by Christina Pandapas
When Jennie Aspinall decided not to buy a Rhodes 19, the fates stepped in, or perhaps it was the Sirens. Jennie had been racing her Sonar for several years, but was interested in the Rhodes, so much so, that she crewed for Bob Meyer in 1228 one very stormy day and then took the boat out herself for another Saturday race. Bob had offered to sell her the boat and that Saturday was her test drive. Sailing with two or three, low entry price and friendly fleet members all appealed to Jennie, but in the end she thought she’d stick with the Sonar. Bob didn’t give up and just after he approached her again, Jennie’s Sonar hit the rocks during a tow after Wednesday night racing and the deal was done. She has owned the light blue 1228 for two years now and named it appropriately, “Siren’s Call.”
“I guess it was fate,” laughs Jennie. “And it has worked out well. It is a very friendly fleet with lots of get-togethers a real collegiate feel. I’m enjoying it.”
Jennie has thrown herself into the local racing scene despite being a relative newcomer to the sport. She and her ex-husband took some courses on Boston Harbor when they moved here in the ’70s, but Jennie didn’t start racing until ten years ago.
“I grew up in the very middle of the U.K. about as far away from the ocean as you can get there,” she said. “But, I’ve always loved the water and when we came to the States, we took some courses on the harbor. I decided to take a racing course to get back into sailing after having my daughter, and I was hooked after that.”
Sailing provides a release from her job as a tax planner at Boston Consulting Group, and when not on the water, you may find her in the water pursuing her scuba diving passion, or on the badminton court. For now, she’s concentrating on the 2010 sailing season. “I want to get good at sailing with two instead of three,” she says. “What I love about the Rhodes is that it is really sailing because you aren’t just focused on one little job. You can’t be lazy. It’s challenging.”