SUMMIT 35: For the love of racing sails

Newport, Rhode Island locals Vincent and Kristina McAteer love the game, the entire process of racing sailboats at a high level is something that they both obsess about. Shortly before graduation, Vincent bought his first keelboat, an Express 27 named Divided Sky, with a J29 of the same name following a couple of years later. The McAteer family bought a J33 named Coconut Telegraph which was sailed for few years before finding the perfect boat for their family: a Mark Mills designed Summit 35, also named Divided Sky.

From constantly learning, to exhaustive research, to preparation, to organizing, to execution and finally evaluation, it is a process that they both truly enjoy. With outstanding competition in New England, they have to bring their ‘A’ game to every major race, keeps the excitement levels high. A welcome distraction from the high-pressure day jobs in law enforcement and as an ER physician. It’s this love of the game that keeps them coming back.

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Love this photo of Divided Sky charging off of the line…mostly because there are three junior sailors under the age of 15 occupying the first three spots on the rail! Photo courtesy of JJ Salvator Photography.

When asked what his sailing was to date and what keeps them coming back, Vincent commented “this is really not one event but the gradual passing of the torch to the next generation of our family. As of late, we have been handing the helm over to our oldest son, Vincent, more often. He is 11 years old and has an eye for the ocean and a steady hand on the tiller well beyond his years. He has become a regular fill-in on the helm of the Summit 35 and we are now realizing that the hook has been truly set and sailing will be a part of his life. His younger brother has the same love of the ocean and we, as parents, could not be happier. Trophies are great…but seeing the smiles on the kid’s faces makes it all worth it. It has certainly changed our perspective on sailboat racing…that said, the goal remains the same”.

Those goals remain regional at this stage with local sailing gaining momentum in Narragansett Bay, while trying to put more regional events into the calendar. The long term goal is to travel south one winter and to do a few events along the east coast of the United States.

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Son Vincent on the Helm of Divided Sky.

The Divided Sky crew is a strong group of friends that have been sailing together for fifteen years, with the addition of kids to the crew list in recent years, but mostly made up of ‘brilliant amateurs’. Over the years the crew note how fortunate they have been to have a few heavy hitters sail onboard ensuring that the crew of amateurs are constantly learning.

This obsession with sailing is what has led Vincent and Kristina to work with Doyle Sails.

The addition of Rob and Dave MacMillan, and Alex Clegg to Doyle Sails Newport alongside Tony Rey. Without question, they bring a high level of service, commitment, and understanding that we have come to know and trust. They fully understand that we are a family team, but they have treated us and our goals as if we are a professional team with world-beating goals! says Vincent.

He continues “Alex, in particular, has spent a great deal of time over the past couple of years dialling in the rig on the Summit 35 to repeatable, reliable settings that work with the current inventory of sails on the boat. Additionally, they have helped identify the gaps in our inventory that will help on weak points of sail for the Summit. We are thrilled about keeping the relationship going as a part of the Doyle family”.

Doyle Sails are high performance sail makers, holding a reputation for being proven innovators with new sail technology. Everything we do starts with our customers and our mission to provide sailors around the world with quality sails and unparalleled personal service. No other sail maker works as hard to satisfy the unique needs to every client, from the day sailors to the superyachts, and every boat in between. If you’re looking to win races, cruise confidently, or just enjoy your boat more, you can rely on Doyle.

For more information on Doyle Sails Newport, click here.

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