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Old 26-05-2020, 13:58   #1
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Boat: Westsail 32'
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OSTAR Westsail Legacy

Has anyone here ever raced in the OSTAR? If so, I'd like to start a conversation about what it was like for you, I want to hear about your hardships and triumphs, your methods and tactics to deal with the isolation and fear, and issues you encountered along the way. I'm sure all the other sailors out there would love to hear your stories.

I was raised by an OSTAR finisher, JTW Hubbard, who wrote a book about his adventure, called The Race. He entered in his Westsail 32' kit boat, the Johan Lloyd, by the skin of his teeth. He was an outsider, a contrarian, a brit raised in an orphanage in England during WWII. He was an unorthodox captain, father, foe and friend, but utterly brilliant and original and wonderful when he was feeling good.

He raised up four crazy children and left them and his 2 wives (and multitude of lovers) for the sea. And he left his boat to us kids, all of whom besides me are scarred from the experience of sailing with him. He liked to go out when all hell was breaking loose. He liked to test the limits of everything and everyone he encountered. The first and only time he met one of my boyfriends, we went sailing in a gale, and my ex cracked up and started crying when my father yelled orders at him and he didn't know what to do. My dad and I looked at one another as we hit another wave of cold spray, me at the tiller and the boat on her ear, and cruelly smirked. Together we decided he was not husband material. Together we made quite a team.

I have a tough outer layer. Everyone says I'm a lot like him. But I've tried to fix the misguided manner in which he took his anger out on people, especially as captain. I try to be a cool cucumber in the face of adversity. I fail a lot too, I'm willing to admit. But I love sailing, no matter what. I do believe it's in my blood. No amount of hard times will shake that.

And now, after years of negotiating and navigating the wake of his passing, I've decided to take on the legacy, and try to fix up Johan Lloyd and sail her like the crazy daughter I was raised to be. Johan's been on the hard, neglected, for the last 15 years. All my older siblings have "real-life" concerns, aka are locked in and afraid to put money into a sailboat. I guess my dad taught me to be fearless, go for it, get a move on, brute strength and bloody ignorance! I can hear his voice now. But I happen to be a blue collar carpenter, with hardly any resources. So If any of you are interested in my project, of helping a young woman fix up a Westsail 32' to sail her around the world, ... let's hear those stories, and send me advice, and thank you.
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Old 08-08-2020, 11:55   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Back in California working on the farm
Boat: Westsail 28 and 14ft.Whitehall pulling skiff.
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Re: OSTAR Westsail Legacy

Love to hear stories like this. Just picked up a Westsail 28 and will be rebuilding her too. She is bluewater boat #5 for me. Love the life style of messing around with boats. Good luck and hope you get Johan going soon.
"Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming: Wow - what a ride!"
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Old 09-08-2020, 12:43   #3
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Re: OSTAR Westsail Legacy

I have a copy of your dad's book and enjoyed it.

I raced in the '92 OSTAR. After 29 days I had to abandon ship. Other than that it was a great trip. Actually, the entire experience was wonderful. My boat was a 35' wooden (teak hull!) Cheoy Lee Lion.

I considered entering the most recent OSTAR but the tiny little rule book of 1992 has now become an encyclopedia. Too many rules for me. I'm not a racer; for me this is/was all about the adventure.

My story of the '92 race is here: Go West!
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