Jamestown duo wins Ida Lewis race
Jamestown residents Paul Cronin and Jim Andersen have sailed with and against each other for almost two decades. And this past weekend they earned their first victory together on Kincora, a Quest 30, winning the double-handed division of the 120-mile Ida Lewis Distance Race.
Most of the 26-boat fleet sailed fully crewed, but Cronin and Andersen wanted to test out the shorthanded sailing systems they’d installed last winter. “Next year is the Bermuda 1-2,” Cronin said. “So for us this was great training, and our first overnight together. We’re looking forward to a lot more racing as a team.”
Cronin estimates that he put in more than 1,200 hours rebuilding the 30-footer last winter. Kincora is 18 years old and had been sailed hard by previous owners, including a transatlantic race in the mid- 1990s. Cronin replaced all the major bulkheads and also removed the inboard engine to make room for a custom water-ballast system.
“We’ve got a full crew in water when we need it,” he said. “But we didn’t use it for this race because the rating penalty wasn’t worth it.”
Andersen, who worked for Carroll Marine for 12 years and is now the U.S. sales manager for Harken Yacht Equipment, helped out on the weekends. Together, he and Cronin set up a simple deck layout and reworked all the systems so everything would be easy to manage with only two sets of hands.
Andersen brings a wide range of experience to the Kincora project. “It has really been a pleasure to work with Paul to optimize Kincora for single- and double-handed sailing,” he said after the race. “From structural and rigging enhancements, to deck hardware and sail inventory upgrades, the shorthanded sailor really benefits from efficient systems.”
Andersen and Cronin had planned for the New England Solo/Twin in July to be their first race together, but other sailing plans interfered. Cronin joined a team to sail a Class 40 in the Pacifi c Cup, a 2,300-mile race from San Francisco to Hawaii. Andersen completed two races to Mackinac Island, Mich., one from Port Huron and one from Chicago. After they returned home, they went back to work on Kincora, testing sails and electronics, and tweaking some last minute details.
Winning their first race was especially satisfying after so much work was done on the boat. “Being out on the water is way better than being inside a boatshed,” Cronin laughed. “Now it’s all worth it.”