If you are into sailing and live in the Northeast, you may be feeling the January doldrums at this time of year. Most of us finish sailing in September or October and don’t return to the water until May or June, so as of this writing in mid-January, we’re in a long period away from wonderful days on the water.
Aside from heading to Florida or the Caribbean, what’s a sailor to do?
Perhaps you’d be interested in some Armchair Sailing to help you pass the time until Spring? Whether you are a day sailor, cruiser, or racing sailor, publications and the internet can offer much entertainment and education to help prepare for the 2023 season ahead. I will offer some suggestions later in the article about these.
More exciting for some of us armchair sailors is following races virtually with access to amazing on-board footage. One thrilling competition to watch is The Ocean Race, a 32,000 mile, seven-leg, around-the-world contest that pits top, professional sailors against their peers in high-intensity, non-stop legs of one to four weeks in length. The IMOCA class of race boats begins The Ocean Race tomorrow, Sunday, January 15 at 10:00 am Eastern time, with the Volvo 65 boats starting two hours later at noon. You can learn about how to follow the action here: https://www.theoceanrace.com/
Our favorite competitor in the Ocean Race is the IMOCA 60 class boat Malama, pictured above, organized by Eleventh Hour Racing and helmed by Charlie Enright out of Newport, Rhode Island. Not only is this an amazing boat and crew, but the organization values improving gender equity and is a leader in environmental research and education and does great work toward improving the health of the oceans. https://11thhourracing.org/
The Ocean Race is the modern iteration of The Whitbread Around the World race in which Tracy Edwards competed back in 1989-1990 on her famous vessel Maiden, which is shown here in 2022. You can follow Maiden’s current travels around the world to support education for girls at www.themaidenfactor.org
In addition to watching The Ocean Race unfold, or following Maiden's progress, you may be interested in the following resources.
If you are considering buying an older boat in 2023, check out Captain Q, Boat Hunter. Captain Q reviews dozens of different Keel boats, and the prospective boat buyer can learn a lot by watching his videos. https://yachthunting.com/
If you have an older boat in need of repairs, you may wish to subscribe to Good Old Boat for a wealth of information and repairing and upgrading used sailboats www.goodoldboat.com
For more information on boat repairs, equipment and sailing skills, subscribe to Practical Sailor at www.practical-sailor.com
For weekly sailing-related information, subscribe for free to Scuttlebutt News www.sailingscuttlebutt.com
If you are a racer, Dave Dellenbaugh’s Speed and Smarts newsletter offers a wealth of information for improving your racing skills. https://www.speedandsmarts.com/
Dave also offers excellent online classes for reasonable prices. Upcoming classes include
Racing Essentials, Sail Trim Secrets, and Winning Tactics.
The Sailing School encourages you to sign up and attend the in-person Riverport Women’s Sailing Conference at HRMM in Kingston, New York coming very soon, on Saturday, March 25, 2023. You can learn more about this event and register here:
Here's to some happy Armchair Sailing!
Staff and volunteers of the Hudson River Maritime Museum's Wooden Boat School and Sailing & Rowing School.
Hudson River Maritime Museum
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Kingston, NY 12401
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