Product I Love: Garmin Vivioactive HR

For starters, the Garmin Vivioactive HR is not a sailing product at all, but simply a fitness tracker/smartwatch combo.

However, for the $199 price tag, this watch packs a punch. It is an amazing watch for what it is. Fitness tracking is spot on and smart watch capabilities are interactive and intuitive. Yet, the watch provides the ability to add widgets and apps to match your preferences and lifestyle. For us, that is sailing. RaceQ’s, a free mobile app, provides all of the features one would expect (ie. Speed, heading, etc.)as well as all of the features the sister sailing-watch (the Garmin Quatix) boasts (ie. GPS tracking, shift tracking, heel angle, distance to line, etc.). The watch allows for the app to use the built in GPS and not your data, which helps keep your phone dry and keep the bill at the end of the month low.

Event I Am Watching: A-Cat World Championships

The A-Cat is one of the most unique boats on the water these days. The box-rule allows for continued innovation and customization by each sailor, while maintaining a one-design element to the racing and limiting the cash-fueled arms race. Upon first glance, these boats appear to require insane athleticism and skill, yet, unless you are foiling with full trapeze, the class is full of “mature” (masters and grand-masters aged) sailors. However, though an accessible and customizable and wildly unique class, any class where you can line up with top Olympians and America’s Cup sailors on the start is the class to be. Try and catch some of this insane racing, while it lasts.

Theme I Am “Digging”: Route Du Rhum Sailors as People

The Route De Rhum is a feat of sailing and concurrently, a feat of humanity. Pushing the most technically advanced boats, alone, across the Atlantic in the worst of seasons and facing the worst of conditions, can be seen as a spectacle in itself. However, this Route Du Rhum has shown that the beasts that are racing are also, quite simply, human. As boats implode, the sailors sailing them exhibit palpable disapointment in watching their goals get crushed by mechanical failure. Alex Thompson, race favorite and Hugo Boss athlete, slept through his alarm (who hasn’t) and in doing so, crashed into the rocks of Guadeloupe, forcing him to turn on his engine and receive a 24 hour scoring penalty, knocking him out of contention. In summation, while the race is one for hero’s, it is still sailed by people.  

                                                                                                                                      - Connor MacKenzie