Red Bull Does Really Cool Stuff

If you follow Red Bull on Instagram, you already know how cool their athlete roster is and all about the crazy stuff they are involved in.  One of our personal faves is the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup which will be sailed in AC-45s in between the end of the Louis Vuitton Cup and the start of the America’s Cup – especially as the grown-up version continues what appears to be an accelerating death spiral into insignificance.

Atlantis is one of the apparel providers for the USA-45 Team, a group of hot shot college sailors who have been training their asses off this summer in Tiburon and are getting ready to ride into battle when racing starts on 9/1.

The SoCal-centric team is led by Charlie Buckingham, and it includes Sam Hallowell (son of Atlantis pal and Newport rigger extraordinaire Phip Hallowell), Jake La Dow, Peter Kinney, Graham Landy, Jake Reynolds, Nevin Snow, John Wallace and Matthew Whitehead.  If you haven’t already heard of these guys, you will in the coming years – they are all rock stars in the making, and the RBYAC will give us all a chance to see them in action.

Don’t miss the event this Labor Day Weekend, and if you’re interested in learning more about these guys – and even making a tax-deductible donation to help them defray some of their expenses – visit the USA-45 website by clicking here.

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The Graves Paddleboard

The guys here at the Boatyard don’t buy much that they can build instead.

Our friend Bob Leahy might be one of the most talented guys we know at building stuff with his hands. An amazing artist, wood carver, furniture maker and boat builder, “Dinsy” has helped us lots over the years building the signs for WHQ, helping to engineer and assemble the world-famous Shot Traveler and generally giving us good advice about how our gear could be better for people that actually do work on and near the ocean.

Having done just about everything one can do on the water and in the yard, he’s been watching the SUP craze that seems to be taking over here in town and decided to give it a try.  But Dinsy doesn’t just go out and buy things – like he did with his replica of the Graves skiff that was designed and built here in the boatyard for decades, he decided to build one.  A bunch of research and a couple of pictures led to a sketch. A few weeks later we saw a giant box with his name on it show up.  Over a couple of beers he opened the box and showed us the foam that he was going to cut up and shape into his first board.

Here is what it looks like today.  Dinsy swears that it will be done in a couple of weeks. Can’t wait to share it when its done.

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The Next Wave

Just when you thought kiteboarders couldn’t go any faster, you get this:

Foiling Kiteboard Vid

AWG Water Athlete Brock Callen is one of the fastest riders in America… and now he’s even faster.  Just needs to figure out how to jibe without coming off the foil.

Brock’s site

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An Evening on the Hill

800 sailors for dinner on a spectacular Newport evening

Whether you love NYYC or not, you have to admit that the Newport, RI station is a pretty cool place.  They know how to run a regatta and they put on a good show.  Record participation in the 157th running of the NYYC Annual Regatta, and 800 people for dinner Saturday night.  Just another weekend at the club!

Full disclosure: NYYC is a good FOA (Friend of Atlantis) as we are their Official Apparel Provider for the biennial NYYC Invitational Cup.  Keep an eye on this space for more updates on the event as we get closer.

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Stuff We Love: HIHO

Andy Morrell is a friend of ours from college sailing days – well, he sailed for our arch-enemy BU, but he’s a good guy nonetheless.  After graduating, instead of going back to his family’s home on Tortola, he decided to put his new business degree to work, and he took his talents to Maui and became a pro boardsailor.

HIHO stands for “Hook-In-Hold-On”, and it was the name of a boardsailing event dreamed up back in the late 1970s during a Caribbean happy hour by some folks who thought it would be fun to sail upwind to the British Virgin Islands and then back to St. Thomas on windsurfers.  The HIHO event grew into a pretty big deal, and by 1986 (when Johnnie Walker pulled their sponsorship and killed the event), it had become a cult classic attracting top-level board sailors from around the world.

By 1986, Andy had become a pretty good boardsailor himself, and he was the co-winner of that last hurrah.  In 1993, with his pro career starting wind down, Andy decided to start an event management company back home on Tortola built around the rebirth of HIHO.  He purchased the rights to the name, and the rest, as they say, is history.  While Andy managed the event, his wife Fran came up with a line of apparel designed to help promote the event.  Now, it’s the other way around, and the event is essentially a branding tool to help drive what’s become one of the more compelling casual apparel brands in North America.

You can find HIHO at our A&C Outfitter stores in Marblehead, Newport and Portsmouth, NH.  For hours and directions:


Like HIHO on Facebook:

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Places We Love: Sailor’s Paradise

It’s always nice to be recognized, right?  Four week-long stays as guests at the resort, and three overnights in the anchorage while cruising the BVIs.  That makes a total of seven visits to the Bitter End Yacht Club, and the most amazing part is that no matter how long it’s been since you were last there, the staff remembers you, and they greet you as if you were just there last week.

It’s a hard place not to fall in love with.  We have non-sailing friends who’ve gone there and loved it, but if you’re a sailor, it’s heaven.  Super-warm water, steady 15-20 knot tradewinds, easily accessible rum drinks and cold beer and a veritable cornucopia of sailboats and boards to play with from sun-up to sundown.  ‘Nuf said?

Learn to sail, windsurf, kiteboard or SCUBA (or just get better at them).  Take a day trip to the Baths or Anegada (“once in a lifetime”-type places).  Grab a whaler and go snorkeling on Colquhoun Reef.  Sit in a hammock and have cocktails brought to you all day while you drift in and out of consciousness.  Whatever you’re up for, BEYC has it.  And if you have the chance, get down there for the Pro-Am Regatta in early November.  It’s a chance to sail with some of the best in the world in a low-key and fun setting.

And if you go, say hello to Mary Jo for us.

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Tritium Racing: It’s Radioactive

We have this friend.  He’s a little nuts, but in a really good way.  Here’s his latest project:

The new boat is called Tritium.  Tritium is a radioactive isotope of Hydrogen, also known as Hydrogen 3.  This is relevant not because the boat is radioactive, but because it is an evolution (and a fairly dramatic one) of his previous project, a 40′ catamaran called Hydrogen 2.

John Sangmeister (the crazy one), is a restauranteur in Long Beach, CA.  His place, Gladstone’s, is right on Long Beach Harbor and is one of the coolest places there is to eat – great food, a generous bartender and awesome views.  John’s also a world-class sailor.  He was a member of the Dennis Conner’s 1987 Stars & Stripes team when they brought the America’s Cup back to US shores by going to Fremantle and kicking the snot out of Peter Gilmour and the Kookaburras live on ESPN, and he continues to race in all the SoCal coastal events.

Three or four years back, he resurrected an old Formula 40, named it Hydrogen 2 and started entering medium-distance races around SoCal.  They had a ton of fun with it and generated hours of great video.  Then he decided he wanted to go faster.

He found a 73′ trimaran in Europe (it’s actually the ex-ORMA 60 Gitana that got it’s amas stretched), bought it and shipped it to Long Beach where it’s been undergoing some mods in an airplane hangar.  They’re going to start sailing it in about a month with an eye toward a record-breaking Transpac run.  There are some links below where you can check out the boat and follow their progress.

Like we said; nuts, but in a really good way!

AWG Standing by.


Tritium on Facebook

Tritium on YouTube

Gladstone’s Long Beach

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Stuff We Love: Kaenon Hard Kore Shades

Hard to admit sometimes, but the fact is that we have spent literally several decades on the water – and we didn’t really get into sunglasses at all for the first one or two of them.  When we did, polarized lenses weren’t really a “thing” yet, so we went with your basic “dark glasses”.  Because of that, we are now afflicted with dreaded “crow’s feet” (not a huge problem other than it makes us look a little older than we really are) and eyes that are extra-sensitive to bright light (a bigger problem because it is actually a medical thing and irreversible).  Thank goodness for Kaenon and our Hard Kore shades.

Kaenon was founded by a sailing friend of ours named Steve Rosenberg and his brother Darren.  Steve worked at Oakley, but he felt like the company was investing too much in marketing and not enough in product R&D, so he and Darren built Kaenon around the concept that they would offer the best sunglasses in the world for sports.  In doing so, they pushed the technology envelope in ways that are really cool – and really interesting if you are a geek about lens technology.  For those of us who aren’t, suffice it to say that the Kaenon SR-91® polycarbonate lens delivers the highest measurable clarity – the equivalent of the best glass lenses (and we don’t need to explain to you why you don’t want glass lenses on a racing sailboat, do we?) – combined with industry-leading impact resistance.

The Polarized Hard Kore is our favorite because not only does it offer great coverage of your field of vision, but the wide temple pieces keep the sun off of our already well-developed “crow’s feet”, thereby limiting further damage to an already sun-ravaged piece of facial real estate.  They come with a variety of lenses, and while we’ve tried most of them, our current favorite is the C28, a copper tinted lens that isn’t quite as dark as the C12 (good for older, weaker eyes like ours).

Over the past decade, Kaenon sunglasses have been adopted by a bunch of entertainers and professional athletes in a variety of sports – sports where you have to have crystal clear vision like baseball and golf as well as sports in which you just need to keep the sun out of your eyes.  As we all know, sailing is both, and since we’re all always looking for an edge, the Hard Kores will help you spot breeze on the water that your competitors may not see.

So, on second thought, maybe it would be better if you don’t get them.

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Brian Hancock, round-the-world sailor, author and SpeedDream marketing chief, checks in from Les Sables d’Olonne with a little Aegis love…

Every four years, on the west coast of France, there is a gathering of the fastest monohull sailboats on the planet. The Vendee Globe is the pre-eminent solo offshore race; 27,000 nautical miles around the globe, non-stop, without assistance. It’s truly an amazing event with over a half million spectators filing through the race village gawking at the yachts while crepe vendors and Perrier stands do a brisk business. For a sailor who has tried to sell the idea of professional sailing for over three decades, it’s a scene to warm the heart.

It’s also, being France, a place where fashion and style are on display. Each sailing team, and there are 20 of them, come kitted out with the very latest and best their clothing sponsor can offer. All brands are here. Musto, Henri Lloyd, even Guy Cotton who have been providing classic offshore sailing gear to sailors of all stripes for over two decades. The are all on display. Sponsor gear is fully branded with logos wrapped around jackets and neon headbands flashing slogans. Circe du Soleil has come to sailing, French style.

A few days before the start the docks were heaving with humanity, security guards fending off wanna-be groupies to save the whole thing from going under. To the west the sky darkened, ominous and threatening. Then the rain came. I saw people zip up tight against the deluge, but their gear was overbuilt and clumsy. I had my SpeedDream branded Aegis jacket on. The gear was comfortable, a bit like an old friend. I turned my back to the breeze, zipped up tight, and for the rest of the day was warm and comfortable. The docks cleared out as people scurried for cover. The boats, racing greyhounds all of them, bobbed in the short chop unbothered by the conditions. I felt a kinship; with the right gear you too can weather a squall without ducking for cover.

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Lighter Is Faster

Standard IOR downwind crew positioning

If you’re a boomer like us, you came of age when dinosaurs roamed the oceans.  You know, the scary ones made of aluminum with wire genoa sheets and after guys, tiny little mains and corners below the water line.  I’m talking about the dreaded IOR boat.

They sure weren’t very fast, but at least they were really wet, and the folks who sailed on these boats would typically bring just about every piece of clothing they owned with them, especially if they were going offshore.  A large duffel packed to zipper-busting capacity was a standard sight on the dock, and unlike today, rarely were crew told to leave

30 lbs. of sailing gear

some of their stuff in the car.  Hell, some of these beasts had ovens – that would be used to cook real food!

It’s different now, thank goodness.  Most newer boats are light, fast and fun to sail – even the piggier ones are a dream come true in comparison to an IOR lead mine.  The downside for the clotheshorses among us is that every pound makes a difference, but fortunately the folks who make the stuff we use are continually coming up with new ways to make it both stronger and lighter – hulls, spars, sails, blocks, winches, rope.  And clothing.  A full kit of Aegis gear (including the Ocean

Check out the rasta Buff - our new favorite piece of gear

Smock), a fleece mid-layer, a pair of offshore boots, some warm sailing gloves and a hat (our kit for the upcoming Newport-Bermuda Race) weighs in at a trim 7.5 lbs. (and that’s the heaviest gear in our line!).  And it all fits into a medium-sized backpack – even the boots – with a bit of room to spare for a dry pair of socks and boxers.

Light is good.  Light is strong.  Light is fast.  Light is comfortable.  See the light.

7.5 lbs. of sailing gear


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