The following is the June APS Chesapeake Racer Profile, a monthly hi-light in Spinsheet Magazine (written by Molly Winans): If you’re tempted to brag about your cutting edge race boat here on the Chesapeake, you might want to meet Paul Parks and hear about his boat to give you some perspective. Park’s SeaCart30 Sundog, a trailerable 30-foot carbon trimaran designed for inshore and offshore one-design racing, is intended to reach speeds up to 30 knots. At last month’s inaugural Annapolis […]
The following is the June APS Chesapeake Racer Profile, a monthly hi-light in Spinsheet Magazine (written by Molly Winans):
If you’re tempted to brag about your cutting edge race boat here on the Chesapeake, you might want to meet Paul Parks and hear about his boat to give you some perspective. Park’s SeaCart30 Sundog, a trailerable 30-foot carbon trimaran designed for inshore and offshore one-design racing, is intended to reach speeds up to 30 knots. At last month’s inaugural Annapolis YC Coast Guard Foundation Race, in which Sundog sailed the 120-mile course, the crew of five (including Park’s wife Kathy) saw 19 knots of boat speed as they ran up the Bay and finished first.
Raised in Cambridge, MD, Parks grew up sailing and racing on Hampton One Design (HOD) with his dad, a former Star sailor. Following his studies at Sailsbury University and a stint in the Army, he bought his own HOD and then, a Thistle “just to learn about spinnakers,” he says.
His first boat was a Sparkman and Stephens designed Tartan 10, in which he did quite a bit of daysailing and raced Wednesday nights on the West River as well as in overnight races such as the Down the Bay Race, Solomons Invitational, and Governor’s Cup. “One year, I kept a log and sailed 100 days,” he says.
It was during his J/35 years that he met his wife Kathleen at the West River SC. “We campaigned it hard for a few years. We got it before it was an active class in the mid-80’s. It was a lot of fun.” Then, the parks had a Tripp 33 they didn’t keep long, and next, a custom Farr 40. “It was quite a sailing machine,” he says. They raced her all over the Bay and in the Annapolis to Newport Race and Block Island Race Week. Next in Park’s go-fast mission came a Melges 24, a Melges 30, a Henderson 30, and a DynaFlyer 40, the prototype canting ballast twin foil sailboat. After sailing an Esse sport boat, Parks became interested in multihulls. Shortly after his retirement from the mortgage industry, at the end of 2010, he flew to Athens, Greece, to see SeaCart 30. She had him at hello.
In the new Sundog, Parks and his team’s goal was to compete in the atlantic, Pacific and Great Lakes. Their first event was the Fort Lauderdale to Key West Race in February, in which they were first in class and second in fleet. Next came the Border Run in April from Newport Beach to San Diego, CA. They were second in class and corrected to first. The goal of completing the trifecta will be accomplished if the crew is victorious at the Chicago YC Race to Mackinac in July.
When asked if one boat was a big leap from the other, Parks says, “I’ts not just about the boats. It was a natural progression. The science of racing had changed materials, construction, sails, instruments, navigation, keel shapes. There has been a real evolution, and it’s all improved. The one constant through all of the boats since the J/35 has been Kathleen. in fact, I was considering a daysailor, and she pushed me to SeaCart trimaran. She not only races in the boats but has often been important ground support.”
With one exception, all of Parks’s boats have been named Sundog, a term he found in a clipper ship’s log for a phantom or mock sun, which appears when ice crystals in the atmosphere create a prism. It seems an apt name for a racing machine that’s gone before you get a chance to get a good look. As for the current Sundog, Parks says, “it’s a spectacular boat for only 30 feet. We still have a lot to learn . It’s just fun to go sailing.”
Spinsheet: Who are your standard crew members these days?
Kathy Parks, Tim Mangus, Dave Bechtold, George Saunders, and Will van Cleef.
What is your favorite place on the Chesapeake?
The West River. I like to watch the sun go down and the moon go up there.
What books have you read recently that you would recommend?
Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin, The Race by Tim Zimmerman, and Call me Ted by Ted Turner.
What are your non-sailing passions?
Backpacking. We’ve been to Yosemite, North Cascades, Glacier, Yellowstone, Olympic, and Big Bend National Parks and the Brooks Range in Alaska.
What would be your advice to a young racing sailor?
Go sailing any chance you get as many different boats as you can. Each boat has different qualities, quirks, experiences and people. Go early and stay late to help. If you’re somebody who does that, there’s usually room for you.
The ICSA National Championships are on! Big congratulations go out to URI for winning the Sperry Top-Sider/ICSA Women’s National Championship! Connecticut College took second, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland finished third. Conditions have been challenging this year in the Columbia River Gorge with rain and light winds at the start of the regatta, but the wind has been building. Today marks the start of the APS/ICSA Team Race Nationals. APS Web Manager Katie C. gives a little background on […]
The ICSA National Championships are on! Big congratulations go out to URI for winning the Sperry Top-Sider/ICSA Women’s National Championship! Connecticut College took second, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland finished third.
Conditions have been challenging this year in the Columbia River Gorge with rain and light winds at the start of the regatta, but the wind has been building. Today marks the start of the APS/ICSA Team Race Nationals. APS Web Manager Katie C. gives a little background on the mechanics of the sport. Good luck today, racers!
P.S. These photos are from last year’s event. For this year, just think a little more gray, a little more mist, and mountains!)
Where you don’t need to be in first to win, team racing combines boat handling, tactics, and a modified set of the RRS to create high intensity, exciting racing. Team racing combines the team aspect that’s lost in every other kind of sailing. It’s a chance to work together with two other boats to out sail and outsmart the other team.
For those who are unfamiliar with team racing, it consists of two teams with three boats on either side. Scores are done by place; 1st place is 1 point, 2nd is 2 points, etc. In order to win, your team must have 10 points or less. As you sail throughout the course, you must always have in the back of your head your team’s combination. Winning combinations include; 1,2 anything, 1,3 anything, and 2,3,5.
Each team has their own style and plan on the course. Teams work together to finish in the right positions to win. For every leg, there is a different tactic you want to use, and depending on the team and competitors, changes for each. For instance, some teams chose to tail at the start, essentially mimicking every move of their opponent in an effort to drive them from the start line… and hopefully rattle them a bit before the start. While others decide to start in a more conservative fashion and split up on the line. One boat starts at the committee boat, one in the middle, and one at the pin in order to get on the line without covering their teammate.
No matter what your starting tactics are, once the gun goes off, it’s an all out battle. During any given leg, boats can cover others even to the point of luffing their jib to give the leeward boat bad wind, allowing a slower teammate to catch up and pass. Mark roundings are always a bit more interesting, and mark traps are set. If there is an opponent in between you and your teammate, the first boat can put themselves in a position close to the mark where the opposing team must sail to windward of them, the leeward boat takes them head to wind, allowing their teammate to pass both boats.
In team racing, it’s a necessity to know the rules. There’s no room for error when you’re trying to use them against the other team. In case you’ve never checked out Appendix D of your Racing Rules of Sailing, there’s a whole separate section dedicated to team racing. Here rules are modified or deleted to allow you to pull off these high tech maneuvers. These rule changes include: Ability to take an opponent head to wind when you are the leeward boat (as opposed to in fleet racing where you can’t take them above close hauled), rule 18.4 is deleted (inside boat must gybe at a mark to sail her proper course), a finished boat may not interfere with a racing boat, and finally the zone is changed back to two boat lengths.
It’s an exciting way to move around a race course. Working together with teammates, you learn their skills and weaknesses and able to balance those out among the group. Through different types of plays like in any sport, team racing offers fast paced, exciting racing. The Gorge is bound to throw some interesting conditions at the racers, where in addition to all of the team race strategies and tactics, there’s also ripping currents and typically strong breeze to compete with. Should be a fun few days of racing, and we hope you take a look at the coverage and see the top of collegiate sailing battle it out.
Check out our other post on The 2013 ICSA APS Team Race National Championship
APS sponsors over 200 regattas a year. Why do we do this? Because we’re all about sailing and want to show we care. Last weekend, Annapolis was host again to the V-15 Mid Atlantics. Here, the fleet president Nick Muzia gives us a recap of the event. Notice that APS’s very own Bryn Bachman (yes – make the connection, she is the artist credited with the APS storefront painting gracing the 2011 catalog cover!) made top 5 crewing with the […]
APS sponsors over 200 regattas a year. Why do we do this? Because we’re all about sailing and want to show we care. Last weekend, Annapolis was host again to the V-15 Mid Atlantics. Here, the fleet president Nick Muzia gives us a recap of the event. Notice that APS’s very own Bryn Bachman (yes – make the connection, she is the artist credited with the APS storefront painting gracing the 2011 catalog cover!) made top 5 crewing with the author of this blog entry…
2011 Vanguard 15 Mid Atlantic Championships are annually hosted by the Severn Sailing Association. This year brought warm weather and light breezes. Only 5 races were able to be completed in the 4-7kt SE breeze on Saturday, and despite promising forecasts for Sunday, the Chesapeake Bay let us know how unpredictable it can be. However, this did not stop the 15 boats from having a good competitive regatta. The regatta was won by Jack Field and Brooke Dow (pictured on the right) with a convincing 8 points in 5 races. The remainder of the fleet was left to fight for the Top 5 spots.
1 Jack Field/ Brooke Dow 1 3 1 1 2 8
2 Scott Gelo/ Jen Bickford 6 2 3 2 3 16
3 Madeline Gill/ Sarah Hamm 2 1 7 4 4 18
4 Nick Muzia/ Bryn Bachman 3 7 5 7 1 23
5 Rob Kotler/ Grant Beach 4 5 6 6 5 26
The local SSA fleet came out with strong participation and an apparent resurgence in the Vanguard 15 fleet here in Annapolis; 12 of the 15 boats were sailed by local fleet members. The Regatta included great food provided by Dark n’ Stormy’s, and everyone was welcomed by sunny mornings and jams playing from the V15 lot at SSA.
The 2011 Mid-Atlantics were sponsored by APS – Annapolis Performance Sailing, Sailing World Magazine, and Spinsheet’s Chesapeake Sailing. There was plenty of cool swag and gift cards to go around thanks to the amazing sponsors. Interested in Vanguard 15 sailing in Annapolis? Contact: Nick Muzia, V15@severnsailing.org
The Vanguard 15 fleet sails every Tuesday evening from 6pm until sundown. Racing is free, just bring a boat. For more information, hop on over to Sever Sailing Association Vanguard 15 page
Nick, thank you for the recap – and Congratulations on a successful event. Hopefully, participation will continue on the upswing for next year…
No parked cars? Don’t let the empty street fool you! Your favorite APS faces are still here working hard on this gorgeous Friday. We just took a different mode of transportation today for the Annapolis Bike to Work Day. Conditions were perfect! With sunny skies and temperatures in the low 60s, a record number of pre-registered bikers came out to support the cause. Today marks the 14th annual event to support biking in central Maryland. On the 3rd Friday in […]
Hello Readers! I want to let you know, we will be posting very smart and important stuff here in the near future. (Seriously, we have a video how-to for doing a continuous splice with Marlow Excel Control Line in queue.) That’s the disclaimer. What follows is pretty hilarious. I’m working through our blog trying to make our tags/labels more useful for everyone. Below, you’ll see one of my favorite old posts unearthed, The 2009 London Boat Show: Unintentional Comedy Gold. Do […]
Hello Readers! I want to let you know, we will be posting very smart and important stuff here in the near future. (Seriously, we have a video how-to for doing a continuous splice with Marlow Excel Control Line in queue.)
That’s the disclaimer. What follows is pretty hilarious. I’m working through our blog trying to make our tags/labels more useful for everyone. Below, you’ll see one of my favorite old posts unearthed, The 2009 London Boat Show: Unintentional Comedy Gold. Do they still do this!?! Gosh, I sure hope so.
P.S. By hilarious, I mean these foul weather gear fashion shows are wonderfully awful. I mean that in the best way possible.
With Rob working on our 2009 Catalog full-time, his role at the Stern Scoop has been scaled back a bit. In addition to pimping us out in certain places on the Internet, James and I rely on him to feed us any cool products or information that comes across his desk as the APS Marketing Director. This morning, before our weekly planning meeting, he tossed us some pictures from Gill’s booth at the 2009 London Boat Show.
The first pictures weren’t all that interesting. Sure, Gill’s booth looks pretty sweet, but that won’t pull in the readers to the blog. And yeah, the pics with the British military brass, where Gill is playing up their alliance with the British Services Transglobe Expedition, are nice but not groundbreaking.
(Note: The BSTE is actually kind of a cool idea; they are pitting the Royal Navy, Army and Royal Air Force against each other in a transglobal yacht race aboard Challenge 67’s. It’s supposed to be a big ol’ team building exercise that takes place over 13 legs of racing.)
Hope was not lost for a good blog post though — the last three pictures in the email from Rob were money. They were pictures of the Gill Fashion Show, which for some reason brought an immediate chuckle to me. Naturally, I flew to Google to find more.
At first, all I could find were pictures of Kelly Brook, some English model who was opening the London Boat Show. Yeah, she’s not bad looking, but she supposedly was engaged to Billy Zane at one point, so I immediately lost all respect for her.
Then we struck unintentional comedy gold — YouTube videos of the fashion shows from Gill, Henri Lloyd, Puma and Musto. We’re asking you to tell us who’s got the best/funniest show (vote via the poll on the right side of the screen) — be sure to let them all wash over you before making your choice. Take everything from the ladies’ unique base layering options under their bibs to the musical accompaniment into consideration. And we’re just guessing here, but it’s idiot commentary like this that keeps these kind of shows from occuring here in the States.
The following is the May APS Chesapeake Racer Profile, a monthly hi-light in Spinsheet Magazine (written by Molly Winans): When your grandfather wins the Newport to Bermuda Race in 1924 and your uncle skippers an America’s Cup boat in 1964, it’s pretty safe to say, as Keith Donald does, that he was plucked into a sailing family. As a kid, sailing Round Bay and out of Severn SA (SSA), as a student and instructor. “My sailing is pretty informal,” says […]
When your grandfather wins the Newport to Bermuda Race in 1924 and your uncle skippers an America’s Cup boat in 1964, it’s pretty safe to say, as Keith Donald does, that he was plucked into a sailing family. As a kid, sailing Round Bay and out of Severn SA (SSA), as a student and instructor. “My sailing is pretty informal,” says Donald. “For me, the top half of the fleet is winning. It’s for fun.”
Although he has competed in major big boat regattas, such as a few Annapolis to Newport and Fastnet Races in the 1960s and 1970s, he says, “I turned into a small boat sailor.” After many years as a Snipe sailor, about five years ago, he traveled to Springfield, IL, on a whim and bought a Star. “I was tired of capsizing in my Snipe. I thought, ‘give me a keel.’ I figured if I bought it, I’d be forced to like it.”
Today, in his workroom near Philadelphia, PA, he has two Snipes and two Stars, one wooden and one fiberglass version of each, and has restored the wooden boats himself. He discovered his latest project, the Star Hope, after learning about her existence at the Star Class North Americans in Vancouver, Canada. The boat was not for sale, but the owner was open to the right caregiver coming along.
Other than Skip and Mary Etchells owning her in the early 1960s, Hope’s history is unclear. Donald believes she may have spent 30 years under a porch in New Hampshire. Although she was under a tarp in snow when he first saw her, “structurally, she was sound,” he says.
With the Star Class 100th Anniversary Regatta in Larchmont, NY, in September in mind as a target date, three and a half years and about 400 hours later, he had completed stripping the varnish of Hope, replacing all hardware, and varnishing her. “After I launched, I stopped counting the days and money,” he says with a smile. “It’s probably two days of work for one day sailed, but that’s getting better. I’m almost at the point where I am sailing more.”
Spinsheet: What’s to love about the Star?
The tradition of the class. I am very much a newcomer to the class, but I like that you can sail at every level from the Bacardi Cup to the fleet level, which is more in my comfort zone. It’s a challenge. I thought of the Star as a light air boat, but it can be great when it’s windy!
What does it take to be an ideal Star crew?
Crews are more important than skippers. A good crew will make it or break it. It’s very physical, so youth helps. It’s important to get the skipper-crew coordination down. If you don’t practice strategy and working together as a team,. it’s tough.
What’s your favorite regatta of the year?
The Tred Avon YC Fall Wind Up in early October. The weather is ideal, and we have the whole Choptank to ourselves. They do a nice job catering to the Stars.
What’s the best part about fixing up an old boat?
What part of it do you dislike?
I went through phases when I would ask, “Why am I doing this? Will I ever get done?” Of course, I was halfway through and too committed to give up.
Were there any surprises along the way?
After I launched, how far I was from having a boat that was problem-free. It was a whole summer. Even after the Bacardi Cup in March; I was still sawing, filing and drilling.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
We’re working on a loaner boat program. I’d be willing to donate my fiberglass Star to the fleet, but I don’t have the trailer for it.
Sailors from all over are making a difference by preserving our favorite resource, water. One small but significant step to reducing the sailing footprint started at the college level. Since most plastic bottles are only used once and thrown away, the ICSA ( Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association ) has implemented an initiative to curb the 25,000+ plastic bottles that are used each season for ISCA regattas. The main reason they have implemented the use is to reduce plastic waste from the […]
Sailors from all over are making a difference by preserving our favorite resource, water.
One small but significant step to reducing the sailing footprint started at the college level. Since most plastic bottles are only used once and thrown away, the ICSA ( Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association ) has implemented an initiative to curb the 25,000+ plastic bottles that are used each season for ISCA regattas. The main reason they have implemented the use is to reduce plastic waste from the landfills, oceans, and the environment in general. Another reason is cost, the cost of single-use plastic bottles of water is up to 10,000 times the cost of tap water. Most University sailing teams are in a constant battle for funding and any money saved makes a huge difference. In addition, bottled water does not undergo the same quality testing that tap water does, making tap water safer to drink.
The ICSA’s environmental initiative now requires regatta hosts to provide clean water sources to refill reusable water bottles. Kleen Kanteen along with Sailors for the Sea are helping sailors comply by the new rules by providing brandable, stainless steel bottles at discounted rates. More about the Kleen Kanteen’s: http://www.kleankanteen.com/news/pr_collegesailing.php
Last year on March 20th a 60-foot catamaran called, Plastiki set sail from San Fransisco headed to Australia. The catamaran was not your average sailing vessel. Plastiki was made primarily out of 12,500 recycled plastic bottles. The same amount that is thrown away every 8.3 seconds. The mission of Plastiki was to show the world the magnitude of plastic waste and to raise awareness about recycling and being more resourceful with waste. The Plastiki project took 4 years to complete before the crew was able to set sail. Many were skeptical about the mission across the Pacific on floating plastic bottles but on July 26th the weary crew arrived in Australia putting all the speculations to rest.
Discover more about the Plastiki’s route here: http://bit.ly/waterbottleplastic
The APS team made it safely home to Annapolis early Monday morning. We had a full weekend with some unexpected events. The following is a regatta report and photos from the team… Charleston was a busy place this weekend, with 270 boats and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War all happening this past weekend. The venue was quite impressive. Sitting in the shadows of the USS Yorktown, complete with a nice hotel, large marina and sandy beaches the Charleston […]
Charleston was a busy place this weekend, with 270 boats and the 150th anniversary of the Civil War all happening this past weekend. The venue was quite impressive. Sitting in the shadows of the USS Yorktown, complete with a nice hotel, large marina and sandy beaches the Charleston Harbor and Marina sits on the riverside of Mt. Pleasant, just over the bridge from downtown. With live bands and tiki bars greeting you as you came in, there’s not much more you could ask for after a long day of sailing.
My first visit to Charleston for this year’s race week was one that will keep me coming back. The harbor was lovely and full of pelicans, fish and even some dolphins. Race Committee was efficient, well run and showed a good helping of the not so common-common sense. Racing had everything that people could ask for.
The competition was intense but instantly relaxed on shore as the South Carolina easygoing nature was contagious among all of the competitors, (possibly aided by the freely flowing rum swizzles). The food at the party was all good with the exception of the evil Mahi at Friday’s dinner.
My favorite part of the regatta however may have been the weather induced lay day. Often times with regattas we go all of these great places but never get to really see the towns that we are sailing in. The lay day allowed the competitors to do things like see the city of Charleston and tour the famous WWII carrier Yorktown.
We took advantage of the day to visit the Saturday farmers market at King and Calhoun streets and enjoyed some local flavor including shrimp and grits, local unpasteurized whole milk, fresh veggies and local favorite pickled okra. We also took in some rays on the nearby postcard beaches on Isle of Palms.
|Photo by Shannon Hibberd|
The wind gods were a little too generous at this years Race Week. Saturday’s races were called off due to a large storm system that swept across the entire East coast scattering grapefruit sized hail and tornadoes about. Luckily for Charleston, we only received the 30+ knots of breeze and no rain or apparent tornadoes.
It would have been an awesome day for sailing but many were convinced rigs would fall and boats would inevitably break down. Less carnage is a good thing.
Being stuck in Charleston was no problem for a lot of the sailors. Most of the crew aimlessly wandered downtown and found ourselves at a roof top bar watching the wind rip through the streams.
Friday proved to be the best day for racing. The inshore courses had plenty of strong breeze that picked up as the day went on. The current ripped boats down the river. Getting off the docks in the morning was more challenging than expected. The J/80s shared a course with Vipers and Ultimate 20’s. We had several wipe outs on our course, but it felt good to be waterborn downwind. Glad I packed my new Musto spray top.
Sunday was a floater thanks to the stormy conditions on Saturday that cleared out any hope of breeze. Only 7 of the 25 boats finished in my fleet. The current to wind ratio was so awful that some boats were being pushed away from the finish line and others had to tack 20+ times to get around the windward mark!
Onshore, familiar and unfamiliar faces filled the crowds. It was a lot of fun seeing friends from college and beyond, as well as many from Annapolis, with around 20 boats from local clubs in attendance. We even had a flyover too, check out the picture to the right…
By Friday night, the winds were already up, as were rumors of some bad weather rolling in. By early on Saturday morning winds were already in the 25 – 30 range, so races were cancelled. We got to enjoy a day off, with the thunderstorms missing Charleston, it was a nice day. Sunday handed us light, shifty breeze. We were able to complete 2 races, in steadily increasing winds. It was a great weekend of sailing and a nice way to start off the spring sailing season.