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".