North Sails LOFT NEWS
WHO WE ARE: BLAY SHOENHERR
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How long have you been sailing? In what classes do you compete?
Sailing has always been in my family and I started at at seven in the junior program at Grosse Pointe Club. By age nine, I was ready advance to a more serious program and joined the Bayview Yacht Club junior program where I raced competitively in Optimists, Flying Juniors, and 420s.
I joined the Grosse Pointe South Sailing team when I started high school and raced 420s all four years competing in both fleet and team racing. At the same time I raced actively in local Detroit fleets including, J/35s, Beneteau 36.7 (Multiple North Americans), J/120s, NA 40s, J/105s etc. I have completed 15 Port Huron Mackinacs (1 overall, 1 first in class, and 12 Chicago Mackinaws-with one first in class finish in 2018 in the J/111 fleet). Over the years I have race on many performance boats including, Ultimate 20s, Melges 32s, Melges 24s, TP52s, and Santa Cruz 70s. I currently am active in the Melges 24 class and ‘ll be racing a TP52 this summer in the Great Lakes circuit.
What’s your background in the marine industry? What do you like about it?
I started working on race boats at age 17 and continued with various race programs in the summers through college. I currently work as a marine technician focused on sailboats and rigging at a local northern Michigan boat shop. My favorite aspect of working in the marine industry is the technology and the people. There is always something new to learn as the industry evolves. Being able to share my knowledge and solve problems with clients and the community is truly rewarding.
What keeps your coming back for more?
The competition and family nature of the sailing community keeps me coming back. Every time I’m on the water I learn something new.
What’s your favorite thing about sailing?
My favorite thing about sailing is the camaraderie. It’s an amazing community and has rewarded me with lifelong friendships.