Family boats. Fathers & sons. Friends. Folks out for a weeklong summer adventure, and those looking to go further afield. Lots of people join ARC DelMarVa and for lots of different reasons. Here’s a few of the 2016 fleet’s stories.

SuChing - Tayana 55

SuChing is the largest yacht in this year’s ARC DelMarVa fleet. At 55 feet, she dwarfs many of the other boats. 

SuChing’s owner Susan bought the boat new from the factory in Taiwan where she was originally built. Susan was aboard for part of the voyage back to the US with her first husband, so has more ocean sailing experience than many of the other crews in the fleet as well. SuChing certainly does.

“David and I are recently retired and finally fulfilling our dreams,” Susan says. “I retired a year ago, and Davis only just in May! DelMarVa is the official start of our new adventures!”

SuChing, having many miles under her keel already, is using ARC DelMarVa as a shakedown cruise for the fall when David & Susan plan to take her even further afield to the British Virgin Islands and beyond with the ARC Caribbean 1500. 
  
Evening Star - Pearson 33

Evening Star doesn’t really have an owner, in the traditional sense of the word. The 33’ Pearson, a ‘classic plastic’ cruiser, was donated to the Downtown Sailing Center in Baltimore. 

“We want to be clear that we’re not really a ‘club’, so to speak,” says her de facto skipper for ARC DelMarVa Rick Lee.”In fact, we’re kind of polar opposites to most ‘clubs’ - we want everyone in the community to get involved in sailing. There are no memberships, no barriers to entry - the more the merrier!”

Downtown Sailing Center operates in a variety of areas within sailing, most notably their work with getting disabled sailors out on the water in specially adapted boats. Evening Star, a particularly well-founded boat when she was donated, is part of their cruising fleet and can be used by qualified sailors around the city. She required only a small refit to ready her for the rigors of ARC DelMarVa.

When asked how the crew chose a skipper, since none of them actually owned the boat, Rick joked “I was the only one who stepped forward and volunteered!” 

After a successful ARC DelMarVa in 2016, they hope to repeat the rally again next year.

Their mission, taken from their website at http://www.downtownsailing.org/

“The Downtown Sailing Center provides quality educational and life enriching programs that promote self-esteem and teamwork through the joy of sailing. The Downtown Sailing Center is committed to promoting an environment of inclusiveness especially accessibility, especially to youth, persons with disabilities, and those with limited opportunity.”
 
ForgetMeNot - Fountaine Pajot Belize 43

Becky & Mark Trentham are one of two double-handed crews in the rally this year and ForgetMeNot is the sole catamaran. The couple are very far from home - the longtime sailors live in Alaska!

“There are no catamarans to buy there,” Becky & Mark lamented. “So we bought the boat in Annapolis and got started outfitting her for the long journey home.”

When the list was almost complete, ForgetMeNot (which, by the way, is named after Alaska’s state flower) got struck by lightning. 

“It took us a full year to get the boat back into shape after that lightning strike!” Mark exclaimed. “We were so close to being done, it was such a shame.” 

Becky & Mark had to pull the mast, rewire the boat, re-do all the electronics and on and on.

ForgetMeNot, like SuChing, is using the ARC DelMarVa as a shakedown for their planned passage south with ARC Bahamas in the fall. But once south, they still have a long way to go. The couple plan on continuing into the Pacific with World ARC, spend a few years cruising the South Seas and then finish their voyage back home in Alaska!

Juno - Pacific Seacraft 40

Karl & Sandra are experienced sailors, having chartered over the past three years before buying Juno. Karl has a USCG Master Mariner license and has been racing for years.

“My first boat was given to me by my sister in 1979,” says Karl of his first 13-footer. “I later sold it for a profit! A whopping one-hundred dollars!”

In 2008, Karl acquired his second ‘free’ boat - Lucky had been sunk in a river, it’s owner died and Karl claimed it. Some patching and pumping and lots of elbow grease later and he had another sailboat.

“I practically forgot about women!” Karl joked during the lengthy rebuild process. “But then in 2012 I met Sandra, and the rest is history.

“I didn’t think I’d enjoy it as much as I do,” admitted Sandra, who loved the first leg down the Chesapeake especially. “Karl and I get along really well onboard. And with my background as a gym teacher, I’m pretty fit, even at 72, and get around very easily onboard. I love it!”

The couple, from landlocked Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, also have their sights set to the south.

“Our dream is to sail south with the Caribbean 1500 next fall, spend a season in the islands and then head to the Mediterranean with ARC Europe!” say Karl and Sandra.

They’ve certainly got the right boat, and are off to a flying start.

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