North Sails LOFT NEWS

April 16, 2019


Here’s What To Bring On Your Next Adventure Around The Racecourse

Long-distance racing is one of my new favourite ways to enjoy this sport. Having put a few of these races under my belt in the past couple years, I’ve pared down my kit to the essentials, including a couple indulgent items that I like to bring as well, space permitting. Your boat will likely have a size restriction of the bag you bring, so find out before you pack your largest suitcase with every piece of sailing gear you own, “just in case”.

Outside The Bag

  • Good foulies. I spent the 2018 Caribbean 600 in a pair of pants that were no longer waterproof. Even in the tropics, I was cold and miserable.
  • Boots: unlike day racing, once your feet get wet out there, they can stay wet until you’re over the finish line (ew!)
  • Life jacket with tether, if not provided by boat.

Inside The Bag

  • Base layers: I have a set of 100% silk layers that I love, but merino wool is the popular choice. Natural, wicking materials are your friend here. It gets cold at night, even in the summer or in the Caribbean.
  • 1 pair of long pants: I bring a pair of lulus that I wear over the silk if it’s really cold.
  • 1 pair of shorts: Fast-drying, comfortable shorts. If you can get a pair with a padded rear, do it.
  • 2 T-shirts: I prefer long sleeved UV shirts, especially on wetter boats where my sunscreen might not last long.
  • 1 sweater to layer at night.
  • Wool socks: I also bring my layering socks (made for skiing), for super cold nights.
  • Gloves, and if you’re in colder weather, bring waterproof ski gloves, especially if you’re driving!

Small Items

  • Baseball cap and/or a toque. Nothing is worse than being sunburnt on your scalp or freezing.
  • Sunglasses. The raccoon eyes tan is always in.
  • Sunscreen or a Zinc stick. Reapply often. 
  • Chapstick. There’s nothing worse than chapped, salty lips. I put one in every pocket of my jacket.
  • A sailing knife for safety.
  • Extra hair elastics and a comb. Missed this once, 5 days later my hair was a salty matted mess. If you have long hair and want to keep it, don’t forget this one.
  • Baby wipes. Baby wipes. Baby wipes. You will probably use these to shower.


  • Coffee! This is my one non-essential / essential item that I always bring with me… Now. I learned the hard way that the provisioning isn’t always perfect; we ran out of coffee in the last two days of my first delivery. I’ve brought my own coffee since, just in case.

I don’t bring a reusable water bottle. This seems counterintuitive in 2019, but unless your boat has a drinking fountain on board, you’re probably going to be drinking out of single use bottles. I bring a thermos-type bottle for coffee, if the boat doesn’t have them for crew.

  • #GoBeyond