John Payne Photo

Coconut Grove

Two races were held again today on Biscayne Bay, in 8-11 knots from the south.  The wind was quite shifty again which gave everyone plenty of opportunity to move up…….. or down.

In the first race Brian and I crossed the starting line too early.  This meant we had to go back and restart about 1 minute after the others.  We had made up some ground, and then our starboard shroud let go.  Somehow the bolt that held it on had come unthreaded. We were very lucky not to lose the mast right then and there. We were able to find a spare pin to in the boat and get the shroud back on. In the end we finished 21st.   John MacCausland and Bruno Prada had bad luck in that they did not realize that they were over the start early and did not go back so they were scored as didi not start….last.

Brian Led Better and Josh Revkin sailed an excellent race to that the win followed by Marcelo Fuchs and Donald Seifert.  Andy MacDonnald and Brad Nichol had a good race to round out the top three.  I don’t know how they all got to those positions cuz I couldn’t see, but those are the results.

In the second race, we had a good start very close to Lars Grael.  We were able to play the first two shifts slightly better and were first to the first mark and led the entire way to the finish. It was a great race up in front with four boats fighting the whole way.  John MacCausland and  Bruno Prada eventually ended up 4th, Lars Grael and Samuel Conclaves ended up third and Brian Ledbetter and Josh Revkin finished second.

So I guess Brian and I are sailing constantly in that we are inconsistent all the time. Also, we are the only team to have won two races. Hopefully, tomorrow morning we can have a better first race.

Once the 5th race is in the books, all teams will be allowed to drop their worst score.  This will change the positions a bit.  If you go the the site below, you can see how tight things are at the top with the discard.  The first 4 boats are within two points.  Brian and I will be about 14 points off the lead with a discard.  We have made it tough on ourselves but not impossible.

For complete results go to:

Forest for tomorrow has greatly improved.  Early this week, Saturday looked like a drift off but now it should be 10-14 knots from the southeast.


John Payne Photo

Coconut Grove

The Stars are back on Biscayne Bay for the last time this season.  The “Spring Championship” is being hosted by Biscayne Bay Yacht Club.  7 races are scheduled Through Sunday.

Today we had the first two races in 7-9 knots from the southeast.  These are perfect Star boat conditions. However, it was extremely hot and humid today.

There are 39 teams from 8 countries competing here. The 2016 World Championship will be held on Biscayne Bay at this exact time so this regatta is a good one for anyone thinking ahead to next year.

In the first race today, John MacCausland and his crew Bruno Prada worked the left side up the first windward leg and had a nice lead at the first mark.  They extended on every leg and won easily. Larry Whipple and Austin Sperry were second with Hubert Merklebach and Makcus Koy in third.  Marcus is the current world champion crew.

Brian and I had a good first leg, rounding the first mark about 8th but lost 20 boats in the firs downwind.  After rounding the leeward mark, Brian noticed we had a plastic bag on our keel.  We got it off and moved up a bit to 23rd but still not a great race.

In the second race, Brian and I got off to a good start and played 4 very quick wind shifts in the first 5 minutes of the race to jump out to a 100 meter lead.  We led the whole way around and won the race.  The Brazilian team of Marcelo Fuchs Ronald Seifert finished second and pressed us a bit downwind as we are still struggling with our speed there. The two of us had a big lead over the rest of the fleet. Lars Grael and Samuel Conclaves sailed well to finish third.

Tomorrows forecast is for a bit more wind, maybe up to 12 knots from the southeast.

For complete results go to:



Rosehearty (on the right) by night

St. Barts

The wind was a light easterly today, 7-9 knots.  This makes things a lot slower and a little more challenging when you weigh in at 500 tons.

Onboard Rosehearty, we sailed a good race, probably as best we could.  However, we were no match for the speed of the smaller and lighter Axia who won in our class.  We were second again which puts us in a tie for first place in the “Grande Dame” class.  Axia will prevail in the tie breaker by winning the last race.

For Rosehearty, and Joey K, her owner, this was a great first regatta result.  We won the Perini division for the week and were on the podium in every race!

Next stop for these boats is the Loro Piana regatta in June in Porto Cervo.

Next race for me is the Star Western Hemisphere Championship in mid April in Miami.

Thanks or following us!


St. Bart’s

I am sailing as tactician onboard the Super Yacht, Rosehearty, this week in the beautiful French Caribbean Island of St. Bart’s.  Rosehearty is a 56 meter (182′) Perini Navi sailing yacht.  We have a crew of 37 to handle the 500 ton vessel.

There are 32 yachts racing here this year. There are three races in the series, one race per day.  The racing format of the racing is called “Persuit” racing.  This means that the time allowances for handicapping the boats is done by varying the starting times of all the boats in the competition.

In the first race in Friday, things really went our way and we won the race by 13 minutes.  The race took about three hours and it was a “lap” of the island in the counterclockwise sense.  The conditions were easterly winds of r14-18 knots and the big navy Perini’s sailed well in those conditions.

Today’s race was more of a “zig=zag” course around some rocks to the northwest of the Island.  The winds were in the 12 knot range.  The more maneuver intensive course coupled with the lighter winds were more challenging for us.  Still, we managed to get a second place to who Axia who finished third yesterday!

So going into the final race tomorrow we have a 1 point lead over Axia.  IT always comes down to the last race.


Coconut Grove

Lars Grael won the final race and his second Bacardi Cup in a row.  Lars’s success is even more remarkable as he is an amputee, missing his right leg.  He is a model of resilience.  Young Jorge Zarif with Bruno Prada crewing put in a good performance to finish second in the regatta with Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl finishing third.

Brian and I did not have a good week.  Some times we were on the wrong side of the course, sometimes we weren’t going fast enough. We finished 11th.  For sure the competition was good.  The Brazilian Navy was in full force.  I think they had 4 boats in the top 10.

The next event for the Stars is the Western Hemisphere Championship April 16-19 again on Biscayne Bay.

The next event for me is the St. Barts Bucket where I will be joining the crew of Rosehearty, a 182′ Perini Navi.  I love St. Barts (who doesn’t, right).

Back to SFO tonight for me.

For complete results go to


Coconut Grove

Very light winds awaited the Star fleet today. The race committee started on time with about 4 knots of wind from the southeast.  We had one general recall then the Black Flag.

It was very spotty out there so at times you looked pretty good then the wind would die where you were and you wished you were on the other side of the course.  Brian and I rounded the first mark about 15th and sailed decently downwind.  Maybe even passed a few boats so that’s a win of sorts.  However, up the second windward leg, we went hard right and the left was the place to be.  It was so light that tacking frequently wasn’t an option and there were just enough teasers in the right to keep us going.  But in the end, the left came good and we dropped about 10 boats.  Down the final run we did manage to pass about 5 boats, again, a lot better that the last few days.

Our 23rd place will not get us any pickle dishes, thats for sure.  We have now dropped to 11th over all.  Arthur Anosov won the race by a huge margin of 5 minutes.  He got left on the second windward leg and hit it hard.  Alessandro Pascolato (BRA) finished second.  Alessandro is sailing a boat I sold him and doing very well in the regatta in 6th place.

The regatta leaders finished 33rd in this struggle.  That is their discard so they are still leading.  Lars Grael also sailed his worst race today but remains in second place overall.  The two are separated by just three points so it will be all on tomorrow for the Bacardi Cup winner.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for a nice 12 knot north easterly.  Should be pretty shifty.

For complete results go to:


Coconut Grove

Another perfect day for sailing.  12 knots from the Southeast and sunny skies.  Pretty deluxe situation for us down here.  The committee had a little trouble getting the line square and then we had a general recall or two so up went the black flag again.  The courses are 10 miles with 2.5 mile legs.  That is fairly long for Stars.

No one was caught by the black flag and Brian and I once again had a great start.  We tacked and crossed the fleet within a minute of the start and worked the shifts to lead at the first windward mark followed closely by Alberto Zanetti (ARG) and Torben Grael(BRA), then Lars Grael(BRA).

Unfortunately we did not have good speed downwind and rounded the leeward gate 4th.  Upwind we went fast again getting back into second place.  Down the final run we lost Lars and Augie Diaz to finish 4th.  Torben and his crew Guillermo sailed well to take the win.

Normally you feel good about getting 4th but we backed into 4th so that doesn’t feel as good.  Still it was a good result and got ourselves back into the top 10 with that.  The regatta leader Jorge Zariff finished 8th and still leads. Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl had another steady performance with a 6th and first race winner Larry Whipple and Austin Sperry finished 5th.

More of the same is the forecast for tomorrow.

For complete results go to


Coconut Grove, Florida

Another perfect day for sailing today.  A bit windier than yesterday with winds 12 to 14 knots from the East which built of some short chop on Biscayne Bay.

We had one general recall on the first start and then the committee went straight to the Black Flag.  Brian and I had a very good start and were in the front pack half way up the first leg. Unfortunately we “over stood” the windward mark.  Not by a little bit but by at least .25 of a mile.  The marks are very hard to see being red instead of the usual yellow or orange and at 2.4 miles of distance.  A few others were caught out with us like yesterdays winner, Larry Whipple and local Augie Diaz.

That pretty much took us out of contention as we rounded the first mark in the 40’s. We manage to get back to 23rd but that isn’t going to cut it for winning the regatta.

Jorge Zariff, a newcomer to the Star class, but a veteran Finn sailor is doing very well.  He was second yesterday and 1st today.  He has Bruno Prada crewing for him who won two World Championships and a bronze and a Silver in the Star class Olympics, with Robert Scheidt.  Jorge is young, big and strong which is   great combo for a Star helmsman and he is sailing pretty smart too!

Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl has a another solid day and currently sit in second place followed by Lars Grael and Samuel Goncalves in third.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for East winds, 12 knots.  In fact, all week the winds are forecast to be between 10 and 15 knots so it should be a great week for racing.

For complete results go to:



Coconut Grove, Florida

March 1, 2015

I am back in south Florida for more Star sailing.  This time the legendary Bacardi Cup.  This year is the 88th running of this event which started in 1927 in Havana.

57 boats are racing from more than 10 countries.  The competition will be tough with the Grael brothers tom Brazil, local favorite Augie Diaz, double gold medalist Mark Reynolds, and a host of other great teams that all have a chance to win.

Today’s first race finally got underway after two general recalls and the committee resorting to the black flag to keep the anxious competitors behind the line.  The wind was 12 knots from the east and very shifty and puffy as it was coming right over Key Biscayne.

Brian and I had a good start but managed to work our way backwards in the fleet to round the first mark about 25th.  The leader at that point, had had a horrible start, tacked behind everyone and went hard right. The second place boat at the first mark had gone hard left.  Go figure.

It was a day of ups and downs as the wind was very fickle.  One moment you thought you were real fast but it was just that you had a puff that others didn’t.  Same with the shifts.

As the race went on, Larry Whipple and Austin Sperry worked their way from third to first. Brian and I work our way from the 25th to 7th.

Ahead of us were some very good teams.  Behind us there were some too.  So we were pretty fortunate to get back to 7th.

This is a long regatta, 6 races, and each race is longer than what we have been racing down here this winter.  So the tactics can be a bit different.  You can really get a lot of separation, (we call it leverage)  from the fleet which can pay off if you hit it right.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for 15 knots from the east again.  80 degree temperatures are the norm here so don’t feel sorry for us if you are somewhere in the upper east coast or midwest.

For complete results go to:



February 5, 2015,

San Francisco

Yesterday, US Sailing and AmericaOne announced a very exciting initiative, called Project Pipeline.  I want to give you a little personal perspective on the initiative and pass along the link to the press release.

AmericaOne is a long time supporter of the US Olympic Sailing Team. Bob “Buddah” Billingham was a passionate Olympian, a Silver medalist, and A1’s representative who initiated this support and oversaw it. He served on the US Olympic Sailing Committee Board for many years.

Bob was excellent at identifying a need and then recruiting the support to make it happen. We all know that not only did Bob have great ideas, he would get them done!

Bob’s last target for improving US Olympic sailing was identifying our deficiency in the development of young sailors. As Bob’s cancer worsened, he asked me to take his place in working with the US Olympic Sailing Team on this important project.   Sadly, Bob passed away last March.

In the last year, we have developed a plan to increase training, support and opportunity for the youth of America.  Project Pipeline is about getting America back on the Olympic podium but also about raising the level of sailing talent in the US across the board.

US Sailing and AmericaOne are proud to launch this Project. The AmericaOne grant of $5M means Project Pipeline will be initiated immediately. It is our expectation that over the next 10 years, Project Pipeline will grow in breadth and depth, and that others will join in and support this worthy cause.

Please read the official press release, click on this link: