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the name of the game

webb chiles

We doubt there has been a more impressive US single-handed sailor over the last 30 years than Webb Chiles. Here’s the proof.

“I’m at the Waikiki YC in Honolulu about to sail for Apia, Samoa next Tuesday.

My Moore 24 GANNET made Hilo in 17 days from San Diego, which was as I expected: but we would have made it a day or two earlier if my asymmetrical had not been damaged the first week out. We sailed the rest with only fully battened main and 110% furling jib, and made more than a thousand miles the second week.

I’ve never sailed a boat with quicker acceleration. A gust of wind or lining up on a wave, and the readings on the Velocitek went instantly from 6s and 7s to 9s and 10s. The maximum I saw was 12.4, and that was under reduced sail.

I’ve had the asymmetrical repaired here in Honolulu and had running backstays installed to reduce mast pumping when I sail with headsails alone, although the semi-custom mast Buzz Ballenger made for GANNET did not pump on the way across.

A few days ago I went to a West Marine. The very pretty girl at the cash register glanced down at the debit card receipt I signed, looked up and gave me a great smile. “I know you from the magazines. You’re the hard cord dude.”

I’m 72 years old. Great girl calls me “the hard core dude.”

Hell, I’ve won the game.” – Webb.

Title inspiration thanks to The Crystal Method.