It was great to be back racing in Charleston! We can’t say enough good things about it. From the people, to the atmosphere, to the racing, Race Week is not an event to miss. 25 teams battled it out over 3 days of tricky and variable conditions, with a variety of different teams taking the top spots in each race. The VX fleet was named the most competitive fleet at Race Week for the first time ever, thanks to some of the closest and most competitive racing we’ve ever seen. In third place was 296 Tudo Bem (Michelle Warner, Austin Powers and Reed Baldridge), second place went to 276 Counterproductive (Chris Alexander, James Roe and Madeline Gill), with the top spot going to 241 Angry Baboon (Doug Clark, Rod Favela and Emmi Triplett). 241 also took home the boat of the week trophy for the regatta.
The energy and enthusiasm in the VX One fleet is at an all time high, and it is fantastic to see so many teams, both new and old, competing together at events all over the country. Charleston Race Week never disappoints and we are happy to be a part of it!
The VX One Winter Series wrapped up this past weekend with 3 days of tight racing hosted by the Sarasota Sailing Squadron. Thanks to an experienced group of volunteers on the Race Committee and a continued efficiency gain from the MarkSetBots, the fleet powered through 13 races.
Friday’s conditions tested each team’s preparedness as the northerly breeze built a bit more than was forecast. Sailing clean and just conservatively enough was the name of the game in the solid 18-20 knot breeze and 2-3’ chop. Jim Ward, at the helm of Destiny’s Bounty, was the dominant force of the day with only 4 points in 3 races.
Saturday brought a beautifully moderate breeze with only one race touching down into fluky territory. The key of the day was sailing fast and in phase with the shifts, which wasn’t always easy with a 25 boat fleet and only 0.65 nautical mile beats. No boat won more than a single race, but Chris Alexander’s Counterproductive won the day by staying focused and finding passing lanes even after congested start lines got the best of them.
Sunday’s breeze started off light but built steadily throughout the day. Most of the pressure and angle came from course left, but short-lived righties periodically came through and mixed the fleet up. Ian Maccini’s Blue Lobster, Paul Murphy’s Alternative Facts, and Emily Billing’s #284 had moments of glory and each posted their first bullet of the event. Winning the event was Chris Alexander with Madeline Gill and Kate O’Donnell on Counterproductive. Second place went to Jim Ward with Jeff Eiber and Lynda Bryant on Destiny’s Bounty. Rounding out the podium was Tim Pitts with Tim Desmond on Leatherback Mutiny.
Congratulations Doug Clark, series overall winner.
Sarasota Sailing Squadron welcomed the VX One fleet for their second winter series event over Valentine’s Day weekend. Following the successful Midwinter Championship in January, the fleet grew slightly to 24 boats. By Friday afternoon, most teams were onsite prepping, practicing, and sitting in on Chris Alexander’s rules discussion focused on mark room at leeward gates and downwind finishes.
Early morning fog on Saturday cleared before start time and the race committee was able to get four races off. The southwesterly breeze built from 5 to 10 knots and generally trended left, but not without some irregular righties rolling through. Teams who stayed focused on maintaining adequate power and balance onboard while also staying in phase were generously rewarded. One of the day’s biggest takeaways, however, was that the top teams are not the ones who only seek perfection, but the ones who adapt the most efficiently when mistakes are inevitably made. With no team winning more than one race on Saturday, it’s clear that resilience and forward-thinking were common traits amongst the leaders.
Sunday’s forecast was much less stable, with dark clouds looming on the horizon. A squall hit the fleet with heavy rain on the way out to the course but gave way to overcast skies by the time racing started. The 15 knots southerly steadily built to 25 knots over the course of two races. Sunday’s top teams were the ones who not only depowered the sail plan and hiked hard but also trimmed the sails to minimize heel angle and leeway. Many teams hit personal best downwind speeds, but the race committee made the decision to send the fleet in after seeing a few too many keels in the air.
Winning the weekend was Doug Clark with Mike Marshall. Second place went to Jim Ward with past class president Jeff Eiber and Lynda Bryant onboard. Rounding out the podium was current class president Chris Alexander sailing with Madeline Gill and Kate O’Donnell.
Teams powered by North Sails finished 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9.
The final event of the winter series will have a more extended format, with three days of racing on March 19-21. North experts Austin Powers and Madeline Gill will host a debrief after practice on Thursday. Keep your eyes out for more information as we get closer to the event.
It’s good to be back in Sarasota! Hats off to the team at Sarasota Sailing Squadron for creating a safe environment for us to be able to race in.
Saturday’s heavy breeze outlasted the fleet and only one challenging race was completed before RC called racing for the day. Sunday’s opposite forecast allowed 7 races to be sailed in a light 5-9kts. The fleet rose to the challenge and with a total of 8 races over the weekend, Chris Alexander, Madeline Gill, & Steven Holm took the top spot!
Off the water, it was nice to see VX sailors back together again in a COVID safe environment, swapping quarantine stories and talking sailing. The biggest thank you to our amazing fleet who was eager to get back racing and to make this a safe event. An additional thank you to our Race Committee, powered by a great group of volunteers, Sail22, Marksetbot, and Sarasota Sailing Squadron. We can’t wait to see everyone at Winter Series 2 February 13-14!
Happy 2021! We are looking forward to another great year of VX racing. Now Is the time to renew your VX One Class Association Membership! Class membership supports VX racing in North America and ensures the continued success of our events. As a reminder, membership is required to participate in class sanctioned events.
VX Raceboats Ltd. (Formerly Bennett Yachting, Inc.), Vela Sailing Supply, Inc, and Streamline Marine, LLC announced today a new format for the distribution and sales of VX sailboats in the United States with an eye towards simplifying the distribution process, providing world class service and support, and ultimately getting more boats on the water.
The VX One
Streamline has become the exclusive distributor of the VX One in the US, with Vela Sailing Supply acting as an additional dealer. Formed by class members in 2020, Streamline Marine plans to regularly import boats to keep an inventory of new boats and parts in the US, while also providing top quality service, rigging, and repair work at their facility in Portsmouth, RI. The VX One was the winner of the 2012 Sailing World ‘Overall Boat of the Year’ and ‘Best One Design’ as well as Sail Magazine’s 2012 ‘Best Boat’ award. The VX One is a robust, easy to sail, high performance 19’ sportboat that is highly responsive and powerful, which delights top level sailors and families alike. VX Ones are built by Ovington Boats of Great Britain and MacKay Boats of New Zealand.
“After being completely hooked from the first time I ever set foot on the boat, we are excited to become more involved with this fantastic boat and provide top notch support to the VX One family” stated Ian Maccini. Hayden Bennett responded, “I have loved being a part of the development of both boats while working alongside my father. It has been unbelievably rewarding. Now, with Streamline and the new team, I could not be more excited about the direction both classes are heading.”
The VX Evo
Vela Sailing Supply has become the exclusive distributor of the VX Evo in the US, with Streamline Marine acting as an additional dealer. Vela Sailing Supply has been heavily involved with both the VX One and VX Evo from the very beginning and are directly responsible for the extreme growth of the VX Evo class in the southern United States. Streamline looks forward to helping Vela Sailing Supply grow the class around the country. The VX Evo is the ultimate singlehanded dinghy aimed to the performance oriented sailor who wants to step up their sailing skills and enjoy a fun sportboat. It was the 2016 Sailing World ‘Sailing Dinghy of the Year’ and provides excitement for sailors of all ages.
Rod Favela, of Vela Sailing Supply stated, “As a VX One sailor and enthusiast, I could not be happier and more excited to join forces with such a great team of sailors and businessmen as Streamline. Together, and with the help and support of sportboat enthusiasts, the VX One and VX Evo will do nothing but grow and become the default boats in their categories. Energy, support and hard work are the fundamental principles in which these two companies are founded on, and I can’t wait to see how far we will take these two phenomenal sailing boats. Come be a part of these growing classes and experience the best sailing has to offer.”
Both the VX One and the VX Evo continue to rapidly grow worldwide and have an exciting future as the premier sportboats on the market. All parties involved are excited to be working together to deliver the best possible experience to VX owners and sailors throughout the United States.
Brian Bennett, the designer of both the VX One and VX Evo noted, “With Streamline and Vela now spearheading sales, distribution, and support of the One and Evo in the USA we are fortunate to have a group of enthusiastic, dedicated professionals supporting these two growing classes. Ian, Hayden, Bob, and Rod not only sail and compete in the One and Evo, but know the boats intimately and how to get the most out of them. Our customers will be well served without question by their experience, dedication, and friendly approach.”
ABOUT VX RACEBOATS LTD. VX Raceboats Ltd. is owned and operated by New Zealander Brian Bennett. Now working from “the top of the South” in NZ, Brian handles all interaction with our two builders and component manufacturers to maintain the overall high quality of VX products. All inquiries should be directed to email@example.com
ABOUT STREAMLINE MARINE, LLC Streamline Marine was formed by class members Hayden Bennett, Ian Maccini, and Bob Maccini to maximize the growth of the VX One in the US by providing direct access to new boats, parts, rigging and service work. Hayden has been involved with VXs from the beginning as the son of VX designer Brian and past service manager for Bennett Yachting, while Ian worked alongside Brian and Hayden during Bennett Yachting’s time as the distributor for VX Ones in the US, and currently manages media and marketing for the VX One class association. Based in Portsmouth, RI, Streamline is committed to providing world class sales, service, and support to VX sailors across the country. More information can be found at www.vxone.com. All inquiries should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT VELA SAILING SUPPLY, INC Vela Sailing Supply, Inc. started in late 2011, aims to offer solutions to sailors of all types and backgrounds through equipment sales and technical support in an affordable and friendly way. Based in Rockwall, TX, Vela sources products from the best manufacturers in the sailing industry, including hardware, sails, and personal equipment. Their involvement with the VX One started in early 2012 when Brian Bennett and Bennett Yachting, Inc. launched the first boats and have since been fully involved in supporting the class and sailors on and off the water. Vela offers a comprehensive line of products and knowledge about the VX One, thereby positioning itself as the best source of support for VX One sailors. At a later date, Vela Sailing added the VX Evo to its line of products in order to offer the singlehanded sailor a similar experience to that of the VX One. With its knowledge, history and presence in the sailing industry, Vela Sailing Supply ensures the continued success of the VX One and Evo. All inquiries should be directed to email@example.com
The lemonade stand for the VX One fleet has been very busy from the beginning of June and will continue to be until October. Early in June, VX One teams committed to each other to be “quaran-teams” in order to be able to sail and be respectful of the pandemic phase restrictions applied from the province. Every weekend, in lieu of a race committee, marks were dragged out (thank you Violet Stafford) and good old rabbit starts allowed for many short course races. Sometimes 4 boats were out and other days had 8-10 boats participated and we always ended the day with a debrief of boat set-up, tips and tricks, demonstrating that the camaraderie of this fleet can’t be beat.
Participation has been active in the VX One fleet even with the restrictions of the pandemic. On Thursday nights since mid-week racing began we’ve averaged about 10 boats on the starting line. With the quick work of the RC we’ve managed to get two races in on two separate Thursdays. The quality of the racing is hard to beat, with good competition all the way through the fleet, and a helpful and encouraging atmosphere.
There have been some new comers to the fleet this season. Jason Kahng and Rod Wilmer bought hull 144 – Welcome Jason and Rod! Jason has been seen getting familiar with the boat with his family this summer. Andrew Yates has chartered hull 259 and has been sailing with his family (Clea and Maxwell). The Yate’s are accomplished I14 sailors and we are glad to have them in our fleet.
In the season of Covid we’ve had several family racing teams. In addition to the Yates’ we’ve also regularly seen the Bennett family and the Leigh family. The VX One can be a great family boat too!
Like every fleet, we were excited for the return of the weekly races bringing back some normalcy to our lives. Thank you to the sailing office for being ready to hit GO when the approval was provided.
Big news in the fleet this season is the addition of the second ramp to the VX One dry sail area. This is a welcome and much needed facility improvement. On race day there are a lot of boats launching, and some dock time is required before you can sail, so having the second ramp back (after the ramps were damaged by winter ice two seasons ago) is a great development.
Fast forward to the weekend of August 22/23 which was our scheduled Canadians Regatta renamed “Not the Canadians” Regatta. The fleet of 13 boats keen for 2 days of racing on the lake (a relief from the weedy inner harbour) held 8 races in total. Day 1 was light air with challenging conditions and Day 2 more breeze which ensured that everyone was tired after their first 2-day event of the season! Thank you to the sailing office for pulling off this event for the VX One and I14’s fleets. Congratulation to the winners: 1. Trevor Parekh & David Mori 2. Matt Kenney & Andrew Kenny 3. Jamie Keating & Aiden Young
Many more regattas and days on the water are planned, so if you’d like to learn more about this fun, fast competitive boat please join us any Thursday where someone is always at the dock and be able to provide more insight on how you can get involved.
While we aren’t able to host large class sanctioned events this year, local racing continues! Check out the fleets page and get in touch with your local fleet captain to find out how you can get involved.