Landlubber gets taste of Hugo Boss
It's not every day an invitation comes to sail aboard a racing yacht, so when a call came from Hugo Boss to head out on the waves aboard the Hugo Boss -- a Volvo 60 that came in second place, Division 2, during the recent Transpacific Yacht Race from Los Angeles to Honolulu -- I said yes and worried about seasickness later.
I've been aboard enough vessels, from cats to cruise ships and the Oceania Floating Restaurant, to know I'm not a water person. As it turns out, every guest had the same fear, and we loaded up on ginger pills before heading out Monday afternoon.
I also fear speed and kept asking organizers, "How fast does it go?" They answered in knots, which is meaningless to a landlubber. Having sped across the ocean aboard an ex's fishing boat, I was somewhat reassured that a fast-moving yacht leaves less of an opening for seasickness than a bobbing boat.
Everything was A-OK when we set sail, four crew from England and 10 media passengers. When not racing, the Hugo Boss makes its rounds around the world as another way of entertaining fans of the clothing and lifestyle brand.
We did the best we could to stay out of the crew's way as they worked around ropes, pulleys and sails. Once one sail went up, we were cruising at 10 knots, which can make you feel like you're on a toy boat when climbing over 4-foot waves. As the Hugo Boss angled at 45 degrees, our okoles too close to the water for comfort, it occurred to me that save for one passenger, we were all on one side of the yacht.
"Everybody move to the other side!" Capt. Andy Tourell urged, and we scrambled to climb our way up, none too gracefully.
Where did I see this before?
In "The Perfect Storm"!
During the hour-and-a-half sail, there was no time to raise the second sail, which would have brought the yacht up to its racing speed of about 19.5 to 20 knots. I could imagine how exhilarating that could be, with little room for error in navigating the waves.
A 10-member crew is now en route to Hong Kong, a journey that will take 30 days, an extraordinary commitment. As rigorous a job as it is, the crew does travel in style, dressed and scented by Hugo Boss.