Mer and I are off to Fort Lauderdale (for about the sixth time this winter) to sail the 400 mile Lauderdale-Charleston Race with the Merchant Marine Academy’s new (to them) STP-65 “Vanquish” (ex-Moneypenny). The boat’s only a year old, this iteration of the race is brand new (though it was run for years until the 60s), and most of the crew ain’t much older than either.
Given our reputation for being a corrupting influence, we’ll be on our best behavior, though I’m sure we have a thing or two to learn ourselves from some of the Mids. These kids are some of the luckiest in the world – they get to race some of the porn-est raceboats there are in some of the world’s great events – and this week, they get to see Mer racing in those short shorts…I wish I’d have known about the MMA when I was applying to schools. If you don’t know about the USMMA’s sailing program, have a look at their excellent blog here – it tells quite the story of the Mids exploits around the world, and gives their schedule of events this year. You might also check out the interview we did with boat donation program director and former AC sailor Ralfie Steitz during On-The-Water Anarchy at this year’s Key West Race Week.
The Lauderdale-Charleston is using a new tracking system that we hear is pretty pimp, and we’ll be sending in video and text from the water whenever we can get a signal for those of you who’ve wondered what it’s like to sail one of these monsters. Check out the front page on Tuesday for some practice action as well.