2016 May 1 - 12:00 am
Four 20-somethings entrusted with bringing a donated boat back to a stateside sailing program turned a delivery into a race of a lifetime and a quest to test their sailing mettle
Come back alive, and bring the boat back alive.” Over and over those words played through Hobie Ponting’s head as he boarded a plane to England. He and his team had set off to Hamble, England, to take delivery of a Class 40 sailboat that had been donated to Oakcliff Sailing. The plan was to return to the States via the inaugural Royal Ocean Racing Club Transatlantic Race, departing from the Canary Islands and finishing in Grenada. None of them had ever sailed a Class 40. None of the crew had ever crossed an ocean. None of them knew what awaited them other than 7,000 miles of ocean sailing.