Summer Sailing?

Things havent been finalized yet, but im hoping that my father and I can take Liberty Call out this summer for a week. Maybe go to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard, hopefully it will be a bit less event full. I dont know maybe the Liberty Call crew will come along! I havent been cruising in awhile on Liberty Call, since the race but this trip will hopefully be fun


Day 1 of Race

Friday, June 18th was the start of the Newport To Bermuda Race. The race is 635 miles long which is about 4 to 5 days. Our boat Liberty Call was in class 12, the cruising division. As we waited for the start, we hoisted the sails up and we did a couple tacks and jibe. The plan for the start of the race was to be 30 seconds late to the line, because there was a 2 hour penalty if you were over the line early. We weren’t on time though, instead of being 30 seconds late we were 40 seconds late. We sailed the path less traveled upon and went hard west, the wind was about 15 knots with crashing waves. It was a decent start for us. It was cool going past the crowds at The Inn at Castle Hill. As we got further out watch sections were made. Matt Pilon, me, and John O’Donnell were in one watch section and Doug Larratt, Danny DaCruz, and Jeff Huggins were in the other group. The hours for the watches was a hard decision, but we came to a good working conclusion. Each watch during the day would be 4 hours and the night watches are 3 hours, 3 people on 3 people off. Our first lunch of the race consisted of O’Donnell’s, in case you don’t know what O’Donnell’s are they are sandwiches that don’t have bread it’s just meat wrapped in cheese. Spirits were high,we took a picture of a 50 foot racing boat because we knew that it would be the last time we would see it behind us. Meals could be a challenge so they were simple. For dinner we had salmon and rice. I remember taking the plate from the cook and having to hold on it so it wouldn’t fall over while we were bouncing around. At 12:00 midnight my shift ended and I went to bed because I knew that I would be waking up in three hours for the next morning shift.

2 Days Until Race


Today everyone woke up around 7 am except me.  I was too late to catch the ride to the boat to work on some things. Mr. Larratt arrived in Newport today so he picked me up at the house and we headed to the boat. We got an enormous amount of stuff done. I cleaned the side of the boat; we got the jack lines rigged up and then headed to New York Yacht Club to get signed up with Bermudian customs. Tonight there is a party for the sailors but I think it might be for older folks because the name of the party is Dark and Stormy, which is the name of a cocktal so I am not really sure if I’m going. Also bad news has hit the US Naval Academy, the head of U.S. Sailing and former sailing instructor at USNA has passed away and his memorial service is tomorrow.  A few of the the crew of Liberty Call sailed under him while at school there.

3 Days Untill Race

Today is travel day and the crew is heading up to Newport so we can make some last minute checks and to practice. Today we are traveling, tomorrow we are making some last minute changes and checking in, the last day we are sailing and practicing our starts, then day three is the start of the Newport To Bermuda Race. So we will be pretty busy this week and I might have enough time to post more info, but I might not.   

Here’s the Official Race link so that you can track our boat Liberty Call.

Thanks for reading,


Please join me on sail groove to get pictures and info on my Team at Brewster

Sailgroove: http://www.sailgroove.org/members/ppilon

Training: Day 1

Day One Training

Tri-Sail on Liberty Call

Day 1 started off bad.  We  had meat, cheese, and lettuce onboard for lunch, but no bread!  Solution:  John O’Donnell whipped us up something which we all now call an “O’Donnell” – it was meat and cheese wrapped in lettuce.  We learned:  Double check to make sure we have bread next time.

Today was the day that we would check everything to make sure the sails and lines are all good. First we rigged the jack lines; those were easy to do.  It took us 10 minutes to rig  up (jack lines are lines that go from the bow to the stern and are connected to you so that you don’t fall out of the boat). After the jack lines were in, we tethered ourselves into them and got set to heave up the tri-sail. The tri-sail is very interesting; it replaces the main sail if the boat is overpowered.  The main sail will rip if the wind picks up to roughly 30 knots.  The tri-sail is made with thicker material that can withstand a high amount of wind. Once Jeff, O’D and me rigged the tri-sail we got right to work on getting the storm jib out.  This is a replacement for the regular jib for the same reason as the tri-sail is used in heavy weather because the regular one can’t withstand very much wind. In case it got too windy we had to make sure the storm jib was adjusted properly. The tri-sail was up and the storm jib was up which meant it was time to heave to, (backwind the jib to practice a great way in a heavy storm to be able to stop.)

By that time the O’Donnell’s were consumed and the crew was ready to take on the sea with full sails up.  We were trimmed to speed with the main out and the jib trimmed in.

We traveled far into the Narragansett Bay then headed into Newport to get the boat ready for day 2.

Thinking about 2010 Newport to Bermuda Race, .  I am Phil Pilon, 15 years old and an avid sailor.  I raced Optis for the past few years out of Sail Newport and now I am racing 420’s out of Brewster Academy during the school year and Sail Newport for the summer.  This will be my first time doing the Newport to Bermuda Race.

The crew is:  Matt Pilon (Captain), Phil Pilon (crew), John O’Donnell (navigation), Doug Larratt (crew), Jeff Huggins (crew) & Danny DaCruz (crew)