Around the Islands Race

Race Around the Islands 003

July 15-18th, Newport Beach, CA

Newport Beach, California was treated to an unusual sight on July 14th. Oakley’s massive black truck and trailer rumbled down a quiet residential street on that Wednesday morning and pulled into the Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club. The Rolling O Lab was on site for a very special weekend event. It was the inaugural “Around the Islands” long distance sailing race, presented by Oakley. Not for the fair-weather sailor, this 125-mile regatta took competitors out past Catalina and around Santa Barbara Island.

The weekend was launched with an Oakley sponsored pre-race send-off party. Racers, family, friends and yacht club members all had the opportunity to experience firsthand Oakley’s High Definition Optics and polarization technology. Oakley’s Joe McNulty was there to make sure racers could get their hands on the right Oakley product for the big race.

The lab also hosted a small group of media and customers on Friday morning, providing a private tour before the guests boarded a luxury yacht to watch the start of the race and learn more about the company’s HDPolarized technology from Oakley’s Andy McSorley.

The race attracted boats from up and down the coast. The largest entry was a 77’-foot vessel named “AKELA” which also happened to be the first boat to finish early Saturday morning after a Friday noon start. Big seas and strong winds on the back side of Santa Barbara Island made for an interesting race with broken equipment, injuries and sea sickness across all classes of boats — a race for the hearty.

The top three winning skippers in each class walked away with not only a trophy and bragging rights, but a great pair of Oakley polarized Straight Jacket® sunglasses. In addition, each crewmember of the overall winner “Ralphie” received the premium polarized eyewear.

Between the Rolling O Lab and all the Oakley branding at the yacht club throughout the weekend, the company’s polarization message was heard loud and clear. More than 200 people made their way through the lab over the course of the weekend and witnessed the power of Oakley innovation.