Interviews with Lead Pack – Ken & Eric Marshack

What is (are) your name(s), and where do you sail?

Ken and Eric Marshack.  In the NW, mostly Canada.

How long have you been sailing F18s?

Late 2011. First regatta was Nationals. 

What is your local F18 scene like and how often do you sail?

In the Pacific Northwest most regattas are sailed at Jericho in Vancouver BC. Most of the fleet is there and they have mast up storage. 6 hour trip each way for us. 

Did you do anything special to prepare for the 2017 F18 Americas Championship?

No. We did 2 regattas this summer.

Unfortunately, we do not get a chance to train or practice. 

What do you think was the biggest factor in your success in this event?

We had good starts. As a heavy team, we usually do well in the heavier wind. 

The Americas Championship saw a wide range of conditions from 5-25 knots. How did you manage to have success over such a broad range of conditions?

Did not manage the lighter wind races well. Did very well in the higher wind races. 

Any tricks to surviving the big wind and waves? In particular how did you manage to keep the pointy end up?

We did not push it very hard in the big stuff the first day. We felt it would be better to get past buy one boat than to flip and get a high score. Having a strong 190 pounder on the back foot straps helps to keep the bows up also. 

What was the most memorable regatta moment for you?

We were launched in the first race. Video of the start shows us double trapped and full speed several boat lengths in front of the fleet that was just getting off the line. 

Every event has difficult moments. What was yours, and how did you overcome that setback?

We had some problems with the new boom fittings. In the first race our boom fitting broke and we decided to keep sailing with no boom. Slowed us down, but we still won the race.

On the second day we broke the gooseneck on the way to the start. We decided to tie up the boom and treat it very gingerly rather return to the beach (and miss races).

If you could get a redo for one sailing mistake during the week, what would it be? what would you do differently?

Race 2 last day we were heading to the starboard lay line. We were just about to tack short of several boats ( in a right shift) when we thought we saw pressure to weather of the line of boats. We ducked boats and then had to go past the lay line to get clear air. When we finally got there the pressure was not what we had thought.

Had we tacked short we would have been in clear air and a lift. Possibly would have had to tack twice to lay the mark, but would have been in better position at A. 

For new teams just getting into F18 sailing, what would be your biggest piece of advice?

Sail in regattas

Ask lots of questions
Get coaching, no matter what level you think you are at. 

What’s your next F18 regatta?

June, 2018.