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His Charleston Race Week scoreline was a picket fence: nine firsts. Texas J/105 sailor Ken Horne finished the regatta “a leg ahead” of the competition.
Horne bought a tired J/105 in 2019 to see if he could get his family out to sail with him. He fixed-up the boat including renewing the interior, a new race bottom, some rigging updates and he’s now on his third set of sails from UK Sailmakers. He also renamed it FINAL FINAL in memory of some late nights out with his crew.
Before much family sailing happened, Ken had taken the boat out onto the Bay and won his first race. With the taste of victory in his mouth, it was then off to Marblehead, MA for the Ted Hood Regatta where he missed first place by one point in the 17-boat fleet. Since then, Horne’s FINAL FINAL hasn’t finished a regatta lower than second place sailing including the 2019 J/105 North Americans where he also finished second. Great sailing by a fast helmsman on a fast boat with fast sails…not to mention racing with a regular crew of “really good sailors.”
As it turns out, Galveston Bay’s J/105 fleet has been thriving over the past couple of years and the boats powered by UK Sailmakers control the podium going faster and pointing higher than the boats using other sailmakers’ sails. With his new UK class main and last year’s carbon X-Drive® jib, Horne said his speed and upwind height were considerably better than the CRW competition using UK Sailmakers sails.
Working with UK Sailmakers Texas, Horne has figured out the balance of weather sheeting for both height and speed. “It’s difficult,” he noted, “but we figured how to do it and make it work.”
This year’s CRW was Horne’s first time in Charleston on his own boat. Sailing with other large one-designs in the harbor, he, like many others new to Charleston, had to quickly sort out the often-conflicting currents. “The current was rocking,” he continued, “and it was kind of fun sorting it all out. We seemed to pick the correct side of it more than less resulting in our scoreline.”
Why UK Sailmakers’ sails? “The number one reason I’m a UK Sailmakers customer is their service,” said Horne. “I’m thrilled with how fast the sails are, but any time I have a problem, it’s taken care of immediately. That’s the differentiator!”
Look for FINAL FINAL in the northeast this summer as Ken and his crew attack the NYYC Annual Regatta followed by Storm Trysail’s Block Island Race Week.