Hunt Sales Directors, like Hunt customers, are salty, to say the least. Our professional team is made up of skilled sailors, deep-sea fishermen, and offshore experts. Recently, our yacht broker, John Jay Mouligne, completed the double-handed leg of the prestigious Bermuda One-Two Yacht Race with his brother, Tristan Mouligne.
John Jay is a veteran of not only offshore sailing, but offshore racing—and shorthanded at that! He has logged 12,000 offshore, competing in a Newport Bermuda Race and several Newport Yacht Club offshore competitions including two New England SOLO/TWIN, two Offshore 160, and now a total of four Bermuda One-Two returns.
John Jay started building his sailing resume in childhood, growing up cruising in New England and dinghy sailing through the high school level. He spent a year with his family in the Caribbean where they cruised to Grenada on the southern edge of the Lesser Antilles. Professionally, he worked at Northrop & Johnson Yacht Brokerage before coming to Hunt.
Having done the Bermuda One-Two previously and competed in other shorthanded offshore races John Jay “knew what to expect.” Besides taking time to prepare the boat and “working out a little more leading up to the race because it’s a very physical boat,” John Jay was prepared for the return trip. Tristan and John Jay sailed on a Quest 30, Samba as they have in past races. As John Jay says of the boat, “She is very manageable, loads are not outrageous under normal conditions, and sail changes are relatively easy. Water ballast makes her more stable than other boats that size.” Plus, he adds with pride, “Samba has done this race before and won!”
During the first leg of the race John Jay says Tristan’s tactics where simple, “Sail hard and fast. It was a rhumbline race, pure hustle, sleep during the day and race hard at night when everybody else gets tired.” This seems to have worked out well for the duo as Tristan reached Bermuda ahead of the pack, finishing second in their class on corrected time. This gave the brothers the momentum for the next phase of the race after a much deserved rest in Bermuda. “My time in Bermuda was fabulous. Great vacation,” John Jay says. Most excitingly, “my brother got engaged while there!”
For the return, the Moulignes relied on Commanders’ Weather for the forecast and planned accordingly. “The right side of the course was supposed to go very light by day three, this didn’t happen until day four, and the boats that stayed right were able to poke out. We went left in anticipation of very heavy breeze from the Northeast. If we were on the left side of the course we would have had a better angle when this breeze filled.”
Dominating the return trip was the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill. As John Jay puts it, “The big breeze from the remnants of tropical storm “Bill” coincided with our Gulf Stream transit. We saw sustained 45kts and gusts to 55kts throughout.” In addition to the gusts, “The seas were very 15-20ft and confused making for a very bumpy ride. The boat would accelerate and decelerate very abruptly! Standing up down below was a dicey proposition as the motion was quite violent. Eventually we took down the main and were flying about 5ft of Jib from the furler and we were still doing 7-9kts!” With conditions like that, it’s no wonder John Jay concludes, “By the time our return leg was over, I was ready for another vacation!”