Hear Thunder Roar!

Between the twelve teams there are 96 sailors competing in this year’s Baldwin Cup Team Race at Newport Harbor Yacht Club. They are an illustrious and competitive group including numerous Collegiate All-Americans, who have sailed all over the U.S. and beyond. Every year we pull each of them aside in an attempt to get to know them better, and to find out what lurks beneath their steely racing exteriors.

2015 Meet Team Thunder

Thunder may follow lightning in nature, but 2014 Baldwin Cup Champions, NHYC’s Team Thunder has no intentions of following anyone this weekend at Baldwin Cup—even in this meet and greet. Let’s see what the sailors defending the BCTR title have to say:

Skipper Justin “The Lawman” Law

Justin LawWhere are you from originally and where did you sail in college? Newport Beach and St. Mary’s College of Maryland

What did you learn to sail in? Naples Sabots, CFJ’s

What is your usual pre-regatta ritual? Coffee

What’s your boat’s theme or fight song?

Sail with a significant other? Significant other, who needs one of those?

Hardest or favorite part of Team Racing? The game you play.

How have you trained for this regatta? Locally here in the turning basin past 4 months against other NHYC peeps.

Favorite Baldwin Cup Moment? Having our mast almost fall down last year but still managed to almost win the race.

Who do you think is your biggest competition? Why? Larchmont seems to be bringing familiar blood to the event this year, but you can never count out the old dogs from Seawanhaka.

Why will your team win this year’s Baldwin Cup? Speed kills.

Crew S/C Jeff “JG” Gordo

Jeff GordonWhere are you from originally? Newport Beach

What did you learn to sail in? Sea Shell, a pram similar to a Sabot indigenous only to Santa Barbara where I grew up.

What is your usual pre-regatta ritual? Different every time depending on the situation. Other than Baldwin Cup, alcohol is usually involved.

What’s your boat’s theme or fight song?

Sail with a significant other? Significant other, who needs one of those?

Hardest or favorite part of Team Racing? Keeping track of combinations and balance at any given time is hardest. Favorite is the short, exciting races!

How have you trained for this regatta? Multiple scrimmages and many sugar packets on the table in the Pirate’s Den.

Favorite Baldwin Cup Moment? Winning last year, finally!

Who do you think is your biggest competition? Why? New York YC because Garrett sails for them.

Why will your team win this year’s Baldwin Cup? We know we are in everyone’s sights, so we are extra motivated to be better!

Skipper Michael “Magic Hands” Menninger

Michael MenningerWhere are you from originally and where did you sail in college? Newport Beach and St. Mary’s

What did you learn to sail in? Sabots

What is your usual pre-regatta ritual? Teemid’s GetTheTape #7 – it’s that good

What’s your boat’s theme or fight song?

Sail with a significant other? Depends

Hardest or favorite part of Team Racing? Knowing what to do before other people is my favorite.

How have you trained for this regatta? Teemid’s GetTheTape #7

Favorite Baldwin Cup Moment? Winning last year and lifting Gale up in the cup.

Who do you think is your biggest competition? Why? The quarter beers.

Why will your team win this year’s Baldwin Cup? Because we’ve done this before.

Crew Bill “20 Knot Bill” Menninger

Bill MenningerWhere are you from originally and where did you sail in college? Palos Verdes, CA and UC Santa Barbara

What did you learn to sail in? Guppies and Dink Kittens

What is your usual pre-regatta ritual? Drink a lot of coffee and get nervous

 

What’s your boat’s theme or fight song?

Sail with a significant other? Depends. [Editors’s note, hopefully this father-son boat will be a positive depends moment]

Hardest or favorite part of Team Racing? The short competitive races—especially in 4v4 with so many unstable combinations.

How have you trained for this regatta? Sailing.

Favorite Baldwin Cup Moment? Team Thunder finally winning it for NHYC last year. Hoping that I can add to that winning by joining the team this year.

Who do you think is your biggest competition? Why? Seawanhaka.

Why will your team win this year’s Baldwin Cup? Momentum and perseverance.

Skipper Jon “Gentleman Jon” Pinckney

Jon P

Where are you from originally and where did you sail in college? Newport Beach, CA and UCI Anteaters

What did you learn to sail in? Naples Sabot. If you didn’t learn in a Sabot, you didn’t learn.

What is your usual pre-regatta ritual? Coffee

What’s your boat’s theme or fight song?

Sail with a significant other? The only way to sail the high (or low) seas

Hardest or favorite part of Team Racing?
Hardest: Winning
Favorite: Winning

How have you trained for this regatta?

Favorite Baldwin Cup Moment? Saturday night formal dinner. Mikee concocts the most hideous tequila drenched 16oz beer bomb ever. Nobody gets within 5 feet of it without the fumes making them dry heave. Without hesitation a well prepped and completely senseless Danny P pounds the whole thing and instantly drops to the floor in the fetal position. Manager Tom gets defibrillator out but Cardwell interrupts with “Don’t worry, it’s just Danny” He is carried out unconscious and left in a Duffy boat. He wakes up Sunday morning and leads Larchmont to BC victory.

Who do you think is your biggest competition? Why? Anyone that learned how to sail in a Sabot

Why will your team win this year’s Baldwin Cup?

Crew S/C Gale “White Thunder” Pinckney

S/C Gale

Where are you from originally and where did you sail in college? Chicago and Watts

What did you learn to sail in? Sabot

What is your usual pre-regatta ritual? Yoga

What’s your boat’s theme or fight song?

Sail with a significant other? The only way to sail the high (or low) seas

Hardest or favorite part of Team Racing? Watching a quiet team execute.

How have you trained for this regatta? Practice?

Favorite Baldwin Cup Moment? It took seven years.

Who do you think is your biggest competition? Why? Everyone.

Why will your team win this year’s Baldwin Cup? Winning isn’t everything, but the will to win is everything.

Skipper Brian “The Cruise Missile” Bissell

Brian BissellWhere are you from originally and where did you sail in college? Newport Beach and Georgetown

What did you learn to sail in? Sabot

What is your usual pre-regatta ritual? Breakfast Burrito and coffee.

 

What’s your boat’s theme or fight song?

Sail with a significant other? The only way to sail the high (or low) seas

Hardest or favorite part of Team Racing? Figuring out if we are winning or losing

How have you trained for this regatta? Various team racing regattas on the circuit.

Favorite Baldwin Cup Moment? Hoisting Commodore Pinckney in the Baldwin Cup at the award ceremony last year.

Who do you think is your biggest competition? Why? Seawanhaka because Ryan Costello is pretty slippery.

Why will your team win this year’s Baldwin Cup? We’ve learned how to sail in knockout rounds.

Crew Perry “The Unknown” Emsiek

Perry EmsiekWhere are you from originally and where did you sail in college? Newport Beach, CA and College of Charleston

What did you learn to sail in? Sabot

What is your usual pre-regatta ritual? Making sure my skipper is fed so he doesn’t become hangry on the water

What’s your boat’s theme or fight song?
Depends on the mood in the boat

Sail with a significant other? The only way to sail the high (or low) seas

Hardest or favorite part of Team Racing? Doing the math for 4 v 4.

How have you trained for this regatta? Studying the combinations

Favorite Baldwin Cup Moment? To be decided

Who do you think is your biggest competition? Why? The team that figures out the Harbor 20 the quickest.

Why will your team win this year’s Baldwin Cup? I hope for the best!

Tags: , , , , , , , ,