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Karma Yacht Sales celebrates their ten year anniversary

Karma Yacht Sales
October 2, 2012
Filed under News

(CHICAGO, IL) –Karma Yacht Sales, LLC- your Lake Michigan Sailboat dealer specializing in Beneteau is pleased to announce the celebration of their tenth year of doing business.   On September 30, 2002 Jack Buoscio and Lou Sandoval officially completed the purchase of Darfin Yachts LTD. and transitioned the 25 year old dealership into Karma Yacht Sales.

“A lot has changed since our first location at 1945 S. Halsted Street”  said Jack Buoscio, co-owner and founder.  “We have grown our business organically to reflect the changing needs of the local sailing community”.    Darfin Yachts had primarily been a dealer for Beneteau’s Cruising line of boats.  With the introduction of the Farr Yacht Design’s First Series boats in 1999, Darfin helped seed the First 40.7 fleet in Chicago with the first six boats.  Jack and Lou built upon the success of the First 40.7 fleet, and in 2002 KYS began to build the largest one-design class Beneteau has ever seen in North America with the dual-purpose First 36.7.  The racer/cruiser was a great catalyst for KYS growth as well, as Karma Yacht Sales became the largest FIRST dealer in North America, selling over 38 hulls of the boat on Lake Michigan and establishing the largest and most active fleet of 36.7’s in North America.   Both fleets continue to be active in Chicago’s sailboat racing scene.

“It is really interesting, but many sailors think that race boats were our mainstay during that time” said Lou Sandoval, co-owner and founder.  “While the race boats were popular, the cruising boats have been our mainstay.  The build quality, innovation and value that Beneteau offers are some of the reasons why one out of every three boats sold in Lake Michigan is a Beneteau.   For every racing sailboat sold, there are three to four cruising boats that help people ignite their passion for the water”.

Karma’s main office is at 3635 S. Halsted in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago, with a second sales office at Crowley’s Yacht Yard near the lakefront.    A celebration is planned later in the year at Chicago Yacht Club to commemorate their ten years of doing business.

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China boats sail amid talks fears

A Chinese marine surveillance ship cruising near the disputed islands in the East China Sea, 2 October 2012Chinese ships have been spotted near disputed islands for two days

Chinese ships have sailed near islands disputed with Japan for a second day in a row, amid unconfirmed reports that Chinese banks have pulled out of meetings in Tokyo.

Three ships were seen in the East China Sea area, Japan’s coast guard says.

Meanwhile, a media report said that Chinese officials from major banks would not attend annual meetings with the World Bank and IMF next week.

A Japanese finance official said it was “disappointing” if this were the case.

Both China and Japan claim the islands, called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China. Taiwan also claims the islands.

Earlier this month, the Japanese government bought the islands from their private Japanese owner, reigniting a territorial row that has rumbled for years.

Chinese and Taiwanese fishing boats and surveillance ships have also been sailing in and out of what Japan says are its territorial waters – leading to warnings from Tokyo.

Four Chinese ships were also spotted near the disputed islands on Tuesday, reports the Kyodo news agency.

Foreign Minister Koichiro Gemba was quoted by Kyodo as saying that Japan was open to continuing talks with China to ease tensions.

“We must handle it calmly without losing sight of the broad perspectives,” he said during an event at the ministry.


Meanwhile the Dow Jones Newswire has reported on Tuesday that several Chinese bank officials are planning to pull out of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Tokyo.

“Quite frankly, it’s Japan-China relations,” the Wall Street Journal newspaper quoted an official at the Tokyo branch of the Agricultural Bank of China as saying about the reason behind the pull out.

“It’s really disappointing. I was really sorry to hear that,” Japan’s Finance Vice-Minister Takehiko Nako said, adding that Japan had not received any news of cancellations by Chinese government officials.

“There has been trust and good cooperative relations… and my strong belief is that we should continue to do this,” he said.

Last week, Japan and China traded barbs at the United Nations over the islands, with China accusing Japan of stealing them and Japan reiterating its territorial claim.

The row has also seen a ceremony meant to mark Sino-Japanese ties cancelled and a number of Japanese businesses briefly halt production in some Chinese cities because of protests.

It comes at a time when both countries are facing political changes domestically, making it difficult for either side to be seen as backing down.


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Penn club sailing team hosts weekend regatta

Even by the impossibly chill standards of boat lovers, the Philadelphia Fleet Race was an easygoing event.

“It’s not like the pinnacle of our season,” said Penn club sailing team captain Mike Russom, who took me out on an old motorboat — dinky but functional — to watch the races.

“This regatta really doesn’t matter,” he said.

Leaving from the Corinthian Yacht Club and within clear view of a Boeing factory and a bridge, I watched six colleges — Ocean County, Drexel, Villanova, Penn State, Penn and Delaware — compete in several races on the cloudy, breezy day. Penn, which finished fifth, used the race to develop its up-and-coming junior varsity skippers.

“A lot of us haven’t been sailing for very long,” JV skipper Matthias Chia explained. “We’re trying to get used to sailing in a two-person boat. … Considering experience, I think we did a pretty good job.”

Chia, a Singapore native, raced one-person Lasers as a junior and senior in high school. He is used to urban sailing, and the industrial setting didn’t faze him.

“Actually, there’s more [factories] in Singapore,” he said.

Jose-Maria Barrero, who skippered for the first time at the regatta, also found that he needed to adjust to the two-person, two-sail Flying Junior.

“You really have to coordinate between skipper and crew,” he said. “That’s the main difference.”

Barrero is from Colombia and grew up racing small Optimist boats. Like many who have found their way into a regatta, he has garnered great adoration for the sport.

“There’s a fairly sizable sailing community down in Colombia,” Barrero said. “It’s something I’ve always loved doing.”

On the boat, Russom and teammate Calvert Holt briefed me on the ins and outs of the event. In some regattas, like the dozen or so I attended at a Chesapeake Bay summer camp growing up, teams bring their own boats. Everyone races the same type but, like NASCAR, upkeep is part of the competition.

College racing opts for “one design.” The host team — Penn in this case — provides the sailboats, and everyone uses each one once. Teams docked every two races in order to switch boats and sailors. We chatted and watched casually as Barrero and Chia — who raced at different times — skippered four separate races.

“That kid from [Ocean County College] has decent roll tacks,” Villanova coach Matt Newborn said. He was sitting on Penn’s other motorboat with Jack Kerr, the Quakers’ coach who, it should be noted, comes off exactly like a sailboat racer should — affable, self-assured and scruffy.

“He was an A-skipper for Old Dominion University,” Russom said. “He’s actually an analyst for Merrill Lynch.”

Sailboat racing is an extraordinarily strategic sport, often as mental as it is physical, and it requires racers to adjust to weather conditions. Saturday, the wind was fair and the current was ripping. In the downwind leg, where racers usually can move from buoys on a single point of sail, some racers chose to “tack” — or turn against the wind — several times. This trade-off allowed the boats to avoid the current but forced them on a longer route and in a direction in which the sails filled with less wind.

“[Some of the sailors] just started tacking away because they realized the current was too strong there,” Chia said.

Chia finished in fifth place a few times during the early races but in his last five, he finished second three times.

“We needed some time to get into our groove,” he said. “We got a lot better after we got used to the winds and the currents.”

The most exciting race took place as boats from Drexel, OCC and Penn State tacked towards the upwind marker. When the time came to tack around it, Drexel and OCC led by several boat lengths. The Nittany Lions chose a riskier route, sailed in diagonals around the current and fought their way back into the race. But the Drexel boat continued to sail a technically proficient race and overcame both crews with its efficiency.

By midday, it was time for me to leave, which was good news because my Pavlovian senses were kicking in, and I was fixing for the traditional post-regatta Chesapeake meal of crabs and burgers. (Unfortunately, I settled for a steak and egg with salt, pepper and ketchup.)

Penn sailing chose a more traditional Philadelphia route. One Red and Blue sailor grabbed some Wawa for the squad, and they raced through lunch.

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