The year 2023 seems to have flown by. I’ve had some great trips, keen racing, and a few really nice life events.
The highlight of my year by far was being inducted into the National Sailing Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony was held in November in Newport Beach, CA. Being inducted into the Hall of Fame is incredible, and the ceremony itself was also really special, with so many great sailors attending. To be selected by my peers for this award is truly amazing, and humbling. I am so grateful, and to all those that made it possible, from my parents who made sailing a central part of our lives, to the Virgin Islands that have the best sailing conditions in the world, and to my crew and friends that helped along the way. Thank you to everyone that made this life journey possible for me.
My racing this year was quite challenging. We made several major upgrades to the J Class TOPAZ that I’ve been campaigning for the past 5 years. With new sails, new crew, and some nice upgrades we were hopeful for some good results. Unfortunately our handicap was not kind to us this year and we did not place well against the other J’s. All the J’s are slightly different and we rely upon a handicapping system to try and equalize the boats, so that the best sailed boat wins. Sometimes these handicap systems are very accurate and fair, and sometimes they are not. But we had a great team, our owner is wonderful, and we put up a good fight.
Looking ahead to 2024, my first event will be the St. Barths Bucket in March. This is the biggest event of the year for Superyachts (100 ft + yachts) and all takes place on the idyllic little French island of St. Barths, which is what makes the whole show so special. I’ll be racing the 150ft Frers HYPERION and have some good friends also racing aboard with me, so it should be good fun.
A couple weeks later I’ll be racing in the BVI Spring Regatta on a friends boat from Puerto Rico. It might be a serious event for him, but for me it will mostly be about seeing all my old friends from the BVI again. After the 2017 Hurricanes and the Covid lock-downs, our inter-island friendships and racing have all been lacking. So I set my intention of racing there this year and seeing old friends and supporting their event. Really looking forward to it.
Here’s to wishing all of us a happy and healthy holiday season and a wonderful new year ahead.