Thursday, November 10, 2016

Lessons in Life from Sailing- There are many ways forward.

Karma Sailing Group: From the left- Martin Sandoval, Lou Sandoval

Karma Sailing Group Finishes 2016 Season-Signals indicate a change for the future

November 10, 2016

The Karma Sailing Group crossed the 108th Race to Mackinac in 41:35:26 finishing third place in the 36.7 section and 12th overall in the Mackinac Trophy division.  As the gun went off to cross the finish line, only a few members knew that is the last time they might sail the historic race as a team as a plan to break the team up had already begun.   Fast forward to the recent Race to Mackinac Awards ceremony at Chicago Yacht Club - Remaining owners Martin Sandoval and Lou Sandoval attended the  Awards ceremony as the two remaining owners of the prodigious race program that garnered an unprecedented 12 podium finishes since campaigning the 36.7 program in the Race to Mackinac and a record setting eight 1st place finishes in 14 years.   The conspicuous absence of the team that had stood shoulder to shoulder in pride for each of the previous 11 podium finishes spoke volumes and signaled the break-up that was to come. 

"Much like the Beatles, all things come to an end" said Mr. Sandoval at the awards ceremony.   A cohesive team that had been built on lifelong friendships had seen some challenges in the most recent years:   In 2015, crew member Seth Morrell was not asked back to race with the team.  Morrell, infamous for his boorish, profane and bullying outbursts had outworn his welcome on the team.  He had bounced around Mac programs for the two ensuing years eventually outstaying his welcome and had no program for 2017.  Strong finishes in 2015 and '16 signaled to Morrell that he might not have a spot on the team ever again.   Former Partner Jack Buoscio underwent financial issues in the Spring of 2016 that created challenges for him remaining part of the team. Most likely the discomfort of having to be out of integrity with the 'friends' with whom he had built the program led to his silent and collusive departure.  Longtime bowman Jason Veatch had been with the program since  2008 when he was picked up from a crew board.  He chipped his teeth aboard Karma and became a key member of the team. He purchased a 36.7 in 2011 which he mainly cruised, leaving the wear and tear to team Karma. Veatch had commented that he might want to run his own program some day. It is the underhanded fashion with which he chose to introduce "some day" which came as a surprise to many.   Morrell colluded to orchestrate a break-up of the program with Veatch and Buoscio poaching the remaining team members from Karma unbeknownst to Msrs. Sandoval and the few remaining crew.  He boasted of his role in the breakup at the awards ceremony this past Saturday, predicating it with the spin that all things come to an end (especially when he's holding the match).

"The comparison to the Beatles ends at the fact that at least John Lennon had the sincerity and class to let the other members know to their faces that he was leaving the band. You would think that after all these years, they might have that minimum of character. "  That sincerity and friendship was non existent in this case with neither Buoscio or Veatch taking the time to reach out to the remaining crew members and former friends to notify them of their intentions. In many cases, leaving them to learn about their departure second hand. 

In an unexpected and clandestine fashion, each former Karma Mac crew member departed with the vagueness of a stranger-ghosting their way out the back door.  Leaving the remaining crew and owners to patch together a team for the 2017 season. 

"It was a good run while it lasted.  Many memories were created on this race in the past fifteen years , its a shame that it had to end in this fashion.  It teaches you a lot about yourself and what you are able to handle in how you manage these ups and downs. There are many ways forward. " Said Sandoval. " People come in and out of your life for different reasons and they are here to teach us something about life.  We wish them the best.  What the lesson is in this case still remains to be seen -One thing that is consistent, family first as ultimately, that is who  always has your back.  Our kids are our future, we are going to focus on building that next generation of sailors".


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Karma Finishes in 1st -Verve Cup Distance Race

Karma Finishes 1st in Verve Cup Distance Race

August 16, 2016

A shifty Saturday of racing turned out well for the short-handed crew of Karma.    It is typical for crews to be light after the Mac race break and it was no different for Karma.  Fielding a six person crew with a 14 year old and a 10 year old on board was probably a good call as it allowed the team to be agile on her bottom.

The win was the first for 14 year old Caroline Sandoval and 10 year old Sofia Sandoval.  Both have been active participants in Chicago Yacht Club's sailing school.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

108th Race to Mackinac-3rd Place and Goat Status for a Member of the Karma Team

108th Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac Recap

July 28, 2016

What do straw hats, breakfast veggie smoothies a stuffed goat named 'Tina' and horse manure have to do with a boat race?   A lot... this year ,as Team Karma embarked on their sixteenth journey from Chicago to Mackinac Island.  Much has changed with Karma in her sixteen years of being a racing program, boat changes, ownership changes- but one thing has remained consistent- the core of 'friends' that get together each year to do the annual trek up the rhumbline in Lake Michigan.  

2016 was particularly significant because it was the first year that two of the Karma Owners- Jack Buoscio and Lou Sandoval were no longer representing Beneteau on Lake Michigan.  A fleet that Jack and Lou had put a ton of sweat equity into having grown it from 0 boats to the over 38 boats we sold over the life span of the design (2001-2011) with another 11 boats sold on the resale market.   The ownership of the boat had always been separate from the business (actually it preceded the business), but as life can complicate things from time to time, this year seemed to be more complex than usual by the fact that Jack decided to leave the business in May.   No one can say where the future will go, but the team has made an effort to sail together this year.  

The team had set out last year to take on a 9th sailor- Christina's dad- Manuel was going to do the race with the team to commemorate Christina's goat year race (her 25th).   Taking a 9th, meant that the team had to get under the recommended crew weight limit of 1550 lbs.  So the team engaged in a weight loss challenge that consisted of breakfast veggie smoothies, low or no carbs and the work out plan.   In the end, the crew did a fantastic job with an average weight loss of 15-20 lbs per person.   Goal accomplished! 

The race itself was one of the wettest in some time, downpours kept everyone nice and soggy for the run up the lake.  A storm on Saturday night mixed up the fleet standings a bit, providing a slight advantage to some of the boats that had been drawn deep into shore on the run up the West coast of the lake.  A wind shift and fluky direction, had several boats jettison to the top of the standings.   Deep in the standings on Sunday, the outcome looked grim for Team Karma.   Not counting themselves out, we did what we do best- put the gas pedal down and sail like we stole it. 

The runway would prove too short as we let Maggie Mae get around us on Sunday night and flat out ran out of space to catch Tequila Mockingbird for a third place finish.  Respectable and you could guess we might consider ourselves a bit lucky as it could have ended up worse.  Podium finish- just a bronze vs. Gold finish for the Goat girl Cristina. 

What's that saying on the North side? There is always next year!  

We'll be talking about this one for some time.