Exciting times. The start of a new year, a new decade, and a new chapter in life.
My year starts with an exciting return to the 52 Super Series. This is the hottest class of sailboat racing currently in the world. I mention sailboats, because it is not flying, like so much of our sport is now doing with foils. I still love the challenge of harnessing the wind and water to sail as fast and smart as you possibly can. These 52 foot speed machines with 13 crew race in a tightly controlled class that rewards good design, crew work, speed, and smarts. I will be doing three events with my new team in Cape Town, South Africa, which also happens to be a really cool part of the world, with wild weather, and animals! We will do a training session in late January, and then 2 events in February and March. So an exciting new challenge to start my year, with a new team of great guys and girls.(https://www.52superseries.com)
I will also continue racing in the majestic J Class onboard TOPAZ. The class is now seeing a full revival as new and old teams return to class racing. The impetus for many is the exciting plan to travel and race in New Zealand along side of the Americas Cup in 2021. Our race circuit begins in Antigua in March, followed by the Bucket a week later in St. Barths. After this, all the boats will begin the journey to New Zealand, with most boats enjoying some stops along the way to explore the islands of the Pacific. The race series will then kick off in early 2021 with two events, followed by the J Class Worlds’, which end one day before the Americas Cup starts on March 6th. Pretty awesome! These 135ft majestic machines, designed in the 1930’s, upgraded with the latest technology and materials, and now raced by some of the best sailors around, are the most difficult, and rewarding, boats to sail. And it is really cool that the organizers of the next America’s Cup, which will be sailing new complex flying boats, have decided to showcase our class at their event. It will be an incredible display of just how far our sport has gone within the Americas Cup arena. For sailors and the public, it will be amazing to have such classic sailboats racing alongside possibly the biggest leap in design that the sport has ever made. (https://www.jclassyachts.com)
Also looming large on my schedule for 2020 are some further adventures on my Outremer 45 catamaran in the Med. I will launch her in Menorca in April after a winter haul out and some fresh bottom paint. Then a couple weeks later I will sail across to Cagliari, Sardinia and make that my base for the following year. And it just so happens that the first race of the America’s Cup World Series will be in Cagliari April 23-26. My, what a coincidence! ☺ After watching some wild racing, where the next generation of flying boats race head to head for the first time, I will cruise and explore Sardinia over the following months between races and trips back home to the Virgin Islands.
I also have some great new Partners to announce for 2020. First up is Pedro’s Boat. No seriously, that’s the name of this great team in Mahon, Menorca that is taking care of my cat. A great bunch of people, providing all the services and supplies a boat owner needs in Menorca. They have been an absolute joy to work with, and I will be proud to fly the Pedro’s Boat flag! ☺
My other new partner is CYOA Yacht Charters here in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. John Jacobs and his team provide the only full service chartering in the USVI, with a full fleet of cats and monohulls. The advantages of the USVI for chartering are direct flights, greater provisioning options, uncrowded anchorages, and an immediate start to your precious few days of cruising. CYOA has supported sailing in the VI for many years, and I am proud to support them now.
The year 2020 looms huge for us all, a blank sheet of paper. We only live once, so let’s all commit to making the most of every single day, and do our part to help make the world around us a better place along the way.