Kenwood Cup 2000

The plans for this one began back in January in Key West when we found out there would be a OD class for the J105's there this year. Neil, Chris and Tom and I decided this would be a great opportunity to go to Hawaii so the plans went in to action. A boat was found…(thank you internet)….that lives at the Waikiki Yacht Club and whose owner wanted to race the regatta but had no OD sails for it so a deal was struck. Mike brought the boat and we brought the sails and we split all the regatta expenses. It was great! We didn't have a 'charter fee' or dockage expenses since the boat lives there, and we were able to 'pre sell' the full set of Quantum sails we bought for the event so we got a lot of the money back for that. The requirement was that the owner wanted to race with us so that was no problem!

We quickly invited Ashley as well, and she would be our 'project manager' and BN. She would arrive before the rest of us to check things out and make sure the boat was ready to go. Back here on the 'home front' and over in the UK, we all knew there was a weight limit and a weigh in, since it would be a One Design class. Back in January, we all wrote down our weights in an email and passed it around and we found (after some kg to lb calculations) that we were right on the limit. So I sent the email around and told our crew that no one was allowed to gain even an OUNCE! Ah, the best laid plans! So, two weeks before the regatta, I sent another email around to the crew for a weight check. OH NO!!! How can this be??? Everyone except me and Ash had gained or maybe there were errors in the math???!!! Either way, we all had to drop a bunch of weight or leave one behind at the dock! Well, that one was NOT going to be me, so....DIET TIME~!

We divided up the weight we needed to lose, and made it so the heaviest ones had to lose the most. At my 125, I really dind't WANT to be any thinner but it seemed I would have to since none of the crew could lose enough alone that fast to get us all under the limit. So, Grapefruit for breakfast...lettuce and tomato for lunch (no dressing)...and a small piece of fish for dinner with a few bites of booze, no bicycling and/or rollerblading every day for at least an hour...and I managed to drop 7 lbs, all at the same time I had just quit smoking! NOT EASY! But I was determined to lose a bit more than my share, since we had booked our flights First Class and I wanted to be able to eat and drink on the plane! The other thing I learned is that every scale in town, no matter if they were doctor's scales or grocery stores or the gym, ...each comes up with a different number and we had no way to know which number the 'official scale' would come up with. So, we get to Hawaii, and Tom and I went to our hotel and then straight to the yacht club to weigh in! We knew once the number was written, it was official and we could go out to eat. But we really couldn't relax the diets until the rest of the crew arrived the next day. We still had a couple of days till the regatta and so could all try to lose one or 2 more if we had to. As each of the other crew arrived, we took them straight to the Yacht Club to jump on the scale. After the whole ordeal, we ended up being somthing like 13 lbs light! We went through all that for nothing (well, we still would have been about 10 lbs heavy if we hadn't all crash dieted) so we all went out for a huge steak and cocktails to celebrate qualifying.

The next problem came when we went to check out the boat. The owner had promised us a brand new bottom job...which it did have....BUT, as Ashley had told was very much a 'cruising' bottom, not a RACING bottom! We knew that with that finish, we didn't have a fighting chance. So, Ash went under and started to try to wet-sand it but there was no way that would be enough. We had the boat hauled...and started sanding ourselves. This was NOT how I had planned to spend my Hawaii vacation! Finally, we realized we'd never get this finished in time to get any practice in, so we hired the yard and they sanded the bottom down to something closer to a racing finish. It wasn't as 'mirror-like' as the other J-105's but it was much better and would have to do.

I'd love to sit here and write a great story about how wonderful the regatta was and how well we did but unfortunately I just can't do that, as it will not rest in my memory as one of the favorites. I'll be brief and say that we were protested for nearly every race and we won every protest. The J105 class did not seem to want us to take home any hardware, even if it meant they would try to keep us out with frivolous protests. We thought they would be nicer to us, since, if we were not there, they did not have enough boats for their One Design class. But we were not exactly welcomed with 'open arms' as we had been years before by the J80 class at Block Island.

Leave it to say the weather was wonderful and the scenery was as AWESOME as it gets. We managed to win enough trophies so that we could each come home with one and the video of the event is very cool!! We had some great sailing and the Mt. Gay hat I got will always be one of my most treasured ones. We didn't know at that time, that Kenwood was about to pull out and a new sponsor would not be found so we sailed in the 'last ever' Kenwood Cup! I'm glad we got to "Race the winds of Paradise" as the advertising promised.



Tom wetsanding


Ash, Tom and Stef in finest wetsanding style!


Neil and Tom


Ash and Tom






Tom deep in indecision


Ash grinding away.


Neil trims while Stef grinds


what's up there?




Waiting for wind




Now that's close racing!



View from our room


Chris at the helm


The J105 fleet

The crew at work



Tom and Mike


Mike, Chris and Tom


The crew showing off!

The Plywood Regatta was as exciting as the rest of the racing... maybe more!


The Planning stages.


And more planning......


And more planning.....


The building....


And more building....


The finished product! (we won for best design but the boat sank!)

The days after racing we spent sightseeting from glider plane and helicopter and car.


The plane!


Tight fit!


Dole plantation


Tom straps in.


The coast


Stef at the airfield


Diamond Head 


More Coast


The "Missouri" and the "Arizona Memorial"


The "Arizona Memorial"


Stef aboard the "Missouri"


Tom aboard the "Missouri"


Stef with "Missouri" in background