Articles About RYM


Try out please?

November 23, 2013   

Thank you so much to everyone who got involved with this video I was blown away by your comments and everyones support. And Sam you are a genius and very much deserve a position on the Volvo as an onboard reporter.

Extreme 40 ing…

May 16, 2012

Article in Marin IJ

April 24, 2012   

Article in the Marin IJ written by my good friend Michelle about our recent fun regatta in the BVI’s

Happy Easter

April 8, 2012   

Happy Easter one and all. I am in Mill Valley having been for a great run and this afternoon will meet up with my friends to hike amoungst the redwoods at Muir Woods. I talked to my nieces and newphew who were high on chocolate and delighted in telling me about breaking their eggs I had left for them and eating them all up!

I thought I would put some links up of interesting news bits…

This is an article about BAS and the 25% funding cut

Also an article about Bay Area sailors in the Virgin Islands by Paul a local journalist here in the bay.

Those in the US with Discovery Channel make sure you want Frozen Planet tonight at 8pm it has lots of great footage of my home south.

Sailing Anarchy articles

May 25, 2010   

I have written a few articles for a sailing site called Sailing Anarchy about spending time south. Check them out..

Ashley Anarctic –

South Pole Dancer –

Big Dilemma –

From the Bay to St Maarten RYM clients had a great March!

March 31, 2009   

The following is from Latitude 38 – San Francisco’s best sailing magazine..

Spring Keel – San Francisco

In the 23-boat J/105 fleet, Adam Spiegel’s Jam Session played the tune of a consistent 1-1-3 to finish six points clear of the runner-up, Scooter Simmons’ Blackhawk. But while the Jam Session crew of Dave Kelly on bow, Geoff Papilion trimming, Guillemette Brouillat Spiegel in the pit, Jim Barkow on strategy and Ken Turnbull on main and tactics — may have won going away, they almost didn’t make it to the start of the first race after their collision at the Big Daddy Regatta a week before. “It was only due to a bunch of hard work by our rigger, Ashley Perrin, that we got the boat back together,” Spiegel said.

Heineken Regatta – St Maarten

If we were to win our class at Rolex Big Boat Series, we’d probably celebrate by hitting up the Marina district’s watering holes. When Barry Lewis and his gang on Chance took the J/120 title last year, he decided to go sailing. But instead of taking a victory lap around St. Francis, Lewis opted for a decidedly warmer venue — St. Maarten and the 2009 Heineken regatta.

“After a few years of losing out at Big Boat Series in the final seconds of the last race, or on a count-back, we had the motive to celebrate,” Lewis said. “The Heineken Regatta was our opportunity.” Two years ago, Lewis had the chance to sail on Royal Ocean Racing Club Commodore David Aisher’s Rogers 46 Yeoman XXXII at the BVI Spring Regatta. When he found out from the boat’s captain, the Bay Area-based Ashley Perrin, that it was available for charter for the Heineken regatta, he jumped at the opportunity, to sail the all-carbon speedster.

“It’s an asymmetrical boat with a sprit,” Lewis said of the comparison between the Rogers 46 and Chance. But despite the five or so feet of length difference, the boat is way different from a J/120. For one thing, it’s a lot lighter. “The boat weighs significantly less than a J/120,” he said. “If the breeze gets up to 18 knots, it’ll plane and you’re doing 20-25- knots.”

Actually, they figured the boat out quickly enough to take second in Spinnaker 2, just behind Ron O’Hanley’s canting-keeled Cookson 50 Privateer and just ahead of Peter Peake’s R/P 44 Storm. And they didn’t just do it in hohum conditions either. “The weather was cooperative,” Lewis said. ” A front came in Thursday night and Friday’s first race — around the island — had been forecasted to be in 20 knots. By the time we got around to the windward side of the island it was blowing 28-35 knots. On Saturday we sailed windward/leewards in flat water off the leeward side of the island with breeze in the high-20s and low-30s. They sent us up the east side of Island and back on the last day in 20- to 25-knots and we had a great ride home. It was a lot of fun.”

Now, given that Lewis’s, home waters on the Bay can be pretty breeze-on for most of the summer, this might not sound like a huge learning curve to climb. “There certainly are differences, but the combination of having spent a week and half on the boat in the BVI, plus the fact that all of us have sailed together so much meant we got better over the course of the week.”

Lewis decided to recruit crew for the event from within the Chance family. In addition to Perrin, he brought along his son Blake to grind, tactician Doug Nugent, main trimmer Aaron Elder, trimmers Matt Gingo and Michael Redmond, David Krause on the bow and Bryan Murdoch, Seamus Wilmot, Sean Ross, and Mark Ruppert who filled in between. The only non-regular was Lu Ann Bell, who usually races on the competition — John Wimer’s Desdemona — back home.

“The crew I have on Chance has been around for years,” Lewis said. “Everyone loves sailing together, and this was a great opportunity to not only sail together, but just hang out with each other. It was a great time; I wish I could go do it again next week!”

Article in the Marin IJ

January 5, 2009   

You can read about a day in the life of RYM in todays Marin IJ article.

Paige Brooks story of Etchells 667

December 6, 2007   

Paige Brooks sailed in Fleet 12 for a few years before moving to Florida and joining Miami Fleet 20. She sold her San Francisco boat this month and writes in a farewell from the site of the Jaguar Cup: 

From: Paige Brooks

Subject: Re: Scarlett – Etchells 667 – Thank you! (and a little story) On May 2, of 2003 and again in February of 2004, I had two of the happiest days of boat ownership. Buying the boat with Dan Zuiches and Danielle Dignan and then buying it from them. This week I sold 667 to another trio, this time J24 owners who are switching into Etchells and are taking it to Denver. While this is supposed to be the next happiest day of boat ownership and I expected to be relieved, I’ve also found myself a bit sentimental. So this letter is to all of you who’ve helped make the memories and sailed with me on 667. Thank you.

In the racing we were met with challenging competitors – sailors who’d raced etchells for more than 20 years, who’d competed at the top level of the sport. We learned a lot and had a lot of fun, thanks to the tough competition.

One race I won’t soon forget:

During the Simpson Cup, a “gear buster” of a regatta, we were sailing downwind in front of the St. Francis when our vang broke. Kers yelled over to us to pull in our vang and when I said “it’s broken,” he yelled back “well sit on the boom then”. And so I rode the boom the rest of the way down to the finish line, bouncing along with each wave. This was also the weekend I met another kind former Olympic sailor Kent Massey, visiting from Santa Barbara to race Etchells, who took time out from catching up with friends to take me outside, throw a leaf on the water, and teach me about tides and currents. Sounds silly, but it instantly worked in explaining what ‘current protection’ means.

With three partners, you have the benefit of always having crew. Without three you have to find them. Jack Roosevelt jumped on early and brought with him Ethan Doyle. They were both aboard the first (and only, so far) time I death rolled. They also sailed me to a win over Shark Kahn, just after he’d won Melges Worlds. Boy did that feel good.

Matt Carter who helped a lot with suggestions on bow work, did bow for my good friend Roy Haslup and me for the Mosely Cup. Bill Clary who sailed Etchells in Marblehead and Ashley Perrin, who’s got tons of blue water miles, alternated on the boat for Roy and I most of the time. All of you are great to sail with – great advice, great motivators and great sportsmen. Melbo, Bryan, Dr. Bill, John Sutak, and Randy Smith have all been great encouragers and competitors from SFYC. Thanks!

In September of 04, we raced the boat in the Etchells North Americans. Roy, Ashley, and a girl from Oregon sailed with me. This was my first big fleet event. As a less than practiced team against tough competition, our goal was not to be last, which we fortunately accomplished. Ashley, the amazing boat handler and worker that she is, did bow for us all day in tough conditions and worked on boats late into the evening during the whole week. She taught me a lot about boat repairs – gelcoat, fiberglass, trailer care, standing rigging, deck work, and more over the course of my last summer in SF.

As most of you know, I’ve moved into a new partnership in 1055 in Miami. At North Americans this year, we (my new partner Chris and Randy Smith) finished well up into the top half of the fleet at 19th, managing to beat a few pros and all the women skippers. One of my SF friends commented in a congratulatory email that it made me the fastest female Etchells skipper in North America. A good general feeling, but at the moment, there are only a few of us. Contrary to recent reports, the class is growing, and I’m seeing more women out there as crew and as skippers, which is great.

Thanks so much to all of you who made learning the boat such a pleasure. While I’m glad to sell Scarlett, I will enjoy the memories and most of all I am thankful for your friendship!


The Innerview – Ground Control

December 5, 2007   

Ashley Perrin is a 24-year-old professional sailor. We met in Brixham, England as she is Ocean Planet’s shore team manager.  Ashley has over 35,000 ocean miles to her credit. Including; Fastnets (3rd), Double handed Round Britain (2nd), two Mackinacs, Pac Cup, double handed Atlantic crossing, Dubai-Muscat Race, Cork Week, Cowes Week, America’s Cup Jubilee, Key West, SORC, numerous cross channel races and Pacific coast races along with Caribbean circuit and women’s match racing circuit.  Recently, she was America True’s project manager for their Volvo Campaign along with being their Volvo Sponsor manager. She is the youngest ever-elected member to the RORC and is a special member of the SFYC. Currently, she is in Florida participating in the Osprey Cup.   On top of being very good at what she does, she is one of those people you like to work with, professional and down to earth. MoMP.

You are the Shore Team Manager for Ocean Planet. It’s no secret that the program has limited funds.  How much more difficult is it from your perspective for the team to first, be competitive then remain competitive as the race goes on?

AP Our overall budget is comparable to other boats in this race, such as Pindar and Hilfiger, but we differ dramatically in our design. Pindar and Hilfiger are based upon the normal Open 60 design ethos (sail plan and width) and both have already been around the world. Ocean Planet has taken a different approach it is a more radical design. Ocean Planet’s radical plan requires a larger R & D budget than our competitors, resulting in lower repair and maintenance budget, creating a challenge for our team.

Since Bruce is newcomer to the Open 60 scene, he was able to take this approach without risking his reputation in this arena. Other skippers have in the past been slightly radical but only in one aspect of the design at a time i.e. Yves Parlier went with a rotating mast a few years ago with the large side spreaders but the rest of his boat was not much difference from the norm. Success of a program like this would be better supported with funding from a major sponsor than the very generous donations of many individuals. An easier proposition financially for a non sponsored boat would be a Open 50 as they cost 40% less even though they are only 10 foot smaller.

If money weren’t an issue, what one thing would you add or change to Ocean Planet’s program? 

AP A full time shore support team would be a tremendous help.   Typical programs have several people with different expertise, working full time. Since Bruce stopped in Spain, his South African stopover is shortened, putting additional pressure on us to turn the boat around for the next leg.  We’ve got a new main and hardware to install Cape Town, in addition to autopilot, engine servicing, rewiring navigation lights, fixing a disturbing crack in the hull, leaks, rigging. All in around 20 days.  This is a lot of maintenance work for a short-handed crew.  I am grateful that Jason Winkel of Argo Rigging will joining me in Cape Town.

What’s the hardest part of the job, waiting and watching while the boat is racing or the work when the boat hits port?

AP The hardest part is the work when the boat hits the dock. I would rather be sailing, than being a spectator.  In Brixham, England, I worked 18-hour days for 14 days straight.  There never seemed to be enough time to complete all the tasks and repairs.  Due to the time difference, I’d finish working on the boat and then have answer 20 emails a day regarding the boom shipment, battens and other communication from the U.S. So when my workday ended in the UK, the US workday was just starting, creating both a UK and US work schedule for me.

How much does sponsorship play into the fact that the French, British, Italians and Kiwis are dominant in Ocean Racing?

AP Sponsorship does not dominate as much as you might think. Sponsorship is hard to find in the world. The French dominate the Open 60 circuit, and the Kiwis lead the Volvo 60 circuit. The French are more into single-handed sailing. It is understandable if you’ve ever sailed on a fully crewed French racing yacht; it’s like sailing with 10 skippers!  (I’m half English so I’m allowed a French joke every so often J) 

Managing the masses on the dock.

The French, British and New Zealanders have another advantage over the Americans. They sail in more varied and tougher conditions than the Americans do on average. England has a huge variety from big Atlantic swells on the west coast to short breaking waves in the shallows of the North Sea, and accelerating wind through the Dover straits. Add in man made hazards like oilrigs, the busiest shipping lanes in the world, a few fishing boats and you have a big obstacle course.

We also have races like the two handed Round Britain race. This has been a training ground for big names in offshore sailing: Steve Fossett, Robin Knox Johnston, Chay Blyth and Ellen MacArthur. The race has four 48-hour rolling stops in remote places like Crosshaven, Barra, Lerwick, (which is as far north as Cape Horn is south.) and the attrition rate of the fleet is high. If you survive the rugged storms battered west coast and dodge through the oilrigs and sand banks on the east coast you then have to fight the gales in the Channel. Despite this race being a full circle, you spend 80% of the 2000-mile race going upwind as the low pressure systems keep on moving through.

I think that these nationalities produce more ocean racers because their racing schedules include predominantly offshore races. Some of the RORC weekend races across the English Channel can be very rough indeed. Typical European sailors do that sort of thing almost every weekend. Our winter races require getting up at 5am on a Sunday. We travel at over 200% of the posted speed limit down the M3 to the boat to wash the ice off the deck with salt water so that it doesn’t refreeze. On the other hand, US sailor typically race inshore on their weekends and if there is ice on the deck they are smart and just don’t go out OR go ice yachting!! 

You mentioned to me once that in France, shore team captains are looked at differently than in the States. Can you elaborate on that?

AP In France a person who prepares racing boats is called a ‘preparateur’. The singlehanded sailing scene is treated much like the Formula One racing car circuit. The people working in shore teams have the same expertise as the skipper, awarding them the same respect. Single-handed sailing is a team sport. This was evident getting Ocean Planet ready for Leg 2 in Brixham, England. We used over 1000 hours of volunteer services and we couldn’t have done it without their support. I wrote a long page on Oceanplanet’s website to thank everyone, I was blown away by the volunteers efforts.

We all love the classic, “man against the sea” stories.   In France, England and New Zealand Ocean Racers are seen as national heroes.  Why is the attention given to American sailors watered down in comparison?

 AP Inshore racing is the primary form of sailing done in the US and it is not a story about survival. While the general public doesn’t fully understand the details of sailing, they do relate, however, to stories about surviving the elements. Ocean Racing would gain more interest in the US if a personality, which the general public could identify with was successful  like Ellen MacAurthur has been in Europe.  The public pays attention to sailing projects that have well planned and executed media campaigns, like Offshore Challenges did with Ellen MacAurthur.

Round Britain Doublehanded
As far North as Cape Horn is South
Mad dogs and Englishmen J

If anything, what needs to change?

AP In regards to sponsorship there needs to be more structure and commitment from the sailors.  Sailors need to provide more than just offering to stick the company’s name on the boats hull and go sailing. They should be willing to work with the company to maximize the sponsorship both internally and externally. Unfortunately, in the past some sailing sponsors had been used poorly or have not fully understood the projects. In some cases someone at the top management level decides to sponsor but the sales/marketing department doesn’t know itself what to do with the property.  Going forward, there needs to be a more business like approach towards sailing sponsorships.


What are your feelings on “all women teams”?

 AP I am in Florida at the moment racing in the Osprey Cup, a women’s match racing event. The best analogy I can make is why do parents send their kids to a single sex school vs. a mixed? The answer is different for every person. I think women’s teams allow some women to learn without feeling threatened. On the other hand, in order to be the best you have to race amongst the best. At the moment the “best” tend to be guys, since they have more experience, I guess. I don’t believe women’s teams are natural. There is a whole different dynamic onboard, which in my experience, I have not particularly enjoyed. I think co-ed teams are the way to go, in real life situations men and women work alongside each other. There is a catch 22 though in that in is still hard for women to get on certain top boats. However, in my experience if you get on with your job and do it well it doesn’t matter what sex you are, you will automatically earn the respect of the guys anyway. If it is a boat full of chauvinists there is no point in forcing the situation, find another boat.

Do you think that approach helps or hurts women’s credibility in what really is a male dominated sport?

AP I think it depends on how the women on the team conduct themselves as to whether their credibility is affected. Anyone is respected if they admit when they are not as experienced and don’t use excuses for a poor result. In my experience guys are sometimes more willing to answer questions and share their experience than women are. If they are willing to give you advice that is a reflection on the individuals personality not guys in general. 

What are your short and long term goals inside the sport? 

AP In 2003, I am going to concentrate on improving my small boat helming – I will be taking my boyfriend’s Etchells to San Diego for the mid winters. I believe it is the best place to learn and I don’t mind loosing – too much J.  I would like to do some Grade 4 women’s match racing events as skipper with an experienced skipper as my mainsheet person. Match racing is great because you do at least 9 starts a day which means over 25 mark roundings and you get good at getting the boat up to speed fast.

Any big boat racing in your future? 

AP Defiantly that is all I do right now. I’ve dreamed of doing the Volvo since I was 12 and I got almost there last year with my own boat, but things didn’t work out. If I have the energy and the money, I may try to do it again next time round. I had Ellen MacAurthur signed on as navigator and a great co-ed team lined up. So if things work out like that next time, maybe that’s where you will see me next.

When are you going to come to the dark side and start racing multihulls?

AP I have only sailed multihulls once in a regatta in Dubai. It was fun – maybe when I get monohull sailing under my belt I will change sides!

Especially in the States, you don’t hear too many instances of people getting rich in sailing.  How do you compensate your income?

AP In the past I’ve worked as a sailmaker and as a shore team manager on race boats, like Ocean Planet.  I know I can always earn money by working on boats and doing deliveries but you’re right, not many people make a lot of money in sailing.  I’ve started a company,, which manufactures and sells duffle bags made out of re-cycled race sails as well as Canterbury of New Zealand clothing. We are always looking for sails with a ‘pedigree’ and can turn them into duffle bags for a boat owner. At the moment working on a new line of products, which I think will be very different and practical.

At what age do you see yourself stepping away from sailing professionally and putting your full attention into “sail” bags?

AP Well I don’t know at what age. I’m only 24 and am not looking at retiring soon. My goal is to blend my love of sailing with something that would allow me to earn a better living. will allow me to be near home while earning a salary I can live with.  It is already keeping me busy. In the coming months we’ll be expanding our product line.  Although, I can’t say too much about that now.

Along with my new business, I would like to perhaps attempt another Volvo 60 campaign. Last year I had a boat and sponsorship lined up but it all disappeared like my stock portfolio! I will continue to race as much as possible, something I want to do concurrently with running  It is out on the racing circuit that great new product ideas for sailing come to mind, not sitting in an office somewhere.

Who’ll win the America’s Cup?

AP Alinghi – they have the experience of performing under fire and their boat doesn’t seem to be too slow.

Thanks Ashley. 

An Unrequited Dream

February 20, 2007   

An Article by Sutter Schumacher published in Latitude 38


When she packs for long distance races, her gear bag doesn’t just include a sail repair kit ” but an entire sewing machine. She’s raced offshore for more than half of her life, and, she is the youngest member ever admitted to the prestigious Royal Ocean Racing Club in London, easily amassing the required 500 miles of ocean racing by the time she was 15. Since then, her sailing odometer has rolled over a solid five figures…Emma Sanderson? Right country, wrong woman. Ellen MacArthur? Nope, though she counts Dame Ellen as a close friend.

She’s Ashley Perrin, a 29-year-old Mill Valley sailor and entrepreneur whose preparation, focus and intensity make her an asset on any crew. For more than half her life, Perrin has made her sailing dreams come true ” from racing on boats as large as 90 feet throughout the world to doing shore side support for an around-the-world campaign. Only one goal eludes her – racing around the world. Call it her unrequited dream.

She’s already done a ˜circumnavigation’ of sorts, flying to and from various projects. But you don’t have to be Honey. Cayard or Kostecki to know that going around the world on a 747 isn’t the same as doing it on a Volvo 70. But don’t count her out yet.

Born in San Francisco to an American father and British mother, and educated in the UK, Ashley sailed in the San Francisco YC junior program before moving with her parents and two brothers across the Atlantic at age 9. By then she was thoroughly hooked on sailing, and when she reached her 12th birthday, she proclaimed that she planned to sail around the world. Her parents were duly impressed, and even supportive. But her father announced that she would have to wait until she was 13 ” not to race around the world, of course. But to take the first steps by doing some offshore racing.

Barely able to restrain herself until the next year, she was rewarded by learning from one of the top ocean racers in Britain, Chris Dunning. Dunning is a former RORC Commodore and British Admiral’s Cup team captain who, over the last 40 years, has successfully campaigned a long line of keelboats, all named Marionette. Dunning and crew took a liking to the ambitious teenager and introduced her to life on the pointy end of his then-newest Marionette, a Lightwave 395. Her first race was from Southampton to St. Malo, France, and she recalls her performance as somewhat less than stellar. Basically, I just rolled around the foredeck, she laughs. I was useless, but they liked me, I think mostly because I did all the offshore cooking. But in exchange, they taught me the bow.

Soon she was spending all her free time sailing either on Marionette or her dad’s Express 27, which he’d brought over from the Bay Area with him. Southampton; where both boats were based, was a few hours’ drive from London, and her weekend schedule revolved around the long haul to and from the boats.

Predictably, schoolwork suffered. By her last year of high school, her parents and the headmistress had had enough of her dismal attendance record, particularly on Friday afternoons, when she left early to get to the boat on time. Her penance was a ban from sailing for the rest of her senior year. If anything, the ban only hardened her resolve. Within two weeks of her graduation in 1996, she took off on her first trans-Atlantic passage.

The trip had all the ingredients of a disaster: double handing a 32-ft boat from Newport, Rhode Island, to the UK, with an ex-boyfriend ” and no double handed or overnight experience. But, in what has become something of a hallmark in Ashley’s life, she not only made the experience work, but walked away better for it. It was amazing, she says. By the end of the trip, I was able to peel a kite at night without waking Jason up. Before then, I’d only done foredeck on a 40-ft boat, so this became a benchmark for how much I learned on the trip. She spent the following year on boats of various types and sizes before going on to university. Although she stayed away from the schools sailing team ” ˜They drove two hours to sail on lakes when the ocean was right in our backyard! she says, still in a mild state of disbelief ” she continued to sail any chance she could.

Taking her education seriously at this point in her life, she finished degrees in geography and oceanography in only three years. Then it was off on another adventure this time to New Zealand, where she had heard someone was trying to put together a team for the 2001-02 Volvo Ocean Race. The rumor turned out to be just that ” little more than talk. But as always, lemons turned to lemonade when Ashley hooked up with Dawn Riley’s America True syndicate, which was in Auckland campaigning for the 2000 America’s Cup. Ashley was offered a job at the organization’s San Francisco headquarters, so she returned to her childhood stomping grounds to devote the next 18 months to pursuing another VOR opportunity, this time a co-ed youth team under the America True banner.

This involved calling on many of her sailing friends ” including MacArthur, whom she met during high school when both were looking for sponsors for their sailing exploits. Ellen (who had recently catapulted to fame’ following her performance in the 2000 Vendee Globe race) expressed plenty of interest in the Volvo project, but by that time (2002), time was growing short to design and build a boat. In the end, Ashley says, ˜We looked at other options, but nothing came together.

By this time, ˜with her bank account rapidly dwindling, Ashley picked up with regularly some maintenance work on Bay Area race boats. Once her knowledge and skill came to the fore, she was soon in high demand. It was about this time that the entrepreneurial bug bit her. Realizing that there were only so many hours in a day that she could sell her services, Ashley started a company called Ocean Racing. You may recall OR from its clever initial offering ” designing and building gear bags from old racing sails. But the overall purpose was much larger. I wanted to create a brand around myself to increase my marketability and give me work in the off-season, says Ashley. I couldn’t sell the hours that I was out sailing but I could earn money selling gear bags. The name Ocean Racing perfectly encapsulated everything she was working for ” which was basically working any angle she could to make a living and simultaneously move towards that still illusive round-the-world goal.

A new door toward that goal opened in 2002 when she joined Bruce Schwab’s Around Alone race campaign, Ocean Planet, as part of the shore support team. That was a learning experience not only for Ashley, but for Schwab himself, who was sailing the boat. None of us had much experience when we went into that program, Schwab says. But Ashley did a tremendous job of getting the right parts when we needed them and handling logistics.

Ashley looks back on the Ocean Planet experience as a perfect showcase of her boating skills and organizational talents ”with the icing on the cake being valuable experience in the global ocean racing realm.

Back in the Bay Area, she returned to her company and to sailing. One of her accounts ” for whom she both sailed and did maintenance ” was Mary Coleman’s Farr 40 Astra. Ashley is just an awesome sailor, Coleman says. I’ve never seen anyone more enthusiastic about going up a mast! And she’s not talking just about the 60-ft mast on Astra. When Coleman chartered an JACC boat to race on the Bay, Ashley soared to new heights on that 110-ft spar ” twice. Ashley is incredibly focused and competent, Says Mary. You couldn’t ask for a better sailor to have on your boat.

The world beckoned again in 2005. When she heard that the ABN Amro team was fielding applicants for its ˜young guns’ entry in the 2005-06 Volvo race, Ashley immediately submitted her resume. One of 80 candidates chosen from the 1,800 resumes sent in, Ashley took part in crew trials and made it to the semi-finals. Although most would be proud of that result, Ashley felt only frustration, It was a bit of a nightmare, she says, I didn’t make it far enough.

Ashley has incredible drive, says Ocean Planet’s Schwab, someone who is familiar with the trials and tribulations of chasing a round-the-world dream. He worked more than 10 years and spent every dime he had to finally realize the goal, in the 2003 Around Alone Race, and again in the 2005 Vendee Globe (he made history in the, latter by becoming the first American to complete the grueling nonstop, single-handed race); But what I really admire about her is that she doesn’t pretend to be the best at everything ” she knows her strengths, and she plays to those strengths.’

I’m not an after guard kind of sailor, says Ashley. I’m happy to leave calling lay lines or perfect sail trim to the people who are good at those things. What I offer are solid offshore skills. I have lots of experience out there, and I can fix just about anything that breaks, anytime. Up the mast at 2 a.m? No problem. .

˜To win round-the-world races I think you need both kinds of people ” good technical sailors and those of us who make sure the boat is prepared and will hold together.

While recent disputes with her Ocean Racing business partner have left the company’s future in doubt, she’s not starving for work on the water. In fact, 2006 was something of a watershed year for Ashley. She was doing boat captain or maintenance work for 15 local boats; racing aboard her brother’s Moore 24, and even getting in a little sailing back in the UK. (Between May and September, she was only home for 21 days.) But the highlight of last year was, doing the bow on Roy Disney’s maxZ86 Pyewacket. ˜Out on the end of a bowsprit doing 18 knots ” that’s the kind of stuff I like, she says with a sly grin.

Shortly after we spoke, to her, Ashley was off to manage Yeoman 32, a new Simon Rogers-designed IRC 46 that made its debut in Key West last month. Built in Thailand for current RORC commodore David Aisher, the boat is doing the IRC circuit in the Caribbean and on the East Coast before being shipped to its new home in the UK.

All in all, life is still good on the pointy end. But her focus never strays far from The Dream. Later this year, she and a partner are hoping to race double handed on the Open 60 circuit in Europe, and perhaps stage a run in the Barcelona World Race in November, if they can drum up enough sponsorship.

If I don’t go offshore for a couple of weeks at least twice a year, I’m a miserable person to live with, she says. Life is a lot easier out there. No lawyers, no phones. . . That’s where I really feel like I’m in my element.

” latitude/ss