Posts Tagged ‘chris museler’
Chris Museler gives us the scoop on his Archipelago Rally, the innovative and fun Newport-area race that feels like it just started a couple years ago.
This is the eighth year we have run the Archipelago Rally and it still holds as just the silliest coolest regatta of the year in Rhode Island. In brief, this is a “pick-up” regatta where people from 3-75 years old bring anything that floats with a sail and chase each other around some stellar piece of water in Rhode Island. Sailing is always followed by an no entry-fee all-volunteer BBQ, a local beer sponsor and friends playing music.
This year we are sailing on Quonochontaug Pond out of the RIDEM Fish and Wildlife launch ramp there. This is a crystal clear salt pond that has a barrier beach and narrow breachway separating it from the ocean. Like all our locations, we looked at it and said, “man I’d love to go for a cocktail sail on that pond.” And here we are! Jus a quick note about the event and this year, we expext more than 40 kids, most of whom sailed this event at some point as their first ever sailboat “race,” and for many this is the only sailing event they do each year. They all help their parents make a flag to fly and where else would you have a five-year-old sailing with his parents in a wooden Mirror dinghy against catamaran guru Steve Clark in a wood/carbon C-class Canoe? Enough said? If you’re up for a road trip, just show up and we’ll give you a start time. Rally on!
What? 2013 Archipelago Rally, an annual pursuit race (slowest boats start first under Portsmouth Yardstick Ratings, in hopes all finish at the same time), LeMans start off the beach, with a BBQ/Beach Party afterwards.
When? Saturday November 9, 2013, registration at 10 a.m., first starters 11:45 a.m.
Where? Quonochontaug Pond, Charlestown, RI. Start location and parking at RIDEM Launch Ramp end of West Beach Rd. off Rte. 1 (No Shelter, there will be a Porta Jon). Average depth of pond is 5 feet with 10-20 yards of knee deep water at beach launch.
Here’s a pic from last year on 100-Acre Cove in Barrington, the two brunettes are Avery (6) and Victoria Guck (Victoria is married to C-Class Catamaran sailor Lars Guck and is an All American sailor from Tufts) One Mills girl (Her father won the 505 worlds) and a Zani boy (his father is a Team Race champion and is currently moving onto a cruising cat and sailing it to the Caribbean from Gran Canaria to live aboard and homeschool the kids). This is a not-so-unusual mix of sailors and families at the rally.
November 8th, 2013 by admin
Clearly there is something wrong at the Pineapple Cup, with just 10 entrants filling this legendary race course for last week’s slide to Jamaica. Can it be saved? Should it? The wild success of the RORC Caribbean 600 (which starts today with a record fleet of 53 boats) argues that it can, provided the organizers put even the slightest amount of work into promoting their race – something they just didn’t bother with this time around. Meanwhile, Chris Museler is currently the world’s best sailing journalist, and we’re glad to have him as a daily reader and occasional contributor to our own site. Here’s the New York Times and Outside Magazine writer’s take on just what makes the Pineapple Cup so spectacular. Like video? Here’s one from Dragon’s trip.
Ocean racing is something I revisited in my life when I began freelancing in 2004/05 when I raced in the Rolex Transatlantic Race aboard an 84′ yawl from 1939. Since then I have been able to experience some amazing pieces of water around the Atlantic theater. Offshore courses were chosen for many different reasons over the decades but I would have to say that even though the location and timing is less convenient than most of the major races, the historic Pineapple Cup from Ft. Lauderdale to Montego Bay is by far the best stretch of water any sailor can race upon.
I was fortunate to sail in this race last week aboard Michael Hennessy’s Owen&Clarke Class40 Dragon. We sailed with five crew which is quite crowded for a doublehanded boat with water ballast. I won’t bore you with too many details, but first and foremost, the perfect analogy for this race is doing a never ending windsurf or kitesurf downwinder in the Gorge, or off the Molokai Channel or any other long stretch of perfect ocean you have seen from the plane: pure, perfect angle, at speed, with warm water and sunshine for as long as you feel like it.
The icing on the cake with this event is the ridiculous history you join when you participate for the first time. When the Southern Ocean Racing Conference was the king of coastal racing circuits in the 1970s and ’80s, this race became the stuff of legends. One fifth generation Jamaican told me, “A young man named Ted Turner laid on his back at the end of that dock right there, looked up at the stars and said, ‘One day we’ll be transmitting everything from up there,’” predicting an eventual communications and TV empire.
There’s more of course including the chapter of Jim Kilroy’s new book KIALOA US-1: Dare to Win about the battles between his maxi and Windward Passage when that class was the pinnacle of all yacht racing. The images of two giants rounding Guantanamo Bay with clouds of sail in the firing trade winds are what made dreams for generations of now top sailors.
Unfortunately the other winter events in the Caribbean are more than 1,000 miles upwind from Jamaica. And the rising popularity of the heavily marketed RORC 600 in Antigua and others in the Eastern Caribbean have made the Pineapple Cup fall off the radar, with 10 starters this year. If you are interested, however, in just simply sailing a perfect course in a significant part of the world (beam reach down the entire Bahamaian chain, round Cuba and slide through the Windward Passage the “right” way), than join the history of this race, it was truly the most special and enjoyable ocean race of my life. Even the small, ice-cold bottle of Red Stripe I was handed at the Montego Bay Yacht Club tasted like champagne, perfect!
February 18th, 2013 by admin