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New crewmembers step aboard

New crewmembers step aboard

With summer on the horizon, I thought this was a good time for you to meet some of the new crew who are helping guide our ship these days.

Our newest senior writer is Doug Campbell, who also is running the Soundings editorial office in Annapolis, Md. A sailor for 25 years, Doug owns a Westsail 32 and was a founder and first president of the Delaware River Sailing School.

He also is a skilled reporter and writer, having spent 25 years working for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where he covered everything from business stories to lengthy investigative pieces. Two such projects he worked on were nominated for Pulitzer Prizes. After leaving the paper in 2001, he wrote the non-fiction book, “The Sea’s Bitter Harvest” (Carroll & Graf Publishers, New York, 2002).

By now, I’m sure you’ve read some of Doug’s stories. Since joining us earlier this year, he has covered the tsunami disaster, the grounding of the tall ship Irving Johnson, the Laser sailor who crossed the Bass Strait, the lovely historic yacht Elf, and the strange rescue of two Russian sailors delivering a boat to New York, among others. In this issue, he writes about a 92-foot former working tug that was refitted as a yacht, as well as the stormy passage of the cruise liner Norwegian Dawn.

We are fortunate to have both Doug and the indomitable Jack Sherwood writing for us from the Mid-Atlantic. Jack, who ran our Annapolis bureau for about eight years, now is our writer at large. He will continue to send in his monthly Bay Tripper column, along with those entertaining dispatches chronicling the various waterfront characters he comes across.

Our new technical editor is Tom Neale, who with his wife, Mel, lives and works aboard their Gulfstar 53-foot motorsailer. The Neales have cruised and lived on boats full-time since 1979, home-schooling two daughters in the process. Tom is a careful, competent boatman who looks for practical — and, when possible, inexpensive — solutions to various boat problems.

Tom began writing his Sea Savvy column for us earlier this year. He typically spends summer aboard Chez Nous in the Chesapeake and points north and winter in Florida and the Bahamas. Watch for his in-depth feature on the ICW in an upcoming issue.

The newest member of our writing team is Jason Fell, who replaces senior reporter JoAnn Goddard, who recently was promoted to associate editor of our sister publication, Soundings Trade Only, the leading boating business magazine. Jason graduated from Emerson College in Boston a couple of years ago and worked for Boston Magazine and a weekly newspaper, where he covered the Bermuda Race, frostbiting and other waterfront stories.

Jason works out of our main office in Essex, Conn., along with staff writer Michael Hauenstein, who joined us nearly two years ago. Michael’s beats include new boats, new gear and engines. A 2001 graduate of Rice University in Houston, Michael worked summers as a test driver and engineering aide at Mercury Racing in Fond du Lac, Wis.

Michael is our resident powerboat racer. He has won 16 national championships and set nine national and world speed records in various runabout and hydroplane classes. A third-generation racer, Michael started running outboard hydroplanes at age 9. He swears — and his parents back him up — that the first word out of his mouth was “boat.” Twice he has been inducted into the American Power Boat Association’s Hall of Champions, the sport’s highest honor.

I want to share a story that speaks as much to Michael’s character as it does to his skill in a raceboat. Michael had a very good season last year, winning a pair of national titles. At the end of the year, he was notified that he would be asked to join the Hall of Champions for a third time. Unbeknownst to race officials and even his fellow competitors, Michael knew that he technically wasn’t eligible for the award, given that he hadn’t participated in enough races. He turned down the honor.

That’s the mark of a champion.

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