OSTAR Winner Reflects on Humble Beginnings
For Jonathan Green, who sailed his 35-foot Beneteau to victory in the OSTAR, getting to the starting line was the real test.
|Jon sets the autohelm on Jeroboam.|
In his late twenties, Jonathan Green of Boston, Massachusetts, had no idea how to take care of a sailboat, or even how to operate one, for that matter. So with the insurance money from a car accident, he decided to buy a Clipper Marine 30-footer that he found in the nearby city of Quincy. He re-named it Sink Me II, as if he’d already sunk a first ship.
“I had no idea what to look for in a boat,” he said. “I pretty much bought the second boat I saw.”
Now in his early forties, it’s an understatement to say that Jon has learned how to handle a boat. Days after he’d successfully finished the 2013 OSTAR, or, the Original Single Handed Trans-Atlantic Race, a northern crossing of the Atlantic Ocean against prevailing winds, he invited me to hop aboard for a daysail on Jeroboam, the Beneteau Oceanis 351 sloop he campaigned from Plymouth, England, to Newport, Rhode Island.
While a strong headwind blew, I heard the story behind the only American to enter this year’s race. We sat back and let the auto-helm guide the sloop close-hauled while we chatted and enjoyed the fine mist that washed over the port hull.