Chris Smith


Thoughts on life.

AC Race Week, Newport, and Match Racing

Atlantic City Race Week

I took the train down to Atlantic City with one of the other saplings, Charlie and sailed with a friend from college in the Atlantic City Race Week on a J24.  We won our division and had a blast sailing and enjoying time at the Golden Nugget casino.  Coming out of the harbor was ruff with 5 foot swells stacking up in the shallow water and tossing the boat around.  Once out in the bay we managed to get our boatwork together well enough to get around the race course pretty fast and surf the waves downwind.  

The regatta came down to the final race which we went into tied.  We rounded the windward mark on the final upwind leg in 4th place behind our closest competitor.  Chris LaBorde made an excellent call for a jibe set and kept our speed around the mark, passed two boats and edged out into first place in the last 100 yards to the finish line.  We crossed in first and won the division getting the skipper a berth into the world champs next year.

AC Race Week has the potential to be one of the funnest overall regattas on the east coast given that the dock is connected to the casino were everyone stays. The bartenders are generous and the food was pretty good to boot.  I admit I may have a skewed view of the place after not soberly deciding to play a couple of hands of Texas Hold’em for a $100 buy in and cashing out a couple of hours later with about $400 dollars.  A great way to end the night and start the next day.


After a day or so back in Oyster Bay I left again to work in Newport at a sailing rigging company doing some test automation consulting.  It was awesome to see what it’d be like working in the industry with a bunch of people who love sailing.  Crashed at one of the employees houses for the evening and spent the after hours working on a Sonar spinnaker at the Quantum loft.

Match Racing

Got back to Oyster bay and went straight into a 2 day match racing clinic with former Olympian Sally Barkow.  She did a great job getting all of the boats together and matching up, going through very specific drills and helping everyone out.  We finished the clinic with a Grade 3 regatta with some of the Acorns (highschool group that’s here for the last 4 weeks of the summer) and got better each race.  Learning all the time, its great.