Friday 13th March 2020
Meet an X-Sailor
A series of interviews, setting focus on the X-Sailor and the yachts behind them.
– Christopher Sheehan –
Bluewater ocean race is his passion – Christopher has participated in the most important offshore races onboard his Xp 44 “Warrior Won” – The race resume counts some of the world’s most impressive races such as Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, Rolex Fastnet Race, Rolex Middle Sea Race and Newport Bermuda Race. – We have asked Christopher how it is to race onboard a luxury performance cruiser?
Who is Christopher Sheehan?
I work full time in New York City. Larchmont, my hometown for the last 25 years, is a charming small port town 45 minutes north of the City located on the Long Island Sound. I grew up in Plymouth, Massachusetts on Cape Cod Bay sailing one design dingy boats. Married, three teenage children all of whom enjoy sailing one-design boats and on Warrior Won – Xp 44 – USA 60564.
Sailing, whether racing, training or cruising after work in the summer sailing is always an option. My focus, however, is on racing. I would say that I’m 90% racing and 10% cruising. My crew and I enjoy offshore races and we have participated in the many of the most popular races in the US, Europe, and Australia, specifically New York Long Island Sound, Newport Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Nova Scotia Canada, Bermuda, Fastnet Cowes UK, Sydney Hobart, Australia, Middle Sea Race, Malta, Mediterranean.
Racing on luxury performance cruiser as the Xp 44 what is it like?
In the early 2000’s I spent a great deal of time in northern Germany on the Baltic Sea with an occasional trip to Denmark. It was during this time that I fell in love with X-Yachts. Practically every harbor I visited would have dozens of them ranging in size and age. I knew I wanted to cruise extensively with my family, to Massachusetts, Maine, Canada, and possibly the Caribbean so I wanted a fast, safe comfortable boat. X-Yachts’ Xp 44 was the perfect and only boat I considered. My family and I could not be happier. When she showed up in Larchmont harbor in the spring of 2014, there was no shortage of excellent Corinthian sailors wanting to crew aboard her in the numerous region distance races. The Warrior Won racing program was born almost instantly.
Warrior Won has participated in various Rolex Races and offshore races – What has been the most enjoyable race?
I enjoy distance/ocean racing over inshore racing. Ocean racing is my priority. I prefer races between 150 and 800 nautical miles. What I enjoy most, is distances races that consist of a combination of coastal racing and serious blue water ocean racing. The Rolex Fastnet and Rolex Sydney Hobart Races are my two favorites. Both are extremely challenging from a navigational, tactical and crew work standpoint. The start of both is amazing. Sydney Harbour is one of a kind, it’s packed with spectator boats, dangerous shallows and enormous headlands, the Bass Straits which can be brutally rough, the Tasman coast, Storm Bay and the Derwent River all require that the crew be on their game 100% of the entire race. The Fastnet involves the Solent starting zone, which is narrow, full of current plus 350+ plus competitors. The headlands along the south coast of England are challenging then once into the Celtic Sea it’s full-on with strong winds and often large waves and a very confused sea state.
I do take part in a Thursday night series, 16 races May – September, which consists of one 6-8 mile race every Thursday out of Larchmont.
You race a lot of offshore races, what value do you seek for in choosing the right boat for these kinds of races?
1st Safety is the most important factor as an owner & skipper. I take the responsibility very seriously as Skipper Owner. My crew are Corinthians and all have families. I often have U23 juniors on board as well. I would never head out to sea in a boat that I was not confident could handle virtually any conditions. 2nd an Xp X-Yacht is fast and fun to sail. She is comfortable and easy for new sailors to learn quickly, how to perform bow, mast, pit, trim, and helm. She required minimal maintenance over the last five years. X-Yachts are built incredibly well from the inside out.
What has been your best X-Moment so far?
Racing in the Bass Strait Sydney Hobart 2017 at 22 knots of boat speed, finishing 3rd in Line honors behind Comanche 100’ and High Noon Trip 41’, Newport Bermuda 2016, ultimately winning the St David’s Lighthouse Division (Corinthian) overall, the start of the Rolex Fastnet with 387 other boats and the start of the Rolex Middle Sea Race in Grand Harbour Valletta, Malta and finally sailing 250 miles with my three children, Svea-Liv, Haakon and Joost-Olan, to Nantucket in 2014.
– 2019 Rolex Fastnet Race 605 nm
– 2019 Rolex Middle Sea Race 610 nm
– 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart 635 nm
– 2016, 2018 Overall Winner (2016) Newport Bermuda Race
– 2015, 2017 Marblehead Halifax Race 365 nm
– 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Block Island Race 185 nm
– 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Vineyard Race 235 nm
– 2017 Annapolis Newport Race 435 nm
– 2016 Winner NORT Northern Ocean Racing Trophy (Best Season Long Performing Offshore Yacht on East Coast of US”
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