Thursday, July 23, 2009
The whole thing started friday night with a discussion at the crew dinner about the forecast. Our navigator, Ed Adams layed out a scenario where the wind would die in the middle of the lake and on the michigan shore on Saturday night, and unless you were able to make it all the way across and get the shore breeze (<5>So on Sunday night we made the decision to stick it out along the shore for a few reasons. First, we didnt have the sails to cross the lake with the wind from the Southeast,...and we thought we should keep sailing to our boats strengths. Second, our forecast had a "drainage zone" developing in the Manitou's early monday morning where the only wind would be a light sea-breeze around the Travers Bays and a light shore breeze North of Beaver Island. We didn't think we were fast enough to make it across to the sea breeze in time, so we opted to continue North and leave Beaver Island to our starboard side.This type of move is not typical, not at all.....in fact. I have never heard of ANYONE going NORTH of Beaver Island...the strangest deviation I have heard of was someone going north of the manitou islands....this move put us on the same level as, say, Lewis and Clarke.
The only thing that got us was that the drainage zone of no air expanded to leave the whole area North of Beaver and in the Manitou passage becalmed. We weren't moving, but neither was anyone else. Unfortunately our decisions were based on us being further East when the final fill came in; because we were slightly west of the fleet at this point they all got the breeze before us and we were left with a 45 mile beat to the finish....this allowed most of the fleet to catch up.
At the end of the day we finished just ahead of all the Division 1 boats and right behind many of the 70's. We were first to finish in our class by over an hour and we crushed the other Farr40's. Unfortunately we didnt have enough to overcome some other boats in our fleet, and after sailing an extra 70 miles we corrected out to 5th in our class and 6th overall. But the finish was nothing compared to the ride. Ed Adams is a weapon...he sailed an amazing event, making one perfect call after another....together with Bill Hardesty, Kyle Kandt, Evan Jahn, Brian Taruta, myself, and Helmut Jahn we were never short of talent. ....it was a great experience and that race track will go down in History. Some people may call it a ballsy move, or say that we just rolled the dice....but that is not how it went down. We used technology, experience, and talent to make the right tactical decisions...and none of us would have done it differently in the same situation.
Dear Senator, I just recently moved to Illinois; however, I have lived in Michigan my entire life...that's why I am writing you. I voted in Michigan, for you, and I feel like you're the guy I should be reaching out to. Listen. When is someone going to step up and say, "hey guys, we can't afford universal health care." I mean, seriously, this is getting ridiculous. It seems like Obama is ramming this thing through without considering the long-term implications. Almost like he's thinking, "whatever, we'll figure out how to pay for it later; but this is our only chance while we have a super majority." I just think that is incredibly irresponsible. I don't go out and buy a new TV on credit when my debt-to-income ratio is 100%....and I certainly don't do it when I might have to take a pay cut. Well you guys are in the same boat, only worse. Remember, you guys will make less money as I/we make less money. How can the Gov't pay for it? How can you justify this? The stimulus package was full of pork, be honest, that thing was terrible. That's over now, that money is ear-marked for saving some of Pelosi's f'n mice or something, who knows.....but you guys can start fresh, RIGHT NOW, and do the right thing for America....not the right thing for the Democrats, or the right thing for Republicans, or the right thing for some whining special interest group....or the right thing to get you re-elected...but rather, the right thing for the country AS A WHOLE.... Its time to tighten our belts and curb our spending, otherwise we WILL LOSE THE DOLLAR; trust me, I trade it every day. You need to know that the majority of my friends care a great deal about this, but no one knows how to do or say anything about it. Its not like you and I are on speaking terms; frankly, I'd be suprised if you even read this email. There are a great number of people who are just sitting on the sidelines and watching, not speaking up, but are really starting to take notice. I had a problem with the spending before, I didn't say anything. I had a problem with the way the bailouts went down, I didn't say a word. We're running a massive deficit, its only getting worse, and now we're talking about granting more social welfare, taking on more liabilities. I simply cannot NOT say anything any longer. This cant happen. Regardless of whether we NEED it, we cant afford it. It will bury us. Don't let this happen. NEED does not trump REASON. If we need it, then work the country into a spot where we can afford it....don't just spend irresponsibly, its not fair to the millions of people you HAVEN'T heard from, yet. Okay, I have to get back to work. Good talk.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
We had an extreamly talented crew, although it was everyone's first match race regatta. Jack Jennings, John Poast, and Dave Jochum rounded out our four man crew. Dave flew in from D.C. to sail the event; but John, Jack, and I sail together regularly at the CMRC on tuesday and friday nights.
It was breeze on for the first day of the event and we quickly picked up where the Ender Team left off in the last event, winning all of our races and finishing the long day at 7-0 with the next best record at 5-2. It has been a while since I have felt this comfortable on the starting line, I feel like im easing back into driving a match race; we still have a long way to go, but at least we are moving in the right direction. Being so comfortable on the line helped me to execute Jack's plan and put the boat in the spot that we wanted for the first beat; that, and virtually perfect crew work really pushed us over the top in the races on the first day. We sailed smart, calculated races...never put ourselves in vulnerable spots, and executed our maneuvers when the time came. We were really firing on all cylinders....and looking back on it, we were only really tested once or twice on Saturday.
The format for the regatta was interesting. A full Round Robin followed by a best-of-five knockout series seeded by the results of RR#1...so, 1v8, 2v7, 3v6...etc. The breeze was very light in the morning; and, not knowing what the OA was going to do we were very happy to be sitting in 1st at the beginning of the day. With such a talented group of sailors in the fleet (CVT, Taylor Canfield, Don Wilson, Dave Wagner, Debbie Cappozi, Jen Wilson, and Steve Lowery), the ability to choose who we sail against is a huge advantage. Luckily though the breeze quickly shifted and filled in and we went forward with the second round. We drew Jen Wilson and were luckly enough to quickly win the first three races, moving on before the wind got squirly again. 10-0. The other three matches all went the distance. Wagner def. Lowery, Cappozi def. CVT, and Wilson came from behind to beat Canfield.
So the final four was set and it was up to us to pick who we sailed against. The decision was tough because, while none of the teams beat us, all three of those teams sailed us very close. Cappozi was by far the toughest race we had, she consistently put her boat in the perfect spot and made very few errors...I thought we only capitalized on one quick shift off the line, and from there we held control the whole time against her, it could have easily gone the other way though. So she was immediately out. Our first round race against Don Wilson was interesting too. We won the start but Don and Bill Hardesty kept their boat in a great spot up the beat, closed the gap and kept it close. Fortunately fr us, during a tacking duel Don misjudged the distance and clipped our stern as he brought his boat through a tack. That race was close as well...and Bill is a tough guy to pin down...I mean, come on, the dude is a world champion; he definately has some tricks up his sleeve....and with our goal being to keep moving on we tossed Wilson out of our choices, leaving Wagner. It proved to be a good decision as we beat Wagner 2-0 in the semi-finals and got ready for the Cappozi-Wilson winner. 12-0.
Debbie took Don the distance but didnt have enough in the end, and ultimately Don won, moving on to the finals. We were ready....I thought.
I still remember how the whole thing played out. The first start, with 1min left, Don lead back to the pin, I went for the hook late in the sequence and got it. Luffing him and slowing him off the line....that was all we needed and we won the first race of the best-of-three finals. 13-0...needing one more to win the whole thing. One out of two...I used to like those odds...ha.....hmmmmm.
To be honest, all I could think of was the previous regatta...in the same position, 10-0 going into the last two races....and I didnt want that to happen again. Well, negative thoughts have a wierd way of manifiesting themselves sometimes. Have I used enough foreshadowing yet? Can you figure out what happened?
In the second race we lead the whole time, rounded the last weather mark four lengths ahead and basically had the thing wrapped up. Don went high, we followed to hold him off...at this point we were approaching the layline to the pin....all we had to do was jybe away when they started to get on our breeze....unfortunately I wasnt thinking about this, and I went for the luff. Stupid. We rolled out, they passed us, jybed, and won the race. All I HAD TO DO WAS JYBE! Dumb.
The third race was a personal disaster, Don, Bill, Matt Cassidy, and Hans Pusch just flat out beat us. I went for the hook again, late in the sequence; only this time they were ready for it and they controlled us off the line and around the course. Race over, regatta over. 13-2 and second place, again.
The only good thing to come out of this is experience....and points. A 2, 2 in two Grade3's isnt bad...and now I realize one of my biggest weaknesses. Our team sailed well, I just didnt have it, mentally, in the end. Oh well, we'll be back again. It really is about the journey, not the destination. There is always another match race. Congrats to Don, Bill, Matt, and Hans, those guys sailed well and flat out beat us in the finals........
..but seriously though, its like a bad dream. Hopefully one of these days I wake up and string a whole regatta together.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Adrian Rogers, 1931
Monday, May 25, 2009
The Ender racing team consisted of myself, Mike Rehe, and Paul Haulsey. We knew we were up against a pretty stacked fleet (Sally Barkow, Chris VanTol, Adam Hollerbach, Peter Wickwire, etc.) but I felt like we would have some recent match race experience to draw on, at least early in the regatta. Even though I didnt drive the regatta the previous weekend, crewing for Kevin did get my head into the game and thinking about the strategy. On top of that, this was the first event on the Ender schedule, it had been on our minds for several months....so we were as focused as ever to get this campaign underway.
The finals were set: Ender Racing, Team7 (Barkow), Adam Hollerbach, and VanTol Match Race. One vs Four, Two vs Three. Sunday would shape up to be a good day.
Like an idiot I fouled Chris during the prestart trying to "heard" him in a certain direction...he was being stubborn and I was being impatient. We started about even but Chris was on the correct side of the next shift and he rounded the first mark right ahead. A quick jybe put us in a windward postion and we were able to get over the top of him but we were slightly above layline. Just high of the two boat circle both boats jybed and got rid of our kites...we rounded on the inside and had the slight advantage up the last beat....that is, with a penalty to do. We did our turn up the beat and followed Chris into the windward mark. The breeze shifted hard left again and totally died, pulling chris down river and giving us a chance to get back into the race. From there it was just a crap-shoot....who got the puff first, who got the puff longer. VanTol sailed away and deeper with pressure, then died out. We got a puff and sailed right at the finish....in the end we finished overlapped....Ender losing by three feet. After all that...three feet.
VanTol wins 2-1. It was a bitter-sweet day for Ender racing. Remember, our goal is always to move on; and while we lost the regatta, we lost to the only person we were allowed to and still get an invite to the Detroit Cup. See, VanTol is already in the Detroit Cup on his ISAF ranking, so then the invite moves down to the second place boat. So even though we lost only two races and we couldn't do what we needed to win; we still did what we needed to move on. Congrats to Chris, John, and Thad....every beginning match racer out there remember, these guys won the bare minimum races to make it to the final four; then got taken to three races in each round of the finals to win. It wasnt pretty, they just did what they needed to do. Any team can win when they're on a hot streak; its the good teams that can hang on while everything goes pear-shaped....and still give themselves a shot at the end.
I just have to say that I think Ender Racing Team got stronger with the addition of Paul Haulsey. Both he and Mike sailed flawlessly and consistently....and really put us in a position to win every race. This was great learning experience and this team will be every bit up to the challenge of the Detroit Cup.
The CMRC has four regattas scheduled this summer; three grade 3 events and a grade 2. Obviously the goal of Ender Racing is to use this oportunity to sharpen our skills, learn, and gear up for big events this summer and next year. Keeping our long-term goals in mind; this provides us with a great opporunity to gain points without a ton of travel, and sail against some of the best match racers in the country. If anyone wants to become a member, or wants any more information about what we are doing check out the website at http://www.chicagomatchrace.com/.
Mike was having the same sort of success in his group. After starting off slow Lauren, Mike, and Sandy started to get into rythym and finished their round as the team to beat. The stage was set for a Schrage, Knoles final showdown....and Ender team bragging rights for the summer....but it was not meant to be. As the sun sank over Detroit and the breeze got light and flukey we were able to win our first race and STEAL our second from Trey Rose by taking advantage of a 30deg shift. These things happen on the River near the end of the day, I feel like I have been on the losing end of it more times than not...fortunately the dice rolled our way this time. Lauren and Mike could have forced a final showdown but were unable to win their second race. After having their opponent on the ropes several times in the prestart the other boat somehow managed to slip through and actually started in a better position...controlling the race and ultimately winning. This caused Lauren to slip to second and with the sun setting our PRO called the regatta with a clear winner. US! Actually, in all honesty to have both members of Ender racing in the top two is great. It is always a plus when we can have team members sail with different programs, that different experience is something you can draw from in difficult times. But seriously....I still won bragging rights....you know it Mike!
Not that im in to giving out lessons; but I think the lesson any new match racer can take from Laurens mistake is this: The goal in starting is to position yourself off the line to be able to go the direction you want to on the first beat. Its not about fouling. Its about controlling, hearding, gaining the advantage off the line and leaning on the other team up the beat. Very rarely when sailing against good teams will they give you an opportunity "slam-dunk" them on the start....so I think starters need to have a "control" mentality, not a "kill" mentality. Lauren could have won the race if she just backed off her opponnent (on several occasions) and kept her priorities in check. Your number one priority is to get off the line clean, going the direction you want to go...all else is just gravy....as soon as that control begins to fade it is time to think about your priorities again.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
"The irony of commitment is that it’s deeply liberating—in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life." - Anne Morris
Monday, March 9, 2009
Mikey is down in Miami sailing the Star boat in the Bacardi Cup this week with Jack Jennings. Jack has been sailing the Star at a consistently high level this winter and the two have some experience sailing together so we are all hoping for a good result. Hopefully I can get Mike to send in some daily updates; otherwise please send him some good luck vibes as the fleets is stacked (http://www.stardistrict20.org/bacardi/entries.htm) and they will need all the help they can get.
Update (3/10/09) : I received a text from Mike last night, and I quote, "Just checked the blog. Yesterday we both showed up hungover as piss...got a 31. Today we showed up with our game faces on and ended up 8th. It was a pretty good day." And 8th at the Bacardi Cup is very good, hopefully the guys can lay off the booze for the rest of the week. For those who dont know, the Star class typically only sails one race a day with legs greater than 1.75 miles, so its a daily grind...showing up hungover is not the ideal way to approach this regatta...but these guys know that. I cant blame them though, for some reason every time I put flip flops on I want to have a beer too....
See, thats the thing about the Farr40 fleet. The owners and the programs are, for the most part, very consistent from year to year in their participation. So if you sail in the fleet for a while you develop relationships with the other crews; I cant really describe it, but the owners provide us all with an amazing plaform on which to compete. There is something about travelling all over the world with 200 of your closest friends, its really pretty cool. So Barking Mad, being a US boat, and given all the different people on their boat, has had a close relationship with the Flash Gordon team over the years....and there was nothing we wanted more than to "beat the &@* out of them!"
Friday, February 20, 2009
Check back in to the blog as I am going to attempt to get a debrief out of Mike and possibly some video. If you have never seen this stuff before you need to check it out. F'n cool!! I'm sure if you buy Mikey a beer at the bar he will bring you up to speed...also, congratulate him on his new girlfriend. :)
First off, I started a new job in December in Chicago working for Geneva Trading. Many of you may have heard of Geneva Trading, who's founding partners are all world-class sailors; most notably Tom Freitag, Art Bererton, and Brian Porter (Full Throtle). I took a job designing and trading quantitative strategies for the firm...things are going well, but home always calls. The decision to stop sailing full time and pursue a different path came on the heels of my brother Evan's passing. Evan fought Lukemia for 21 months before it got the better of him; and from there I decided that it wouldn't be fair to him if I continued to half-ass my life. So Ender-Racing has always been about sailing.....and the occasional political rant....now I am dedicating it completely to the Ender-Racing team and the acheivement of our goals in Match Racing.
The move to Chicago was timely when you consider that Don Wilson is opening his US Match Race Center this summer here in Chicago. The venue is being funded by Don, and directed by Bill Hardesty; which means that world-class Match Racing talent will be in and out of here weekly, not to mention all the women's Olympic teams that will use the facilities to practice. The timing and the placement could not be better for us.
Mike Rehe and I decided after last years USMRC that we were going to put forth a serious effort in the events from now on. Our goal is to win the 2010 USMRC at Bayview Yacht Club, and we have a two year Match Race plan in place to get there. As the sailing season gets going again we will be updating the blog frequently, so please check back in for regatta debriefs and other information.....and political rants (damn Pelosi!!).
Also, the Ender-Racing team is not exclusive; we are open to anyone with a passion for Match Racing and an Objectivist philosophy. Good luck, and good sailing.