Monday, July 20, 2009

We Have Company!

The two blips in this photo are Free Radical and Program, Further inshore is Legacy. (Program and Legacy are in the DH division). They worked their way up on us via the inshore route.

We've got everyone on the low side and are putting the accelerator down.

Glassy conditions are less than optimal. More soon.

1622 hrs CDT 7-20-09

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1300 hrs CDT 07-20-09

Manitou Passage-

5kts on 7 kts of WS HDG 39 Degrees. The fleet has closed the gap a bit on us. Had the DH- Legacy in shore of us for part of the am. Breeze is getting light. Working to maintain Boat speed.

It's looking like a Tuesday finish unless the breeze picks up.

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0445 CDT/ 07-20-09

Sunrise at Pt. Betsie

(Photo credit L. Sandoval/ Scott Seifert trims in the approach to Pt. Betsie)

Team Karma spent a great evening and night off the coast of Michigan. A Spectacular sunset led the way to a starry night where optimal boat speed was the objective.

With many faster boats in eyeshot of our position, the team remains focused on the completion of "leg 1" of the race.

At the writing of this brief- the early morning watch is enjoying the start of a great sunrise and bidding farewell to the crescent moon.

Until later....

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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Land Ho!

Big Sable in site.

Crossing tacks with the lead two 40.7s, SeaLark , and a 395 in our plan to clear Big Sable point.
Offshore of us we have a couple of multis.
Nice afternoon heat- time to peel off some layers.

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Land Ho!

Big Sable in site.

Crossing tacks with the lead two 40.7s, SeaLark , and a 395 in our plan to clear Big Sable point.
Offshore of us we have a couple of multis.
Nice afternoon heat- time to peel off some layers.

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1439 CDT 7-19-09

Sunny MI Coast-

We have Raven a beam of us and have had her as such for much of today. M32,Farr 40's all around.

Sunny afternoon helps keep the chill off from last night.

Spent much of last night with Split Decision in shore of us. Great wind to which we were able to maintain good boat speed. When the lights came on this am- We noted her to have fallen back significantly. Visible- but a speck in the horizon.

Crew is in good spirits compliments of the Eggs & Sausage Breakfast from Chez Marty.

Good Boat speed now- have to go.

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Fw: Rail Time

------Original Message------
From: Lou Sandoval
To: Lou Sandoval
Subject: Rail Time
Sent: Jul 19, 2009 2:21 PM

Well it's been a bit of an up winmd race. We've all been getting our share of the port side rail.

As the sun came up today. We got some good news- but there is so much work to do.

As of 1413 CDT- the Sandy coast of Michigan welcomes us. The sun is out to warm us up from a chilly night.

More Soon.

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2009 Team Photo

Smiles from the Team as We prepare to leave DuSable.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

RTM- 1930 hrs 7-18-09 update

We've had light and variable winds working our way up the West coast of the Lake. Nice view of the North Shore for most of the afternoon.

Chez Marty's menu had Turkey brst Sandwiches for lunch. It's been ALL ABOUT weight to leeward side. We may get to see the Sat night Fireworks in the Southern Horizon.

The lights will be going down soon- time to get movin!

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09 RTM 1402 hrs 7-18-09

Pomp & Circumstance:

HDG 019 1.32 kts. Oscillating breeze. Just changed from #1 to 1.5 to 0.5oz and back in the first bit of time. Wind is very light.

Split D and the rest of the gang are just offshore of us.

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Friday, July 17, 2009

T-Minus 24 Hours..or so

The Warning Gun Party was held last night at CYC. As luck would have it- Mother nature threw us an interesting curve ball- a storm front that moved through just as everyone was arriving- Imagine that- not this spring? How can that be?

Well- after it got everyone's 'Sunday best' a bit damp- it proceeded through - dropped the temp quite a few degrees and left a very comfortable evening in her wake.

The afternoon- was a bit of a hodgepodge of stuff today- As "Mr. Murphy" (and his silly law) had his say- there were a series of 'character building bumps in the day' on many fronts.

Thanks goes out to the KSG 'ground team' Jason "Flying V' Veatch and Mac Team member 'Scooter' Seifert for being available to head down to the harbor and help with an instrument calibration on the Big K.

A few more things to check off the list. Chez Marty will be busy working on the meals for the Team as the rest of the team works on the list of things left. That saying about the Cobbler's kids is TOO true!

Happy MAC Friday! A bit over 24 hours left until the race..

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

MOB Drillz

The Karma MAC Team did their MAC- Man overboard drills this evening in prep for the race.

The above photo serves as the reminder of what this race is all about for KSG.

Going North FAST!

A pleasant night with much accomplished. One of the team's last great views of our fair city. Gotta love the view. G'night Chi-town!

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Friday, July 10, 2009

It's Starting to Get So Bad You Can't Sleep

First 36.7 Section Start in the 100th Running of the Race to Mackinac (2008)

It's a bit over one week away. On July 18, 2009 at 12:40pm Central time, the Beneteau First 36.7 Section will cross the start line for the 101st Running of the Race to Mackinac. For a fleet that has been in existence since 2002 in Lake Michigan, the twenty boat section for the 2009 Mac Race will once again be competing for the Mackinac Cup. While many other brands have tried to lay claim to being easy to sail or one of the fastest growing on Lake Michigan, they pale in comparison the First 36.7 Fleet.
Having grown from just an eight boat fleet it's first year of launch, The 36.7's have have maintained a consistent growth rate over the past eight seasons. Even this year, amidst all the economic challenges in the country, they have added to the fleet where other fleets have lost members or been flat in growth. I'd like to think that it is due in part to the camradrie in the fleet, the competition and the value the design brings in comparison to other brands. Truth be told, there will be 22 -36.7's in the race this year. Twenty boats will be competing in the One-Design Section and two boats will compete in the double-handed division. A testment to the flexibility of the design and the skill of the owners and crew that sail them.
Usually, the butterflies don't start until about Thursday of race week. The burning feeling in the pit of my stomach that keeps me up at night. Add to that a seemingly long list of things to do for the boat prep, the business, MAC race committee and it usually makes for an interesting (albeit somewhat stressful) week. I'm finally able to breathe a huge sigh of relief (as are most of our crew) after we take our traditional team photo on the dock, bid our family and loved ones farewell and cast away from the slip. It's race time- finally.
Don't know why, but this year- the burn is here a week early. Perhaps it's the goofy and wet spring we have had so far. It has been hard to get any continuity going for the race program. Busy schedules and just plain life has been at work on us. To say the pains of the world have added to it, might be the understatement of the year. Even more so, I strongly believe that it's because of the huge target that I feel our team has on it's back. With back to back section wins in the 2004, 2005 and 2006 races as well as a section win in 2008 and 3rd overall for the Trophy division- we know everyone is gunning for us.
My thoughts as of late have gone to a book a read a while ago. It's a campy sports cliche named- Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made . It was given to me by a mentor in the corporate world. It's a quick read book that gives you a glimpse behind the mind of one of the greatest athletes of our time- the feelings he had during his failures, the drive that they instilled in him the drive to excel and to be one of the best at what he did. It reminds me alot of our sailing team. OK-We may not be Jordanesque in our accomplishments in all races- but when it comes to the mid-summer MAC- we've redefined continuity for the race in the section. This feature in itself- makes us the one everyone wants to beat. After our catostrophic finish in the 2007 MAC when we blew a one-hour lead on the fleet as we ran aground on South Graham's Shoal, I went back to this book and reread parts of it. In part to reconnect and make sense of the feeling of dissapointment of having to withdraw from the race after requiring assistance to leave the shoal. It was a feeling our team will never forget. Then the elation of coming back in the '100th Running' the next year in what has been our best finish to date in the overall dvision. This year, the pressure seems to be greater. The fact that the competition has been elevated even more in the fleet- makes the 'burn arrive' one week earlier and sting all the greater.
I find myself going to "Playing for keeps" to relieve the burn of anxiety and find solace in the last few days before the race. Who knows how this one will turn out. We have our plan- but inevitably so will all the other 350+ teams. We'll race our race- put out 150% for 48 hours and say a prayer.
Our Lady of Blessed acceleration- pray for us!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Veatch named as "Player of the Month"

Team KSG sits in 1st at the MAC break for the BC series.

In what was probably the nicest sailing evening of the season, KSG got around the course in very fine form. Adding a new bottle of MGR to the cabinet, The team got it together tonight. Outside of a minor "tactical kink" in week 4, the team has had a good Wednesday night series.

Team KSG named Jason Veatch as " player of the month" for his stellar performance in the Chicago Nood. He has become quite the bowperson and commands the pointy end.

Mid- Season BC STATS (Weeks 1-7)

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Friday, July 3, 2009

Winner of the MAC Essay Contest Announced.

Winn Shown here validating the merits of foul weather gear when it rains.

The winner of the essay contest for the 8th man spot on Karma for this year's MAC has been selected. Karma Sailing Group is proud to announce that Winn Soldani has been selected from a deep and talented pool of applicants. This year's pool had former Nobel Prize winners, prominent sports figures and (of course) your token local politicians. Winn's essay stood out amongst the collective pool of applicants, because of the sensitivity and moxy that he showed in his curt but direct essay.

Winn will be a valuable addition to this year's MAC team as he brings with him a lengthy list of skills of which 'sandwich maker' was NOT on the list. (hmmm). His experience in racing and understanding of meteorology compliments the skills of the 2009 MAC team. Winn joins Steve Mathias, Christina Cordero-Chadwick, Scott Seifert, Seth Morrell, Jack Buoscio, Martin Sandoval and Lou Sandoval as the 8th man. Team KSG welcomes him!

Winn's touching essay is listed below. It has made many of the team cry like S.C Governors at a press conference.

"Why I should be on the 2009 Karma Race to Mackinac Team"
By Winn Soldani

I should be on the 2009 Karma MAC team because I'm good enough, strong enough and gosh darn.... people like me. Thank you for the consideration.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Continued Proof Of Budget Cutbacks

We've often heard the media use the term, 'things are tough all over' to describe the existing economic climate in our country. Sailing is not immune. One of our more 'sartorially challenged owners' forwarded this as an example of how we plan on maximizing the Karma dollar for the 2009 MAC. These spiffy shirts and sailing regallia are being modeled by some goofy Sailors out East. We found a great set at the Salvation Army depot on Clybourn avenue for very little $. I particularly like the boots on the guy closest the bow.. Sweet!

Coming soon to a Mac Crew dearest to you.

You Can Pick Your Friends But You Can't Pick Your Neighbors

Oh, The Joy this Holiday weekend will be. Family, Fireworks and our Slip Neighbors, Nice big yellow sign. Port & Starboard! WOW!
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Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Team Karma is to the halfway mark. After two brutal back-to-back, glassy, light wind Wednesdays- the Rum meter is showing 1/4 full. Our carry over tally from the 2008 season was one bottle and we have successfully garnered one for the 2009 season. Situation critical.

Next Wednesday is our last BC before MAC prep- Si Se Puede! (We can do it!)- How about putting a few more in the tank?