Friday, April 30, 2010

APS/Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile - Bryan Boyd

The following is the May APS Chesapeake Racer Profile, a monthy hi-light in Spinsheet Magazine (written by Molly Winans):

When we last checked in with APS Chesapeake Racer Profile alumnus Bryan Boyd, he was 30 years old, weighed a “wispy” 195 pounds, was training hard to gain mass to compete in the heavyweight, Olympic Finn class, and was headed off to Europe. Last month, we caught up with the soon-to-be 34-year-old, who has gained 20 pounds and launched a full-time Olympic campaign for the 2012 Games in England. The U.S. Sailing Team AlphaGraphics (USSTAG) member is off once again for 10 weeks to compete in the Finn class for the ISAF Sailing World Cup events in Spain, Croatia, Germany, France, Holland, and England.

A native of Panama City, FL, Boyd happened upon an old Flying Scot at the age of 17 and began racing it up and down the Gulf Coast. A relative latecomer to the sport compared to many of his competitors who had a 10-year head start in junior programs, Boyd was undeterred by the
lack of formal background. That he went on to become the captain of the sailing team at the University of Florida, head coach at Severn SA, the North American Finn Class president, and an Olympic hopeful show his drive to lead and win.

Even as he launched and ran a large-scale construction and development business in Annapolis six years ago, Boyd has been honing his sailing skills. One of the top-ranked Finn sailors in the country, he has been a USSTAG member since 2002 and won the Finn National Championships in 2004. This past January, he won the medal race at the 2010 Rolex Miami OCR.

Boyd qualified for the 2010 USSTAG by finishing in the top 20 at three 2009 ISAF Sailing World Cup events—at Palma, Spain (11th), Hyeres, France (13th) and Kiel, Germany (12th). He and his wife Elizabeth Foscue, fellow University of Florida sailing team alum, have put their
construction business “in hibernation” so he can focus on sailing through the 2012 Olympic Games.

The demands of Boyd’s training and regatta schedule will keep him abroad almost continuously through the end of September with the winter months devoted to South Florida training. As part of his team training through USSTAG, Boyd will spend 120 days with a coach this year. “The base level of support on the team has gotten so much better,” he says. “It’s been the biggest game changer for our program.” Although Boyd assures us that racing in Europe has its moments, he says, “It’s a pretty monastic existence. The days are long; you sail, go to the gym, have debriefings, work with coaches, and watch videos. It’s fantastic, yes, but
there’s not a lot of free time.”

As well as a demanding training and travel schedule, Olympic campaigns are expensive. Sails, insurance, and travel expenses add up quickly, and while USSTAG helps with funding, athletes such as Boyd must bridge the gap with private and corporate sponsorships. You may learn more about Boyd’s campaign via his website and blog at He will keep SpinSheet readers posted on his progress along the Olympic trail.

SpinSheet: What was your most memorable racing moment in 2009?
The first race of the Finn World Championships in Denmark. I had made the decision to be a contender. When I won the first race, that moment cemented my decision to make a go of it full-time.

What would surprise Chesapeake Bay racers about training for Olympic sailing?
What might surprise them is how much of our training is off the water. We spend three hours a day in the gym working with trainers, and our dieticians keep us on a strict diet.

Who are your best sailing buddies these days?
My teammates at USSTAG. The team has really become tightly knit lately. We train together with our own classes and other classes. I just got back from an intense fitness training camp at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, CO, where we go twice a year. We also sail and train together in Miami.

What’s in your gear bag?
Zhik hiking pants, Atlantis top layers, Aigle boots, Kaenon sunglasses on the water, Sperrys off the water, and garden gloves.

Have you downloaded any new iTunes or seen any live music lately?
We went old school and went to a Depeche Mode concert in Denmark. It was pretty funny as I had to actually tell my younger teammates who this band was. I’ve been listening to flashback music on my iPod: REM, Pearl Jam, and stuff from the early 1990s.

What do you read?
I’m a consumer of pulp fiction: Carl Hiaasen, Janet Evanovich, and whatever falls off my wife’s nightstand.

When it comes to the Olympics, we hear the Parade of Nations is pretty cool...
The opening of the ceremonies of the Olympics will be in London on July 27, 2012. When you pass through the stadium tunnel and walk out, and they light the torch, you are an Olympian forever. That will be the moment. That’s my dream.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Breeze On & Boats Out of Control

Last night marked the start of Wed Night Racing in Annapolis, the self proclaimed "Sailing Capital of Capitals" and boy, what a way to start. In what most will deem a night only sailmakers dream of, because of all the torn sails of course, things got off to fast downwind start with a stiff North-ish breeze of about 20 knots and air temps hovering in the 50s. For those of us "fortunate" enough to be out of sailing commission for a bit, because of a trip to the dermatologist earlier in the day resulting in the removal of sun damaged flesh, we were treated to quite a show from the spectator seats. Breeze on and boats nearly upside down, mother nature was not forgiving to those that hadn't sailed since last season nor the seasoned professionals.

Considered by most to be the later, here is Ramrod shortly after the start with their hands full demonstrating how even elite sailors sometimes show their bottom-sides.

Now we're not professional photographers, we'll leave that to Allen and Daniela over at, but Katie took a bunch of other great shots and we've put them up for you to peruse should you choose. We didn't sort them or even delete the worthless ones but you can click here to see if you too were caught in the act of doing something you swear never happens.

Team APS - 2010 Sperry Top-Sider Nood Regatta

Coming to Annapolis for NOOD this weekend? If so, stop in and see us. APS will be extending its store hours this week for the regatta. Friday we will open early, 8:00am - 6:00pm and Saturday, 8:00am - noon. Come by the store this weekend, APS has the best selection of One Design parts in the world.

Some of our APS staff will be racing in the Sperry Top-Sider Nood Regatta too so keep an eye out for these guys on the racecourse. Warren Richter, from customer service, and James Mckenna- Product/ Storefront manager, will be attempting to improve on last year's 8th place on J22- Tangler. Jarrett Hering, from our rigging department will be sailing on a J24 sail # 5350 also known as Millennium Falcon, which happens to be way faster than George Lucas's version...or so he claims. Rob Beach won't be sailing this year, he's recovering from a hack job courtesy of his dermatologist and too much sun but, he reminds you wear your sunblock and steer clear of his fishing lines as he's likely to be out trying to reel in the big one.

Good luck to those of you sailing this weekend and check back for a recap of the regatta next week.

Ps. A final word to wise, don't get between Warren and the beer truck at the tent party and don't forget to buy us drinks at the Cougarfish.

Update: The race marks we're donating to AYC have just arrived and here is Kyle logo-ing them up to be used for the regatta. I wonder how many people are going to hit them this weekend?!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

2010 APS Catalogs Have Arrived!

The store stock of the new 2010 APS catalogs arrived this afternoon! That also means they've been delivered to the post office and are on their way to your mailbox. If you are coming to town for the Sailing World Circus (aka NOOD) stop in the world leader in One Design, APS, and get an advanced copy.

James makes a good paperweight on top of the new catalogs. Too bad thinking about helping customers in the store isn't actually the same as helping them for real...get back inside James!

In any case, keep your eyes peeled to your mailbox for the newest issue or stop in and see us to get one now.

If you haven't gotten one from us before or ordered anything from us in the past 3 years and would like to request a catalog send an email with your address to and we will gladly send one out to you.

Here is a sneak peak of the cover...

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day at APS

Happy Earth day from APS's newest team member!

It's Earth Day at APS, and we thought it would be a good day to introduce our newest team member, Bryn, to you by having her do a little write up about her first days here and what she's learning. What follows is her first blog post. As the newest member of the marketing department look for more of posts to be coming from her soon. Welcome aboard Bryn! (Rob)

Ahoy, ahoy...Today is Earth Day and my 4th day at APS. In addition to learning the ropes, literally, I have enjoyed learning about the company how Green APS is! For instance, one of the first things I noticed was that some, ok a lot, of the APS staff ride their bikes to and from work to do our part in helping out with the environment. As you can see from this picture we took this morning it can be a bit of a race to get to the best spot on the bike rack!

Also, did you know that the APS building was the first building in Eastport to collect 100% of its own storm water by containing the water using downspouts and rainwater drains? The water is collected then filtered naturally under the building in a large containment hold before it feeds into the Bay, which happens to be one block away. Aside from being avid recyclers (lots of blue cans around this place) this is just another way that APS is helping to improve the environment but it doesn't stop there. APS also attempts to carry as many environmentally friendly sailing products we can, too!

Some products that we carry are also environmentally savvy.
The New Men’s Ballistic Eco Shorts by Harken, made from renewable and sustainable fabrics, are eco-friendly and extremely comfortable. The padded hiking shorts feature naturally anti-microbial bamboo, ballistic nylon and 4-way stretch spandex-which allows them to be super stretchy and quick drying. The other cool thing about the shorts, besides the fact that they are eco-friendly, is that they are the only padded shorts with 2 back pockets behind the removable hiking pads.

Available in Stone and Carbon, sizes 28-42 Men’s.

Also, The Norge Men’s lifejacket by Astral features a “Truly sustainable design that conforms so that you don’t have to.” The buoyancy material used in the lifejacket is Kapok, an organic material that provides the most conforming fit of any buoyancy material available. The materials are harvested by hand from the Kapok tree, a tropical tree native to central America and parts of the Caribbean.

The tree grows to 200-250 feet tall! The seed pods are extremely buoyant and water resistant-which is what makes it a great product for life jackets.

The Norge design is very traditional, with plenty of pocket space that is bigger on the inside than they appear.

....and for the ladies, the Women's Abba by Astral, also features the organic material, Kapok. The material allows the vest to conform to the body for a slim profile fit.

Abba has a shorter torso height and features fleece hand warmers for cold days on the water.

Available in Black or Cranberry.

In closing, if you haven't noticed by now, this post was written by a new author so let me introduce myself. My name is Bryn Bachman and I am the newest member of the APS team. Originally from Ohio, I have been sailing since I was 10 years old. Growing up, I spent a lot of time sailing on the Great Lakes and crewing for my dad on our family Windmill. Sailing is a huge passion of mine and I am happy to be working in the industry. I look forward to new sailing opportunities and adventures in the Annapolis area and am excited to be joining the company right as the sailing season takes off. Well, that’s all for today. Be sure to check back for more updates from me in the future. Hope you get the chance to spend some time enjoying the outdoors today-brought to you, of course, by mother earth!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

APS/Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile - Linda Ambrose

The following is the April APS Chesapeake Racer Profile, a monthy hi-light in Spinsheet Magazine (written by Molly Winans):

Do I really want to wait until I’m retired to see the world by sail, or do I want to do it now?” That was the question Annapolis sailor Linda Ambrose asked herself when a wonderful opportunity presented itself. She went for it. A native of the Boston area from a non-sailing family, Ambrose started sailing in high school with a boyfriend’s family and knew she loved it right away.

After she had worked in the footwear industry and applied to graduate school, a friend asked her if she’d like to come down to St. Maarten and help out as a chef and mate on a day charter trimaran for awhile. Two weeks led to two more weeks, and then the weeks turned into years. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ambrose sailed 17,000 nautical miles on yacht charters and deliveries, owned and lived aboard a 37-foot CSY in St. Maarten, sailed across the Atlantic, and lived in the Mediterranean by working in Greece and Turkey on a private yacht for a year. Over the years, she worked as a charter cook, mate, a charter company sales and marketing representative, and a crewed yacht manager. She got her first taste of race committee work helping with the Heineken Regatta.

When she realized it was time to get back to the mainland, Ambrose moved to Ft. Lauderdale, FL,where she started to race in earnest. A few years later, homesick for New England (but not the cold weather), she found her way to Annapolis, which was “a happy medium.” After 17 years in the charter business, her career evolved into regatta/event planning, which made her a good fit for her position of five years as Annapolis YC’s regatta manager.

Of many boats Ambrose has raced on, the one common denominator is that most of them start with a J: the J/105s Blonde Attack, Inigo, and Java; J/80s Dancer and Jammin’, the J/35 Touch of Grey (in Chicago and Northern Michigan); the J/109 Rush; and for the past 10 years, the J/120 Euro Trash Girl. Her racing career runs the full gamut from Wednesday night series to Key West Race Week and from frostbite racing to a memorable win at the Annapolis to Newport Race (class, fleet, and navigator awards on Euro Trash Girl 2005). Of her regatta management work at AYC, Ambrose says, “I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned what I don’t know.” What’s involved behind the scenes at a big regatta?

“There’s a lot of administrative work to make sure sailors’ information makes its way to the race committee. Their equipment has to be ready. They need to be fed and watered. You have to take care of trophies and functions… and the idea is for it to be seamless for both the racers and the race committee. Sponsorship fulfillment is also high on the list.”

Spinsheet: Who are you sailing mentors and friends?
Nicole Weaver, Jonathan Bartlett, Kevin Ryman, Jim Konigsberg, Chris and Carolyn Groobey, Jeff Ridel, and Marty the Flamingo.

What was your most memorable sailing day in 2009?
At the Baltimore Sail for Kids Regatta, we were late for the start. We had no sailing instructions, only a handful of racers onboard, and only a general idea of where the start and finish were. It was windy, and we started passing boats. It’s nice to be in front, but not as much when you don’t know where you’re going… We won.

Do you have a favorite sailing venue?
It’s a toss up between Key West (for the party atmosphere) and Block Island (beautiful New England. It’s relaxing—the antithesis of Key West) for race venues and the Whitsunday Islands in Australia for cruising.

If you had advice for a young sailor, would it be any different for a girl than for a boy?
A good sailor is a good sailor. I’ve sailed with a female skipper for 10 years. She’s as competent as anyone out there. Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t own or drive your own boat.

What sports teams do you follow?
The New England Patriots and the Boston Red Sox. I’m semi-out-of-the-closet as a Ravens fan.

What music is on your iPod?
Marc Broussard, Amos Lee, Cracker, Cake, and Dave Matthews.

What television shows do you like?
I’m a Law and Order and CSI junkie and hopelessly addicted to the Food Channel and NBC News.

Do you have any non-sailing passions?
Hiking—I hiked in Deer Valley, UT and Red Rocks, NV in 2009. Biking, walking my chocolate Lab, Wrangler, and cooking. I’m a bookworm, too.

What sailing gear do you depend on?
Sperry Top-Sider Figawi sailing shoes, Gill salopettes, Maui Jim sunglasses, About Faces Sunblock, a Stohlquist PFD, and Home Depot Garden gloves ($5).

What’s your favorite position on a race boat?
Pit. Kevin Ryman taught me to speak up and respect the position. I like being part of the transition in between sail changes.

Is there anything you haven’t achieved on the water you’d like to?
I’d like to do a delivery to the Pacific—the Galapagos and Marquesa Islands are two places I’ve always wanted to see by arriving on a sailboat.