Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rich Bowen, an accomplished sailor and Lead Sail Designer with North Sails shared his experience in Mexico and what gear he brought with him.  Erica Bowen, your favorite Crugear Operations Manager, was able to join him, holding down the shore crew.  Here’s his report.

Two years ago I was fortunate enough to be part of a J/24 team invited to the Regata Copa Mexico, which is a fantastic event sponsored by the Mexican government, the local state government and the Board of Tourism. We placed second and were invited back to the second biennial event held earlier this month.

Recalling the heat and humidity that was around during the entire first event, and the discomfort experienced in similar conditions at other venues, I decided to accessorize in order to dress like a comfortable sailor. Naturally, my first and only stop was APS, with the insistence of Erica and guidance of Mike, I can report mission accomplished.

Henri Lloyd Quick Dri shorts have been a favorite in my quiver for some time now. I am happy with their light weight and they really are quick drying. For this trip, I added Men'sCapilene 2 Lightweight Boxer Briefs by Patagonia. They are also quick drying and light, in combination with the Henri Lloyd, I could not have been more comfortable, either when sweating standing in the companionway, or sitting in a puddle on the rail.

For a couple of seasons now, my gloves have been Pro Gloves by Gill. My first pair has been in great shape longer than gloves I have used before. Normally, I am milking the life out of ratty; rope burned and holed gloves to get through a season. I am comfortably through season 1.5 on my first pair with no daylight showing through where it shouldn’t be. One tip for these is to try them on if you can, you might need to step up one size from your current glove depending on how yours fit now. The Gill’s seem to maintain that “new glove smell” a little better than others, comparing both when rinsed after use.

Shoes have been a struggle for me, the newer brands and models I have tried seem to be getting skinnier and pointier – not a good fit for my fat feet. Until now, I have been looking for the closeout sales and discontinued item racks for my late 90’s early 2000’s favorites. After trying 3 or 4 different options the day before my flight, I was ready to rely on old faithful for another week, until I tried the Slam Code 1 Shoes. My toes weren’t jammed together even though they had extra headroom in front of them. I finally had an option that fit fore and aft AND athwartships – sold. After a week on the water, I am still happy with the fit and grip on the deck; I wish the laces dried as fast as the rest of the shoe. Next stop, socks.

After a couple of weeks at home, it was off on the annual ski trip. My favorite pair of performance long underwear had met its match on the last trip. So, it was back to APS to complete my 2012 ski ensemble. I picked up a pair of Patagonia Capilene® 3 Bottoms, gray if you really need to know. I am writing this on the last day of skiing (finally got some snow last night after several days of great spring conditions in 50-60 degrees) and the Patagonia bottoms have been keeping me comfy at the warm base lodge, chilly top elevations and gusty chair lift rides. Read more from his fellow crew members; skipper here or mastman here.

They also had some great looking Crugear, compliments of Erica.  Shown here. 

Although he didn't mention it, they did get 3rd!  Here's a picture of the happy crew at the awards ceremony. 

Thanks for the report Rich!   

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