So let me apologize first. It has been too long between posts, and since we are in fall I am turning a new leaf. Most think of springtime as the fresh renewal and a new start. Well for Good Karma Racing it has been this fall. After the most recent World Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia we had an epiphany. Although the U.S. team as a whole sailed well enough to capture a spot to sail in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio it was obvious we were behind the curve.
Good Karma Racing came to the realization that to win a Gold medal at the games was going to require much more on and off the water training, Cindy agreed and now is sailing on the Good Karma Racing Team. With local support they have been training intensively in Narragansett Bay and on the Sakonett River, already realizing the benefits of living in such close proximity of your teammate. We have had some great days out on the water in many different conditions. We will be thanking our friends in more detail in later posts, but like I said it has been too long already.
Early in our fall training in Newport we participated in an exercise to improve the safety procedures in place to help sailors with mobility impairments. We worked alongside the organizers of the C. Thomas Clagget Jr. Memorial Regatta and US Sailings Education department to test and problem solve the techniques in regards to water rescue of sailors by support boats for regattas. There are many methods that work, some better than others. As a result of this exercise our fabulous sponsor MTI Adventurewear is now working in the development of features on PFD's that might aid in the water rescue of sailors.
The fall chill is just here and we are working hard to prepare for the Miami Olympic Class Regatta in January already. We learned many lessons in Kinsale, Ireland and we have started to implement them to the best of our resources and abilities. A new Hull is at the top of our wish list! We are carefully building our fundraising so we can successfully bolster our campaign in order to concentrate on sailing the boat fast. In the meantime... Using the equipment we have we are doing what we can to check off the list of things we need to accomplish to become the best team competing in the world. We are working to develop seats to be more competitive. We are also going through the boat block by block and line by line so we can avoid the breakdown problems we suffered in Ireland. We will be having a training camp in November in Newport, RI (brrr..). It will be a great chance to test out some new systems and make sure the boat and team are in top shape before "Nick" migrates south.
MTI stands for MARINE TECHNOLOGIES INTERNATIONAL. "Live. Love. Life [Jackets]
MTI is now a sponsor for Good Karma Racing! We are so excited to welcome them to the team. Sarah has been using their lifejackets for years and has always loved them, especially the fleece pocket to keep her a little warmer on the water. So go buy your life jacket from them, we want to support those who support us! Check out the model the team will be wearing in Miami, AWESOME!
Aahhhh, the boat is on it's real trailer and in the driveway for a bit. Now we can take some time with it and get it tuned up a bit more, find a good place for Bob and get it ready for some practice and eventually a trip south. As the checklist gets made I'll keep you all posted on the progress there could be some nice additions to the boat before our next event.
So the rest time is almost over! The boat is due back from Ireland this week. Now the hard work really starts! Miami OCR is the next event; although it is January we have to get our team to the next level and quickly. Ireland was enlightening to say the least. Thanks to Adrian Finglass, coach extraordinaire we have some great ideas for new systems to make life easier for Gerry on the boat. We also realized we are behind the world in our seating systems. Ours are too low in the boat and not optimized for our skipper/crew needs. Lastly and absolutely the most critical, the team needs a new boat. We need a new hull to be specific. Unfortunately after the 2008 Paralympics they changed the construction of the hull. This made it stiffer, more hydrodynamic and ultimately faster (by a lot). This is obviously the biggest issue our team has right now. Seats and systems are the “small” tweaks we need, the hull is an absolute game changer. It will be impossible to compete at a high level if we cannot get a new hull.
So this is where we need to build our team! WE NEED YOUR HELP! Most other international sailing authorities will purchase equipment for their national teams. Boats, seats, sails etc… Ours does not, they are excellent in providing logistical support and everything we get is appreciated. To achieve our goal in competing at the highest level of international competition we need to raise around $100,000. This includes a new boat, sails, travel expenses, regatta/training costs etc… This will help us to the next IFDS World Championships in Halifax, Nova Scotia next year.
Time is of the essence. How can you become part of the team? We obviously will benefit most from monetary donations, so we can purchase the equipment (Hull, Sails, Seats). We can also benefit greatly from donated airline miles, hotel points and gift cards, anything to help. We are looking forward to growing our Team, thank you again for all of your support. We won the National Title, now let’s get the World!
What a great regatta for Good Karma Racing! The conditions were incredibly challenging and the competition was great! Lake Michigan threw everything at us, massive waves big winds and shifty conditions. The team performed great and communicated well and the results showed it. Thank you to all of the organizers and volunteers that made this a great event.
Ok, here we GO! I probably won't be able to post here for the weekend. Please go to Good Karma Racing on Facebook to get updates. Wish us luck and thanks again for all of your sup
So now we are gearing up for the next event for Good Karma Racing! We are headed to Milwaukee, WI for the U.S. Nationals. Although our Skud is now bouncing around somewhere in the Atlantic on a container ship there is still work to be done. The team will be sailing Ideal 18's in beautiful Lake Michigan! We are looking forward to some good racing and hopefully no breakdowns! Thankfully it will also be a lot easier to keep everyone posted on our progress. International social media is something that I need more practice at (hint hint team). So stay tuned and I will try to keep up with the team so you can too.
So I am finally posting about the end of the worlds in Kinsale! What an event! The hosts and hostesses were second to none, we had a fabulous time at Kinsale Yacht Club and the town of Kinsale was incredibly welcoming. So the last day of racing was bittersweet, finally conditions "normal" to the region we were stoked to sail. Sarah and Gerry after firming international relations with the Italian team of Marco Gualandris, Marta Zanetti were sailing with a full rig. The first race was sweet, sailing very well around the course handling the big breeze like pros. Then to pound home the lesson that sometimes it is not your time 200 yards from the finish on the last gybe into the finish the spinnaker halyard snapped! Ugghh! Again we have something to learn! They salvaged a 7th out of the race and nobody panicked. We spoke to a boat with the race committee and asked if their intention was to race 3 races and they told us that it was. So we went into a place called Safety Harbor. What a beautiful place! We would have never seen this small bit of Ireland had it not been for our unfortunate circumstances. We dropped the rig and replaced the spinnaker halyard tied to this old fishing boat. Rig down spinnaker halyard run rig back up and spinnaker hoisted and tested in under 40 minutes! The races last about 55 or so, so we had enough time to make the start! Well unfortunately they decided not to run a 3rd race. So we were out of luck. So we finished the regatta tied for 7th and lost the tiebreaker, disheartening considering the amount of work that went on to get to the end of the regatta. Being true to our belief of good karma we had lent our time, energy and equipment to bolster the US Team. We learned a ton during this great week of racing and will take the lessons that we learned from an absolutely outstanding human being Adrian Finglas. He is an incredibly amazing coach who went above and beyond his duties as "coach" and with a positive and infectious attitude kept the US team on the water so that we could at least compete on the world stage of paralympic sailing. So now we charge ahead with our new found knowledge and attack the next events on our schedule. I am going to post a few more pictures of the fun that was had.
Cheers! To all of you who support us!