Pala Baldwin set out on a mission to find the most remote resort on the island, but filled up his time to revitalize the cheesecake shipping business, having just relocated in 2004 from New Jersey to Antigua. On the water or in the water, it is difficult for them to extinguish it, but once they have made the choice they would prefer to sail on the sea.
Baldwin, 73, and the 40-foot racing sloop Liquid, J / 122, who owns it, has raced a cruise ship in the Caribbean, has won a major victory and the Caribbean boat has been honored several times. Next on the island is the most amazing of all, Les Voiles de St. Barth Richard Mille, who competed with Liquid four times, plus a total victory in 2019.
The following discussions have been summarized and updated.
What is the key to a successful Liquid team?
There is no secret. We work hard. On the day of the race we will be on the water before hours. We learn the wind. We run; make sure we walk down the aisle. There may be one or two boats out there doing the same thing. Some people appear at the end, and they all want to win. How much do you want?
There is also money. This is a “yacht” run.
Most boat owners have a lot of money, but not all in the pocket. I put everything in the boat and wondered how I could get dinner.
Maybe you mean that like an exaggeration that is true enough.
Few as boat owners can choose or supervise their crew the way you do. Tell us more.
I have a small group. There is a core that has been with me for a long time. We develop others, teach them how to become professionals, help them find a place in the world.
We have had Olympian athletes on our team, and every year there is a new youth. I have a 16-year-old son who is now six feet tall, but I call him Ninja. All six of his feet fell on top of me as I played the changing spinach [hauling the large nylon sail into the forepeak at the bow] and almost broke my nose. The child could not apologize. I always cry when he leaves, and one day it will be the same with him.
You have a history of continuous competition. Is it fair?
I am 73 years old. I work as hard as anyone on the boat. Bodybuilding is one of my sports. I am starting a business in a long life now because there is a market for health and longevity.
It’s different [statement of] high. I’m in the middle of this market because I don’t want to give up competition. And I do not compromise. When I bought the Liquid, I went through and removed anything that added weight and I didn’t help the boat go faster. The toilet seat had to go, sure.
As a boat owner, you also have a reputation for struggling to party. Is that fair?
Ask my friends.
Julian White, 28, won the Liquid in 2019 in St. Louis. Barth. What do they bring?
Jules is fine as the results show, and I do not pay him as much as other people would.
You won the Caribbean Sailing Association’s Traveler’s Trophy in 2020 – for the second time – because you competed in three categories when the plague broke out. How are they “normal”?
We are always there. In 2018 in the Caribbean 600 [600 miles around 11 islands] hitting bad weather. We were soaked and cold all the way, we just kept eating dried foods. There were helicopter rescuers near us, but we ended up.
Liquid was named the Caribbean Best Boat that year. But there is certainly no reason to expect a hurricane to travel to Les. Voiles de St. Barth?
I love St. Barth. It’s the best of both worlds. Les Voiles is different from any other regatta. The island sounds like Europe. It looks so good. If I spoke French, I would have moved there.