Charlene Howard – Skipper
Charlene is from Davison, Michigan and currently lives in the Isle of Man and works as a Finance professional. International career assignments in Kazakhstan, Russia, Mexico, Peru Brazil, and South Africa, as well as much leisure travel, fuel Charlene’s passion for adventure, and the relentless “wanderlust.” Charlene began sailing in 2006 when she wanted a mid-life break and a way to travel with her Bernese Mountain Dog. It was a very steep learning curve. AJ Wanderlust was purchased over the internet. Charlene arrived to the boat in St. Petersburg, Florida, having quit her job and hired a captain for two months to teach her to sail. Seeing AJ Wanderlust for the first time can best be described as a terrifying moment, realising she had never been on a sailboat, unsure how a 52 kilo Bernese Mountain Dog would fare aboard and very disturbed to discover how important maintenance was to a boat. Committed, she headed off to Beaufort, North Carolina and then Bermuda and the Azores, using the Atlantic Ocean as a shake-down cruise. Charlene learned, made loads of mistakes, but AJ Wanderlust kept all aboard safe and was a forgiving teacher. July 2019 marked 13 years since Charlene’s purchase of AJ Wanderlust, during which time she has sailed approximately 75,000 miles – cruising and racing. The “AJ” stands for Amon James, who was Charlene’s father. “Wanderlust” is Charlene’s incurable disease. Charlene celebrated her 50th birthday by entering the TwoStar race. Charlene is a Yachtmaster Offshore, and an RYA keel boat instructor.
Asia Pajkowska – Co-Skipper
Boat – AJ Wanderlust
AJ Wanderlust was actively cruised from August 2006 to December 2010, sailing well over 30,000 miles and visiting 35 countries or island territories. She sailed as far east as Croatia, as far west at Hawaii, Skagway, Alaska was her most northerly point, and the Panama Canal her most southerly. In January 2011, AJ Wanderlust went on the hard in Everett, Washington for almost three years. In January 2014, AJ Wanderlust was delivered to Eamshaven, Netherlands, and after a challenging canal and North Sea voyage, was delivered to Hamble, UK for an extensive refit. She finally arrived in the Isle of Man in July 2014. Since 2015, AJ Wanderlust has sailed 5000 to 8000 nautical miles annually, cruising and racing, exploring various Irish Sea ports, as well as Ireland, the south coast of England, Outer Hebrides, St. Kilda, Orkney Islands, Shetlands, Channel Islands and the coast of Brittany, France. AJ Wanderlust first raced in May 2015, completing the Round Isle of Man Race with an all girl’s crew in challenging weather. She went on to also complete this race in 2016 and 2017, winning the Coronation Cup in 2016 and placing third in IRC in 2017. AJ Wanderlust’s double handed racing credits include the 2017 ISORA season, as well as the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race. In 2018, AJ Wanderlust suffered a catastrophic chain plate failure and bulkhead fracture off Land’s End, putting her in a shed for 6 weeks of intensive repair. She bounded out in August, 2018, just in time to make the start line for Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race, which she completed double handed after 17 days at sea. AJ Wanderlust sailed the 2019 AZAB (Azores and Back), as a double handed girls team, placing 10th in Class and 21st overall. AJ Wanderlust rounded out 2019, with a double handed Fastnet, as well as some ISORA (Irish Sea Offshore Race Association) racing. AJ Wanderlust intends to sail in the 2020 TwoStar race.