Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Free Shipping from APS!

'Tis the Season of Giving!Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Holiday 2011 Free Shipping Promotion
Gill and Henri Lloyd are rocking your world with special promotions, and APS is no exception. As a thank you for shopping with us this Holiday Season, all web orders over $150.00 will receive Free Shipping from APS from now until the end of the year!

Now, get to shopping - People want Sailing gifts this year! Visit the APS website or browse through the 2011 Digital Holiday Catalog. If you need inspiration, be sure to check out the APS Gift Ideas found here.

Free Gear From Henri Lloyd! 2011 Henri Lloyd Holiday Promotion at APS

We are literally talking two gifts for the price of one. Henri Lloyd's Holiday Free Gear Promotion is almost too good to be true - but pinch me, it is!

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Henri Lloyd 2011 Holiday Promotion Free Gear

When you buy a Men's TP1 Vista Jacket, you get a Free pair of TP1 Hi Fit Trousers. When you buy a Women's TP1 Vista Jacket, you get a Free pair of TP2 Hi Fits.Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Henri Lloyd 2011 Holiday Promotion Free Gear

That's not your only option. If you don't need a foul weather top quite as heavy as the Vista Jackets, you'll get some booty with a purchase of the Henri Lloyd Atmosphere Jacket or the Women's Symphony Jacket, too. What's the prize, you might ask? A Storm Barrel 85 Gear Bag!

See what we mean? Too good to be true - but it is! That's a big Happy Holidays from Henri Lloyd!

Click here for more details...

Free Gear From Gill! 2011 Gill Holiday Promotion at APS

If you've had your eye on Gill's Cable Knit Beanie or the Gill Personal Rescue Knife - you don't necessarily have to buy them...

What if we told you, there's a way for you to get them for FREE?

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS 2011 Gill Holiday Promotion

The 2011 Holiday Season has commenced, and that means your favorite Brands are giving you extras to spread some holiday cheer!

How do you get in on this deal? Get a head start on holiday shopping, and think Gill. Spend $150.00 to $300.00 on other Gill Products you've had your eye on. If you spend $150.00, you the Beanie for Free. If you spend $300.00, you get both the Beanie and the Knife for Free! Click here for details.

Think Gill Pro Dinghy. If you need a new spray top or a pair of bibs - who do you know who might like a Gill Washbag for the holidays? That's an easy Beanie bonus to keep for yourself or to cross of as a gift for someone else. Top off with a Gill Regatta Master Watch II instead of the Washbag, and you'll have both gear bonuses in the bag.

Browse the APS website to see what Gill products we're stocking now - everything from foul weather gear and gloves to dinghy boots and dry suits!

Harken Looks back on APS's 20 Years

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Harken Ballistic Eco Pants

Everyone knows Harken. Famed with inventing the first ball bearing block in 1966 – Harken forever changed the course of performance sailing. Continuously innovating - the Harken product offering has grown over the last 4 decades to not only include hardware but also, soft goods.

In fact, the Harken Ballistic Eco Pants were awarded the DAME Clothing and Crew Accessories Category award for 2011 at METS hosted last week.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Harken
CEO of Harken Bill Goggins and Northeast Sales Representative Oakley Jones have taken some time out to talk about the connections they’ve shared with APS over the years in honor of the APS 20th Anniversary. Here's what they really think:

1. What was your impression of Kyle during the first 10 years of APS?
Smart, fun to work with, not afraid to call you out if something didn’t seem right. Kyle is willing to fight for the best interests of the sailors and his employees. I love that about Kyle.

2. From your perspective, how do you think APS has influenced performance sailing in the US?
APS has influenced performance sailing in the US by gathering all the parts, little and big, that someone could ever need in one place backed by people who actually use the parts and have a passion for the sport. When you call APS you’re going to get a sailor on the phone who can talk the talk because they walk the walk. They’re probably still wearing damp shoes from racing the night before!

3. How does APS stand out as a retailer of Harken products?
APS and Harken share some of the same DNA as companies. Both saw a need in the market and have been trying their best to fill it over the years. Hard work and putting the customer first. This makes APS stand out. Their focus is the sailor.

4. Do you have any unique stories pertaining to APS?

I was doing one of the Wednesday morning training sessions I asked one of the guys if I could play “snacktician” bring anything to the meeting. I was told “go to Carlson’s Thai Kitchen and get a dozen donuts.” I thought they were messing with me since I’m from Newport, but sure enough the Thai food place serves a mean donut.

5. What is your favorite METS memory with APS?
We stayed up until 3am solving all of the world’s problems with our distributor for Helsiniki last year. To be precise, it’s our best memory, because we’ve forgotten all details.

6. What is special about APS?
The people. How we, Harken, are treated as partners and not just vendors. They give product feedback and reports back from the field as to how our gear is working.

7. What five words would you use to describe APS?
a. Dedicated
b. Knowledgeable
c. Sailors!
d. Passionate
e. One-Design (please let that be one word!)

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Harken Ball Bearing BlockClassic

The Harken 2.25 and 3.00 Inch 57 mm Ball Bearing Blocks put them on the map in 1968 and are still available today. In 1968, a member of the press said, " [his] opinion, it would take years for yacht designers to come up with boats fast enough to stay under the sails that are sheeted with them." Considering the blocks' longevity in the market - it's clear Harken has been a visionary company since day one.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Harken T2 57 Carbo Airblock 57mmInnovative

The T2 Soft Attach Block Line is a great representation of where Harken is headed. It is the first block with no fasteners, rivets, or other metal parts - making it what was once unrealistically light.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Harken T18 Soft Attach BlockBrand Spanking New

The New T18 Soft Attach Block deserves the spotlight, too. This 18mm block is small but mighty with a working load of 275lbs. Read more about it here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Best Sailing Gifts for 2011

APS gets technical.

Normally, when we deliver a message like this – we’re talking rigging, apparel, or hardware. This time, we’re talking about taking a step towards digital deliverance. Presenting the 2011 APS Holiday Catalog.

Go on - click below, and start your holiday shopping…

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Holiday Catalog The Best Sailing Gifts for 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

APS/Spinsheet Chesapeake Racer Profile - Farrah Hall

We caught up with APS Chesapeake Racer Profile alumna Farrah Hall last month on a spectacular fall day with the dramatic backdrop of the U.S. Sailboat Show banners flying across the creek in downtown Annapolis. In between training sessions and competitions in Bulgaria, England, and Mexico, clearly itching to get out and enjoy the building whitecaps, Hall sat at the picnic tables in front of Compass Marketing - a sponsor of her campaign to represent the U.S. at the 2012 Olympics - primed for an afternoon of windsurfing practice off Horn Point with Maksymilian Wojcik from the Polish national sailing team.

Currently considered the top-ranked windsurfer for the U.S., Hall has come a long way since she started windsurfing as a teenager in the late 1990s on the Magothy River and often needed a tow home for lack of tacking and gybing knowledge. Although she started sailing at the age of 13, she did not fall in love with it until she started boardsailing in high school. As a serious track and field athlete and Olympic distance triathlete, she had what it took to excel at the sport. While at St. Mary's College of Maryland, from which she graduated in 2003, Hall founded the windsurfing club and worked at a windsurfing shop in Martha's Vinyard in the summer. It was when Mike Gebhardt, a two-time Olympic medalist, visited the college that Hall learned that boardsailing was an Olympic sport. She began racing shortly thereafter and having thoughts of taking her windsurfing to the next level.

Last June, Hall finished as the top American in the RS:X female class at the Sail for Gold Regatta in Weymouth, England. At prime time, she was competing in the Pan American Games in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where she was third place. After the games, Hall will head to Australia to begin training for her next qualifying regatta, the Perth 2011 ISAF Sailing World Championships, for which she qualified in January at the Miami OCR and where she will compete to qualify for the 2012 Olympics.

What was your first most exciting recent event?
Our first pre-Olympic qualifier in Weymouth [U.K.], in June stands out for me. It was a very well-run event. The windsurfers usually sail inside the harbor where it's flat, but they changed that this time. Outside the harbor it's completely different. There are big gusts and big waves and interesting coastal effects. On this one course, there are big cliffs that make this lane you can catch to go upwind. The second course is near a high peninsula which makes for a natural stadium, where people can sit on the hill and watch. It makes the course shifty but really interesting. You had to watch the shifts all the time. A couple of times, I was behind and saw opportunities to catch up with puffs - and managed to have good races even after bad starts. That's my favorite kind of racing; you have to think all the time.

Bulgaria was also exciting. It's like the Hawaii of Eastern Europe. It has the same conditions everyday; it's sunny and hot with a nice sea swell. You launch off the beach, which is always cool. There are the perfect conditions for planing - 12 to 15 knots - every day. You get in a lot of races.

With all that traveling, do you have a social life?
Not really. My social life is with the people on the racing circuit. I'm sort of an introvert anyway. I do miss my really good friends, especially when they have big life events. I have a friend who had a baby and another one who bought a new home. It's hard when I'm not home to celebrate those events with them.

What's your fitness routine?
I do heart-rate zone training where I build up a little more each week. Also, lifting, rowing, cycling, and running - hard, not far. I do speed workouts at intervals.

What's new in your gear bag?
Atlantis high-tech shirts. I wear them sailing, running, and to the gym. Wet suits are also important gear for me. The one I have on is Neil Pryde. It's hard to find one that works well for windsurfing.

What do you do to unwind and get your mind off competing and training?
I read constantly. I ready fantasy, science fiction, and adventure. I just finished the Game of Thrones series.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

APS Expands Warehouse - Shipping/Call Center Close Thursday & Friday

Attention APS Customers:

APS is making improvements to serve you better. We are expanding our facilities and streamlining our receiving, shipping, and warehousing processes. Who’s going to benefit most from the new and improved organization? You are.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS StorefrontOf course, this means, we’re going to have to take some time to work it out...

•The APS Shipping Department will be closed tomorrow, Thursday, November 10 and Friday, November 11.

•Also, the APS Storefront and Call Center will be closed starting at 12:00pm Thursday, November 10 and will remained closed Friday. The APS Call Center will open, and normal shipping will resume Monday, November 14.

If you need something for the weekend or early next week, please Place Your Orders Today before 1:00pm EST.

For more details, click here.

Note: For those in the Annapolis area, the storefront will hold normal business hours during the weekend from 8:00am to 12:00pm Saturday and Sunday.

Thank you for your patience during this transition – we are proud to say APS keeps getting better every day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Spinlock Looks back on APS's 20 Years

UK-Based Spinlock has developed a solid reputation for ropeholding over the last 30 years. Their offering doesn't just stop with extremely well-designed and well-manufactured cleats, clutches, and jammers. Spinlock takes it to the next level with their Deckware collection - a testament to their commitment to innovation.

Here, Spinlock Special Projects gurus Jez Rowles and James Hall express their thoughts about APS and how we have evolved over the last 20 years.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Spinlock Vendor Interview

1. What five words would you use to describe APS?
Clean, On-trend, Evolving, Motivated, Relevant.

2. How does APS stand out as a retailer of Spinlock products?
It’s painful watching some businesses struggle with the internet despite the size of the opportunity. Many even consider it a threat! Because of traditional manufacturer/dealer relations we, as the manufacturer, almost have one arm tied behind our back regarding e-commerce. Having a brand like APS to work with means all our developments, social, interactive, & informative get used so we all benefit. E-commerce strength is not to undervalue the store presence, but US geography is not on the side of any store-based business wishing to develop. The APS store is a beacon of light among so many frankly unpleasant marine retail experiences.

3. From your perspective, how do you think APS has influenced performance sailing in the US? In the world?
Many great products exist but lots are wrongly sold, eventually leaving the sailor dissatisfied. By having an opinion, as competitive sailors, and offering therefore informed advice - the right products must get sold to the right customer.

4. What is your favorite Boat Show memory with APS?
Very happy to see the APS athletes enjoying our hospitality during the Spinlock party last year. Glad to see we are not all taking it too seriously!

5. What is your favorite METS memory with APS?
Kyle always gives time but is rightly trying to keep moving during this busy event. He must have thought I was following him last year when, in the course of my ‘brand relations’ popped up on each stand behind him. Just further shows APS talking to the right companies.

6. What do you like about dealing with APS? APS staff?
The developed combination of professionalism & friendliness sometimes not easy to maintain.

7. What do you think is special about APS?
The team.

Spinlock is a truly great company. They carefully consider every detail when developing their various products, and the result is consistently so well done that the end-user reaps the benefits. Below, you'll find some top Spinlock products APS recommends:

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Spinlock PXR Camcleat
The PXR Cam Cleats are all about precision control, and they release easily under load. A unique three stage adjustment spring allows the user to select the appropriate release setting depending on the application.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Spinlock Deckvest

Spinlock Deckvest

Spinlock recognized an area in which racing gear was lacking and filled in the holes with their innovative Deckware collection. We think the Deckvest is the best of the bunch.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Spinlock Tiller ExtensionsLatest and Greatest

Spinlock's EA (asymmetric) Handle Grip Tiller extensions make the skipper's job easier - providing more feedback, increased mobility, and comfort. Check them out - we even like the new colors. In addition to the original silver, you get your choice of graphite, citrus, or amber.

Friday, November 4, 2011

ISSA High School Single Handed Championship – 2012 Cressy Trophy

You hear it all the time because it’s true. The. Youth. Is. The. Future. That’s why APS is proud to support the ISSA a.k.a. the organization behind High School Sailors.

Last Weekend, APS’s devotion to the sport (and the future of the sport) collided with our Annapolis roots. We’re talking ‘collided’ in a good way – like when chocolate collides with peanut butter at the Reeses factory. Ok – Halloween’s over, but you get the idea…

Presented to the US Naval Academy (Hey Annapolis!) in honor of 1927 graduate Morton Starr Cressy, Jr., the Cressy Trophy currently represents National Champion Status for ISSA High School single-handed Laser Sailors. Rotating annually among the several ISSA districts, the regatta host this year was the Chicago Yacht Club.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS ISSA High School Sailing Cressy Trophy
It was an exciting regatta, too, with top racers exhibiting their skills as they battled it out over two days of building winds. (See Day 1 v. Day 2 as pictured above.) Director of Sailing at the Chicago Yacht Club said they almost reached their limits as far as conditions go – with winds reaching to the mid 20s – but luckily, all 18 of the scheduled races were completed.

And the 2012 winners are:
Full Rig: Martin County High School – Eric Lawrence
Radial Rig: Black River High School – Mitchell Kiss

Congratulations to all who competed!

PS. Nice Race Marks! ;)

All information and photographs were gathered from The photographs are credited to Tom Monkus.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Zhik Looks back on APS's 20 Years

Zhik, the Australia-based marine outfitter that rocks edgy graphics and innovative products suits some of the 'Fastest Wet Athletes' in the world. Sponsoring international speed stars including windsurfers, dinghy sailors, and fast cat hellions - this is a brand that has the performance racer (and only the performance racer) in mind.

Here's what the folks from Down Undah have to say about APS as we celebrate 20 years in the biz:

1. From your perspective, how do you think APS has influenced performance sailing in the US? In the world?
APS was the first dealer in the USA to sell Zhik gear. That in itself says everything! They recognized the differences and supported them.

2. What about APS influenced you to approach us about bringing your products to market in the US?
I remember when Kyle told me about MAP pricing, and handed me a list of fleet sizes. We developed Sunfish, V15, 420 hiking straps for the US market with APS help.

3. How has teaming up with APS shaped the course of the future for Zhik?
APS gave Zhik a US presence when we first started. That shaped us up quite a bit!

4. Why did you select APS as an avenue through which you would bring your products to market?
Is this question like an obviousness test…? Derrrr.

5. What is special about APS?
APS “gets it.” They listen to everybody, and make their own educated choices. The philosophy at APS is similar to Zhik. Independent thinking. Fit for purpose.

6. What five words would you use to describe APS?
Here are three…

“Amazingly Professional Service”

Zhik is a little bit like Chuck Norris - they don't just think outside of the box - they create the box, and roundhouse kick their way to greatness. Here are some Zhik products that have changed the performance sailing market for the better:

DeckbeatersAnnapolis Performance Sailing APS Zhik Deckbeaters Shorts Pants

If you haven't tried them, you should. These padded neoprene pants and shorts were designed to be wet sailing hiking outer gear - but because they up the anty on deck comfort, even folks on larger keelboats have been wearing them concealed under shorts.

Annapolis Performance Sailing APS Zhik ZKG Neoprene Sailing Shoes
Sailing Shoes

Released at the beginning of this year, the ZKG Wet Deck Shoe has changed the way people think of sailing boots. Made of neoprene with a super-grip sole, the cool look hasn't compromised function.