April 2018 Update

An update before I get really busy racing again.  This is the first chapter of my new campaign of basing myself in Europe on my new Outremer 45 catamaran for the entire summer racing season, and it has been great.  I chose Mahon, Menorca in the Balearic Islands as my starting point based on the nice impressions from racing here on two previous occasions.  And it has proven to be everything and more than I hoped it would be.  It’s small and quiet which suits me, plus it’s beautiful, friendly, and is perfect for mountain biking and hiking.  So I’m super happy with it and will make it my base for this first year onboard.

I found a great marina here that will allow me to travel to my events and know that my boat is safe and in good hands.  Marina Menorca has several dock and mooring options to choose from, plus a lovely team that are very friendly and helpful.  They have been great to work with and have made my stay here super easy.

A few words about my partners in this cat project.  I chose the Outremer 45 because it looked “right” for my goal of having that nice balance of performance and comfort.  I did my research and talked to current owners, and Outremer ticked all the boxes.  And now after my first 4 weeks of living onboard, I could not be any happier with my choice.  Thank you Outremer.

For my sails, I decided to work with the team at North Sails.  We use North Sails on all of my race programs, so I am very aware of the quality and performance of their technology, and it was the obvious choice for me.  Working together, we designed an inventory of sails that would suit my exact needs- performance, durability, and a smart inventory of sail cross-overs that I could achieve the full range, with the least number of sails.  With weight of sails being a big factor on catamaran performance, plus sailing short-handed most often, this was important.  I have now sailed over 250 miles in the full range of conditions and am totally happy with my choice of North Sails.

The other important component needed to achieve the performance that i wanted from my cat was my instrument and navigation package.  For this I chose B&G, and have been pleasantly surprised with every new feature i discover each time i use it.  The range of features, accuracy, and ease of use makes B&G stand out from all the others, and I am continually being impressed with their product.

For my power systems onboard I chose Mastervolt and their Lithium Ion batteries.  In addition to the standard panel to control your onboard electronics, Mastervolt has an EasyView control display that allows me into the entire network onboard and the ability to control and diagnose ever single electronic item onboard.  Truly amazing.

And my final partner in this project are my good friends at Harken.  Since I was going to be the one cranking in my fancy new sails, and not calling out to my grinders to man-up and just wind harder, I knew that I had to pick the best ones.  I have six of their latest models onboard, and life is easy.  I can’t understand what this grinders are always whining about!

Now I head off to Bodrum, Turkey for a training session with our TP52 team, followed shortly thereafter by the launching of our new boat in Italy early next month.  Then the TP52 Superseries kicks off in Croatia in late May and the busy racing season gets fully underway.  

Looking forward to a great season of racing, all based from my new floating home here in Menorca, with very special thanks to all my partners in this project, and my new best friends at Marina Menorca.

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