Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Interview with Jennifer Chamberlin fresh off Olympic Trials

 Jen Chamberlin gave us a few minutes to talk about her women's match racing campaign in the Elliot 6m with with GETsailing.Two years of racing and preparation got them all the way to the US team finals in Weymouth, England.

What was your favorite event of the campaign?

The final month of our campaign was a really good run, it consisted of two events and two weeks of training. We started off racing in Hyeres, the World Cup Event in France and training in Weymouth and then our Olympic Trials in Weymouth. It was breeze on for the entire month! It was cool to push the limits in the Elliott, this may of  included some swimming, sailing in a hail storm and a few extra days off because it was blowing 50+!! It had been hard to get a lot of big breeze practice and we got our share during this time. Our final month of the campaign we had our goal of where we wanted to be physically and mentally for the US Trials, I believe we meet those goals and put up a solid fight at the end, the results just didn't quite go our way. 

What was the craziest moment during racing you had?

Olympic Trials in Weymouth this May, 2012, Race 1 on Day 2 against Sally... Long story short we spun 4 penalties, we got a 5th but it was offset and still won the race. (To break that down...We spun 4 penalties, a penalty takes about 15 seconds so we spent a minute of that race just doing penalties and were still able to come out ahead).

We got our 1st penalty in the pre-start. We were behind at the top mark and passed on the downwind but got another penalty for rule 17 close to the bottom starboard layline, (We then had 2 penalties, so we had to spin it immediately) we rounded the leeward mark a BL behind. We followed her into the top mark and passed her on her left and were able to gybe across, she got a penalty that offset our penalty.  She was to our left and we gybed for the RC, missing the anchor line by a hair! At this point we got another penalty for gybing too close. We spun it while missing the RC's anchor line and then were given a double penalty at the finish. We managed to spin them and finish ahead. In these type of scenario's there is a lot going on with boat handling and driving so it was a really nice team effort to pull off a race like that! 

How do you enjoy the transition from college dinghy sailing to match racing keelboats?

I've enjoyed it. There are quite a few similarities from Match Racing to College Sailing. Ex. the length of courses, the type of venues (shifty, mostly flat water and close to land), and you have to be able to race at any moment but also expect long breaks. At St . Mary's we called this a lot of "hurry up and wait"  in reference to the regatta format. For example, we could be 1st start at 10am for 5 races in the morning, end by 2pm and but be ready to go at 6:30 pm for a crucial race for a spot in the next round could be a normal scenario. The format of college sailing can be very similar, a lot of waiting around but you have to be ready to perform when the time comes. 

In terms of the type of boat- transition it has definitely been a learning experience. I really enjoyed the Elliott 6m it has a very thin keel, so learning how to sail the boat down-speed and in chop and waves took a lot of practice. 

What gear would you not leave the dock without?

SUNSCREEN!, Visor, Tech-t, wet suit shorts or spandexshorts... I prefer grey lenses Kaenon's, Atlas gloves, wet suit booties.. If we are sailing somewhere colder it's a different story... it requires a lot more wet suit layers, thicker boots, warmer hats... 

Where can we find you now?

From the APS Storefront !
I am currently living in Newport, RI for a few months before I moving to San Francisco in the Fall. I am spending most of my time in Newport and my with my family in DC.

What do you like do when you are not sailing?

I enjoy traveling, photography, surfing, biking, cooking.

One thing you wish you would have known before starting the campaign:

Invest in good luggage, nothing is like leaving for Europe for a month and your bag explodes in the DC Metro 2 hours before your flight! After "Fixing" that bag don't continue to use it because my next trip to California at baggage claim it was duck taped together by the Airline..

Don't ever slack on wearing Sunscreen, protect your skin!! Visit all doctors/dentist before leaving...flying home for an emergency Root Canal a week before your World Championship is no fun!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


Father's Day Gift Ideas

That's right, it's the time in the season when you're supposed to honor the old dad. You can bring him breakfast in bed or phone him long distance - but what's going to take him by surprise and make him feel like a special guy for helping rear you? I'm willing to bet nothing says, 'Thanks for being my dad' to your sailing father like an out-of-the-blue package from APS. The following gifts range from $6.00 to $96.00 and will surely make your old man smile.

Now, for the breakdown:


1. Leatherman Wave Multi-Tool: The most popular full-size Leatherman tool is now better than ever...

What does it say?
"Dad, remember when you let me borrow your tools last week? Well..."

"It is symbolic that I am giving you a tool because I am implying that I do not think you are a tool."

2. Aquapac Waterproof Bags for Electronics  made to fit phones, VHF Radios, GPSs, Tablets, and Cameras or a Davis Self-Inflating Key Buoy...

What does it say?
"Dad, you love the water, and the water wants to swallow your belongings. Let me help you help them float."

"Clumsy, much?"

"I gave you so many headaches as a child, I'm trying to make up for it."

3. Any Sailing Books and/or DVDs to Sharpen Dad's Knowledge of the Rules and his Strategic Cunning. If your dad's a Laser Sailor, we recommend Rooster Sailing's  - The Boat Whisperer Upwind and Downwind DVD Set...

What does it say?
"You fouled me at the leeward mark in that last around-the-buoys. I think you need to brush up on your skillz."

"Dunh Dunh Dud-dah! You're my dad! Go fast and conquer!

"You've still got it. Go school those youngings on the course."

4. A Fancy Carbon Money Clip by Pirate Carbon keeping your purchasing power looking oh-so-debonair...

What does it say?
"Dad, you are the coolest."

"Look what they can do with military spec carbon fiber? You can keep this in your pocket when going through airport security!"

"I love you, and I love Carbon Fiber."

5. Keeping in the theme of travel and purchasing power, these Travel Kits and Wallets made out of high tech materials come straight from your dad's favorite brands...

What does it say?

"Take that trip to the Med you've been putting off since I was born."

"You're not the most organized person I know. I think I should help you out."

"Isn't this brand swag great?"

6. Save Dad a trip to the marine hardware store and help him keep his boat looking brand new with a little Gel Coat/Epoxy help.

What does it say?

"Thanks for helping me keep my life in order all these years."

"I'm not embarrassed by that scratch in your gel coat."

"We all make mistakes, and luckily, we can fix them."

7. Favored by many a sailor, a monthly Subscription for Seahorse Magazine just may be one of the best Father's Day Presents you could give. It's a little spendy so Dad might not have indulged himself with this one...

What does it say?

"Thanks for teaching me how to read. Check out what Warren in Customer Service at APS calls inspirational sailing literature."

"My impression of you: You like technical and informational."

"Happy Father's Day. Boats and sailing are cool."


We don't want you to putter around on the internet all day so we'll leave you with just a few more ideas for inspiration. Dad's love multi-tools, drybags are always useful in sailboats, and Weems & Plath products are classic.

Good luck shopping, all you cheerful and kind-hearted children!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

First Look: Sperry SeaRacer GripX3


Sperry has released their GripX3 technology paired with three new shoe styles: SeaRacer (Women's), SeaRacer +, and the SeaHiker. Now the marquee sponsor of the US Sailing team, Sperry has used their position to get input in designing the GripX3 (Hydro-Grip) outsole and the three uppers. This technology Sperry claims is their "stickiest ever", with Adaptive Wave Siping for wet/dry traction. These shoes have lots of interesting technology that deserve a deeper look. We are going to focus on the SeaRacer and SeaRacer + for this blog.

The construction of the SeaRacer line all starts in the same place: Hydrophobic Mesh. The mesh spans from the toe all the way back to the mid ankle. This mesh used by Sperry is a very tight weave and is almost like a screen. Using mesh provides the wearer with a very lightweight shoe and an extreme amount of drainage, for when your feet take a dunk. It’s hydrophobic capabilities are there to help direct water away from entering in though the sides, but frankly your feet are still going to get wet but will dry very quickly. Sperry added drainage ports on the front 3rd to allow evacuation of water.

Taking grip a step further Sperry added a lattice work of rubber to the upper on the SeaRacer + they call Top-Deck 360. This (.02kg extra) network of rubber provides some extra stick for when the deck is very pitched but also protects the mesh build of the upper from wear and scuffing.  Again departing from the SeaRacer, the plus also features a drawstring (Quick-Draw) lace up system with a built in Lace Garage to stuff the adjustment clip on the tong. It tidies up the exposed loop created by the drawstring and keeps your fit secure. The standard men’s and women’s is a traditional tie up lacing system.

Midsole and Insole:
All styles of the SeaRacer have a CMEVA polyurethane midsole for cushioning. CMEVA means it’s a compression molded vinyl. The molded outsole does provide good heel support and stability as well. The SeaRacer series are comfortable shoes, but I would argue the comfort does not come from the midsole but the SON-R insole.

The SON-R technology from Sperry found in the SeaRacer has been adapted from their paddling line. Kayakers often have to traverse some obstacle laden and slippery terrain to find a good place to put in. Your feet send information to your brain about the topography, in turn your brain balances and adjust accordingly. Not having any feel underfoot in slippery conditions is a quick way to end up swimming. Enter the Metatarsal Pods found on the SON-R insole. Sperry uses the phrase “Seeing with your feet” to describe the way the pods work. Why is this important to sailors? You essentially have a better feel on what parts of the shoe are actively gripping the deck. There are tones of angles found on the deck some are wet others are nearly dry all the time. Being able to quickly relay what parts of the shoe are engaged with the non-skid will help to maintain balance and help promote your mobility. The pods are also very cushiony and provide a nice bed for bare feet.


Sperry bills this outsole as their “Stickiest Yet”.  The outsole itself is built from Hydro-Grip which is Sperry’s own proprietary sole rubber compound is designed to promote traction in wet conditions and is non marking. The sole is cut with a Adaptive Wave Siping tread, like your car tire the scoring into the surface is laid out move the water away from the contact area. It isn’t the most flexible sole that we carry but the shape and bend were designed to promote maximum contact with the deck surface, again for traction.

First Look:

After studying the new features and trying SeaRacers on for myself, I believe Sperry has done a good job here. The SeaRacer series incorporates a lightweight frame with very grippy tread and comfort/balance technology. Sperry's move to become the title sponsor of the US Sailing Team should help them to grow and advance on the technology they have already developed this year. A few APS employees have picked up pairs recently so look forward to a full review in the future. Absolutely need a pair now? SeaRacer Men's   SeaRacer Women's   SeaRacer + .

Check out our product video for even more info!: