Bainbridge & Karver Join the Team

As we begin our double-handed adventure from Newport, RI, to Bermuda one week from today in our 21-foot Mini Transat, Abilyn, we welcome Bainbridge International and Karver Systems to the team.  There's a lot of ocean to cover between here and Bermuda, and back to NYC.  When conditions get light and we need to make way upwind, we'll be deploying our 2016 UK Sailmakers Code Zero on a Karver KF1 ECO furler designed for boats like our Mini Transat.  The unit is small and light--I feel like I could lose it between the cushions of my couch.  But it does the job, furling the Code Zero with ease.

A photo posted by Josh (@abilynracing) on

A video posted by Josh (@abilynracing) on

This is no surprise given the innovations that Bainbridge and Karver have developed for the offshore sailing community.  Bainbridge was founded almost 100 years ago as a sailcloth manufacturer, and has had many successes, including in the Vendee Globe and the Whitbread / Volvo Ocean Race.  Over the years, Bainbridge expanded its presence in the offshore world by serving as distributor for many brands that typically equip offshore yachts, including Plastimo and Yale Cordage, and also by sponsoring The Atlantic Cup, which is the longest offshore race on the east coast of the U.S. 

Karver got its start in 2004 and has since been supplying technologically advanced sailing hardware to the IMOCA 60, Volvo, TP52, Mod 70, and Class 40 racing classes, among other designs.  In 2015, Karver selected Bainbridge as its exclusive distributor in the U.S.

We're excited to have the Karver ECO furler in our arsenal as we challenge what ultimately will be more than 1,300 miles of open ocean.  

New Sponsor Alert: Mom!

It only makes sense.  They've been saying it to us since we were born.  Eat your breakfast!  Eat your dinner!  Eat!!!!!  Although my sailing tends to scare my mom, I'm glad she supports what makes me happy, and continues to tell me to stay safe and eat!!!  And I'll be thinking about that when I'm guzzling down all the Mountain House that she's supplying for the boat for our "race" down to Bermuda and back.  

Thanks, mom!  Love ya!  For that, you get some real estate on our Partners page, and a big hug when you come to visit this weekend.  I'll also be sure to text you from the Gulf Stream.

Photo credit:  Dad

Abilyn Partners With Interlux: A Fast Boat Needs A Fast Bottom

If you find me in a boatyard, especially Newport Shipyard, it's tough to get me out.  I've been known to roam about, marveling at the lines of beautiful racing yachts and the almost mirror-like finish of their bottoms, oblivious to time.  "We gotta go," someone will say.  No.  We don't.

Abilyn hasn't had her bottom worked [insert joke here] since she was built in 2012.  So when Groupe Abilyn contemplated a fresh bottom with new anti-fouling paint for the upcoming racing season and our much-anticipated adventure to Bermuda and back beginning June 17, 2016, our primary requirement was--it gotta be fast!  So there was really only one choice for us:  Interlux® VC® Offshore.

The folks over at Interlux have graciously agreed to supply us with a couple of cans of VC® Offshore Baltoplate anti-fouling paint and InterProtect HS (high solids) epoxy primer to help us get to Bermuda as fast as we can, and succeed in beating some official entrants racing in the 50th Newport-Bermuda Race.  We chose Baltoplate because of reported superior performance in light air, which is important when your mast is only 36 feet tall and you have a wide ass.

And, we're happy to have Interlux partnering with us because, as it turns out, many of the racing yachts that have mesmerized me over the years have been painted with VC Offshore.

In the northeast, planning a pre-launch bottom job is still a possibility.  So pick up some yachtpaint, and have fun in the yard!  Or, if you're in the market for a pro job, I'd personally recommend Brewer Pilots Point (North Yard) (Bob Connell) or McMichael's (Helmut Bittlingmayer).  I've had great experiences at both.

See you out on the water.  We'll be the ones gliding by on a slick-ass bottom. 

Thanks to Our Partners and Suppliers for a Great 2014 Season of Mini Sailing

As we reflect on our second full season of Mini sailing aboard Abilyn, we must give thanks to our partners and suppliers, each of whom has contributed significantly to our program as well as to the sport of sailing.  If you are interested in supporting Abilyn Racing in 2015 as we push forward toward the Bermuda 1-2 Yacht Race, shoot me an e-mail at  

From training gear to base- and mid-layers to ocean racing foulies that incorporate HH's latest innovations, HH had us protected on and off the boat, and looking good of course.  We showed you How To Dress a Sailor.  Now go find your gear at, or buy my virtually unused, brand-spanking new HH Ocean Jacket.

Without the support of Landfall Navigation, we could never have gone offshore and Into the Washing Machine, or around Block Island just for kicks (and to add 90 miles to our end-of-season delivery).  Landfall set us up with emergency beacons, flares, and an unbelievably light offshore 4-man life raft--all of which we hope never to use, but are nevertheless essential to offshore sailing.  Visit Landfall Navigation at  

Our first partner on this venture, DMK hooked us up with their DMK Box, which takes all our boat data (NMEA, SeaTalk NG, GPS, and AIS) and transmits them via WiFi to our mobile devices so that we can analyze information using programs like iNavX and iRegatta Pro.  Not having to install or rely upon multiple repeater displays was a key goal, which DMK helped solve.  Visit DMK Yacht Instruments at

Abilyn came loaded with Harken winches and blocks.  We added a few T2 Soft-Attach Carbo blocks late in the season to serve as outboard leads for our genoa sheets and spin sheet tweakers.  The soft attachments not only save weight, but also let you adjust the location of the lead by lengthening or shortening the attachments.  Visit Harken at

Sailing Abilyn is an intense, heart-pumping, muscle-burning endeavor, especially in the heat of summer and when the breeze is on.  Z Blok saved us from sun burns, and also didn't sting our eyes when the sweat started flowing.  Best stuff ever.  Visit Z Blok at

PredictWind's offshore forecasts were spot on, and their data, charts, and route optimization tools helped us plan our deliveries and offshore qualifier.  Visit PredictWind and check out their new swell forecasting functionality at

If you have a GoPro or camera that you use for action sports, then you know you need mounts.  We used RAM Mounts' rail, pole, and suction mounts along with their extension pole aboard Abilyn to get some cool shots.  We also used their iPad mount to create a flexible display mount in our companionway so that the iPad could be viewed while in the cockpit or down below.  Visit RAM Mounts at

Bad Elf's GPS Pro modules worked seamlessly with iNavX.  But since we were able to wire up our onboard Garmin directly to the DMK Box, we're using the Bad Elf modules as backups (the more the merrier), and also as great tools to track our practice runs.  Visit Bad Elf at

Sometimes, you just need to climb your mast by yourself.  I had to do that a number of times over the season, and ATN's Mastclimber let me complete various punch-list tasks on my own, including repairing a broken runner, inspecting the masthead tri-color light, and installing bungees on the runners to ensure they don't get caught in front of the spreaders when you need to trim on.  Visit ATN Inc. at

How to Dress a Sailor

As some of you know, Sam and I are brand ambassadors for Helly Hansen, who has also partnered with Abilyn Racing.  Sam and I thought it'd be cool to give you a sense of what we wear when we leave the dock--all the way from base layers to outerwear.  Check out the video below, set to the song I am the Best by 2NE1, Japan's premier all-girl pop quartet.  I listen to this track when I'm sailing under spinnaker between the hours of 2-3 AM (local), but only during a waning gibbous moon.  We shot this video one windless morning in Sam's backyard in Brooklyn before my kids woke up and demanded chocolate chip strawberry sunshine turkey bacon face pancakes and Doc McStuffins. Time for your check-up! Time for your check-up!  The full list of gear is provided underneath with links to product pages.

See you out on the water.

A sneak peek into the sailing gear that Sam and I take with us out on the water.

Bad Elf Teams Up With Abilyn Racing

We are excited to announce that Bad Elf will be teaming up with Abilyn Racing on its ocean racing campaign.  Based in West Hartford, CT, Bad Elf manufactures innovative GPS devices and hardware accessories for use in the aviation, marine, and outdoors GPS markets, and particularly for use with Apple devices--Bad Elf's GPS devices meet all the requirements of Apple's MFI licensing program.  

We will be using a pair of Bad Elf GPS Pro modules aboard Abilyn in connection with our iPad and DMK Box.  The Bad Elf modules will allow us to feed GPS data into our iPad via Bluetooth for use with programs like iNavX and iRegatta Pro (with the rest of our instrument data being fed into our iPad via WiFi through the DMK Box).  In addition, with their dedicated lat/long displays, we'll be able to use the Bad Elf modules to plot our position on our Maptech waterproof charts.

The Bad Elf GPS Pro and other Bad Elf GPS devices offer a great solution for small race boats like Abilyn looking to build a robust yet affordable onboard information center for navigation and performance analysis.

Check out Bad Elf at  

Helly Hansen Partners With Abilyn Racing

We are excited to announce that Helly Hansen will be partnering with Abilyn Racing as its official gear supplier.  Born by the sea in 1877, Helly Hansen has a strong heritage of outfitting sailors of all kind, and has been the choice of VOR and Whitbread Around the World racers whose needs include battling Nature’s harshest elements.  HH gear helped Team Ericsson, skippered by Torben Grael, win the 2007-08 VOR.  HH gear helped protect Mike “Moose” Sanderson and Team Sanya in the 2011-12 VOR. And, the women of Team SCA will race around the world in HH clothing and footwear as part of the 2014-15 VOR.  

From skipper, Josh Reisberg:  “For any active sports—both on and off the water—I have used and relied on HH gear to keep me protected and moving forward.  I regularly use HH gear when I’m distance or buoy racing, and when I’m training on land—trail running and biking through NYC traffic are some of my favorite ways to keep in shape.  With HH gear protecting us, we’ll be able to focus on what matters most—sailing fast and staying safe."



Founded in Moss, Norway, in 1877, Helly Hansen continues to protect and enable professionals making their living on oceans and mountains around the world.  Their apparel, developed through a blend of Scandinavian design and insights drawn from living in some of the harshest environments on earth, helps provide the confidence professionals need to step out into the elements and complete their jobs.  The company invented the first supple, waterproof fabrics more than 130 years ago, created the first fleece fabrics in the 1960s and introduced the first technical base layers with LIFA® Stay Dry Technology in the 1970s.  Today, Helly Hansen is the official uniform partner for more than 60 ski resorts and mountain guiding operations and has outfitted more than 33,000 mountain professionals. The brand’s outerwear, base layers, sportswear and footwear for winter, outdoor and water sports are sold in more than 40 countries.  To learn more about Helly Hansen’s latest collections, visit

RAM Mounts Partners With Abilyn Racing

We are excited to announce that RAM Mounts will be partnering with Abilyn Racing on its ocean racing campaign.  RAM manufactures essential mounting components for a wide variety of applications including vehicle, industrial, military and defense, material handling, as well as any application requiring a rugged and robust mounting solution.  RAM offers particularly creative and robust applications for use on sailboats.  

Abilyn Racing will be using mounting solutions provided by RAM for the on-board devices that will power our campaign, including our iPad, which will serve as our principal device for delivering navigational and performance data (thanks to our DMK Box).  We will also be using RAM mounting solutions to create an environment for our various GoPro cameras where we will be able to swap out cameras in various locations in a type of “plug-n-play” format.  This will allow us to efficiently capture on-board footage with very little hassle.

Check out RAM Mounts at  

ZBlok Partners With Abilyn Racing

We are excited to announce that ZBlok will be partnering with Abilyn Racing on its ocean racing campaign as our official sunblock provider.  We will be using ZBlok with ClearZinc throughout our campaign including the nearly 1,300-mile stretch of open ocean that makes up the race track of the Bermuda 1-2 Yacht Race.  

This is great news, because ZBlok literally is the only sunblock we will put on our faces.  We have used ZBlok sailing aboard our Mini 6.50, V15s, Viper 640s, and a host of other boats where we’ve been sweating or otherwise soaked because of rain or ocean spray.  Never once have we experienced any eye stinging or other irritations usually caused by other sunblocks.  We also use ZBlok during summer, land-based training—when you’re biking down a New York City street trying to avoid taxis and tourists, you simply can’t afford eye irritation.  

If you’re active on or off the water, you should definitely pick up some ZBlok.  Check ‘em out at

DMK Yacht Instruments Partners With Abilyn Racing

We are excited to announce that DMK Yacht Instruments will be partnering with Abilyn Racing on its ocean racing campaign.  DMK Yacht Instruments, based in Seattle, Washington, is the developer of the DMK Box, which enables wireless access to on-board instrument data for use essentially with any application that accepts NMEA data, including routing software such as Expedition, or other robust navigation and performance analysis applications like iNavX and iRegatta Pro.

Abilyn Racing will be using a DMK Box to link up on-board data generated by Raymarine instruments with an iPad running iNavX and iRegatta Pro.  This setup will allow Abilyn Racing not only to pinpoint its location and its AIS targets, but also to analyze sailing performance with significantly greater precision than is available through our cockpit display.

The DMK Box is ideal for small race boats like Abilyn, which crave the same type of data as the big race boats, but cannot afford the full-on information centers delivering that data.  With a full set of electronics, the DMK Box offers an elegantly simple solution that opens up boat data for precision analysis in a compact and affordable package.  

As our sailing program gets underway this season, we hope to share with you what information the DMK Box opens up for us and what it will tell us about our sailing performance.  

Check out DMK Yacht Instruments at