Friday, December 19th, 2014
Big Names Gunning for Big Results in 2015
With the launch of Rambler 88, owner George David is eyeing the next Les Voiles de St. Barth – scheduled for its sixth edition April 13-18, 2015 – as an early and critical step in getting his new yacht racing.
The once CEO of United Technologies who vastly expanded that corporation’s global footprint, David has made an equally world-class name for himself and his previous Ramblers in the yacht racing world, winning high-profile regattas and breaking, if not shattering, one prominent distance race record after another:
- Rolex Buenos Aires to Rio (2008)
- RORC Caribbean 600 (2011)
- Newport to Bermuda Race (2012)
- Block Island Race 2011
- Block Island Race 2013
“We’re targeting the Transatlantic Race 2015 (for which Rambler 100 holds the record), but the RORC Caribbean 600 and Les Voiles de St. Barth are right up there, too,” said David when asked what events on Rambler 88’s schedule would be most important.
“Les Voiles de St. Barth is a great venue and event. It starts with St. Barth and all that means, plus typically-solid sailing breezes that bend around the island and have their gusts and lulls. This is a regatta where you need to get in front and stay in front; it rewards those who can sail where they want.”
David should know. His Rambler team has competed in all but one and won three of the five Les Voiles de St. Barth regattas held thus far. And although the event traditionally does not include long-distance racing like the events in which David hopes to post records, the short- and middle-distance races around and among the leeward islands that surround the eight-square-mile collectivity of St. Barth provide boat handling practice that surely can serve well the team’s lofty ambitions on longer routes.
The four days of racing (Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with a lay day on Thursday) also will help answer the pressing two-pronged question on everyone’s mind: “What will Rambler 88 look like, and how will she sail?” As both owner and skipper who has been deeply involved in every aspect of the new build, David says the details of performance dynamics are deep in the design: “Along with (designer) Juan Kouyoumdjian, we debated length overall for a long time. We had the experience of longer/larger with Rambler 100 and concluded that boat was just too powerful but equally heavy. We’ll see on the water.”
On the water, Les Voiles de St. Barth offers a combination of longer tactical coastal courses as well as multiple short-course days. Shoreside activities include Race Village gatherings and parties with live music each day/evening; a special crew party at Shell Beach on Wednesday evening; the watersports-filled (or alternatively rest-full) Lay Day on Thursday; and a concluding Awards Party with fireworks on Saturday.