Jeff & Sarah Kennedy took delivery of 'Artemis' 12 months ago and with much anticipation took place in their first regatta with the 13.98 this past weekend. No strangers to competitive racing, Jeff & Sarah are graduates of St Mary's College of Maryland and were a part of the sailing team there. Having owned several performance cruisers, their last a J/120, they searched for some time for the 'next step up' and settled on the incredible Italia 13.98. The 13.98 is designed for fast cruising, however the Kennedy's stepped it up a notch by outfitting the boat with some additional upgrades such as a complete racing sail package by Quantum Sails to complement their cruising sail inventory. The goal: to compete in the 2020 running of the Newport to Bermuda Race, and unfortunately the race was canceled due to COVID-19.
After several months of planning and preparations 'Artemis' was ready for her race day debut. Instead of their usual crew of Jeff & Sarah, daughters Katie & Hillary, and their dog Sawyer going out for a weekend cruise to St Michael's; the crew grew in size to 11 people. The cruising kit was removed and the racing kit brought down from the loft, some of the sails never having seen the light of day before being hoisted up the rig that morning. The race, a replacement for the canceled Fall Race to Oxford, was hosted by the Naval Academy Sailing Squadron on a blustery Fall Saturday with easterly breeze 10-15 knots and slowly tapering off through the afternoon. The course was a start at R2 off of the Severn River, jib reaches north just past the Bay Bridge, a tight run back south to Hacketts Point, reach to Thomas Point, a beat across to bay to Bloody Point, and a run back into the Severn River to the finish, all told just over 20NM.
The 13.98 and the preparations the Kennedy's put into the boat made for a smooth race, even though more than half the crew had never set foot on her before. Several sail changes were made during the race, including peels from spinnaker to Code Zero and a jib change. At the finish 'Artemis' dueled neck and neck with a Farr 40 for a photo finish, and she ended up boated boat for boat Melges 32, J/133, Beneteau First 50, and a second Farr 40. Ker 50 'WAHOO' took line honors and first place, with 'Artemis' finished corrected just under 4 minutes behind. Full results may be found here.