|Tuesday's Minnesota E-Team
Home club -Minnetonka, WI Scows sailed in 2014: E-scow
What is your sailing background? (Yacht Club, age started, boats sailed, etc)
I began racing Opti's at Lake Minnetonka Sailing School when I was 8 years old. X-boats came next and then moved into racing Club 420's on the national circuit. I attended Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland where I embarked on a 4 year college sailing career. Our team was relatively small, but our biggest accomplishment came my senior year when we qualified for the 2009 ICSA National Championship in San Francisco for the first time in school history. After college I moved to Australia and New Zealand for a little over a year. There I raced 12 & 16 foot skiffs, Sydney 38s, and Farr 40s when the surf was no good. However, what really sparked my interest in sailing was when I began to 3rd on my father's C scow at age 10. The races were very intense and I saw a future for myself racing scows. I've raced X, MC, C, A, Melges 17 at different points and have raced my E Scow "Temptress" (now "Provocatrix") since 2010. College friends from the Barnegat Bay in New Jersey originally got me into the E Scow, but the ILYA is the best game to be in for racing and I genuinely look forward to Oshkosh in August!
What is your proudest sailing accomplishment?
Winning the 2009 Melges 17 Inland felt great. Anyone who participated in it will vividly remember the breeze and epic carnage from the first day of the event. We were proud to make it out on top.
What is your pre-regatta ritual?
Listening to XM 51 BPM satellite radio on the ride to the venue is crucial to getting my team motivated. The night prior to racing, my team always talks about getting a big breakfast before racing the next morning, but this has yet to happen in 5 years, so crummy bagels and Tang at the yacht club have become somewhat of a ritual. Stocking the boat with anything but Culligan bottled water is considered sacrilegious.
Who is your biggest competition? Why?
Recently it has been Tom Burton. We race against him in the MYC club races and at regattas more than anyone else and his team is hard to beat. Several times he has leapfrogged us on the final day of a regatta and more frequently does something amazing to gain an advantage in club races and it can be frustrating. We have a lot of respect for the M-9, but we are happy to see them in our slipstream. Our fierce rivalry with Erik Bowers has simmered somewhat since his focus shifted to Olympic sailing. At many regattas there was the actual regatta, and then there was the game within the game with Erik. Messing with each other's boats was not off limits and gentle verbal intimidation was commonplace. The fact that he is the defending champion in the E class is tough for me; I don't have much to say to that! It was all in good fun and it has been great racing against a good friend for so many years in various classes.
If you could add any person as your heavy air crew, who would it be?
It would be Hugh Harris, a good friend and longtime crew. He is doing a hardcore cold-calling sales internship in Utah this summer, so unfortunately he will not be able to answer the call when the breeze is giddy-up. He has sailed with me on the wildest of days and at 6'2" 195 lbs., can really be a Clydesdale in the front of the boat when strength is needed. When I arrive at a sailing site and see that it is cranking, I always feel a little better about our chances of survival if Hugh is onboard.
What is your favorite Pre-/post-regatta ritual:
That really depends on who is hosting the regatta. Lake Geneva is Gordy's (dined there 3 different times during the E Invite this year), late night at Chuck's. Pewaukee is Michael's House of Prime and the PYC Bar. Okoboji is Maxwell's and Captain's. Green Lake is the Goose Blind. Oshkosh...my recollection of my last regatta there is a little foggy...I'll let you know after this year's event. My all-time favorite is Maynard's Restaurant on my home lake, the finest lakeside dining in the country. Shamefully I'm not a Mount Gay drinker, so Michelob Golden Light or Heineken is preferred.
And now for the Crew:
What is one thing we don't know about your skipper?
Many of you probably didn't have a chance to meet Derek in his earlier years out at Washington College, but during that time period Derek became a huge fan of the MTV series Jersey Shore. It was likely due to the fact that one of Derek's best college friends sails E-Scows out of Island Heights Yacht Club, a mere 3 miles away from Seaside Heights, where the show took place. Maybe it was an east coast thing? We'll never know.
What phrase do you hear most from the back of your boat?
Believe it or not, Derek isn't much of a screamer from the back of the boat. He has a few common words such as "hike!" or "vang!" at certain moments. Another common occurrence which is often every crew's worst nightmare happens on the windiest of days: ripping downwind when the call for a jibe is quietly muttered from the back of the boat followed by the immediate turn of the tillers. After brushing off a near capsize, Gavin and myself castigate Derek for the abrupt action in which he replies with his signature phrase "Hey, that's the game" and we continue on.
Why will your team win this year's 2014 Inland?
Our new boat has really upped the confidence onboard to an all-time high and as we all know, "crew chemistry... it's a delicate thing." As Will Parker from the movie Wind once said, "You can lead, you can follow, or you can get out of the way." We're looking to lead at Oshkosh!
If you win, what magazine cover would you like to be featured on?
Sports Illustrated without question. A win that big deserves some serious hype
Lastly, if your boat had a theme song, what would it be?
Our crew all grew up watching the movie Wind as young sailors. It has become a daily occurrence to throw out a Wind quote on the race course or at the club. Everyone always enjoys the early dinghy racing scene where Will Parker and Kate Bass team up in the I14 against Charlie Moore. The music during this scene is perfect for setting the tone onboard when an intense blow day is upon us. If you do not have an opportunity to listen on Youtube, ask Hugh Harris to sing/hum the tune as he can produce the best delivery.