Friday, June 25, 2010

APS Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile - Lin McCarthy

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

When the idea of celebrating a milestone in Southern Bay sailor Lin McCarthy’s life started to circulate among her friends, most of them made the same statements. “We have to do something for her,” and, “Lin is going to kill you.”

Did you ever notice how some people who efficiently get things done in life retreat from the spotlight? Allow us to re-introduce you to Lin “Gets Things Done” McCarthy, who is a sailor, sailing writer, race committee member, racing clinic organizer, and APS Chesapeake Racer Profile alumna, along with her husband John, from SpinSheet’s November 2007 issue. McCarthy is the author of the subscription e-mail newsletter Southern Bay Racing News You Can Use (SBRNYCU), the source for Southern Bay Racing news—even for SpinSheet’s editors. The first week of July marks the newsletter’s 500th edition.

The McCarthys met at William and Mary College, married, moved to Rocky Mount, NC (where John was head basketball coach, the winningest on record at North Carolina Wesleyan), and then in 1985, to the Tidewater area. Their sailing addiction started in dinghies at the Norfolk Naval Base and led to a Hunter 28.5 called Ulysses, which they raced hard and successfully for five years, logging 100 races per year. “We were looking for a sport we could do together, as a couple,” says John. “Sailing, then racing, was an immediate connection.” In the early 1990s, the couple purchased Sugar Bear, a J/33, in which they raced just as successfully.

Due to back troubles, John had to retire from racing in the early 2000s, a tough decision for a racing-crazy couple, and they eventually sold their beloved Sugar Bear. To dive headlong into race management was natural for the couple, who have become just as passionate about making sure others enjoy the racing experience as they did themselves. They are fully engaged in all levels of race management on the Southern Bay (and at the Screwpile Lighthouse Challenge), including organizing and running the Murphy Clinic, a tremendously successful program for new and inexperienced racers.

One of Lin’s Southern Bay friends and race committee team members, Kathy Barber, says, “Lin is always upbeat, even at 3 o’clock in the morning waiting for the Down the Bay Race Boats to show up. She remembers everyone’s name. She always has a smile. We all are aware that without her, it would take 10 of us to do half the job she does. Nobody is as organized. We owe the calendar of racing to her; without her starting that process and her e-mails in September, most of us would be oblivious to when races are… She is not going to be pleased that we are trying to recognize her. She is only really happy when things go well, and she can fade into the background. She is the heart, the soul, and the backbone of all we do in the area and for that, we owe her and should recognize her. She epitomizes the Corinthian spirit in our sport.”

Here is what some other Southern Bay sailors have to say about Lin:

“On or off the water, there is no better advocate for Southern Bay sailing or sailors than Lin.”

~Dan, Sam and Brett Winters, Winters Sail Loft

“The quote I have heard most often from Lin is, ‘Here, let me get that for you.’ Lin is among the most cheerful, levelheaded, energetic, and competent people I have ever met. From SBRNYCU to acting as Region IV Sanctioning Officer to being John’s sounding board and confidante, she does it all—yet graciously. For her efforts, we’re truly indebted.”

~ John Ritter, Race Committee Team

“Lin McCarthy has been the best friend that sailing in the Chesapeake Bay and other venues has ever had. She tirelessly gives of her time and talents preparing for races, serving on race committees, and reporting on local and other sailing events in the weekly newsletter she publishes and distributes through e-mail. She is approaching her 500th edition which is quite a feat.”

~Dick Boykin, Hampton YC

Congratulations on the 500th edition of SBRNYCU, Lin! Thank you for the passion you pour into our sport, for the many articles you’ve written over the years for SpinSheet (see pages 67 and 72), and for not killing your fellow race committee officers for celebrating your success behind your back.

SpinSheet: What do you wish more people knew about race committee work?

I wish racers where more aware of how much more work, thought, and energy goes into good race management than they see from their perspective. The days of wandering down to the yacht club, pulling out a few flags, and heading out to run the races, are long, long gone. Good race committee folk spend weeks preparing for regattas. The preperation goes on all through the off season, too. Once the RC is on the water, it is hard work with determination to keep things going smoothly in the right direction. To make all the right decisions, to deal with the unexpected, to have fair racing, and to do it right ain't all that easy. Just like racing a sailboat, you gotta work at it to be good at it.

What are your top three favorite regatta's?

Southern Bay Race Week, Screwpile Regatta, and Cape Charles Cup Regatta. Have raced multiple times in SBRW and Screwpile and now work on the race management side of all three. I love the racers who attend these events, and I love the special flavor of each event.

What gear do you depend on?

I love SLAM stuff. It's purely a "fashionista" thing. I have a foulie top and a SLAM duffle. I still have my Musto bibs (going on 15 years old), and I cannot wear them out-can't argue with that.

Why should Northern and Mid-Bay sailors make plans to race in Hampton?

A lot of racers from north of the Southern Chesapeake are amazed when they come here by how beautiful it is, how much space we have in which to race, and how friendly the people are, racers and non-racers. We really do believe Southern Hospitality is real, and everyone seems determined to prove it to visitors. It's a really good reason to come. Oh, and we can and do race sailboats with a passion.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Supporting our Favorite Sport

Did you know that we sponsor over 200 regattas every year? We are thrilled that so many people enjoy sailing as much as we do and in return we enjoy contributing to different sailing events. Instead of spending our entire sponsorship budget on a few "high profile" events our budget is spent on a variety of club, regional and national events.

Got and event you'd like us to sponsor? We are always happy to give back to the sailing community through our Regatta Sponsorship Program. Here are a few pictures we received this year from different regatta's that we helped sponsor. If you are interested in being considered for our Regatta Sponsorship Program you will need to fill out and return this Regatta Sponsorship Application at least two weeks in advance of the event.

Have any questions about the program? Feel free to shoot us an email at

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Galia Moss: One Determined Woman

In keeping my women's theme, I'd like to introduce you to Galia Moss who we have had the pleasure of meeting here at APS. I got the opportunity to talk to her about her life story and it's a pretty incredible one.
She was born in Mexico City and moved to the US in '99 to pursue a music degree at the New England Conservatory in Boston, MA where a friend brought her sailing. From the first day she was hooked (like the rest of us). Her next stop the Sea Education Association, in Woods Hole, MA, where she would learn and sail on tall ships. From the classroom to the water her dreams only got bigger. Reading books on solo navigation became her favorite pastime. One in particular has always stuck out as her biggest inspiration, Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi. Tania had no real direction until at 18 she set out to sail around the world alone. She put 27,000 miles on her 26 foot sloop and when she returned wrote the book about her journey. Galia was inspired by her accomplishments.

After the SEA course Galia took every opportunity to sail. She would race or do deliveries whenever she could. Her favorite memory is arriving in Hawaii to the Captain of the boat telling her that she was the skipper for the delivery and the other crew members had very little to no sailing experience. They arrived safely in Oregon after a memorable learning experience. They do always say it's better to learn by teaching, right?

For the next few years she continued to act on any opportunity. She took courses in Venezuela, Israel and Spain. From there her training took her to Barcelona, where for two years she sailed in any condition, windy, calm, rainy, it didn’t matter, she was still going on the water. She bought a Mini Transat to train and sail on, as well as taking the opportunity to sail with anyone, on any boat.

After seven years of training, she set out to be the first Mexican or Latin American to sail solo across the Atlantic. It took her two years to gain her first sponsor, but throughout that time she remained positive and finally got the support she needed. She claims finding sponsors is harder than actually solo sailing across the ocean (we'll take her word for it). Her determination paid off and 13 sponsors made donations. But that wasn’t enough, Galia couldn’t justify having money donated just for her own cause, so she partnered with an organization called Fundacion Televisa who pledged to build a house for every 8 nautical miles she sailed. 688 houses later in 2006, Galia accomplished her goal, taking her Beneteau First 31.7 from Vigo, Spain to Xcaret, Mexico. 41 days of sailing and 5,154 miles later, she accomplished what she set out to do, but not surprisingly, the desire to help and continue her sailing career didn’t end there.

Once back on land, she participated in the actual building of the houses that were donated and said the most rewarding part was handing over keys to families who had been given a house. Over the next year, she sold her beloved Beneteau, gave motivational talks all over Mexico, wrote a book and made many appearances to do book signings. As the publicity wore off she began setting her sights on her next adventure and spoke to many organizations in Israel that offered her teaching jobs at sailing schools. So, the next journey began, and while most people would jump on an airplane to get there, Galia decided that she should sail there, uniting her two heritages.

Again, she didn't want to sail just for herself, so she once again looked to help and found two great organizations. One makes arrangements to feed children in Mexico for their first five years of life, helping them get through those crucial first years. The next will plants trees in both Mexico and Israel. But finding sponsors was even harder the second time around. Finding sponsors in 2008 wasn’t easy given the economic condition. But again, perseverance paid off. Which brings us to now. With many sponsors giving to her two causes, she will be leaving from Annapolis next week on her J/105, which she purchased here after a long search for a boat. She is here with her twin sister, who is going to sail with her to Mexico and has been a big part of her campaigns, acting as manager.

Alone, Galia will leave for Israel on October 12th. They have both been working hard to get the boat ready to go and are eager to set sail. From all of us here at APS, good luck!!

Check her out at her website at

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Women's Gear Review: Life Jackets

Something just for the ladies! Here at APS we know it's hard to find gear that actually fits us women. So I've set out to look through our women's gear and take a good look at it. We have three women specific life jackets, Bella by Astral, Abba by Astral and BetSEA by Stohlquist. All three have there good and bad features and here's an in depth look.


Available in two new colors for the 2010 season, the Abba comes in a cool black and a flashy cranberry. It's the only women's life jacket that's made with organic Kapok floatation. It has a front zip entry, shorter torso then the unisex version and wicking side panels. Marine grade buckles and a snap closure pocket.

The Good:
It was quite comfortable and the colors/style is a definite positive. Getting in and out of it is a breeze with the front zip entry. Zipper was free and clear and didn't have anything to get caught on. The fleece handwarmer pockets would be your favorite part on a cold day, no more having to stick your hangs between your chest and your PFD.

The Bad:
The new style of floatation, although eco-friendly, does feel different. It struck me as uncomfortable when I first put it on, but I think it was just different and would take a little getting used to. The rumor is that it breaks in and becomes quite comfortable with use. Next, the handwarmer pockets were zippered. Great for keeping items in your pocket. Slightly painful and annoying when you're trying to warm up your hands and there is a zipper on your wrist. Last, I didn't like the pocket change. This year's model has a snap closure which would appear to me to run the risk of loosing things out the side.

The Conclusion:
Overall it seems like a good life jacket, durable, short torso more fitting the women's body. The Kapok floatation looks like the bleeding edge in life jacket technology, if that even exists. Let the floatation break in a little and settle down and you have a great life jacket on your hands.


Feature packed, the Bella is full of layers. It has freestyle tectonics with multiple layers that all move freely of each other. There is mid back support, an adjustable sports bra and tons of adjustment points. Padded shoulder straps keep you comfortable while the cool details and designs keep you stylin'.

The Good:
Although it might take a little bit to get all the adjustment points to where you like them, once you do it has a great fit. With the layers moving separately and the oversized arm holes make moving around easy. The top of the back has little padding and angles off, reducing the chance you will get caught on a lifeline or rigging while tacking.

The Bad:
The multiple layer system was tough to adjust and there was just a lot to deal with. There are adjustments for the sides, two on the front section, three buckles to get in. There was the most padding around the torso, which created a bulky feeling. My least favorite part was the "sports bra". It was more teeny weeny bikini then actual support. It didn't actually fit over my chest, but started in the middle and basically just didn't fit.

The Conclusion:
If a lifejacket with lots of adjustments is your thing, the Bella is right for you. If you're willing to put up with a learning curve on where everything should go then this will work. This is not a life jacket you can throw on the first time and expect it to be ready to go. The unrestricted movement and potential for a really good fit after you fiddle with it, makes this a good life jacket for some.


The BetSEA has scuptured front foam panels with contoured cups. The flotation is centered lower but the shorter torso makes it fit right below the chest. The shorter back and large armholes make moving around a breeze.

The Good:
The women friendly padding was by far the best feature. It really does actually wrap around your body rather than crush your physique. Your chest fits into the built in cups making a flatter front. The cross chest cinch strap prevents ride up and the stretchy neoprene shoulders give you a good fit while remaining comfortable against the skin. Side mesh for breathability and the shorter torso makes it so your PFD doesn't get in the way when you're doing things. Extra wide armholes give you a full range of motion. The pocket has a D ring that great for keeping a whistle on and big enough to store most of the things you need on the water.

The Bad:
It doesn't have any frills or extras. No handwarmer pockets, extra storage pcokets. So if that's what you're looking for extras, this isn't it. The bottom webbing and closure could be more comfortable. It's not covered in neoprene like the shoulder strap.

The Conclusion:
From a fit and comfort standpoint there isn't anything better. It really does mold to your body instead of crush it. The armholes are wide enough for you to be able to do anything necessary. If you're looking for extra frills, pockets, handwarmers or new floatation, this isn't for you.

So now what?
All of the life jackets have good attributes and bad, but if I had to choose one I would go with the BetSEA. It's fit and comfortability certainly outweigh the fact that it doesn't have all the frills.

Also, I should introduce myself, being my first post and all. I'm Katie Cross and I started working at APS just about a year ago, but I'm just getting my blog sea legs on. I'm from Simsbury, CT and moved to Annapolis last year after graduating from the University of Delaware (go blue hens). I started sailing when I was 9 in Orleans, MA where I spent a lot of time in a 420. Now I sail anything and everything, a day on the water is a good day!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

APS Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile - Alan Bomar

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

It's true, many Southern Bay sailors speak in a more southern fashion than their mid- and Upper Bay counterparts-think of Southern Bay Race Week's tagline, "Y'all Come On, Let's Race!" Alan Bomar's accent goes a bit deeper than Virginia. The longtime J/24 sailor grew up sailing on Butterflies, Lightnings, and J/24s on Lake Lanier, north of Atlanta, GA, eventually sailing with the club team at Georgia Tech. Bomar moved to Hampton in 1984 and has been a fixture of the sailing scene ever since.

"When I first moved to the Hampton Roads area, I was single and free to go sailing all the time. I went every weekend," He says. He crewed for John Hanna on his Pearson 37 and later a Mumm 36. After marrying his wife, Jan and having two kids, he found Rusty Burshell's J/30 Cool Change was more conductive to his family sailing life. He brought his family's 1977 J/24 Roundabout ("not quite as old as Tony Parker's") to the Bay in 1997 and has been actively racing her in PHRF C out of Hampton YC (HYC) with a solid High Point record, including winning in 2007 and placing second in 2008 and 2009.

Bomar and crew-often including his 17-year-old son William and sometimes 13-year-old daughter Abby-occasionally travel to Annapolis or to Fishing Bay, but more often than not stick to Hampton. "There's good cooperation among local clubs to put on racing every weekend," he says. "Hampton offers a great sailing venue with fairly predictable southwest or easterly winds, and the Lower Bay offers a great, wide platform for bigger events."

Longtime crew Ray Nugent says, "Alan is calm and unflappable, radiating confidence from the back of the boat, keeping the crew on task during crises. Don't let the gentlemanly demeanor fool, you, however . He is a fierce competitor and tactically savvy around the course."

After breaking his leg while surf kayaking with his son late in 2008, Bomar was diagnosed with a blood cancer called multiple myeloma. His most aggressive treatment to date included recent back-to-back stem cell transplants. At the time of this writing, Bomar was nearing the end of his 100-day recovery period. His blood counts were good and improving, and he was looking forward to racing in the Leukemia Cup Regatta in Deltaville July 10-11 out of Fishing Bay YC. To learn more about the regatta and its goal of raising money to cure blood cancers, visit or

SpinSheet: Who are your sailing mentors?
John Hanna, Rusty Burshell, and Ted Turner (I've never met him, but...).

Who are your best sailing buddies?
Nick Drake, Ray Nugent, David Hamm, and my son William.

Do you have a favorite sailing memory from 2009?
Last fall, my son wanted to do the frostbite series. One day, it was blowing 16 to 20 knots . It was just the two of us. We were over-powered, but it was an exciting memorable day. We didn't win, but we tried. We didn't break anything. We had a blast.

Is there a place on the Bay that makes you think, "This is why I live here."
Probably just sailing in the Hampton Roads area. You can sail up the Elizabeth River or the James River. There is a variety of ships in the harbor. It's always changing, always interesting.

What kind of music do you listen to?
1970s rock and roll: the Who, Yes and Jethro Tull.

What magazines do you read?
SpinSheet, Sailing World, Sailing, Garden & Gun, and various technology magazines (I'm an engineer at heart).

What is your favorite restaurant or watering hole?
On special occasions, we go do the commodore's dining room at HYC. It's nice looking out on the boats and Hampton University across the river.

Do you have any non-sailing passions?
I like to check out history museums. and I'm amazed by technology and how it evolved through history.

What gear do you wear?
Gill foul weather gear and Maui Jim sunglasses. I get lines and Supplies from APS.

Do you have any advice for a young sailor?
Spend time on the water and race as many boats as you can.

Do you have any advice for sailors in general?
Be a mentor to someone who is new to sailing. Take someone under your arm and teach him or her about sailing and being a good crew.

Is there anything you would like to achieve on the water that you haven't yet?
One year, I 'd like to do well in the J/24 East Coast Championships.

If you won the lottery, what kind of boat would you buy?
A 37-foot WallyNano. I love the classic look and reverse transom.