Challenge News

Tuesday, 25 June 2013 17:25

June 24th - Final Night

The last night of racing at the Courageous Corporate Challenge set up as a close fight with the scores a tight spread of 7 points among the top 3 teams. After a couple of weeks of cancellations due to violent thunderstorms the evening’s conditions set up in typical Boston Harbor fashion. A shifty southwesterly coupled with strong outgoing current from both the Charles and Mystic Rivers.

With a threat of thunderstorms looming 18 boats headed out to the race course. As the first race played out it became clear that several breezes were converging across the course and course-middle was death by velocity header. The call of the night? Get a great start, connect the puffs and choose one side of the course or the other. On the left clearer air and pressure reined but boats that went that way had to contend with a severely headed port layline as they got close to the windward mark. Was it worth to over stand and avoid the headers? Absolutely!  Boats that were patient came into the windward mark with velocity and were able to sail through swirling winds around the mark. But as port tackers closed on the starboard layline they faced the challenge of negotiating around starboard tackers at a mark that was set so close to the shoreline it left very little room to maneuver around starboard tackers.

For those who tacked out and went right 100 percent commitment was the operative word for boats. It was tempting to tack on the mini velocity headers but in the end a patient skipper who hit the starboard tack layline could take advantage of breeze bending perpendicular to the shoreline, riding it all the way to the windward mark.

Skippers who focused on boat speed, connecting the pressures, and getting to the next header won out over those pinching to climb. The strong teams; Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Fidelity and Alphagraphics understood that footing off to the next header got them up the course  much faster and when sailing the run staying patient through the little shifts but not being afraid to gybe in the larger shifts. After four races the consistent finishes from Bank of America Merrill Lynch gave them the night’s win with seven points and overall Series Championship. Fidelity was close behind with 12 points and second place for the series. Third for the night and the series—Alphagraphics.

With four races in the hopper and lightening flashing over the Tobin Bridge the teams heading back to base for post race partying courtesy of Capers Catering and Premier Bartending.  All-in-all the Corporate Challenge was a success in the quality of competition among the 20 teams racing, the introduction of sailing to many new corporate members and the over 60 thousand dollars in funds raised for Courageous youth programs.

Courageous Sailing relies on our corporate community to not only sponsor more than 100 youth each summer but also to add to the growing number of members in the Courageous community. For all your support we are ever grateful. See you out on the water!
And more big thank you's to Capers Catering for all the delicious food, Premier Bartending for the excellent bar service, and AlphaGraphics for those great looking logos. 
For Monday, don't forget to let us know early if you need a skipper, or would like to be put on the waitlist for an extra boat.  
Have a great weekend all, stay dry, and we'll see you on the water!
By Judy Krimski. Read more from her blog, Center of Effort
Friday, 07 June 2013 16:09

June 3 - First Night Recap

If you missed it, Monday surprised us all.  Not only did the storm clouds pass and the sky clear, but the breeze was close to perfect and delivered of the nicest nights of Boston Harbor racing we've seen in a while.  Of course Boston Harbor always keeps it interesting, and in this case the breeze was working its way from the southwest through downtown, setting up some nice big shifts.  With the start line set into the Mystic Basic, toward the Tobin, sometimes the pressure was coming from the Courthouse, and sometimes from the Zakim.  As the winning skipper, Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Steve Ulian, pointed out, the left delivered in races 1 and 4, and the right for races 2 and 3.  His winning moves were to call the correct side, start with a clear lane, and minimize tacks. 
Big congrats to the top three teams: Fidelity 2, with another strong performance after their Practice Night win, BzzAgent, keeping a solid hold on second place, and BoA Merrill Lynch, for taking the top spot with 2 bullets and 9 points total. Click here for complete scores. There is also a Facebook photo album with pictures from Monday's race. We'll keep adding to this, so check back after each race.
And more big thank you's to Capers Catering for all the delicious food, Premier Bartending for the excellent bar service, and AlphaGraphics for those great looking logos. 
For Monday, don't forget to let us know early if you need a skipper, or would like to be put on the waitlist for an extra boat.  
Have a great weekend all, stay dry, and we'll see you on the water!
Thursday, 16 May 2013 15:56

Monday Night Practice

It's not unusual for Challenge Practice Days in May to coincide with some uncertainty on the radar, and light turnout.  But last night we got lucky on both fronts.  At race time a narrow band of heavy rain was passing just to our west, making for a wet High School Championship regatta on the Charles, but leaving us be on the Harbor.  Even better, a servicable breeze filled in from the ENE just when we needed it and held relatively steady for about an hour - long enough for two good races.  And with 16 boats on the line, the racing wasn't too bad at all, for the first night out.  At the top of the fleet, Fidelity 2 managed to keep BzzAgent in their rear view and win the day with two bullets, three ahead of BzzAgent.  Congratulations to all for some good, tight racing in some tricky conditions.  As Team Fidelity commented afterward, it was all about thinking ahead, keeping a clear lane, looking up the course for pressure, and getting there first.  Always easier said than done.  Click here for full scores from the practice night.
Enormous thanks to everyone for making it out, and supporting an event that provides funding for 100 kids to participate in our summer youth program.  And special thanks again to our in-kind sponsors:  Alphagraphics, for the great looking sail logos, Capers Catering, for all those delicious sandwiches and quinoa salad, and our excellent bartender from Premier Bartending.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 14:50

Gearing up for Challenge 2013

It's that time of year again! Spring is in the air, summer is fast approaching, and we're just a week away from the start of the 2013 Courageous Challenge. This year we are nearly full, with 20 boats reserved, and we're looking forward to 5 nights of fun, competitive racing followed by great food and drink on Pier 4. We are particularly excited to welcome back last year's sail logo sponsor, Alphagraphics, welcome a new food sponsor, Capers Catering, truly one of Boston's best, tastiest, high-end caterers, and a new drinks sponsor, Premier Bartending, who know how to keep the post-racing refreshments coming. Looking forward to Monday, here are the things you need to know.
    • Practice Day is Monday, May 20th.  It's the day to shake out the rust and practice your moves.  Races on May 20 do not count to the full series score.
    • We skip a week for Memorial Day, and then resume on four successive Mondays: June 3, 10, 17 and 24
    • The schedule each night is the following:
      • 5:15 to 5:45       Teams arrive and sign in
      • 6:00 to 6:15       Skippers meeting (for all competitors)
      • 6:30 to Sunset   3 - 4 Races
      • Sunset               Food and drinks under the tent. 
    • This is perhaps the only regatta around with no sailing experience required!  We are happy to provide Courageous skippers for any team that doesn't have one.  
    • How many can fit in a boat?  Our fleet is flexible.  Each of our Rhodes 19s can hold up to five adults, but typically boats sail with one skipper and between one and three crew.
    • There are two things we need to know in advance, each week:  
    • If you'd like a Courageous skipper to show you the ropes, so we have one ready.
    • If your team cannot make it, so we can fill the spot. 
    • News, results, photos and more will be posted each week to the Challenge Website page.  Bookmark it now at
    • Haven't been to Pier 4 before?  Directions and parking info are here:
    • Enough with the details all ready, who are we racing against?!  So far we have a roster full of racing talent:
      •    Alpha Graphics
      •    Atlas Ventures
      •    Bank of America Merrill Lynch
      •    BzzAgent
      •    Colony Realty Partners (Sponsoring a boat for Boston Public High School Sailors)
      •    Eaton Vance
      •    Fidelity (2 boats)
      •    Industrial Manufacturing Co.
      •    Mayflower Advisors
      •    McGladery
      •    Mellon Capital
      •    Northern Trust
      •    Patriot Energy Group
      •    Roux
      •    Skinner (2 boats)
      •    State Street
      •    Step Ahead Physical Therapy
      •    WJ Lynch
"What a great looking group! How do I get to know a little more about my fellow competitors," you ask?  Good question!  We will be posting "Team Bios" on the website for any team that takes a minute to fill out the attached form (and send it back) and stops by our front desk on race night with their team for a group photo.  
Finally, from all of us at Courageous, thank you for making this possible!  Your collective participation in the Challenge will enable over 100 kids to come to Courageous this summer who otherwise wouldn't have the chance.  And very special thanks to Capers Catering, Premier Bartending, and AlphaGraphics for sponsoring the great food, beverages and sail logos that help make the Challenge the great event that it is.

Have a great week, and we'll see you on Monday!