Sons of Anarchy
Our pal Jeremy Leonard from Santa Cruz’s Surf City Catamarans answered our call to deliver some On-The-Water Anarchy to the multihullers from the North American Champs of probably the hottest cat class in the world right now, the F-18. He grabbed Pete Melvin and his young son James (on the purple kite) for a few questions, currently in 3rd spot. You can check out Jeremy’s great shots from the event along with event reports from some of the racers in the thread.
JL: How is sailing with your son different from sailing with some of the pros that you have sailed with in the past?
PM: It’s been interesting, because when someone that’s been sailing for a long time hops on board, you expect them to know this, that and the other thing. With him, he hasn’t sailed a boat with a spinnaker before, you know, done much racing at all. I wasn’t really sure what to expect to be honest with you, but it actually makes you think about everything, back to the basics, to actually train someone to do this. I feel like I’ve relearned some things. We worked mostly on boat handling for the first 3 months, and now James is getting more familiar with the chess-game of sailing. It’s been fun.
PM: Yeah, but mostly we’ve rigged our boat so that, you know, he’s not as strong as some of the guys that I sail with, so we rig our boat a little bit differently, so I can do more things. The main thing is pulling the spin halyard up, so he’s gotten a lot better at that. At the house we actually rigged up this weight thing for him to practice. The first few times he was a little, you know, off balance, but he’s been practicing at home, and now he’s out sailing and now he can hoist just about as fast as anybody.
JL: Do you ever take the tiller James?
JM: Yea, when we’re sailing in.
JL: Think you’ll ever get a boat of your own?
JM: Most likely.
JL: You’re into it?
PM: He sailed the Sabots here for, what was it 4 years?
JL: Here at ABYC?
PM: Yeah, they have a great junior program here. Like, 10 years ago it was almost dead and this guy Brad has just taken the thing and it’s mushroomed into this amazing program. It’s fantastic. There’s a bunch of kids around his age that really want to, they see the F18s going out and they’re always begging to go. We need to organize some fun events, where all the guys with F18s get together and take them out with us.
JL: From a youth perspective, how could we as adults get more of you guys on F18s or other catamarans in general?
JM: Let them sail the boats! I know a lot of people that want to sail the bigger boats, they’re tired of Sabots like I was.
JL: Just let them get on board and take control.
JL: Do you think people your age know how to get on a catamaran, just general people at your school?
JM: Most of them don’t know anything about sailing.
JL: Do you ever see yourself competing against your dad on an A Class or F18?
JL: Thanks guys, always good to see you.