Our Stars and Stripes boat arriving to pick us up

I know nothing about sail boats but when I saw an “Authentic America’s Cup Racing Experience,” in St. Maarten was available,  I thought how fun it would be to compete and be on a legendary 12 Metre Class race boat. This excursion was available through our cruise line, Windstar, during our holiday trip mid December 2018. The vendor was 12 Metre Challenge and they did a great job organizing the crews and managing the exhilarating adventure we experienced. 

When they organize the travelers into teams of two, they randomly select a captain. I was hoping it would be my hubby since he loves sailing, but the guide looked straight at me in the back no less and voluntold me for the role. He then selected another lady for Team 2. They then divided the groups according to the size of our party so that we were grouped with our family and friends. In my case it was just my hubby in my party, but we were joined by other enthusiastic travelers.

Our Stars and Stripes boat arriving to pick us up

Our boat was called The Stars and Stripes, US and we raced against the other team’s boat called True North, Canada. Task roles were then assigned to those wishing to participate in the labor of the race, or the traveler can simply watch. Because this is a real race, the inexperienced travelers were accompanied by a professional team of racers, thank goodness.

My Sailing Team

Since we had a shortage of volunteers on my team, I picked up an extra role as a back grinder. My hubby and I both were in the back of the boat grinding away whenever the navigator needed to change direction of the sails. It was such a workout!

Waiting for my queue to grind the sails

The winds were high that sunny day so we were flying on the water. Along with winds, the waves were rolling too. The boat glided speedily through our course but Mother Nature would keep us on our toes. My hubby fell on me hard once or twice speeding through sharp turns. There was so much action going on where people were puking and almost getting thrown overboard. The lady in blue and wearing a cap sitting next to me almost fell out of the boat when we hit a wave, but I grabbed her leg and she fell into the bordering rope. I helped pull her back in from the danger zone.

At various points of the race, the Captain otherwise Me had to choose the direction either left or right . I was relieved there were professionals that helped to consult the decision. In the last 10 minutes of the race, the Captain also had the task of motivating the team. So I gave a 10 second speech that I pulled out of a hat. My team was very supportive and everyone that had a role really enjoyed themselves.

Ahead of our competitor, True North, at this point

The race was neck and neck the whole time, but at the end we were bummed we lost. But the experience was a complete winner!

Check out the crazy in the video collage

Read more about our Windstar Yacht cruise experience and how it can be the cruise you remember.

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