When I first got the email that I was the lucky intern given the opportunity to ride on a M32 catamaran I had no idea what to think. Having absolutely zero experience on sailboats, especially sailboats of this caliber, I began with researching the M32 catamarans and the races that they take part in. After scrolling through YouTube for an hour, I came to the conclusion that I was screwed and there was little chance that I would be able to make it off the boat without it capsizing. When the day finally came to go on my ride along, I was less than enthusiastic. However, this all changed the minute I got on the boat. If you’ve never seen a M32 Catamaran before, they are completely built with Carbon Fiber and other lightweight materials, and they were surprisingly stable at speeds of 25 mph and greater.
One of the first questions I asked the crew was how long they had been sailing for. They all looked at each other like I had just asked them if they knew who Neil Armstrong was, and said they had been sailing their whole lives and been racing the M32’s for the past 2 or 3 years. These guys were clearly very experienced so I decided that I no longer had anything to worry about. One of the coolest moments was when we were warming up before the first race and we did a “wheelie.”
There is nothing like being on a catamaran and sailing so fast that the side you are sitting on lifts up to about 15-20 ft. in the air and just holding it for 30 seconds. Just when I thought I couldn’t be more impressed we started to do some practice races. It was really cool to see the way the crew could handle the boat, quickly and efficiently turning the boat around the course. But it was even more impressive how the crew was able to read the wind and the water, to tell when and where the next gust of wind was coming from, so they could position the boat to get the most speed from each gust. During my ride along we did three practice races and the whole time during the race the crew was using sailor jargon, so I had not a single clue what was going on. However, the crew let me furl the sails a couple time, so I wasn’t a complete waste of space. Overall, the ride along was great. After I got off the boat all I could think about was doing it again, it’s been four days and I still constantly think about it. If you ever get the chance to do a ride along I highly suggest doing it; not only is it a great story, but it is also a great experience.
Check out our video recap of the day: