the length of courses, the type of venues (shifty, mostly flat water and close to land), and you have to be able to race at any moment but also expect long breaks. At St . Mary’s we called this a lot of “hurry up and wait”  in reference to the regatta format. For example, we could be 1st start at 10am for 5 races in the morning, end by 2pm and but be ready to go at 6:30 pm for a crucial race for a spot in the next round could be a normal scenario. The format of college sailing can be very similar, a lot of waiting around but you have to be ready to perform when the time comes.

In terms of the type of boat- transition it has definitely been a learning experience. I really enjoyed the Elliott 6m it has a very thin keel, so learning how to sail the boat down-speed and in chop and waves took a lot of practice.


What gear would you not leave the dock without?

SUNSCREEN!, Visor, Tech Shirts, wet suit shorts or spandexshorts… I prefer grey lenses Kaenon’s, Atlas gloves, wet suit booties..

If we are sailing somewhere colder it’s a different story… it requires a lot more wet suit layers, thicker boots, warmer hats

Where can we find you now?
From the APS Storefront !

I am currently living in Newport, RI for a few months before I moving to San Francisco in the Fall. I am spending most of my time in Newport and my with my family in DC.

What do you like do when you are not sailing?

I enjoy traveling, photography, surfing, biking, cooking.

One thing you wish you would have known before starting the campaign:Gill Rolling Jumbo Bag Black

Invest in good water resistant gear bag, nothing is like leaving for Europe for a month and your bag explodes in the DC Metro 2 hours before your

flight! After “Fixing” that bag don’t continue to use it because my next trip to California at baggage claim it was duck taped together by the Airline..

Don’t ever slack on wearing Sunscreen, protect your skin!! Visit all doctors/dentist before leaving…flying home for an emergency Root Canal a week before your World Championship is no fun!

Gill Chalkboard

A visit with the Gill Sailing Gear Experts

Gill Chalkboard

Everyone at APS was up bright and early this Wednesday morning and ready for school as the guys from Gill stopped by to get us up to date on the very latest in Gill Sailing gear and

Our commitment to being the most knowledgeable source for sailing gear and hardware drove us to the makeshift classroom provided very graciously by the shipping department. Jerry Richards (Gill North America) was at the store with the updated Gill sailing gear line and some useful data about how to layer correctly and why it’s vital. Jerry  had a many new items on hand, but the one that peaked the interest of the whole APS crew was the Keel Boat collection (a.k.a. KB1).


The feel and flex of the material was one of the most interesting aspects of the range (KB1 Smock, KB1 Jacket, KB1 Salopettes) along with the highly optimized cut and stretch made for movement. Gill also moved the traditional stretch material from the shoulder straps to the back of the Trouser to help improve flexibility when in a bending or crouching stance.

Another trend we are seeing from the industry is less pockets: Why take away pockets? Gill and other companies have found that double layering breathable waterproof material will cause those areas to be less effective. Sloughing off a few pockets gives the material you just spent your hard earned dollars on a chance to do its job.


These changes don’t necessarily eliminate storage as they combine the typical hand-warmer pocket with the storage pockets giving them dual functionality.

Proper dress is key to having a successful day on the course. Energy is constantly wasted by your body trying to keep warm in between races.

Have a question about why your jacket isn’t warm enough or what type of pants you need for overnight racing? Give our customer service number a call or pop into the store front and talk to the most knowledgeable staff around.

class dismissed..


APS Welcomes New Faces to the Staff

Over the past couple months APS has hired on a bunch of fresh new faces. We like to use the reach of our Blog to introduce some of the great new people that have joined our staff.

Ben MacIntire

Hailing from just over the border in Lewes, DE, Ben MacIntire joins the team in the rigging department. Ben took sometime to open up to Stern Scoop about himself:

What’s your favorite boat to sail?

Queso or Guacamole?

What do you do when you’re not sailing or working at APS?

What weighs more, a pound of feathers or a pound of bricks?
Are they both on the same planet? Gravity can be fickle.

Have you ever eaten a crayon?
Not that I can remember.

What’s your most memorable experience sailing?
Any good thunderstorm at night.

What boat(s) are you sailing now?
5o5’s and Mobjack’s

Is there anyone you’d like to thank?
Yes, everyone over at my yacht club in Lewes, Sarah Lester, and Jeff Futcher, Thanks!

José Turcios

Working hard to keep our website up to date is José Turcios. José comes to APS with a blue water sailing background and a love for traveling. Next time you notice the fine, high quality detail of our product images and descriptions on the site…thank José.

What’s your most memorable experience sailing?
Hightailing it out of Surinam on a Saddler 34 with a self acknowledged, crotchety Englishman. Our mast may or may not have taken out a little village’s power. We double handed upwind for almost 5 days to get to Barbados. There were lots of rolling storms so it was a lot of work, but it felt great being out there. I learned a lot thanks to that old, solo circumnavigator.

Queso or Guacamole?

If you were a boat what kind of boat would you be? Why?
Either Meteor, a 170 foot aluminium gaff rigged schooner superyacht as built by Royal Huisman or the old Olympic Dragon…classy lines and legs
to boot.

What is your favorite regatta venue?
Isle of Wight for Cowes Week.

What’s your favorite brand of gear?

Do you have any hidden talents?
How to make millions and millions of Kuwaiti Dinars, but apparently it’s too well hidden.

Ryan Niland

An Annapolis area native Ryan Niland joins APS as the Web Content Editor. A former sailmaker and a recent graduate of St. Mary’s college, Ryan spends most of his off time working or sailing his J/24. Be sure to keep an eye out for some of Ryan’s work on our Facebook, Twitter, and here on our Blog.

When did you start sailing?
Age 8

What’s your most memorable experience sailing?
Winning the A0 class in the 2008 Gov. Cup with a boat full of college buddies.

What’s your favorite boat(s) to sail?
J/24, Taylor 40

Do you collect anything?
Hockey sweaters

What do you do when you’re not sailing or working at APS?
Right now…boat work.

If you could have chosen your own name what name would it be?

Look for more updates soon on our other new employees. And if you are interested in joining our staff always keep your eye on the employment page of our site.