By Charles Carson
Earlier this year, Trekr Racing debuted in grand fashion at the British Virgin Islands Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival. Of the nine of us on the team, only three had ever participated in a major sailing race before. Most of us were first-timers and were anxious to experience all aspects of what the week of racing would bring. It ended up being one of those adventures that each of us will always remember with excitement and fondness. As fellow sailor Hilary Howes said, "I had the most amazing time with the Trekr Racing crew on just an every minute fun way."
Trekr just announced that we are going back to the BVI Spring Regatta, which is March 26 - April 1, 2018. And I’m particularly excited we’re not just returning, but we are also expanding and opening up the opportunity for more LGBT sailors to join in this life-changing experience.
You do not need to have experience racing and do not have to have much experience sailing. Seasoned skippers will be on hand to show you the boat you will be sleeping on and racing. There will be plenty of time to learn about each of the positions on the team. Before racing, you and your team will take the boat out and practice everything you need to know. In no time, you will practically be an expert!
Once the races get underway, the week settles into a pattern. Each morning, we get up and begin to prepare ourselves and sailboat for the day’s race(s). Your skipper will brief your team on the plans for the day once notified by the race committee. Soon after, we get underway to the starting line and before you know it, we are racing! Some days, there is more than one race. On others, there is only one. Those days, you can choose to have a leisurely sail to a nearby island for some swimming and fun in the sun.
In the evenings, we meet our competition on friendlier terms. Each night there is a big beach party, with music and dancing. You will meet sailors from all over the world: some will be professionals manning the big, magnificent gunboats; some will own and race their own boats; and some (like us) will be chartering a sailboat to experience the thrill of racing in the beautiful British Virgin Islands. Some sailors have been attending this Regatta for decades and others will also be first-timers. You will find that all are welcome and friendly!
Trekr aims to do two big things: increasing visibility and participation of LGBT people and our allies in the sailing and yachting world. Last year was a great success on both goals: our presence was covered by major media outlets, and we were welcomed with open arms by the Race Committee and other racers.
Now we’ve set our sights on next year. We plan to have an even larger presence in the regatta, with two boats racing in 2018. We want to continue to draw from a diverse cross-section of the LGBT community.
If you’re interested in being a part of the Trekr Racing team for the 2018 Regatta, you are invited to join the experience! More details and registration information are available here.