By Chris Museler
Packing for the Bermuda Race is unlike
preparing any other ocean race. It’s not that this is a transoceanic
race distance. There can be a 50-degree temperature swing from the cool,
spring New England weather at the start to the sunny and tropical temps
beyond the Gulf Stream and in Bermuda.
Never wanting to bring too much, you
want to be sure you have enough to be comfortable. That’s the challenge.
I haven’t done this race, but I have been told that making it through
the Gulf Stream is never without a period of constant dowsing, from
both above and below. Not fully relying on my own preparation
I consulted a veteran, Mike Toppa, who went out on a limb to get my
scrawny 140 pounds squeezed onto the Titan XV team. Mike is owner
of North Sails Florida and prepared the sail program for the boat. He
serves as a trimmer.
Here’s what Mike brings. And after
that, my additions.
Mike Toppa’s List
“First of all, no cotton.
Cotton is like a sponge and doesn't dry quickly. I have a medium size West Marine dry
bag that will hold everything, except the foul weather gear."
– Mike Toppa
- 2 pr Patagonia
Capilene boxer shorts
pr Capaline long john pants
- 1 pr Camet quick dry shorts
- 1 Capiline long sleeve T shirt
- 2 Capiline short sleeve T shirts
- 1 Capiline Patagonia Synchilla
- 1 pr Sealskinz waterproof socks
- 1 pr Sperry boots
- 1 set Gill foul weather gear (bibs
- Sunglasses, toothbrush, toothpaste,
contact lenses and eye shades like you
- get for on an airplane (great for
getting important sleep during the
- daylight hours).
- Depending on the forecast, I might
add a fleece salopette or ski hat it will
- be cold the first night out.
I like the eye shades idea. Carleton
Mitchell, three-time winner of the race, gave them to all his crew.
It makes a ton of sense, especially in boats with open berthing. I would
skip the boxers in lieu of quick-dry surf trunks that both serve as
sleeping shorts and deck shorts.
I’d trade the pullover for the thinner
but more technical Patagonia R1 Hoody.
Patagonia R1 Hoody
This is a new item from them
I saw in action last week and seems to have a bigger range of
It also has a soft, light, stretchy hood for easy on and off when
change in passing thunderstorms . Very convenient.
I will have Musto HPX bibs and smock.
I will have a Helly Hansen Lifa baseball hat and thin Lifa stocking
I also have Eastern Mountain Sports
Techwick t-shirts and Patagonia mid-weight socks for hiking that go
to my knees. These are especially good for wearing with boots. I will
be using Dubarry’s Ultima boot. I pack everything besides foulies
into a 25 litre dry bag with a clear plastic section so I can see what
is where. All items are individually packaged in clear, size appropriate
Sailing gear ready to be packed
Though Patagonia is a brand standard
for underwaer in offshore sailing, Helly Hansen has a tremendous line
and a store in Newport. Also, Eastern Mountain Sports in Middletown
has great store brand socks and under layers that are less expensive
than the above brands.
The entire Titan XV team will
be testing out shoes for Sperry Topsider’s experimental marketing
group. We will have the Ventus shoe and the Camen thong (shoe).