APS - Annapolis Performance Sailing

logo

Sailing Blog

Extreme Sailing Series – Boston

Extreme Sailing Series – Boston

The Fan Pier a.k.a. water-splashed heart of Boston  hosted the Extreme Sailing Series this weekend adding another piece of excitement to the Independence Day festivities. 11 teams completed 37 races. Quite the scene!  Over 5 days of racing, an estimated 55,000 spectators came out to take it all in. It was a successful US debut of the Extreme Sailing Series: the Emirates Team New Zealand took the win on the last leg of the final race.  American Terry Hutchinson and […]

The Fan Pier a.k.a. water-splashed heart of Boston  hosted the Extreme Sailing Series this weekend adding another piece of excitement to the Independence Day festivities.

11 teams completed 37 races. Quite the scene!  Over 5 days of racing, an estimated 55,000 spectators came out to take it all in.

It was a successful US debut of the Extreme Sailing Series: the Emirates Team New Zealand took the win on the last leg of the final race.  American Terry Hutchinson and his Artemis Racing Team had an 8 point lead going into the last race but couldn’t quite fight off the Emirates Team. Congratulations go out to all participants for sailing hard!

Our Boston friend Nick was on the scene. Check out his pics below:

Check out our Regatta Sponsorship page or our other post about Quantum Key West Race Week.
Honorary Skipper J80 Fun Race 2011

Honorary Skipper J80 Fun Race 2011

…Apparently we were not the only ones who were thankful for the Honorary Skipper J80 Fun Race.  A few thank you letters from the crew on-board Crush came in the mail this week.  Thank you for the illustrations! Last weekend, I volunteered with the J80 skippers and EYC members to host the 2nd Honorary Skipper J80 Fun Race, which has been set up to coincide with the Leukemia Cup to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission to “cure leukemia, lymphoma, […]

…Apparently we were not the only ones who were thankful for the Honorary Skipper J80 Fun Race.  A few thank you letters from the crew on-board Crush came in the mail this week.  Thank you for the illustrations!

Last weekend, I volunteered with the J80 skippers and EYC members to host the 2nd Honorary Skipper J80 Fun Race, which has been set up to coincide with the Leukemia Cup to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s mission to “cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s lymphoma and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.” Local J80s had the wonderful opportunity to take young leukemia patients out with their families for 6 short races on the Bay. The winds were light, perfect for teaching/learning how to sail.

Photo by Sara Proctor

I sailed with Jesse McKnight on Crush. It was our first time sailing in the event, and we had no idea what to expect. Our first stop in the morning was spent setting up the party tent for the Leukemia Cup racers who were further out in the Bay. Everything came together incredibly fast with all the support from EYC volunteers. The patients and their families showed up around 11:00 to meet with the skippers, chow down on burgers and dogs, and find their boats.

Jesse and I were assigned to a family with 3 children; Alec, Alyssa, and Aaron. (It took me a while to remember the names because they all started with A…go figure…you’d think it would have made it easier for me!) The kids were happy and laughing excited for the day. It goes to show how something new and exciting on a sunny day can take the spotlight away from some of life’s bigger, sadder dramas. Aaron, the middle child, was a former leukemia patient who, with the help of his brother Alec, was able to defeat leukemia completely. Alec was the only one in his family that had the perfect bone marrow match for Aaron. He donated his marrow at age 7. Their father told me that the bone marrow transfer is an incredibly painful process, especially for someone under the age of 10. There are heroes at every age. These kids were anything but weak as they pulled the lines and shared their joy with us. Jesse and I were grateful to have them onboard.
Photo by Sara Proctor

All three Aces took turns skippering the races. I’ll say they did a pretty good job considering we won the entire regatta! Wooh! Congratulations go out to the A-team! (‘A’ because of their names…not because of our boat’s victory. Everyone out on the water was a winner at the end of the day.)

The sun and heat were unbearable at times. Thankfully, we had plenty of liquids on board. At one point I was trimming the jib sheets and poking a hole in juice boxes at the same time. Had to stay hydrated!
At the end of the event, each child received a medal for racing with the 80s. I had a wonderful time getting to know Alec, Alyssa, and Aaron and teaching them how to sail. It’s a great event that was inspiring to all people involved. It felt good to give the patients the chance to be out in the elements learning new skills and making new friends. I’m already looking forward to the event next year.
APSprofileTHEN APS Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile – Kyle Gross & the APS Story

APS Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile – Kyle Gross & the APS Story

Here in Annapolis on our local radio station, WRNR, it’s advertised as “where the sailors shop.” Those who know it well have described it as a “candy store for sailors.” Far-flung sailors may think of it as a mail order or online catalogue for gear. Annapolis Performance Sailing (APS) has been one or all of those things in its 20 years in business. On a muggy June day, I parked my bike outside APS – in the Eastport section of […]

Here in Annapolis on our local radio station, WRNR, it’s advertised as “where the sailors shop.” Those who know it well have described it as a “candy store for sailors.” Far-flung sailors may think of it as a mail order or online catalogue for gear. Annapolis Performance Sailing (APS) has been one or all of those things in its 20 years in business.

On a muggy June day, I parked my bike outside APS – in the Eastport section of Annapolis, one block from the water – and stepped into the air conditioned store, where Mike Lindsley greeted me. I checked out some Patagonia board shorts as I waited to meet Cat Walton and Bryn Bachman, who are both tasked with pieces of the marketing puzzle. Walton walked me through the bustlings shipping area to the kitchen. I discovered that within my first few minutes at the store, I had already had contact with sailors of the E-Scow, Vanguard 15, J/22, J/80, J/122, Farr 40, and TP 52 – and those were only the ones I had spoken to of the dozen I had seen working.

A few minutes later, Kyle Gross came in and shared the story of how it all came to be. When he was a St. Mary’s College sailing team member working in the boat house in 1990, he says, “I saw how difficult it was to source parts. Especially dinghy parts that came from the U.K. There just weren’t any good retailers. That’s where the seed was sewn, and it just kind of rattled around in my head. As I saw graduation coming, I thought, ‘Hey, I’m giong to open the best dinghy shop and have all this hard-to-find stuff.'”

After college, Gross was finishing up his degree and working in Eastport at Black Dog Boat works with Bob Stein, who was a huge help by lending him power tools and his truck. In 1991, Gross got his start in a small storefront for which he built all the shelves, fixtures, and displays himself. For a couple of years, he was the only employee. APS now employs 30 sailors in peak season.

Spinsheet: When you first started your store, did you have a vision for what would come next?
I had a vision, but I didn’t have any money. Some stores just stocked items that flew off the shelves. I wanted the store to be a complete resouce. If you were to buy a particular cleat, you could also get the base, wedge for angling, fair leads, and all accessories, in all sizes. Some of it would collect dust on the sheves, but I wanted to make customers for life.

Name a trend you’ve seen sailing over the years.
The customers’ ability to participate in the sport has shrunk. Disposable time can be harder to find than disposable income. We have to be super efficient. We operate under the assumption that anyone ordering from us will be sailing the following weekend.

What would your advice be for a young person considering opening a sailing-related business?
On the record? [laughs] Love the lifestyle first. It’s the most compensation you’re going to get. It’s a lifestyle choice. It’s a passion choice.

We notice you have some job openings. What is the top benefit of working for APS?
The culture here is very team-oriented. Everybody looks out for each other. At the end of the day, when everyone is running to catch their boats, they’re not going in separate directions. They sail a lot together.

Do you have time to go sailing anymore?
I get out on the water a lot, whether it’s under power or sail, but I haven’t been doing a lot of competitive sailing. I just bought a Sunfish for my two daughters. That’s my priority.

What gear to you depend upon?
I love my Dubarry boots on a boat or in snow. Musto MPX GoreTex and padded sailing shorts.

How will you celebrate the 20th anniversary of APS?
With a backyard barbeque from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, July 10 at the APS Storefront (104 Severn Avenue) with food, drink, and extended store hours. A thank you to our regional patrons and all performance sailors visiting Annapolis. Stop by to join in our celebration. To learn more about the Anniversary Celebration, call Cat Walton at 800-729-9767, ext. 140 or email catw@apsltd.com.

Ponytail Payday!

Ponytail Payday!

This one goes out to the ladies…. Sometimes, customers send APS some love. Rarely, do they send gifts. A Lightning customer out there was happy with APS customer service and decided to send a box to prove it. What was inside? A million hair ties! Woo! This is the gift that keeps on giving. All the APS staffers are happy – the guys and gals with ponytails will not tape stray hairs up in your orders and the men at […]

This one goes out to the ladies….

Sometimes, customers send APS some love. Rarely, do they send gifts. A Lightning customer out there was happy with APS customer service and decided to send a box to prove it. What was inside? A million hair ties! Woo!

This is the gift that keeps on giving. All the APS staffers are happy – the guys and gals with ponytails will not tape stray hairs up in your orders and the men at the shop with wives and daughters at home gathered up a bunch for gifts. Thank you, Lightning Sailor, thank you.

Sneak Peek: 20th Anniversary T Design

Sneak Peek: 20th Anniversary T Design

Press Release: APS Celebrates 20 Years of Outfitting Performance Sailors

Press Release: APS Celebrates 20 Years of Outfitting Performance Sailors

FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE CONTACT: Catherine Walton Annapolis Performance Sailing (Phone) 800-729-9767 ex. 140 (Fax) 443-433-4024 APS Celebrates 20 Years of Outfitting Performance Sailors Annapolis, MD, June 13, 2011 – Annapolis Performance Sailing (APS) today announced it is celebrating 20 years of outfitting performance sailors. Best known for stocking sailing gear with your complete needs in mind, having knowledgeable customer service representatives on call, rigging anything you can think up, and developing Crugear, a top-of-the-line custom decoration shop, APS will mark […]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELASE
CONTACT:
Catherine Walton
Annapolis Performance Sailing
(Phone) 800-729-9767 ex. 140
(Fax) 443-433-4024

APS Celebrates 20 Years of Outfitting Performance Sailors

Annapolis, MD, June 13, 2011 – Annapolis Performance Sailing (APS) today announced it is celebrating 20 years of outfitting performance sailors. Best known for stocking sailing gear with your complete needs in mind, having knowledgeable customer service representatives on call, rigging anything you can think up, and developing Crugear, a top-of-the-line custom decoration shop, APS will mark its milestone anniversary with a back yard BBQ to be hosted Sunday, July 10th, 2011 at the APS Storefront (104 Severn Avenue, Annapolis, MD) from 12:00pm until 4:00pm.

Twenty years ago, Kyle Gross recognized a need for a one-stop shop where sailors could obtain everything they needed from foul weather gear to nearly impossible to find deck hardware. He opened the doors to Annapolis Performance Sailing in 1991 and in 1992, distributed the first APS mail order catalog. Slowly and steadily, APS grew from a one-man operation into a thriving international company run by a team of 30 racing sailors stocking over 10,000 sailing products. APS has revolutionized accessibility to boat parts and sailing accessories while building strong relationships with its patrons and vendors to support the sport of performance sailing.

“A sincere thank you goes out to our loyal patrons – without them, this anniversary would not be possible,” said APS President and Founder Kyle Gross. “For 20 years, our passionate staff has consistently demonstrated the drive to provide the best products and services available in the industry, and we, along with our vendors, have grown to better serve the sport. It is an honor to reflect on the success of the last 20 years and to strive for continued innovation in the next 20 years.”

The APS 20th Anniversary will be celebrated with food, drink, and extended store hours as a thank you to our regional patrons and all performance racers visiting Annapolis. Stop by to join in our celebration, meet and greet with current and Alumni APS Staff members, and to see for yourself how far we’ve come. Look for invitations to follow.

Annapolis Performance Sailing (APS) is the world leader in outfitting performance sailors. Located in Annapolis, MD, the self-proclaimed sailing capital of America, we are staffed exclusively by racing sailors and have been relied on by casual racers and the world’s top professionals and Olympians alike.

If you’d like more information about the APS 20th Anniversary Celebration BBQ, please contact Cat Walton at 800-729-9767, ex. 140 or email catw@apsltd.com.

APS in Lake Placid

APS in Lake Placid

Jarrett, one of our master riggers, was in Lake Placid over the weekend. (Yes, it’s Wednesday, and we’re still dreaming of the weekend…) Lo and Behold, he saw an APS race mark in the middle of the lake. Why? Because the lake is a summer-long training ground (water?) for IRONMAN Lake Placid! How cool is that?! Thanks for using our mark, Ironmen and women in training!

Jarrett, one of our master riggers, was in Lake Placid over the weekend. (Yes, it’s Wednesday, and we’re still dreaming of the weekend…) Lo and Behold, he saw an APS race mark in the middle of the lake. Why? Because the lake is a summer-long training ground (water?) for IRONMAN Lake Placid! How cool is that?! Thanks for using our mark, Ironmen and women in training!

Results APS/ICSA Team Race National Championships

Results APS/ICSA Team Race National Championships

It wasn’t all flip flops and sunburns over Memorial Day weekend. Fourteen schools were psyching themselves up for the APS/ICSA Team Race National Championships in the cold Pacific Northwest – The Gorge at Cascade Locks, Oregon. For the competitors, this weekend meant dry suits and sailing. The weather was anything but predictable, and teams were faced with strong currents, too much wind, too little wind – you know, everything that’s par for the course in a good regatta. The result: […]

It wasn’t all flip flops and sunburns over Memorial Day weekend.

Fourteen schools were psyching themselves up for the APS/ICSA Team Race National Championships in the cold Pacific Northwest – The Gorge at Cascade Locks, Oregon. For the competitors, this weekend meant dry suits and sailing. The weather was anything but predictable, and teams were faced with strong currents, too much wind, too little wind – you know, everything that’s par for the course in a good regatta. The result: Some darn good sailing!

In the end, there was a warm-your-heart victory for Roger Williams University as they take home the Walter C. Wood Memorial Trophy.

Congratulations are also in order for Boston College taking Second, College of Charleston taking Third, and Georgetown finishing Fourth. Nice work, sailors!

This is the first time Roger Williams has been on the scene at the APS/ICSA Team Race Nationals, and they gave a strong performance. In what were very challenging conditions, they kept their minds right. Going into the last race, they were tied with BC. Focus and good sailing led them to their first place finish. Big shout outs go to skippers Cy Thompson ‘11, Alec Anderson ‘13, Sean Bouchard ’12 with crews: Kelly Stannard ‘12, Sophie Bellacosa ‘13, Bianca Rom ’13, Tyler Wilson ’12, Cameron Pimentel ’13, Joshua Saltmarsh ’11, Haley Powell ’13 and Alyssa Seifert ’13.

Everyone’s back in the game already. Up next: ICSA Gill Co-ed National Championship.

Have some time to kill? Check out this Sailgroove video, a team race between RWU and Georgetown: