Ronnie Simpson- Quest for the Vendée
Ronnie Simpson Racing- 2016 Vendée Globe and 2015 'SF2SF' campaign
Ronnie Simpson Racing is a newly formed racing syndicate whose primary objective is to see Ronnie Simpson become the third and youngest American sailor to ever finish the Vendée Globe Race; the toughest sailing race on the planet. Solo, non-stop and around the world, only two Americans have ever officially completed this race. Ronnie will be sailing to inspire other combat wounded veterans to achieve extraordinary things while overcoming their newfound challenges to lead enriching and fulfilling lives. This campaign will benefit the 501c3 non-profit organization Hope for the Warriors® and is funded by charitable, tax-deductible donations. As preparation, Ronnie will sail around the world in the inaugural 2015 'SF2SF' race.
I've been a bit remiss in updating this website and blog, but that's not because there's not cool stuff going on or because I am not still trying to sail in the Vendée Globe! After getting home from Hawaii in August, I began focusing on finishing up my obligations for the year and going cruising for the winter. In late September, we held our fourth wounded vetearn sailing clinic in San Francisco! Recap. Shortly thereafter, I left the Bay Area on my liveaboard cruising boat Mongo and cruised down the coast to San Diego where I am preparing to sail to Mexico for the winter. Recap. A couple of days after arriving in SD, I flew to Acapulco with one crew (Walt from the sailing clinic) and delivered the Island Packet 380 Champ up from Acapulco to San Diego. Recap.
New promotional video for our wounded-vetearn sailing program
I am currently back in San Diego for a few weeks where I am re-fitting my cruising boat to prepare to sail to Mexico (and likely Hawaii afterwards). Before I head to Mexico however, I will be traveling to Australia to sail in the Sydney- Hobart race. Will definitely be doing some updates and writing from S2H.
I am again updating my personal/ cruising blog, www.openbluehorizon.com. I prefer to keep professional and racing ambitions separate and this is the Vendée Globe campaign site, hence the separation. Speaking of which, I am coming back to my attempt to sail in the Vendée Globe with a renewed energy and passion in the coming months. A major motivating factor in me going cruising over the winter was to take a step back at this point in my life and career to reflect, recharge and form a strategy which will allow me to move forward on three major fronts; expanding the wounded-veteran sailing program to serve more veterans and include offshore yacht racing, foster my participation in the Vendée Globe, SF2SF or Class 40 Globeal Ocean Race and continue to develop as a professional writer while also completing the writing of my book.
Crossing under the Golden Gate with a kite up after 15 days and 2,700 miles! Happy to be home!
The good ship Criminal Mischief is back in San Francisco! After finishing the Transpac and then hanging out in Waikiki for a bit, we immediately began prepping for the return delivery home. As we began our preparations, a tropical depression began tracking for the islands. A couple of days later, it was upgraded to Tropical Storm Flossie and continued it’s track towards Hawaii. Our original plan was to leave on a Sunday, sail to Hanalei Bay, Kauai for a day of r&r and then onto California. With the imminent weather, however, we decided to just get out of dodge a few days early, as leaving any later would mean either hitting bad weather or being stuck in port an additional 5-7 days.
The crew was James Clappier (bow guy) as skipper, myself, Cody Spruce (also on the Transpac crew) and my good friend Adam. The decision to leave early was a good one and we were blessed with reliable tradewinds that were, if anything, a bit mellow. A reef in the main and the delivery jib and the Criminal just charged north, reeling off the miles
We won our class in Transpac! By 3 minutes and 47 seconds!
Crew shot right after the finish at Hawaii Yacht Club. A 3 minute and 47 second class vicotry in one of the most competitive Transpac races in years! Super stoked! Sailed on the R/P 45 Criminal Mischief, in a 6-boat fleet. Our elapased time was 9 days, 8 hours and change.
This was a hard fought and well-earned victory for the Cirminal Mischief crew. The whole crew worked together and worked hard. No one had any ego, everyone pitched in- packing kites, grinding, making each other coffee or a snack, you name it. We gelled as a team and endured a 9 day long dog fight with two Rodgers 46's, two J/125's and an Open 50. Every morning when the navigator Brendan came up to brief us on our position, the report was the same, "we're in a dead heat, guys. we have to push 100%." So we did. We had some sail issues, failures and other little problems but we dealt with all of them impressively well, losing almost no time. I'll be doing a full write up in the next couple of days, maybe after the awards this Thursday.
Epic race with a great crew! Go the Criminal Mischief!
We ended up seeing a lot of this on the trip- big breaking waves...
The Bermuda to Newport delivery was great, if not a bit hectic onboard the mighty Quest 30 Flight Risk. I flew into Bermuda on a Tuesday afternoon, arriving about an hour before John. Once both of us were there, it was straight to the boat to get her off of the mooring and over to the St. George’s sport and dinghy club. By Thursday morning, we were fully provisioned, main swapped and ready to go with a decent looking weather window. So at 11:45 that morning, we cleared out with customs and then motored out