I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky.
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by.
Today's blue-water skippers are a bit more specific than John Masefield. Their pragmatic doggerel runs: "Give me a Cal-40 and some racing luck, and I'll win Bermuda, Transpac and Mackinac." In less than three years of ocean competition, the 40-ft. fiber-glass sloops from California have become the tallest boats in U.S. racing, sailing off with virtually every major trophy.
In last year's 2,225-mile Trans-Pacific from Los Angeles to Honolulu, Cal-40s breezed in...