As the fleet prepares to bid farewell to the city of Seattle, for local Seattleite Larry Garner, this day has been a long time coming.
Today, Larry will board his team IchorCoal to race the American Coast-to-Coast Leg 7 from his hometown.
Larry took up sailing in Seattle in 2015 and is a member of Seattle Sailing Club at Shilshole Bay. He read about the race in a sailing magazine and having always loved adventure and the outdoors, chose Leg 7 because he wanted to set sail from Seattle as well as traverse the Panama Canal.
Larry says the race will give him good sailing experience and skills that he can apply to his sailing back home and he hopes to have his own boat one day.
Before setting sail on the 6,185 nautical mile race to New York via the seventh wonder of the new world, Larry explained more.
“Now I am on the boat it has sunk in that I am really doing it, I’m excited to get on board to work and live with the crew and experience the boat’s energy. I know it is going to be a lot of fun, I am looking forward to some of the challenges and the comradery.
“I think the start of the race is going to be a great feeling, Seattle is a great place to take off from. The wind can be pretty stiff so departing will be beating into the water hard. I sail out here a little bit and to go up to the Straits of Juan de Fuca when the ocean breeze fills in and we have the swells, that’s when it’s really going to hit me and the adrenaline is going to kick in.
“I chose Leg 7 because I have always wanted to go through Panama and I have never seen it from the waterside. I know that the whales are migrating and there is a possibility of seeing some marine life. Coming into New York from the water will be interesting - it’s a totally different perspective from seeing everything on land.
“I am most looking forward to putting the spinnakers up and running downwind at high speed. I want to experience that. I would love to see us hit 30 knots and see how that feels - that would be a kick. I know I am not going to like the hot weather. I have lived in Florida and Maryland and we had humidity and heat and I didn’t care for it then so I think maybe sleeping is going to be difficult in those conditions!
“My toughest challenge will be taking the sail bags and pushing them up on deck if I am down below. I dislocated both my shoulders so anything above my head can be hard. I really want to pick up a great deal of sailing experience after having taking some courses here locally. It has whet my appetite so I think that when I complete this I will feel very confident taking the family out and going up to Canada and around the area in a cruising boat. I have access to a lot of boats with the Seattle Sailing Club and one day I would like to own a boat to sail.
“Seeing the fleet arrive in was fantastic and to see all the crew in my hometown is wonderful. Washington State has a strong nautical pedigree and I hope to see many more of my State’s like-minded citizens on next year’s race.
“If you’ve never sailed, do it anyway, you have no idea what you are capable of,” Larry adds.
Race 10, the PSP Logistics Panama Cup gets underway today from 1330 at Bell Harbor Marina, Pier 66. To join us in the departure ceremony, click here for more details.
If you would like to take part in the race, we are now recruiting for the 2017-18 edition, click here to apply.Apply now