Wednesday, September 23, 2020

J/Newsletter- September 23rd, 2020

sunset in ChileWith the passing of summer and the advent of fall, the autumnal equinox on the 22nd of September marks the seventh month of learning to live with the pandemic and, somehow, make the most of our collective lives in business, family, friends, and sailing.  It is somewhat astonishing to think how much our lives have changed because of one bloody "bug" just 50 nanometers in size. As usual, human ingenuity has an amazing ability to innovate, respond, and challenge the "status quo" of living with a pandemic.  As sailors, that has reflected in alternative ways to run regattas, offshore races, ensuring that everyone is fulfilling their obligations to government regulatory/ safety standards.  This past week there were several amazing examples.

For starters, a J/99 sailed its first double-handed race Down Under in Sydney Harbour, Australia and had an amazingly successful outing. 

Then, in the innovative sailing league program in Europe that was pioneered by Germany's Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga, over a half-dozen countries were able to conduct at least two or more events in the last few weeks to complete their pandemic-abbreviated sailing seasons.

The Scandinavian countries all had two or more events, ironically all on the Baltic Sea (despite the fact they all have 1,000s of lakes). The Swedish J/70 Sailing League sailed off Västerås, Sweden for 12 teams. The Danish J/70 Sailing League was sailed off Skovshoved, Denmark for 12 teams. The Finish J/70 Sailing League sailed off Helsinki, Finland for 12 teams.

Then, in central Europe, the Swiss J/70 Youth Cup was sailed at St Moritz, Switzerland for 12 youth teams on the picturesque Lake St Moritz high in the Swiss Alps. Finally, the German J/70 Sailing League had two events over two weeks- Berlin and Kiel, Germany- for 36 teams that were qualifiers leading up to their finale next week.

In the J/Community section, we have featured events on "women, diversity, equity, and inclusion" pioneered by Jennifer Harkness.
J/105 double handed off Annapolis
Annapolis YC Double-Handed Distance Race Announcement
(Annapolis, MD)- With thirty-eight entries confirmed in three classes, the Annapolis YC’s Double-Handed Distance on October 3rd & 4th is the largest double-handed overnight race of the 2020 USA season. Its popularity after last year’s debut is impressive, having doubled in size in only its second year.

Driving this popularity are the favorable early Fall sailing conditions on the Chesapeake and an accessible yet challenging format: an overnight race of 24 hours duration held on course options that vary from 95 to 100 miles in length.

The J/105 Class will have mandatory mixed-gender crews, while the other two classes will be raced using ORC ratings determined for boats varying in size and design diversity from a 21-foot Mini-Transat to Jim Demerest’s J/46 SODALIS III.

Each ORC entry has an ORC Double-Handed certificate, introduced this year to give not only more accurate ratings due to the smaller crew weight aboard, but the option of having a different sail inventory that is more suitable for shorthanded sailing as well. 

This versatility along with four scoring model options will give Annapolis YC PRO Dick Neville the opportunity to better tailor the race to the course and weather conditions for fair and transparent scoring. For more AYC Double-handed Distance Race sailing information
J/109 sailing offshore
NYYC Race Week Report

(Newport, RI)- The New York Yacht Club’s Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex was first run in 1998 and takes place this year from September 23 to 26 out of the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport. R.I. The biennial regatta, traditionally run at the apex of the summer sailing season, has established itself as one of the premier summer race weeks in the Northeast thanks to its attractive combination of great racing conditions off Newport and the superlative shoreside hospitality at the Club’s waterfront Clubhouse overlooking Newport Harbor. Partners for the 2020 edition of Race Week at Newport include presenting sponsor Rolex and regatta sponsors Hammetts Hotel and Helly Hansen.
After the first day of racing, the ORC 2 Class featured some of the closest racing of the day. Tom Sutton’s J/109 LEADING EDGE is living up to its name in the overall standings, two points ahead of their competitors. With three days of racing remaining, however, no lead is safe in this class where five of eight boats finished a race in the top 3 on Day 1.

Racing in Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex is taking place on Narragansett Bay and Rhode Island Sound through Saturday, September 26.  Sailing photo credits: ROLEX/Daniel Forster  For more NYYC Race Week sailing information
J/Gear women's sailing jacket
J/Gear September 20% OFF Special!

(Newport, RI)- The J/Ladies Gravity jacket is a rugged flexible shell that provides stylish design with endurance function. Marmot built with thermo and wind resistant characteristics. Perfect for competition on the bay.

Features and specifications include:
  • 88% nylon, 12% elastane
  • Windproof, water-resistant and breathable soft shell
  • Laser-drilled sleeve pocket
  • Adjustable velcro cuff
  • Zippered handwarmer pockets
  • Elastic drawcord hem
The J/Class logo of your choice is embroidered on the front. We can also customize with your detail. Perfect for the whole crew!  For more information and to buy now.
Sailing Calendar
Sep 24-27- J/Fest San Diego- San Diego, CA
Sep 24-27- Sevastopol J/70 International Cup- Sevastopol, Crimea
Oct 10-11- J/Fest Southwest- Lakewood, TX
Oct 17- Rolex Middle Sea Race- Gzira, Malta
Oct 24- Witches Brew Race- Charleston, SC
Nov. 1- Hot Rum Series I- San Diego, CA
Nov. 14- Around the Island Race- Hong Kong, China
Nov. 21- Hot Rum Series II- San Diego, CA
J/99 sailing fast off Sydney, Australia
J/99 JEDI Scores a Trifecta!

(Sydney Harbour, Australia)- Entering their first double-handed race, husband and wife team Ray and Sandra Entwistle on their new J/99 JEDI scored a stunning trifecta win on IRC, ORC and PHS competing with the fully crewed mixed fleet in the Short Offshore race. More amazingly, at 32.6′ the J/99 was the smallest boat in the fleet by some margin. The J/99 was placed in Division 2, the combined fleet comprised yachts up to 47ft.

The course was a 20-mile offshore race starting from the heads at Pittwater and beating NE up to a laid mark off the headland known as First Point (just south of Terrigal) and spinnaker return via a turning mark finishing near Mackerel Beach back in Pittwater. Both divisions started together (comprising 20 yachts) which made for an interesting start! It was a lumpy seaway with winds NNE varying from 8-15 knots but dying towards the finish.

Ray commented, “We knew we were in good shape when we rounded the top mark with some of the 40+ footers then stayed in touch with them downwind. The J/99 is so easy to sail, perfectly balanced, highly versatile and comfortable.  She was also very dry considering the lumpy seaway and simply carved her way through the swell.  The race was tactically challenging as we had to keep out of as much dirty air as possible with so many larger boats around us.  We popped the A2 for the return run, Sandra cross sheeted the kite sheets and enjoyed the ride home, gybing a couple of times to clear the Barrenjoey mark. As we neared the entrance to Pittwater, we gybed a bit early as we didn’t want to get tangled up with one of the 40-footers. So, unfortunately came a little too close to Barrenjoey headland and into less breeze. Fortunately, we made the most of every little puff to soak down to the finish, with a final gybe to cross the line.”

RPAYC also published the results for the combined Div 1 and 2 fleets – all the Div 1 boats were also fully crewed and included some very high profile race competition. In addition to winning Div 2, the double-handed J/99 finished 4th overall on ORC and IRC in the combined results and missed out by 3rd by only 13 seconds to the Farr 40, Farr45 and XP44.

We wish to thank Sailing Director Nick Elliot and his team at RPAYC for all their effort in promoting and encouraging shorthanded sailing and we hope this result goes some way to proving you can have an enormous amount of fast fun with the simplicity of just two crew.  

We dedicate this race to our dear friend Joe Millward (who passed recently) and his family who introduced me to sailing many years ago when I was a youngster.   Sailing photo credits- RPAYC
For more J/99 shorthanded offshore speedster sailing information
J/70 sailboats in Sweden
KSSS Repeats as Swedish Sailing League Champion

(Västerås, Sweden)- With consistent sailing of an experienced crew, the KSSS Team (Royal Swedish YC) managed to take home the Allsvenskan gold racing in their fleet of match J/70 one-design sailboats. A second place in the last regatta of the series in Västerås was enough for the Stockholmers to take their fifth gold in six years!

Sailing for KSSS this weekend was skipper Hedvig Liljegren and crew of Carl Leuckfeld, Fredrik Liljegren and Niklas Edler.

"This was the plan from our club- go to Västerås and, hopefully, take home the gold! It has been a fantastic weekend, with a great event and great conditions. We sailed consistently, but also made some unnecessary mistakes," said Niklas Edler. "But it is a bit sad that we missed the victory in Västerås. We had a golden opportunity before the final race. But, were locked in at the start by Ö-vik, who got off to a flying start. Although we should have recovered well, we were having a debate on our boat and made some bad decisions. Had we stayed cool; we could have won. But, Halmstad sailing club are good sailors, it was a really good team that won."

Taking the silver in the overall standings was GKSS team. They were leading the series before the weekend, but a poor showing in the finale dropped them to second. The most amazing, rocket-like rise in the standings was, not surprisingly, the winners in the Västerås finale- Halmstad SS. Prior to the finale they were 5th overall and managed only a 10th in the previous regatta in Örnsköldsvik. Their impressive win in the finale vaulted them to the bronze step on the podium! Rounding out the top five were Hjuvik SS in fourth place and the newcomer Ekoln SC from Uppsala in fifth position.

Sailing for the Halmstad SS team were the experienced Hellekant family; three of them! On board were Christoffer, Rebecca, and Anders Hellekant. Their fourth was a close family friend- Petter Norrgren. They were an impressive team; this weekend, they won half of their races, e.g. eight out of 16 total! Coincidentally, KSSS had the same result.  For more Swedish J/70 Sailing League information
KDY royal sailing club winners
KDY Sharks Repeat as Danish Sailing League Champions!

(Skovshoved, Denmark)- This past weekend, the Danish J/70 Sailing League shortened-season finale was sailed off Skovshoved with eighteen sailing clubs participating from across Denmark. The fleet was thrilled to have simply amazing weather all weekend long with great sailing on both Saturday and Sunday. In fact, sailing on Saturday was so good that the host Skovshoved Sailing Club regatta PRO managed to run nine complete flights and 27 total races! Apparently, the sailors were getting a little tired towards the end of the day at sunset!  

In the end, the winners of the finale and the overall season (just 2 events) were a familiar team standing atop of the podium- the winners were the Royal Danish Yacht Club's KDY Sharks. In the past, the KDY teams would participate as just all women or all men's teams. This last regatta was the first time they sailed as a combined crew, with 2 women and 2 men.  

Henrik Jensen, skipper from KDY, commented at the awards, "thank you for a good event, it's great to see how the young people storm forward, women as well, and today our mixed crew, that's the future for KDY sailing!"

In the end, the top five teams in the Danish J/70 Sailing League were Kongelig Dansk YC KDY SHARKS in first, Team Roskilde Sejklub second, Frederikshavn Sejklub SEAHAWKS Team third, Kjobenhavns Amateur Sejklub THE BOXES team in fourth, and Sonderborg YC CHIA PIRATES in fifth place.  Sailing photo credit: Frederik Sivertsen  For more Danish J/70 Sailing League information
J/70s sailing
Finnish J/70 Sailing League Report

(Helsinki, Finland)- The Finnish J/70 Sailing League, like all the others in Europe, also created an abbreviated series of events due to pandemic restrictions. In their case, they created a two-event qualifier in September over successive weekends, with the finale taking place in the first weekend of October. Recognizing that a lot of Finland is above the Arctic Circle, it's a good thing they've enjoyed remarkably great, warm weather within the rapidly diminishing daylight in the early fall! Nevertheless, the Finnish sailors were extremely enthusiastic to get a chance to get back out on the water in September.  

J/70s sailing off Finland
In the first regatta, hosted in Naantali, Finland, they managed to pull off a 17-race series for the dozen teams from across Finland. Winning that event was Alandska Segelsallskapet team, posting all podium finishes- winning 7 races along the way.  Second was the Esbo Segelforening Team with 36 points, also winning 7 races but having to include a few "send it down the mineshaft" finishes. Third was Nylandska Jaktklubben with 46 points. 

The second event took place at Kulosaari Brando. The fleet was blessed with remarkable conditions, 60s F, blowing 10-17 kts all weekend, and sunny! A rare thing for fall sailing in Finland! Winning that event was Nyländska Jaktklubben, followed by Brändö Seglare in second, and Åländska Segelsällskapet in third place. The top six, including Mariehamns Seglarförening, Wasa Segelförening and Turku Yacht Club have all qualified to sail the finale in October. 

J/70 women sailing Finland
"We had time to experience all possible weather during the weekend. We had good competition in sunny weather. We have to go to the finals quite humble, because there are tough Teams and the conditions in Mariehamn," reflected the winning skipper- Thomas Hallberg. Their team consisted of Hallberg, Juhana Rintala, Robert Nyberg and Christoffer Silén. The team has experience in both offshore and Olympic classes. 

J/70's sailing off Helsinki, Finland
The BS 2 team, that includes Ville Korhonen and Edvard Bremer, represent the younger, talented generation of sailors. In 2019, the duo won World Championship silver in the International 29ers Under 19 years of age!

"We are happy with our weekend sailing. It felt good to do well in the home club competition. We expect a tough race and cold weather from the finals," laughed both Korhonen and Bremer.  For more Finnish J/70 Sailing League information
Swiss J/70 sailing league winners
Regattaclub Oberhofen Top Swiss J/70 Youth Cup

(St Moritz, Switzerland)- The Swiss J/70 Sailing League usually hosts their J/70 Youth Cup in late summer. There is no question the 2020 edition of the Youth Cup clearly shows that Swiss youth teams are already sailing at a very high level. For many teams, the Cup was also an ideal platform to learn a lot for further development. The Swiss sailing clubs are strong supporters of their younger sailors in the J/70 sailing league. 

J/70s sailing Switzerland
The St. Moritz Sailing Club, in conjunction with the Swiss Sailing League Association, hosted this year’s event on Lake St Moritz, the northeastern most of a chain of three spectacular lakes in the Silvaplana Valley. The natural sailing arena of St. Moritz was a unique regatta area for the participants!

After three days of competition, it was pretty clear who the winners were of the EFG International Swiss Sailing League Youth Cup 2020: Regattaclub Oberhofen (RCO) with Nick Zeltner, Laurent Stadler, Cedric Schenk, Till Seger and Nilo Schärer.

J/70s sailing Switzerland
There were 30 races sailed on classic shifty puffy winds on a high mountain lake. Only the teams from the Zurich Sailing Club (ZSC) and Cercle de la Voile Vevey (CVVT) were able to provide good competition to the winning team with consistently good performances. The team from ZSC, with Alessandro Maisano at the helm, sailed very consistently, and was only two points behind the winning team. The CVVT delivered very consistent races with Sébastien Aubord skippering. 

The French-speaking teams from the CVVI (Cercle de la Voile de Villeneuve) and CNP (Club Nautique de Pully) have very young sailors with great potential! The young team from St. Moritz Sailing Club is also making progress and will be able to establish itself with appropriate support. For more Swiss J/70 Youth Cup sailing information
J/70s sailing off alster, germany
NRV Leading German J/70 Sailing League

(Berlin, Germany)- Over the past two weekends, the eighteen teams that are participating in the 2020 Deutscher Segel-Bundesliga have been fortunate enough to have great sailing over their three-day events.  The third event in the series was sailed on Berlin's Wansee Lake, while the fourth event was sailed off Kiel on the Baltic Sea. Two very different event sites (a tactical shifty, puffy lake versus an open bay with steadier breezes) produced two very different winners. Here are the reports below. 

J/70s sailing off Berlin, Germany
In the last race of the regatta, the VSaW (Verein Seglerhaus am Wansee) clinched a victory for the fifth time over the weekend and thus achieved the overall victory at the same time. "It's a great sense of achievement to show your performance in the area where you always train and to see that the work pays off," said VsaW skipper Popken. “We didn't look at the score and started the last race super relaxed - for me this is the best strategy not to get nervous and to keep a clear head.” 

The third event of the Deutsche Segel-Bundesliga sailing in a matched fleet of 12 J/70s day brought a few leaps in position in the season table. The ONE Kiel team, which started as leader of the table and favorite in the event, only finished 15th after winning the first two events of the year. As a result, they slipped down to third place and giving the overall lead to the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein Hamburg from. The Segel un Motorboot Club Überlingen holds its own in second place overall. 

J/70s sailing off Kiel, germany
The competition for the 2020 championship title in Kiel-Schilksee entered the final phase before the big season finale in Hamburg. For the second time this season, the 36 clubs from the 1st and 2nd league competed in front of Kiel. The Baltic sailing club, the Kiel sailing association and TSV Schilksee hosted the regatta.

The four-time German champions, the Norddeutsche Regatta Verein (NRV), made a spectacular comeback on the last match day in Berlin on the Wannsee and took the lead in the overall standings.

Anke Lukosch, Project Manager of the German J/70 Sailing League, gave an outlook on the thrilling duels on the Baltic Sea, “many clubs are currently very close together, so the pressure is high. Even small mistakes can mean valuable positions in the table. In Kiel, it will be decided who will lead the table and thus from pole position to the season finale."

In the end, winning the Kiel event was Munchner Yacht-Club from Munich, followed by the ONE Kiel Team resurrecting themselves after a disastrous Berlin event. Taking third was by far the most consistent team in the league, the Norddeutscher Regatta Verein (NRV). 

J/70 podium
As a result, the NRV team continued to solidify their lead in the overall standings, sitting with 15 pts at the top of the leaderboard. By virtue of their strong performance in Kiel, the early series leaders- ONE Kiel Team- have also solidified their position in second place.  There are two teams tied for third at 27 pts each after four events, Wassersport-Verein Hemelingen and Chiemsee Yacht Club. Just one point back in fifth place is Segel-und Motorboot Club Uberlingen. 

There will be plenty of fireworks in the finally taking place on Hamburg's Alster Lake in October with the championship trophy on the line. With just four points separating the two leaders, every race will count. And, behind them will be an all-out battle for the bronze step on the podium between three, if not, four teams (including Berliner YC).  For more German J/70 Sailing League information
What friends, alumni, and crew of J/Boats are doing worldwide

J/80 women sailing
* Diversity, equity, and inclusion in sailing

The September 2020 issue of 48° North Magazine, which serves the northwest corner of the USA, reports on a new event founded by Jennifer Harkness. Here she explains:

On August 3, US Sailing had Ayme Sinclair host a panel on their Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) program with Karen and Joey Harris, Lou Sandoval, and Captain Bill Pinkney. It was one of the best moderated panels on diversity I have seen in my 15 years of diversity exploration and work. US Sailing is doing some amazing and essential anti-racist work. In these uncertain times, we need to come together more than ever; and organizations creating missions like this lead us forward.

Karen Harris described diversity as the invitation to the dance, equity as making sure you can get to the dance, and inclusion as making sure you dance. 

Lou Sandoval offered statistics to support the necessity and opportunity of expanding DEI. Gen Z (currently ages 5-25) value inclusion and make up 27.3% of the population.

Women are 51% of the population and are obviously diverse in race and ethnicity. Sadly, 0.01% of sailing is diverse in ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation. Lou noted that the untapped potential boat buying market for black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and women is estimated at $3.9 trillion in the market today.

Each of these extremely skilled sailors and community leaders shared examples of blatant racial profiling. White sailors approached them assuming they worked in labor roles at the yacht clubs, they didn’t belong there at all, and even suggested they were trying to steal their own boats.

Similarly, I hear many stories of sexist bias and behavior toward women in sailing. All of these assumptions and behaviors provide examples of why many BIPOC, LGBTQ people, women and disabled folks either stay away or quit the sport. We need to do better, and we can.

They emphasized that to start, community leadership needs to name the issue and explore it. We need more internal diversity in organizations and leadership. It is critical to have mentors and leaders that look like the folks we would like to introduce into the sport. And, organizations need to create specific invitations for new audiences to participate. 

j/70 women's teams
* "Women at the Helm Regatta"

48 NORTH had a great article in their recent September 2020 online issue, contribution from Jennifer Harkness. 

"No matter how you slice it, if you're someone who had any plans this summer, chances are fairly good that the Coronavirus dashed them. I am certainly one of those people. Plan A for the summer was to stretch my sailing skills and build new ones on the Clipper Round the World Race (see 48° North September 2019 "The Sailing Unicorn" for that story). Well, crap. Plan B then became a spot-on team Repeat Offenders for the Race to Alaska, but ... yeah that one became another victim of the pandemic. With those two big races postponed or canceled, I had pretty much given up on doing any racing of significance this summer. 

So it was, until a regatta for all female skippers came back on the radar. I had seen the race on the SARC earlier in the year, but at the time it wasn't a race I could participate in since I was going to be racing across the Atlantic Ocean on a Clipper 70. Thanks to the courageous Jenn Harkness and the wonderful allies at the Sloop Tavern Yacht Club, the Women at The Helm regatta was all systems go (with appropriate safety precautions), virus be damned! 

Alright, a regatta for all female skippers in the middle of a pandemic— let's have some fun. Emre (John) Sezer, owner of J/80 RECKLESS and my dear friend and mentor, empowered me to helm his boat and build a crew, so build a crew I did! We had Kathy Harris, a new racer who continues to wow us with how quickly her skills are ramping up on the good ship Reckless. The ray of sunshine that is Stephanie Campbell came down from tropical Anacortes to kick butt trimming main, calling tactics, and coaching Kathy and I, (she had some great tips for Emre, too!). For the most part, Emre sat on the rail in his tutu (ha!) looking pretty and worked with Kathy on hoists and headsail trim while offering thoughts on course and tactics. With our epic crew assembled, this thing was really on. 

The week leading up to the race, I was a mix of nerves and excitement. Seeing the list of rad lady skippers and the boats who would be out, I knew there would be some serious competition. The nerves got a bit bigger when the class breaks got announced and I saw that the J/80 fleet was going to be combined with the J/105s? Yikes, those are some big boats and a very competitive fleet! I figured, "Ok, we'll have a fun race but won't likely end up with anything too impressive results-wise." Turns out, the universe had different plans. 

J/80 women skipper
The day of the race was full of nothing but good vibes on our J/80 RECKLESS. To make things even more fun, and because I could, I brought tutus for everyone on the team. I'm missing the weekly summer outlet I have for dressing in goofy outfits on sailboats. Duck Dodge, we miss you, but I know the committee is making the right choice by not holding the race. 

We got the boat ready and made our way out to the starting line. Skipper Cathy Van Antwerp looking strong at the helm of her J/111 VALKYRIE. 

Masked smiles and waves were shared across the course, and soon it was time to start. One such wave was to the boat my mom, Elly Cyr, was helming. It was really special that, for the first time, my mom and I were both helming boats for a race. Maybe in the future we'll race on the same boat, but we might have to sell tickets to that show! 

Nerves were firing on all cylinders, but thanks to Steph and John coaching me, we wriggled our way through the fleet and got into a clean spot. Approaching Meadow Point, the usual debate of how far to go to the beach ensued. Then, before we knew it, it was time to get ready for the spinnaker hoist. AHH! High stakes, helming for my first kite hoist in a real race. Can we pull this off? The crew did a great job and off we went. 

We continued to sail our race and ... whoa, the finish line is almost here. Wait, are we right by the J/105s? How much time do they owe us? OMG, we might have this one! Sure enough, we did win the first race and suddenly my mind went from "Ok, let's just have a clean day of racing," to "FULL SEND BABY!" 

We enjoyed between-race beers (thanks, Steph, for confirming that was the right call!) and lunch, and the rest of the day carried on fantastically. There were a couple of spicy moments with other boats that served as yet another indicator that this wasn't a play regatta, this was a real regatta with real stakes. 

The next race hilariously included the mark sequence NMEN which was called out by another woman on VHF... "Really? You're running a course called MEN at Women at the Helm?"

The committee claims it was an accident but, come on, that's too easy. The last race of the day was the longest race, sending us to the mark everyone loves to hate: Spring Beach. For this one, we figured the 105s would walk away from us and, sure enough, they did. When we finally determined that we did, in fact, have sight of the mark and weren't being fooled by a seagull or crab buoy; we prepared for our final hoist of the day and, again, it went beautifully.

Next stop, after a few lovely jibes, was the finish. Big whoops and hollers were heard when we crossed the line, then we realized the rest of the J/80 fleet was behind us, which led to more whoops and hollers. All of the J/80 skippers sailed their hearts out, I'm so proud to be part of such a wonderful fleet.

After we finished the last race, I was on Cloud 9. I couldn't believe it. Thanks to an amazing crew, I had successfully finished helming my first real regatta. We made our way back to the dock for some well-earned beers and snacks. A few other sailors joined us for what became a lovely socially-distant hang out on V-dock. I'd squirreled a bottle of Prosecco away in the dock box and I popped it on the bow, and promptly sprayed some of it around in victorious Grand Prix fashion. The day had just been too much fun.

We knew at that point that we had sailed well but were eagerly awaiting the news of how we had done on the rest of the fleet. Preliminary results were posted and ... wait, WHAT?! Some happy swear words (sailing words?) came out of my mouth when Reckless was listed at the top of the class results list. We sailed against all those talented ladies of the J/80 and J/105 fleets and we won?! 

I was speechless and, admittedly, teared up a little bit. The day had been an absolute dream, with everyone on the boat working really well; and to get rewarded for that with a "W" at the first regatta I helmed was unreal. To have something finally go so right during a year that seemed to be full of disappointment and heartbreak meant a lot. To have it happen on a beautiful day doing one of the things I love most in the world was the cherry on top of a funfetti cupcake with sprinkles. The euphoria provided a big contrast to the 
major episodes of depression that have rocked me (and many others) through this insane year. From long-awaited adventures postponed to the months that I wasn't able to sail at all due to the stay home order — my mental health plummeted.

I will never take sailing for granted again. It took some digging deep into the mental health toolkit, including leaning on friends and family when they had the bandwidth. I encourage everyone to please do what you need to for self-care and to care for those around you. 
I have nothing but big, big gratitude and love for the organizers of the Women at the Helm Regatta, included among them is fellow badass unicorn Jenn Harkness. 

Thank you Sloop Tavern Yacht Club for being willing to safely put on a regatta in the middle of a pandemic, the boat owners who gave their vessels over for the day, and last-but-not-least the amazing talent spread across the helms and crews on the race course. 

This event proved that women's sailing is not just some fluffy thing (even when tutus are involved and, even then, turns out that's a winning combo!), women can and do sail just as hard and well as any other gender. We are fortunate in the Pacific Northwest to have some amazing role models like Team Sail Like a Girl and many others. We also have a lot farther we can go to get equity in the sport. I look forward to many more awesome events that empower women to sail and hope that one day there is a true mix of genders and races spread across the race course. 

As for my next adventure? At this point who even knows. I am more motivated now to get off my unicorn tail and get more sailing certifications."  Thanks for this contribution to support women sailing from 48 North:

J/70 women sailors offshore
* Women Shopping for MORE Sailboats!  Great news!
According to Boat Trader, America’s largest online boating marketplace, there has been a tidal wave of women shopping for boats from coast-to-coast this summer.

Reports of banner-year boat sales have been making national headlines and Boat Trader’s latest data suggests the surge is partially due to women and mothers sequestered with kids, who have quickly directed their family and friends to the waterfront for some much-needed fun.

In fact, the overall number of women visiting Boat Trader has increased +75% YoY across all age groups (18 – 24 years (+198%), 25 – 34 years (+71%), 35 – 44 years (+37%), 45 – 54 years (+55%), 55 – 64 years (+65%) and 65-plus years (+126%)).

Historically, women have made up the largest niche market of boaters and filled a significant role in the decision-making process within their households, and their influence over the purchase of a boat only continues to evolve.

Spurred by the pandemic, more women are getting involved at an earlier stage – researching and browsing boat inventory online – making the shift in female participation stand out in these unprecedented times.

“At Boat Trader, we’re uniquely positioned to observe the market, and as we’ve watched this tremendous groundswell of boat sales happen, we sought to understand if a shift in consumer behavior was a secondary driver,” said Courtney Chalmers, Boats Group’s vice president of marketing.

“As interest in family-friendly and multipurpose boats continues to increase, there is a clear connection to the rise in female participation at the top of the funnel.”

Further evidence of this trend is the sustained traffic growth on Boat Trader by women beyond the peak of the boating season as travel plans and crowded events are still postponed. Given the fluctuating restrictions, unknown duration and lasting effects of the pandemic, women are embracing boating as a way for their families to safely connect with others and be active in the near-term.

And this participation is not fading after the initial research is done. Women are also showing a new level of engagement further down the funnel as they contact sellers for more information to evaluate boats for sale. In fact, leads submitted by women are up 341% over the same four-month period last year.

“This is a celebrated milestone for the boating industry, which, over the past decade has focused on increasing female participation,” said Chalmers. “As the gap between male and female participation in the boat-buying journey continues to narrow as more women lead the charge, the industry becomes better positioned for long-term health and closer to retiring the one-sided stereotype of boating.