Chuck Benson has raced his Swan 47 BANDANA in the last eight Newport Bermuda races. Chuck has had the same crew each time he has entered his eight races, and is blessed with a plethora of that special brand of well rounded sailors who are not only first-class helmsmen, but perfectly at home on the foredeck. He is especially proud to sail with his two sons: “I have passed the captain’s baton back and forth between them. It is a special feeling to take my position in the galley, where I feel at home, and have the opportunity to look over my shoulder and watch my son Schuyler do his creative magic on the plotting sheets.”
Chuck loves sailing in the Bermuda Race with BANDANA “because the boat loves the sea.” While the Swan 47 was built for ocean sailing, she is equally at home along the coastline or on the Chesapeake. Her strength is heavy weather reaching: “she goes like a banshee.” In the light stuff she’s not so good on the reaching angles, but in light air windward work she does well as long as you don’t allow her 17 tons to come to a halt.
“Offshore camaraderie,” says Benson, “is a great experience and it always brings out the ‘jester’ on the boat. We have one crew member who will show up on watch in jockey shorts, a coon skin hat and sea boots. We just have fun, and push the boat as fast and as safely as we can.”
Benson is looking forward to his ninth Bermuda Race aboard BANDANA in 2008.