Sail Canada, Canada’s National Sailing Authority, recognizes Glenmore Sailing Club member Chris Lemke and Team Dark Star as Helly Hansen Sailors of the Month!

Congrats to Chris Lemke & Team Dark Star (Brad Lawson, Andrew Nelson & Alan Carley)

Congratulations to the guys on winning their division in the Transpac 2017 race from Los Angeles to Hawaii. Their race was 12 days 17 hours.

Chris Lemke also won a navigation award for his navigational skills during the race.

The Sail Canada release can be viewed at

While Dark Star was racing to Hawaii, Chris sent daily email updates back to Calgary via satellite phone. Whales and porpoises, surfing their 33′ sailboat down big Pacific swells, 200+ mile days, the complete absence of personal space, and a video “Yahoo” at the half way point.

Read the daily updates at



Hear, hear!

One would sometimes think,
from the speech of young men,
that things had changed recently,
and that indifference was now the virtue to be cultivated.

I have never heard of anyone profess indifference to a boat race.

Why should you sail in a boat race?

Why endure long months of pain and preparation
for a seemingly endless race
that will leave you all but dead?

Does anyone ask the question?

Is there anyone who would not go through all its costs, and more,
for the moment when anguish breaks into triumph,
– or even for the glory of having nobly lost?

Is life less than a boat race?

If a man will give all the blood in his body to win the one,
will he not spend all the might of his soul to prevail in the other?

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Yale Commencement, 1886

Update from Chris from Hawaii – the final miles through the Molokai Channel

Thanks for the stack of best wishes, folks.  Back in civilization and going through all the messages now. Proud to fly the GSC flag!
The last hour before the finish in Molokai Channel was actually the hairiest of the whole race. It’s a legendarily nasty piece of water and it lived up to its billing. 
We had a great time crossing the channel at 13 knots in the dark with tunes blasting in the cockpit. Then we got into the lee of Koko Head on Oahu and all hell broke loose. Still flying our A2 kite – the biggest in our inventory and technically rated for 20 kts max wind – and the 35 knot williwaws started funnelling out of the valleys. Then a vigorous squall rolled over and added to the fun. 
We’d flown that kite up the mast 10 days earlier and by this point only God was going to take it down.  So we just hung on for the ride and kept the hull under the rig. 
The water was relatively flat and we held sustained speeds of 16+ knots for several minutes at a stretch each time a new gust hit. Too bad it was 3am because we really wanted the Sharon Green money shot from the chopper just then!
All in all we came away super impressed with the sailing machine that Hobie Alter conceived over 35 years ago. Way ahead of its time. Super stable with the new elliptical rudder, rigid with the new ring beam, and the  running back stays we added sure made us feel more comfortable pushing the boat. 
At the end of the day we had no injuries, no wipeouts and not a single breakage after 2200 miles of hard sailing. 
That seems like an achievement to us!
Thanks for all your support guys.