Wednesday, September 29, 2010

APS Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile - Ashley Love

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

Anyone who heard her sing “The Star Spangled Banner” at the beginning of the Melges 24 World Championships in Annapolis last fall knows who Ashley Love is. The Jersey Shore native and lifelong sailor is no stranger to singing solo in front of crowds, nor is it foreign to her to work quietly behind a video camera. Born into a sailing family, Love started sailing on an E-Scow as a baby and moved onto junior sailing in Optis, Bytes, and Lasers. Although she chose Ultimate Frisbee over sailing as her sport at the University in Richmond, where she was a theater and English major, she was assistant sailing coach at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY, for an academic year after college starting in 2007.

It was at Hobart that Love started making music videos for the traveling team “just to pump them up. I loved editing and figuring it out,” she says. Those videos helped to land her an internship in July 2008 at T2Productions, an Annapolis-based video production company, where she is now a full-time producer, videographer, and editor. Love’s work has taken her to regattas in Denmark and the British Virgin Islands and all over the United States. “A lot of people go to school to do what I do. I’m sure they know more than I do, but I learn by doing,” she says. “Just like sailing, nothing is ever the same. There’s always a new assignment, a new angle, and a new way to try something.” Love says that her theater background—which included acting, dancing, singing, doing sound work, and directing and writing plays—and a decade of coaching sailing prepared her well for video production work. “I know how to tell a story and entertain. I also know where to be on the race course to get the best shots.”

Among Love’s competitive adventures have been winning a gold for the U.S.A. in Beach Ultimate Frisbee in Brazil and sailing in the Women’s Single-Handed Laser Radial World Championships in Japan, Bytes in Bermuda, 29ers in Finland, Melges 32s in Australia, and 5O5 and Laser racing out of Severn SA in Annapolis.

A year ago, Love and a group of eight sailing buddies started the Young Adult Sailing Team (YAST) for 21- to 35-year-old sailors. “We’re the lost generation of sailors,” she says. Now at 30 members, the YAST team is trying to change that and get more young people on the water to share their passion for sailing and bring back the fun, doing anything from greased watermelon relays to scavenger hunts.

Who are your top sailing mentors and buddies?
My dad, Evan Harrell, and Eric Reitinger.

Do you have a favorite sailing moment from this season?
Deciding to buy a 5O5 with my boyfriend, finding one, and promptly buying it. When we were screaming along and trapped out with the chute up in 18 knots of breeze for the first time, it was everything we were
hoping it would be.

Do you have a favorite place on the Bay?
Sailing back to the dock at SSA with the sun setting behind the city.

What kind of music are you listening to lately?
Whatever music I’m editing with. We have a program so you can choose the exact duration for the video you need and the mood and then alter it to your liking. It’s fantastic! I love using the big orchestra and choir pieces for music videos.

What television programs do you watch?
Grey’s Anatomy is one of my guilty pleasures. I watch a ton of movies. I’m always watching the cinematographers’ camera angle and style choices. I don’t like going into the movie knowing what it’s about. I love to rewrite the endings.

What are your non-sailing passions?
Anything theater and Ultimate Frisbee.

Do you have any advice for young racing sailors?
The earth is 70-percent water and probably one percent populated, so you have to get out there. Whatever makes you happy, whatever gets your heart pumping, whatever floats your boat, just do it. Let the adrenaline in now, and give risk a chance on and off the water.

Do you have any sailing goals?
I love that sailing is a lifetime sport, and you can’t stop learning. Every time I go out, there’s a new opponent, a new condition. I want to learn how to fix things, too. I just did my first delivery from Annapolis to Cape Cod, MA. I’d like to do more overnight sailing and to see the night sky away from land.

What’s in your gear bag?
Board shorts, 17-year-old Gill dinghy boots, a T2P hat, and Gill sunglasses.

If you won the lottery, what kind of boat would you buy?
I’d want a boat that could take me to those stars. Maybe I’ll find one at the sailboat show!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Fall Racing Preview

The wind is up in Annapolis and this likely means one thing. We’re approaching the miraculous few weeks where we have consistent breeze. It’s not a coincidence that the best conditions for racing typically hail some of our most exciting regattas and this year is no different. These events include the recently passed Annapolis Race Week, Oxford race, and J/35 NAs, as well as the upcoming IRC Championships, Farr 40 NAs, Beneteau 36.7 NAs and J/105 Chesapeake Bay Championships all being held in October.

A very important part of fall racing, albeit of lower profile than the North American Championships that surround it, is the Annapolis Yacht Club fall series. In recent years racers would compete on three consecutive Saturdays or Sundays (depending which fleet you were in) in windward/leeward drop mark races. However this year looks to be different, one may even say the metaphorical leaves are changing colors this year for the layout for this year’s fall series.

The first Saturday of October will introduce a distance race where all boats in all classes (as well as having a Farr 40 and non-spin divisions) will compete in a distance race of 8-40 miles depending on conditions. The following weekend will feature two days of racing for PHRF B, C, J/105, J/30, and J/24s. While the following weekend will be two days for the PHRF A0, A1, A2 as well as the J/35, B 36.7s. My discussions with fellow sailors show a decidedly ambiguous sentiment towards the change.

One benefit is that it adds another dimension to the racing with the addition of a distance race. There now is more fairness given to boats that aren’t as well suited for windward-leeward races and may draw in some boats that may not potentially sign up for the series were it only windward-leeward.

It may potentially encourage more people to come in from out of town to compete. Rather than having to come for three consecutive weekends they will only have to come for two weekends. Additionally the time commitment changes, people now have to dedicate all of one weekend and part of another rather than a part of three weekends, which is good and bad depending who you ask. Good for anyone who likes football that was in the Sunday fleet.

A potential downside is that if bad weather rolls through on one of those weekends, it’s likely to throw a bigger wrench in the mix as adverse weather could potentially ruin two out of three days of your fall series regatta.

As it usually is, one of these weekends coincides with the Annapolis Boat show so for those who attend the boat show won’t miss just one day of the series, you’ll miss two of three days of the series. Fortunately for those sailing in A0, A1, A2, J/35 and B 36.7s fleets, the boat show makes no difference at all, where in previous years you may have been out one of three day of the series; now they won’t miss a single day.

No matter how you feel about the format all that really matters if you ask me is that once you’re on the water the fall series promises to be competitive and enjoyable.

Since this is my first blog post I'll take a brief minute to introduce myself, my name is Matt Fafoutis and I work in Customer Service. I grew up in NJ and went to college at St. Mary's College of Maryland. I currently live in Baltimore and have been at APS since June of 2010. I for one, am very excited for fall racing and especially the new format of fall series.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Deck Shoes

We're almost done with our shoe videos!! This week's addition to the our shoe video library, deck shoes. Great for around town or on the boat, with non-marking soles, they can go just about anywhere.

Check out our stylish options from the one and only... Sperry. Great for picking out your favorite style, getting tips on fit and much more. Available in men's and women's, we have deck shoes for everyone!

Check them out here at

Monday, September 13, 2010

Informational videos from APS's rigging department...

Ever wonder how to properly terminate the end of your lines, make a standard whiplock or a fancy flemish eye?

Well you’re in luck! We have new videos brought to you by our rigging department showing how to do just that.

Please enjoy these brief 'How to' videos and be sure to check back for more in the future.

How to make a standard whiplock...

Using whipping twine and splicing needles, a whiplock locks in the core of the line preventing non-load movement.

How to make a flemish eye...

For those that are unfamiliar with a flemish eye, it’s basically an eye formed at the end of a rope by dividing the strands and lying them over each other. Great for attaching a halyard.

3 different methods for line termination...

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Video's on Dinghy Hiking and Trapeze Boots...

There are many styles of dinghy and trapeze boots, so we’ve added more videos to show some key features of these high contact boots. Get a closer look at the construction of each boot and see how the different boots compare for the tasks you wish to accomplish on the boat. Many models are designed to complement other hiking accessories like several of our Zhik boots that marry with the Zhik hiking systems.

To check out our videos, visit our Dinghy Hiking and Trapeze Boots section under footwear on our website.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Sailing Shoe Videos!

We've decided that with all the different kinds of sailing shoes in our store, it would be a great idea to compose a short video on the different brands that we offer. This will be especially helpful for those of you who buy shoes online in terms of sizing and fit purposes. It's always nice to be able to try on shoes before you buy them so we are going to test them out for you!

We've also made it easier for you to get a closer look at what the shoe looks like inside out and from the bottom up while pointing out some other key features.

To check out our videos, visit our sailing shoes section under footwear on our website.