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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.

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:

 

APS Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile – Paul Parks

APS Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile – Paul Parks

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 sailing gear do you depend on?
Musto foul weather gear, Sperry STS 35 sailing shoes, and prescription Kaenon sunglasses.

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.

ICSA National Championships Are On! Starting today: APS/ICSA Team Race Nationals

ICSA National Championships Are On! Starting today: APS/ICSA Team Race Nationals

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.

intercollegiate sailing association 2Each 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.

intercollegiate sailing association team race
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.

aps intercollegiate sailing associationIt’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

2011 Vanguard 15 Mid Atlantic Championships

2011 Vanguard 15 Mid Atlantic Championships

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.

APS Sponsorship Vanguard 15 (V-15) Mid Atlantic Championships

 

Results:

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…

London Boat Show – Blog Post GOLD

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.

Henri Lloyd:

Musto:

Puma:

APS Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile – Keith Donald & Hope

APS Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile – Keith Donald & Hope

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 […]

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 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?
Finishing!

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.