Pleaid Racing is back for their 3rd Atlantic Cup. New to Class40 sailing in 2013, Pleaid was on a steep learning curve, however the team has continually improved year after year and it will be exciting to see what Pleiad Racing has in store for 2016!
3rd: Volvo Ocean Race
3rd: Canada Games
3rd: Canada Games
30,000 offshore racing miles
1st – Viper 640 US National Championship
1st- Melges 32 US National Championship
1st – Melges 32 US National Championship
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Southwestern Connecticut; first in Stamford and later in Norwalk
Did you go to University? If so, where? Connecticut College
Describe yourself in one word. Holistic
Did you or do you play any other competitive sports? I’m a sports nut – I was a three -season athlete in school – soccer, hockey and lacrosse in the Spring. I love baseball but went 0 for Middle School and that was that. I played varsity soccer in college and was on the sailing team.
Any Family? Married to Christine Cesare – our 30th anniversary coming up! Son Nick, aged 21, sailed with us in Leg 3 in 2013
How old were you when you first went sailing? I guess I must have been 6 or 7 –sailing on my family’s Rhodes 19.
How did you get into competitive sailing? After college. I played varsity soccer in college. So, I really became a sailor, then a competitor, then a competitive sailor!
Describe sailing to you in one word. Holistic
In what way are you superstitious before a race? I’m very superstitious about hats. I’ll wear one until it feels like the karma has left it.
Number of transatlantic crossings under sail: I’ve done three transatlantic races
What is one of your goals for your sailing career? To race around the Horn
What are your sailing strengths? Weather and Navigation. And I’m an excellent driver – in the drive-way – on Saturdays (Rainman reference).
What do you like most about being offshore? What do you like least? To quote Joseph Conrad, “the true peace of God begins at a spot a thousand miles from the nearest land”. The least? The food.
What is your favorite sports team? Lets Go Mets – Christine and I were at the Buckner game in 1986 – on our wedding night. Expecting to be at the World Series on our 30th anniversary this year.
What is your favorite type of music? I have pretty eclectic tastes. My son Nick says, “Dad you are such an inde guy”.
What is the most played song on your I-pod? White Riot by the Clash
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet? Tough one – maybe Albert Einstein – avid sailor who ironically needed lessons.
What’s your favorite thing to eat when you’re offshore? Well that’s easy: Barnana chewy banana bites – the super potassium snack.
What is your favorite movie line? “Your Momma ain’t going to be on the bus” – Coach Boone in “Remember the Titans”
What do you do to relax during your free time? Where’s the clicker?
Do you have any hidden talents? I like to cook – I’ve spent a career in venture capital where it takes FOREVER to get stuff done. So – I like to buy the ingredients, cook the meal, eat it and clean up: done!
What is your biggest fear being alone on deck? Letting a boat pass us on my watch.
What does taking care of the planet mean to you? The Mission of Pleiad Racing is to promote personal and planetary wellness. The team and all of our sponsors share this Mission to promote what we call the Wellness Economy. Wellness and Sustainability go hand in hand, indeed are almost synonymous.
If you had to convince someone to do their part in protecting our oceans, what would you say to them? I think I would paraphrase JFK in his remarks to the crews of the America’s Cup in 1964 when he said, “when we go back to the sea – whether to sail on it or watch it – we are going back to whence we came.” If we don’t take of the sea, we are destined to loser our home.
How did you meet your co-skipper and what are his or her strengths? Chad Corning and I have sailed with and against each other in everything form IC Dinghys to 50 footers. Chad is a gifted trimmer and helmsman as well as a great all-arounder.
What do you see as your biggest challenge for this year’s Atlantic Cup? Sailing a generation 1 boat, although only if there is hard reaching.
How do you rate your chances in the Atlantic Cup? Who do you think is the favorite? We are aiming squarely for the podium. One would have to say TALES II
Is it true that if you sleep on the offshore legs you’ll lose? No.
Because of the limited number of sails you’re allowed to carry how does sail preservation and damage figure in your strategy? Coming from the grand-prix fully crewed world, even after three seasons we are still slow to change down – just ask Mike and Rob who sailed away from us while we were on our side in 2014.
What do you think about the new leg from New York to Portland? Much more interesting than New York – Newport. Almost a right angle at the waypoint. Portland is a great venue; a real hot-bed of activity for the Wellness Economy.
How old are you? 47.
Where did you grow up? Nova Scotia Canada.
Describe yourself in one word. Alive.
What does taking care of the planet mean to you? Everything.
If you had to convince someone to do their part in protecting our oceans, what would
you say to them? Never throw away plastic, Don’t use chemicals and don’t eat unsustainable fish.
Tell us why Atlantic Cup Kids should vote for your team. Because we are very aware of the environment.
Did you or do you play any other competitive sports? Yes, kiteboarding.
How old were you when you first went sailing? I was 1 year old.
How did you get into competitive sailing? My father put me in Sailing School and I love racing.
Describe sailing to you in one word. Freedom.
In what way are you superstitious before a race? I’m not superstitious.
What is your 2016 race schedule? I would like to race as much as possible.
How did you meet your co-skipper? Sailing on a race boat.
What are the strengths of your co-skipper? Navigation and weather.
What are your sailing strengths? Speed and boat handling.
What do you like most about being offshore? What do you like least? I like the freedom and
Intensity, but dislike the food.
What is your biggest fear of being alone on deck? Being on the ball when the autopilot fails.
What makes you and your co-skipper a good team? We have a wide range of abilities
between the two of us.
What do you see is your biggest challenge in this race? Getting into a system with Ed.
How do you rate your chances in the Atlantic Cup? Who do you think is the favorite?
I think our chances are good.
What do you think about the new leg from New York to Portland? New York to Portland will be quite difficult because of the variations of conditions.
Is it true that if you sleep on the offshore legs you’ll lose? Definitely not.
What is your favorite sports team? Pittsburgh Penguins.
What is your favorite type of music? Rock.
What is the most played song on your Ipod? Luxury by The Tragically Hip.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet? Magellan.
What’s your favorite thing to eat when you’re offshore? Least favorite? Favorite is Lasagna. Least favorite is freeze dried pork.
What is your favorite movie line? You gonna eat your fat? -Caddyshack.
What do you do to relax during your free time? Sleep.
Where did you grow up? Larchmont, NY.
Did you go to University? If so, where? Hobart College.
Describe yourself in one word. Reserved.
Did you or do you play any other competitive sports? Marathons, Cycling.
How old were you when you first went sailing? 1.
How did you get into competitive sailing? Larchmont Yacht Club Junior Sailing.
Describe sailing to you in one word. Cool.
How did you meet your co-skipper? Ed Cesare is a good friend and we have sailed together with other teams in the past.We know our skills sets and chemistry will let us work well together.
What are the strengths of your co-skipper? Navigation and strategy.
What are your sailing strengths? Trimming & helming.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for this year’s Atlantic Cup? Pushing the boat hard enough to be competitive with the newer boats.
Who do you see as your toughest competition? I have respect for all the teams in the race this year. Since all the boats are so different each will shine in different conditions.
Did you learn anything from previous years races that will change your execution in this year’s race? Learning the operational tempo of doublehanded sailing was the most valuable lesson. Now Ed and I know when to push and when to back off. We also learned that a somewhat more risky strategy is sometimes needed to make up for the limitations of our boat.
What is the first major tactical decision once you sail out of New York? Getting out of NY Harbor cleanly is vital. This makes the start and tempo of the first few hours more intense than normal.
Will you play zone or man-to-man defense in this year’s race? We’re going to follow our own strategy. If things are close at either of the finishes we’ll take that as it comes.
Is it true that if you sleep on the offshore legs you’ll lose? Nope. You have to rest when you can. Going hard for the whole race is not sustainable and will lead to trouble. Fatigue leads to bad decisions.
Because of the limited number of sails you’re allowed to carry how does sail preservation and damage figure in your strategy? You have to be very careful with your spinnakers, especially the A2. Damaging or destroying this sail is game over if you have a lot of running. Some teams carry two but most will use only one so you have to watch your step there. Keeping an eye on chafe and maintaining your sails prevents little problems from becoming big ones.
Is the mental or physical aspect of the race the hardest? Yes! Both come at you at different times. When our offshore strategy did not work last year out Ed and I had almost two days of racing to stew – that was tough. Towards the end of the leg the mental and physical challenges gang up on you – it’s always great to get to the dock!
In one word describe the Atlantic Cup experience. Awesome.
What is your biggest fear being alone on deck? Falling off.
What does carbon neutrality mean to you? There is so much natural beauty out on the ocean. To be a part of it is very special and it follows that leaving no trace is the only way to do it.
What is your favorite sports team? Radio Shack Cycling.
What is your favorite type of music? Reggae.
What is the most played song on your I-pod? Under Mi Sensi – Barrington Levy.
If you could meet anyone, living or dead, who would you want to meet? Lord Sandwich – thanks man.
What’s your favorite thing to eat when you’re offshore? Least favorite? Freeze Dried Chicken & Rice – Advil.
What is your favorite movie line? “There is something outside ourselves that must be served” – Ronin.
What do you do to relax during your free time? Read.
Do you have any hidden talents? Play the drums.
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