A Caribbean Change of Pace for Enright

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Charlie Enright finished with his third consecutive challenge for The Ocean Race last July and has since been winding down that project while taking some time to find the next thing. The “next thing” this week just happens to be in the British Virgin Islands on the Gunboat 68 Convexity2 owned by Don Wilson, and he’s enjoying the change of pace.

“It’s been a bit of a whirlwind since finishing up The Ocean Race on 11th Hour, there’s a lot of follow up – you just don’t flip a switch and wind down something like that overnight. I am still dealing with that as I speak, but seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Next up, I’m not sure, I’m more focused on what’s right rather than what’s next. I’m exploring a bunch of different opportunities – pursuing a few things that aren’t concrete right now and seeing what else shakes from the tree.”

Charlie last raced BVI Spring Regatta seven years ago, on a C&C 30 program Don’t Panic. Looking back over those past seven years as a sailing professional, he’s had huge opportunities to build his skill set, notably with the shift in The Race from the 65’ to the IMOCA.

BVI Spring Regatta 2024, Charlie Enright

“That change challenged us in a lot of different ways – never before had we designed our own boat, built our own boat, and managed a team big enough to do all of those things,” Enright commented. “From the sailing standpoint, the fewer and fewer people there were on the boat, the more I became personally responsible for, and I don’t mean just from an accountability standpoint, but physically hands-on-actually-doing-the-work. It was a great challenge, although rewarding as well, and, in some ways, I think I have grown a lot more in the past five years than I have in the fifteen prior to that.”

Enright grew up sailing dinghies on Narragansett Bay, RI, and still calls it home. He did a lot of interscholastic competitions and was captain of the Brown sailing team. His break into professional sailing came from a well-documented and successful youth sailing project – Roy Disney’s Morning Light project. Ironically, Enright noted, Roy Disney commissioned the boat he’s racing on this week, Convexity2, before it was bought by someone else. He’s proud to say that he is still in touch with Roy to this day. The Convexity2 programme got in touch with Enright after The Race and asked him to do the Maxi Worlds with them, that went well, and the relationship is continuing with BVI Spring Regatta.

“It’s obviously very different from what I have been doing for the past few years but it’s enjoyable, it’s a great group. We’re still working out the kinks with the boat, it’s still in the commissioning phase in terms of getting it to race level; like any racing boat it takes a while to iron out the kinks. But, it’s an awesome platform, a great group of guys and gals on board and just lot of fun – the BVI is a great place to go sailing.”

Competition is a relative term but there are a ton of high-level sailors racing BVI Spring Regatta this week, and no matter the number of boats in a class, or the diversity of boats, competitive sailors like to go racing. Enright agrees wholeheartedly.

“I think you see so many good sailors end up here because of the environment, it’s the conditions, it’s what this place has to offer, it’s the history around it all, and the competition is good. To date we’ve had two days of 18-24+ knots of wind and we’re all in there together fighting for every inch. It doesn’t matter if it’s a catamaran with a bunch of air conditioners or a high-performance dinghy, the mind-set is the same. All the sail changes we make are the same sail changes we do on a Maxi, the mechanics are kind of the same and the boat is going in a lot of instances just as fast. There just happens to be all these amenities,” Enright smiled.

Enright’s got a few things lined up for the summer including some work with a programme called Wizard, who he did a Volvo 70 world tour a few years back with some good success. The programme has bought a TP52 which will race in the US Great Lakes, and ORC Worlds in Newport in the fall.

“The TP52 scene in the States is really ramping up, we have a good boat and a good group, we’re a couple of seasons behind but I’m sure we’ll pick it up quickly,” he said. “Other than that, I’m looking forward to this week on Convexity2 and will continue to do random things until I find something I want to sink my teeth into!”

Convexity 2, Performance Cruising, Scrub Island Race BVISR 2024