Thursday, July 23, 2009

2009 Chicago-Mac Race

I just recently completed the 333mile race from Chicago to Mackinac Island aboard Flash Gordon. It was one of the coolest races I have done in years. There was no wind and we finished late Monday night (very slow for a Mac race); however, that didnt take away from the experience. We had a boat loaded with talent and everyone made their mark on a race that will stay with me forever.

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 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. 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.

My letter to Carl Levin

I have had enough, its time to speak up...and not just on this blog, or on Facebook....I recently wrote my Senator from Michigan. Hopefully anyone who reads this will be inspired to write their senator too:

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.