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A Resolute Change Of Course For The Secret Squirrel/Velvet Hammer Program

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  • A Resolute Change Of Course For The Secret Squirrel/Velvet Hammer Program

    Zachary Anderson and Will Paxton's rejuvenation of the old canting keel Shock 40' Secret Squirrel brought the innovative
    trendsetter back to life and gave heaps of of smiles to crews that were fortunate enough to get aboard for some of the white knuckle
    adventures she was involved in, but time stand still for no man and the next step in the offshore racing for the program will involve
    a new to them SoCal based J-125 Resolute. Skipper Zachary Anderson slowed down long enough to give us a bit of insight into what
    we might expect from the Velvet Hammer Program in the days, weeks and years to come....

    PD: Congrats on the new acquisition! We were just eyeballing the BBS entries list and saw that there was a typo,
    and they had mistakenly listed Velvet Hammer as a J-125 instead of a Shock 40...?

    ZA: Nope, no mistake. I have bought the J/125 Resolute from Tim Fuller. If we can get the boat up here in time, our first Regatta will actually be Jazz Cup.

    PD: So the cats out of the bag, or the squirrel is out of the drawer, so to speak, what was the impetus for the change of course?

    ZA: I created the Velvet Hammer program three years ago to get back into ocean racing and to allow for our large group of Motorcycle Irene crew to sail together. The Shock 40 was a target of opportunity. But, we knew from the beginning that it was a monster garage project. It is crazy fun to drive and fast, but requires lots of work to keep it running on top condition. Especially if you push as hard as we do. It’s an absolute weapon in the bay. Look at the last two years Vallejo results if you need proof of that. Last year the crew was already drunk by the time the next monohull arrived. But, we want to go ocean racing. So I pulled the plug after Coastal Cup and we started looking for a new boat. On Pacific Cup Will and I had a lot of time to discuss the next step for the program. By day 10 we had decided on the J-125. I started talking to Tim about resolute while I was in Hawaii.

    PD: Resolute has a fine pedigree in offshore events including 3 Transpacs under her belt, what is the game plan at this point?

    ZA: Big Boat Series, Transpac, Offshore Race week. The pedigree is why I bought the boat. Tim has really taken care of the boat. I did a lot of home work on it, talking to many of Resolute’s former crew and people that have sailed many of the J-125’s. Everyone glowed when they spoke about their time on this boat. Matt Knoble has done a transpac on her and said it was one of his favorite crossings. That’s high praise!

    PD: Fewer lunches and bodies on the J-125 needed than the Shock, and less repairs. What is Hippie going to do with all his new free time?

    ZA: James was a great boat captain for the Shock 40. He had a tough job. Since we dialed back to focus on Pac Cup James has been sailing the Merlin on the East Coast and lakes. I am sure you will see him out on the J/125 at some point.

    PD:Rumor has it she is capable of doing some short handed events, plans in that realm?

    ZA: Absolutely, I really enjoyed double handing on the Pac Cup. Will and I are definitely going to do some more of that. Resolute is really well set up to do that. When 3 Bridge Fiasco and Double Handed farallones come up we will have to make some tough decisions. I think the next pacific crossing will be crewed though.

    PD: The Secret Squirrel has been donated to the RYC Youth Foundation, do you suppose you might be sailing against her anytime soon?

    ZA: Actually Skiff Sailing Foundation

    I hope so. That boat is too much fun to be stuck in the yard. I am happy to be leaving her better than I found her.

    PD: The Motorcycle Irene? Will she go back to just being another E-27 for now?

    ZA: Well Irene will never be just another Express 27! There is something special about that boat. But yes she is getting put back into one design mode. Next regatta for her is Nationals. She has to defend her title.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    More sailing and less fixing.

    What ever happened with Cant Touch This?