Dogsmile is 2002 J105 that Jon Totten, one of our instructor, rescued from rotting away in a boatyard in Antigua a few years ago. After some major renovation, she set sail down to Grenada. The general purpose was to add this boat to our fleet to offer Discover Sailing and ASA 101 classes in our sailing school, LTD Sailing – “Living the Dream!”
But, to be honest, our REAL motivation is to campaign her in sailing regattas in the Southern Caribbean!
How to get started? Well, our sailing school took sailing classes. But not just any classes – we attended a five-day racing clinic with J World Performance Sailing School in Annapolis. During that time, we were able to compete against 20 other J105 in an actual regatta. We were able to polish our skills in rounding the mark, balancing the helm, and timing the start. Communication and teamwork are crucial.
Our first regatta was Grenada Sailing Week 2018. This is a week of sailing and rum squalls including a pirate part on a lay day. On the first day, we got a slow start even with the 20-knot wind on the windward side. The foredeck crew was hanging on by there fingernails AND toenails! At one point, we “shrimped” the spinnaker during a set when a blast of wind ripped it off the boat. It didn’t stop us, it only slowed us down. When the race moved over to the lee side of the island, the wind died. Which, surprisingly, was to our benefit – we got first and third on the last days. We were ecstatic!
Next up, Bequia Easter Regatta. There was a crew change as our good friends and mentors, David & Vernice Cohen, arrived all the way from Washington State to sail on Dogsmile. It was a light air game the whole week with the lay day being adjusted in hopes of the wind picking up. Nope! That’s ok – Dogsmile ghosted through the fleet to end up with a respectable finish! Again & again! Winning in the Racing Class:
- Day 1 – 1st place
- Day 2 – 2nd place (by 9 secs.)
- Day 3- 1st place
- Regatta Overall winner
- Sparrow’s Overall Winner
- Flow Friendship Friday Overall winner
The Team loaded up the 30 ft. boat with t-shirts, rum, trophies and rum and raced back to Grenada. The glow from the winners streaked behind the wake like a phosphorescence wave. Well done, team. Well done. See ya on the water!