Congratulations to Morgan Kiss, the 2015 Quantum Woman Collegiate Sailor of the Year!

Yesterday was an exciting day for Yale University’s Morgan Kiss, not only did she end her collegiate sailing career with a National Championship, she was also awarded the 2015 Quantum Women Collegiate Sailor of the Year.  Kiss is most deserving of both of these titles, having sailed a tremendous season and an equally tremendous Nationals, with seven top three finishes in a row on the final day.

The Quantum Woman Collegiate Sailor of the Year is awarded to a top female collegiate sailor who demonstrates hard work, dedication, and determination.  Kiss is no exception.  The recipient is selected with careful consideration by the ICSA All-America committee, who also examines the finalist’s results throughout the season.   This year’s other finalist was Erika Reineke of Boston College, another a very talented sailor at the top of A-division all year.

Kiss, along with Yale University A-division teammates Emily Johnson, and Claire Heubner, were also awarded the Madeleine Trophy for the low-point A-division team.  They finished with 96 points total, edging out the Brown University team by 15 points.

Quantum congratulates Kiss again, and wishes her the best of luck with her future endeavors!

For more information on the 2015 Sperry ICSA Women’s National Championships, visit:  

Source: ICSA Media

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Times Have Changed for the Better

Wally Cross-Vintage-rsBy Wally Cross, Quantum Sails Detroit

My first Mackinac Race was 47 years ago with my father on his C&C 31. Our tools for navigation were a combination of paper charts and an RDF AM radio. My dad would ask me if the radio beeped three or four times because we used the beeps to determine where we were on the lake. It wasn’t perfect, but it was the best technology then.

Today we have all the information we could ever want available in an instant.  A good Global Position System will determine your location within inches. GPS satellite navigation is perfect in all weather conditions. Another great resource is Yellow Brick.

The Yellow Brick device allows boaters to track their progress and their competitors’ to Mackinac Island. In the past, you wouldn’t know how good your decisions were until you reached the dock. With Yellow Brick you can check your progress every 15 minutes. This is the most important information you can use for decision making. 

I recommend looking at Yellow Brick every four hours to see if your plan is working. When using Yellow Brick, first look at:

•    All boats (to see angles and speeds further up the course)
•    Only your class and your position
•    Shore course and Cove Island course

Another modern day convenience is internet weather sites. Once you check your position on Yellow Brick, take a look at the weather on one of these popular sites:

•    Sail Flow
•    Predict Wind
•    XM Erie
•    NOAA Buoy Data

You can take notes or download the weather data. 

Yellow Brick and these weather sites can help you decide if your long term plan is working or needs to be changed.

The information above is critical for making the very best decisions up the course to Mackinac, but the challenge is the lack of internet coverage in Lake Huron. Options for improved internet service include:

•    Booster Antenna (not great, but helps)
•    Satellite Internet  
    o    Pay by minute (expensive)
    o    One time pay
•    Iridium Go! – a compact global service that acts as a router on your boat to provide internet service and more. 

Times have changed for the better. You now have access to information that was never available before. Take advantage of the information so you can make the best decision for you boat and crew.

Wally Cross is a 45-year veteran of the Bayview Mac Race. Leading up to the Mac Race, Cross will provide information and tips to help teams prepare for a rewarding and enjoyable experience. Wally is available for in-person or phone consultations with interested boat owners. To review your program or for more information, contact Wally at or 586-776-1330.

Quantum Sails Seminar Series

Looking for ways to advance your program for this year’s Mac Race? Please join us for a seminar with Quantum’s Wally Cross and guest contributors. Wally is a 45-year veteran of the Bayview Mackinac Race and popular sailing educator. 

Seminar No. 2: How Well are You Prepared?

Have you gathered the proper equipment, planned your sail inventory, practiced with your crew, completed your boat prep? Getting ready for a Mac Race can be daunting. Starting with a check-list and insights from race veterans will help make the process more enjoyable and will contribute to a successful race. 

7-9 pm, Thursday June 4th
Port Huron Yacht Club
212 Quay St. 
Port Huron, MI

Unable to attend, but have questions? Contact Wally Cross at or 586-776-1330.

Quantum Sails is proud sponsor and official sailmaker for the Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race 2015.

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Unusually Pleasant Racing Down to Monterey

The forecast for this year’s Spinnaker Cup from San Francisco to Monterey was for 7 to 10 out of the west.

A couple dozen boats and their crews played hooky on Friday for the 18th annual Spinnaker Cup race to Monterey, hosted by the San Francisco and Monterey Peninsula Yacht Clubs. With light winds forecast out of the west, it wasn’t looking like the typical white-knuckle ride down the coast.

The big boats were under the Gate first, with Frank Slootman's Custom R/P 63 Invisible Hand leading the way. A boat that really could have been in a class by itself—the Hand owed the next fastest boat in the race 90 seconds per mile—was able to make it’s own weather system and finished 13 minutes off the course record on what was a very light air race.

For the rest of the fleet, it was a pleasant but tactically challenging race. The forecast was correct; it was light with the wind predominantly from the west. After a small front passed over early in the race, the wind clocked around to the north, into the 300s, making for a very unusual port gybe race.

“The traditional race is, you gybe in at the lighthouse at Pigeon Point, hit a couple shifts, you get around Montero, and the wind pipes up down in Monterey Bay,” said Quantum’s Will Paxton, who was sailing on Bright Hour, a Quantum-powered Farr 40 owned by James Bradford.

“We decided it looked bad in there—the boats that had gone in just weren’t moving, so we decided to stay out. The other Farr 40 Astra stayed out even further and they brought pressure in with them and made a huge gain on us.” Bright Hour finished second in Class D.

Steve Stroub’s Santa Cruz 37 Tiburon with an all-Quantum inventory placed third in Class E. “I’d say we’re somewhat satisfied. We were hoping for a little more wind because my boat does better when the breeze is up and we can start surfing. We didn’t quite see that. It was a light year,” said Stroub. Tiburon’s game plan was fairly typical: stay clear on Montero, and then come in toward Davenport, and cut across fairly close to Monterey, hopefully finishing before the easterly.

They sailed with the jib out of the gate, and then peeled to the jib top—a 1980s sail recently recut by Quantum that Stroub acquired for last year’s Pacific Cup. They then peeled to the A7, and then went to the A2. “I think we had a good game plan and we pretty much stuck to it, but we just didn’t have enough wind to surf,” Stroub added.

Co-owners Matt Krogstad and Dan McGraw had planned to double hand their Express 27 Tequila Mockingbird, but so few boats were entered in the double handed division that they decided to add their regular bowman Jonas Kellner and sail in the full-crewed fleet. “We weren’t only three, we were a pretty light three. After we got through the upwind portion of the race there was a lot sailing deep off the wind, light air, so being light helped,” said McGraw.

They stayed pretty well in and sailed the rum line down the coast. “We thought it would be more northerly and more pressure out further out, but we thought it was just too far to go,” said Krogstad.

While their class sails are made by Quantum, McGraw and Krogstad picked up a used masthead kite as a sort of experiment. “This was our first race running the mast head kite, we didn’t really know what to expect out of it,” Krogstad. “There was another E27 in our fleet that was running normal class kite, so it was great to compare their performance with ours. We took a three second per mile penalty to fly that kite but it seems to have paid.”

The two owners say the experiment was a success, but they weren’t completely satisfied with the performance of the used kite. “We may try to acquire a Quantum masthead kite before long,” added McGraw.

Tequila Mockingbird finished around 3:06 in the morning, correcting out to second in class behind Jack Peurach’s Express 37 Elan. “There was a lot of south-westerly early in the race, and that really helped the longer waterline, heavier boats to get ahead,” said McGraw.

Click here for full results.

Jenn Virškus for Quantum Sails.

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