"It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul." William Ernest Henley, INVICTUS

I have to say that it was a little bittersweet to wave goodbye to INVICTUS last month as she headed off on a truck bound for her new home in San Francisco. Normally, when a stock or unsold boat is brought into the country for the specific purpose of showing it at the Annapolis Boat Show for example, we don't go to the trouble of giving it a name. But, since our intention was to do a little racing with this boat before it was sold, we decided that having a real name to refer to her by was important.

I've always been intrigued with the names people give their boats, there's always a story behind the name. The same holds true in our case. INVICTUS, which means "unconquerable" in Latin was inspired by the poem by the same name written by William Ernest Henley in 1875. It was a favorite of South African President, Nelson Mandela. It is said he would recite it often during his 27 year imprisonment on Robben Island at times when he was at his lowest. The name INVICTUS seemed to be a good fit for this Sun Fast 3600 of ours and we have referred to her by name ever since.

"In fact, the 3600 wins the “best-speed-bang-for-buck” award hands down and I’m sure it’s the fastest I’ve ever gone on a boat like that." Bill Springer, on racing Block Island.

Over the course of the past couple of years, I have been lucky enough to race on INVICTUS several times including: Block Island Race Week with the crew from Sailing World Magazine, the Down the Bay Race, the Ida Lewis Distance Race, and the Martha's Vineyard, Round-the-Island Race, to name just a few. I came to really appreciate just how good and how well designed the Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600 really is. Daniel Andrieu, the designer of the 3600, really nailed it.

Today, INVICTUS is in the hands of her new owner, Nico Popp where she is already doing what she does best, racing. I was a little worried that Nico might change the name of INVICTUS to something else but he said that he loved the name and was hoping it would help him to be "unbeatable." I hope it does!

"We sailed INVICTUS for the first time this week-end (3 days in a row ;-). The verdict could not be clearer. We are ecstatic and could not be happier. The owners and crew cannot stop smiling!" Nico Popp

Names are funny things. We give them to our children, our pets, and our boats but not much else. And once a name has been given, a personality emerges to go with it. I'm going to miss INVICTUS but knowing she is alive and well and in the hands of great owner, brings a smile to my face. So good luck INVICTUS, and good luck to you too Nico, she is a winner.

Sail her well and fast. She can take all that you throw at her.

On we go...

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