Total Testosterone

Grunts.  Growls.  Groans.  Chest beating.  Fishing.  Limited showers.  Just add hot water cooking.  It's was guy time on Field Trip during the Atlantic Cup from Tortola, BVI to Bermuda - and it was a good time!

I was fortunate to have a great crew for our trip.  All boys, playing with toys.  It was a blast.  Bryan Suthard was my long time business partner and colleague for the past 15+ years.  Carlos Diaz was invaluable crew from Buenos Aires to Brazil - and wanted to sail some more.  Eric Maynard, another Antares owner, self professed techie and gourmet cook on land (grin) joined for the trip.  All of us in our mid 40's and ready to rumble (or tumble).

Crew striking a pose
We were obsessive compulsive on sail trim, ballast (yes, we actually filled water on one side of boat to 'help us point'), and overall strategy aboard Field Trip.  Sure, it wasn't a 'formal' race.  But competition of any sort is always fun, and we embraced this opportunity with zeal.

Our sister boat - Escapade - made it even more fun.  Our boats were identical with two exceptions:
  • Field Trip has a full, slab reefed mainsail vs. in mast furling main (more info here)
  • Field Trip weighed about 400 - 800 lbs more than Escapade (based on waterline)
Bryan - Organic tackle expert
Admittedly, Field Trip had the advantage on speed.  Jokingly, Neil asked for a handicap on his boat given our mainsail differences (@ 20% more mainsail on Field Trip).  My counter argument is we are heavier (grin).

Within the first day, the crew melted together well as a team.  General roles were:
  • Bryan Suthard - Organic fishing tackle expert, fish zapper, & fish gore cleaner upper
  • Carlos Diaz - Overall sailing strategist,  technical sailing expert, & outside settee napper
  • Eric Maynard - Gourmet ceviche chef, over the lifeline fish chummer, & mainsail trimming maniac
  • Myself - Facebook updater, napper, & calm, cool and collected skipper (grin)
Overall we had light winds the first part of the trip, and good winds the last half.  Our strategy to win was to simply sail.  It was very tempting to use engine hours when the winds died - but in most cases we didn't.

Eric (left) and Carlos prepare Ceviche & Avocado dip
Me with tuna
The biggest obstacle we had to overcome is our handicap of 1.252.  The handicap is multiplied to the finishing time.  Effectively, Escapade and Field Trip were handicapped at 25%+ faster than all the other boats in the race.  Not reality in a 'wind on the nose', 'light wind' race.  So, our only hope was the use less engine hours than all the other boats, as the engine penalty is (Total engine hours * 1.5) - added to the overall hours.  A steep penalty.

As a general rule, if we were sailing less than 3kts, we used engines.  Otherwise, we enjoyed a peaceful sail on calm waters...and played with our video and photography toys.

So, now for the overall results (link here):
  • 1st place in multi-hull division
  • 3rd lowest engine hours of entire fleet
  • 3rd yacht to cross the finish line
  • Awarded best photography during trip
Congrats to the crew for a great job!

Atlantic Cup Crew (and Elizabeth and Michael)

One of our goals of the trip was to create a mini documentary of our trip.  I literally have over a hundred clips and pictures from our journey.  The first Episode of our video is now available below.   

Episode 2 will be available when we arrive in Newport, RI next week.


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