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Move over Numbers, there's a new kid on the block: Doug DeVos donates RP 86 Windquest to Oakcliff

by Oakcliff Sailing 1 Aug 2020 07:53 PDT
86 foot RP 86 Windquest © Oakcliff Sailing

Since it was donated in 2017, the JV 66 Numbers has been the biggest boat in the Oakcliff fleet. This year, she loses that title by 20 feet.

Doug DeVos has generously donated his 86 foot RP 86 Windquest to Oakcliff. She is currently based out of Lake Michigan and opens the door for a new Midwest tour with Oakcliff trainees and supporters next season.

Doug paid a visit to Oakcliff last year and inspired the Staff and Trainees with the story of how his father, Richard DeVos, and Rich's long-time business partner Jay Van Andel, knew little to nothing about sailing but bought a sailboat anyway and embarked on a trip to Argentina from the East Coast. Their boat sank near the coast of Cuba and they were rescued and brought to Puerto Rico. Most people would stop there and consider themselves lucky to be alive...but not Rich and Jay.

They got another boat and finished the voyage to Argentina. The Oakcliff trainees who, at the time had just returned from an adventure of their own racing Farr 40s to Halifax, peppered Doug with questions and compared notes on sailing and life. One trainee, Fritz Woerner from Grosse Pointe, Michigan is perhaps as determined to learn about sailing as Doug, made an impression by asking the most questions. We have slated him to be the Chief Engineer on Windquest next season.

The connections between the DeVos Family, the Midwest and Oakcliff run deep - all the way back to the 1980s when Oakcliff's executive director Dawn Riley, originally from Michigan, faced them on the race course. Doug is a principal of the New York Yacht Club's American Magic, of which Oakcliff is an official training partner.

Oakcliff is incredibly thankful that Doug thought of Oakcliff when choosing to donate his boat, which will be used towards its mission of Building American Leaders Through Sailing.

Specifically, Oakcliff trainees plan to be on the starting line of both Mackinac Races and possibly the Trans-Superior Race in 2021, and then will have the adventure of a lifetime delivering this boat out through the St. Lawrence Seaway.

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