O’Pen Bic Intergalactic Video and Boat Sale

TOO. MUCH. FUN! In the midst of storm prep or storm avoidance it’s fun to look back at this crazy event this past summer. Kids had smiles for days after the first ever O’pen Bic Intergalactic RI Championships. Big breeze and a big crowd of sailors brought wild conditions and enthusiasm to the shores near the Tiverton YC, host of this awesome Un-Regatta. See – it wasn’t about winning this time – everyone got awards and everyone had a blast racing with a teammate on some pretty nutty courses. And everyone swam. A bunch. Not the scary kinda capsize, but planned – even mandated – capsizing mid race to see who could best recover and scoot to the finish.

The O’pen Bics are showing up all over the East Coast and beyond. The West Coast has a number of fleets popping up and around here – especially post Intergalactic event – clubs and families are embracing this fun, fast and fairly wet kind of racing.

We took demo boats on the road this summer (read about the Bic Summer Tour here) to spread the stoke about how cool they are to sail. And the people loved the tour. Junior sailors flocked to the trailer of boats to check them out and be first in line to take it out. (Watch the video about the Summer Tour here)  Kids readily handed off the tiller of their Opti for a chance to rip around in the O’pen Bics! And our little fleet of Bics rocked it’s way around New England – steadily adding to the list of enthusiasts. And to the list of boat owners. So next year when Bic madness ensues – there will be a longer list of local clubs and sailors ready to Un-Regatta with the best of ’em!

And now is your chance! Pick up one of these gently used boats from the summer tour for a great price. The boat retails for over $3200 but you can grab one of these boats for $2400.  (fully rigged, lightly used, no dolly or covers.) Grab one now and tuck it away for the sweet spring sailing we all love. To inquire about the boats contact kristinb@jamestowndistributors.com or grab a brandy new boat here.

Bringing Back the Rooster Class

With over 500 boat built, maybe you have seen a Rooster sailing around your harbor or a nearby cove. If you live near Rhode Island or Texas, chances are greater. Mike Smith and his son have taken over the plans for this great little sailboat, which was originally drawn by Mike’s father in 1959.

Last winter the 2 Smith’s (father & son) worked diligently building 3 boats from scratch. They didn’t take videos but did a fine job documenting the builds with photos, and wove it into a video of the process.

These guys are great customers of the TotalBoat brand. They used the WetEdge topside paint and the 5:1 Epoxy as well as plenty of fiberglass and other supplies from JD.on their project boats over the summer.  This summer on a nice July weekend they held the Second Annual Rooster Week, where a number of boats arrived from all over to participate. But of the 500+ built, only a handful are registered with the class website. If you know if any out there – direct them to the official Rooster Class site. They would be so grateful and hey – if you want to build one for yourself – ask them for a set of plans. I am certain they would be more than willing to help get you started.


The America’s Cup World Series is Back

After the first rendition of the America’s Cup World Series which took place in Portsmouth, UK in late July, the second meet up of the super fast, foiling, carbon catamarans just ended in Gothenburg, Sweden. Two winners have surfaced after this most recent event, with former Team Oracle skipper Ben Ainslie, who split off from Oracle to form his own team for this Cup, winning the first races in the UK, and Team New Zealand’s recent win at the Swedish waterfront. Both teams took the Louis Vuitton silver home and get the satisfaction of beating some of the world’s best sailors on some of the most difficult boats to sail.

This edition has some seriously talented sailors in the mix, with the amazing Franck Cammas from France on Groupama, former ETNZ skipper Dean Barker at the helm of SoftBank Team Japan. Don’t forget Jimmy Spithill on Oracle Team USA, and Artemis is back in the mix with Nathan Outteridge and Iain Percy, both very solid sailors, on the sailing team.

The video above is a nice recap of the first Louis Vuitton Cup races in the UK. It shows how these boats sail right on the edge of being out of control (or so it appears) and how quickly maneuvers must be executed and without any mistakes.

The closest these boats get to the USA is a planned event in Chicago in the summer of 2016. I for one, would love to check that event out. Not likely i’ll be able to make it to Bermuda for the real cup races in June 2017….sigh…. The nextLouis Vuitton AC World Series heads to Bermuda October 16th – 18th and the Race Village will be situated in the capital: Hamilton. Who’s going???

Kidz in Motion: Opti Sailing

This is a fun little interview from an enthusiastic and somewhat expert Optimist sailor. This young lady goes over the whole program – how to rig the sail and what makes her love it and why she races. You can tell that she loves her little “bathtub” opti and takes pride in being able to explain all the parts and pieces to a seemingly less educated audience.

I was recently speaking with a friend about kids and opti racing… and this sage sailor boiled down for me what he estimates to be the difference between the kids who excel and those who struggle or just… sail. His claim is that it’s all about the attention span, and that sending these kids out to race for 4-6 races in a day really requires a serious attention span. And not just to all the boat and sail parts to adjust for increased speed on your boat – also to the race course, the competition, the wind, weather, waves and current. And staying hydrated and rigging correctly and listening to your coach and adjusting quickly to unforeseen tweaks, changes and course alterations based on teammates and fellow competitors. WHEW! That’s a lot to think about for any normal adult, much less the increasingly challenged attention span of today’s kids.

But this lady has it down. Even if it is like “having an internet browser with 50 million tabs open at once,” She seems focused and committed to doing well and being her own commander.

I’d sail with this fine captain any day. (preferably not in an Opti, though.)



A Tribute to a Race Course Legend

Mostly Dr. Robin Wallace is known around the northeast for his work on the race course from the  PRO (Principal Race Officer) position and not one of a decorated racer. But if PRO’s and Race Committees had awards, Dr. Wallace might be one of the most celebrated. He is certainly a well known fixture at starting lines for all classes of boats, from Optimists to the weekly Shields racing off Newport to Super Yacht Regattas and Youth Championship races. He gets around and his services and expertise is in great demand and this video is a wonderful glimpse into what makes Dr. Wallace such an asset to racing sailors on Narragansett Bay and all over the world.

When the America’s Cup left Newport, RI in 1986 bound for down under, Dr  Wallace was amongst a group of visionaries who didn’t see the defeat in the Cup loss – they saw an opportunity to plant sailing and specifically community based sailing in the Ocean State. Sail Newport was created with the help of Dr. Wallace who thought the water made all sailors equal, regardless of background and opportunity. This was to be equal opportunity sailing at it’s finest.

With the recent success of Sail Newport who so adeptly played host to the Volvo Ocean Race’s Newport Stopover in May 2105, it is a great time to watch this video and admire the talent we have at our local starting lines. And thank you, Dr. Robin Wallace, for your tireless commitment to sailing in the Ocean State. You are a model for so many and a great asset to the sport all across the world.  We thank you.

Thanks to Onne van der Wal for the video.

Announcing: The O’Pen Bic RI Summer Tour

Jamestown Distributors will be offering up (loaning out) 4 O’Pen BICs to be used in yacht club Junior Programs in RI for 2 days this summer (2 days for each participating YC).   The goal is to get more kids sailing O’Pen BICs and trying a new boat and a new way to experience jr sailing.

How it works:

  1. Sign Up!  Contact Mike Mills at Jamestown Distributors mmills@jamestowndistributors.com
  2. Request a week this summer when you want the O’Pen BIC summer tour to stop at your yacht club.
  3. Alden Haverly, a Jamestown Distributors employee, will deliver the BICs to your yacht club.
  4. Alden will work with one of your instructors on rigging, and sailing.
  5. After 2 days of sailing, Alden / JD will return, check off the boats, pack the boats up and take them to the next yacht club.



  • O’Pen BICs need to be used in conjunction with sailing programs while they have them.
  • A representative of your yacht club Jr program needs to meet Alden, receive the boats, sign off on the checklist and waiver, get trained on rigging and sailing, and take responsibility for the fleet for 2 days.
  • Sailors must respect the boats and their fellow sailors
  • Boats need to be returned in the same condition as they were loaned.

Don’t Forget!:  Tiverton Yacht Club is hosting the RI O’Pen BIC Intergalactic State Championships.  Sailors from Massachusetts, Connecticut, and RI are invited to sail in this A/B fleet O’pen Bic Regatta on July 30.   This event will be run “Un-Regatta” style.

O’Pen Bics can also be purchased at Jamestown Distributors (Click here). Add one to your fleet for fast familiy fun and some sweet racing, too!

Racing with the competition: Onboard Chinook

Why not take a sail this morning. Grab your coffee and hit ‘full screen’ because you’re coming for a ride onboard ‘Chinook,’ a NY40 designed by Captain Nat Herreshoff. The restoration of Chinook was completed after over 60 months and lots of labor.  Their blog followed the entire journey and gives some great insight into the long restoration and the passion and reverence the skipper Jono and crew have for the amazing design and craftsmanship that went into Chinook back in 1916.

She was restored in Tunisia, which, as they explain was not without challenges for a major rebuild.   Check out the blog and take a ride on this beauty at a Classic Yacht regatta in Cannes. What a thrill, if even from a seat at your computer. Enjoy!



The Renaissance Regatta: Community Boating Center, Providence

Are you sick of seeing beautiful shots of harbors, boats and beaches jammed up with thawing ice floes and piles of snow? Us too! Time for a sail!

Follow us up Narragansett Bay to the Community Boating Center, Providence. It’s their annual fundraiser, the Renaissance Regatta, and it’s a ton of fun for local kids for whom this community sailing center has been life changing.

CBC is focused on getting the community to the waterfront, and providing access and opportunity to the joys of sailing to those who may not ever see a boat close up otherwise. Part of the revitalization of the waterfront along Providence, CBC has done so much to improve the city as well as the State of Rhode Island where waterfront access and access to boats is arguably the best way to spend a summer.

Jamestown Distributors was proud to work with CBC for the regatta, for the creation of this video, and also in bragging rights for the top sailing team at the regatta. Congratulations sailors! And thank you to Community Boating Center, Providence for giving these kids a chance to feel the joy of getting out on the water.