The Harbor Report: Superstitions are serious business

October 04, 2012|By Len Bose

Over the last couple of weeks you might have noticed I am a superstitious person when it comes to my routine before and while I am boating.

It starts when dressing. Which shirt, pants and hat have the right mojo for the event I am attending that day? I need the right song in the car as I leave my driveway and change my watch. This year my song has been the theme from "The Good, The Bad and The Ugly." Once on the boat, I take off my sandals and place them in the back of the boat.

I can't tell you any more about my routine without giving away my secret mojo.

I called some sailing and fishing champions who are well recognized throughout our harbor. Everyone I talked to agreed that bananas are not allowed on fishing vessels or racing sailboats.


When I asked Chris Raab if he was superstitious and what his routine was, he walked the other way.

His wife, whose name I didn't catch, laughed and said, "Oh, yeah, he has quite the routine."

Chris never did return my calls the following day.

I spoke with Bill Menninger during last weekend's H20 Fleet Championship, which he and his wife, Diane, won, making it their fourth. Bill said that he tries not to put much thought into his superstitions, but did say he prefers to wear dark shirts to present a more competitive attitude.

Mark Gaudio also was a little reluctant in revealing his routine.

"I start by picking socks for the day," he said over the phone. "If I won an event, I will place the date and the event name on the inside of the sock and will only wear them the following year for that event. I have big boat socks, dinghy socks, I am not sure where a Harbor 20 fits in, is it a big boat or a dinghy? So I don't wear any shoes when sailing Harbor 20s."

Mark also had a pair of blue sailing shorts that he would only wear on Sundays if he needed them. He will never attend the skippers meeting, he always sends his crew, and if he is leading after the first day, he will wear the same exact clothes for the rest of the event.

Dave Ullman said his superstitions are a form of comfort.

"Once the race starts, all my superstitions are disregarded and I will focus on sailing logically," he said.

But before a race, Dave said he is very careful about his routine, including never stepping on cracks while walking to the event and never wearing the shirt from the regatta he is racing in. He will wear lucky hats and shirts, and if he is winning, like Mark, he always wears the same clothes from the day before.

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