N2E Race Day 1: Pre-Start Thursday

¡Hola, landlubbers! JH Sailing Team just cast off from Marina del Rey, LA, and we’re sailing to Newport for the start of the Newport to Ensenada International Yacht Race. Our Santa Cruz 52 sailboat, Hokahey, is gliding through the late-night harbor so excitedly it’s like she’s already thinking about the finish line’s location in sunny Mexico, where we’ll scarf down fish tacos before sailing home. Or maybe Hokahey’s excited because she’s thinking about the thing that makes us different from any other boat in any major yacht race this year, possibly in the world, possibly in any year: Youth Team. The major players in our crew are five kids, aged 13-14, accompanied by a small adult support crew.

We pushed off from the dock at 22:00 ( 10pm). Super cool that the moon is almost full and lights up the ocean almost as well as the sun. Currently, we’re all sitting around the cockpit, reviewing safety drills and procedures. We’re making sure the entire team’s wearing their life vest and harness, tethered to the boat, and understands how to be safe as the 19,000lb boat crashes through the waves. We’ll also talk about navigation and needed math skills. Turns out sailing is very physical, but our Youth Team sailors will also have to think and plan and figure out a lot.

Race goals are to be safe, learn as much as possible, WIN, and make some really good Snapchats. VAMOS.