LOGISTICS: When calling Jaipur is the move of the day

Published on March 26th, 2013

(March 26, 2013) – While conditions remain stable for the 27 teams still in the 800 mile Newport to Cabo San Lucas (MEX) race, it is far from the surf safari that led to the legion of offwind offshore boats found in the west.

Restaurateur John Sangmeister of Gladstone’s Long Beach, who in a previous life was on the Stars & Stripes team that won the 1987 America’s Cup, files this report on Tuesday in what may be his final missive from aboard the Santa Cruz 70 OEX:

In Monday night’s call to Expedia Travel (meaning some call center in a place far way), we learned that there are no available flights until after Easter. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, in effect, “Nothing concentrates the mind, like the Hangman’s noose.” Indeed, visions of my wife spending Easter with three screaming kids and her mother-in-law with no back-up and yes; you will know my fate.

So we are committed, and are advancing nicely at 12 knots on a course of 130 degrees straight at the barn. We just need the wind to hold out. Feeling charitable, the NHYC Race Committee sent an email to say they are extending the finishing deadline for this race. Forget the awards dinner, btw. Conditions continue to exceed the forecast and we are buoyed with optimism.

Last night, our crew Bill Petersen shared a favorite Captain Jack Sutphen story. While training for the 1987 America’s Cup, Olympic gold medalist Robbie Haines had been flown in as DC’s new trial helmsman. In his first pre-start steering Stars & Stripes ’86, Robbie barged between S&S ’85 and the Betsy, which was acting as the start line boat.

S&S ’86 landed squarely on the Betsy’s quarter, leaving a two-foot square tear in the race boat’s aluminum hull. The result? Jack kept his job from that day forward. Sometimes tryouts were that quick. Jack Sutphen, you will be missed. Thank you for everything.

Our routing predicts an 8 AM finish. Those who have done this race will know that you’ll either drift across at 4 AM or finish at noon when the breeze returns. So…if the breeze shuts off, we will fire up the iron staysail and get us to the dock. Chef Pete’s Baby Back ribs tonight will be our final dinner for the race.

May the wind God’s be kind to all competitors trying to make flights. OEX out.

Race website: http://nhyccaborace.com/home

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