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TORRANCE, Calif. – Credit unions will go to any length – even ride the high seas – to raise money for charity. Honda Federal Credit Union President/CEO Jim Updike led a crew of six credit union people in an offshore 140-mile sailboat race from Newport Beach, California to Ensenada, Mexico, to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. Although the race is not for the Children’s Miracle Network specifically, Updike said that’s the cause he is using this year to “brave death and defy the seas.” “What started as a spur-of-the-moment idea has really exploded. I thought we could raise maybe $500 to $1,000,” said Updike. “But what blew me away is that we managed to raise over $11,000 for CMN.” Updike and his crew, which included Bill Enslin of Creditor’s Insurance Services; Chris Gunnare, Matt Flynn, Brian Scott and Mike Pietig from The Members Group, a debit card processor for CUs owned by the Iowa Corporate and Iowa Credit Union League; set sail in what looked like it would be a wet and slow race. By the time they were out to the start lines the sky began to clear and the CU team started in very light wind. According to Updike, after about a mile or so, the wind speed began to pick up and the sailing was fantastic. “The crew did a super job, and I’m convinced we would have been in the running for a trophy if only I hadn’t made a technical blunder,” said Updike, who has participated 12 times in the race. Convinced that, as in years past, the wind inshore would shut down, the credit union crew picked a point about 45 miles offshore and sailed to that point before heading to Ensenada. Unfortunately the wind inshore didn’t shut down so the people inshore had just as much wind as Updike’s crew and they didn’t sail an extra 15 to 20 miles. Despite not winning a trophy Updike says he had a great time while setting a personal best time. “We had an outstanding time finished,” said Updike. “This is one of fastest finishes I ever had in this race.” The race has been in existence for nearly 50 years. Last year some 600 boats participated. The credit union crew raced a Hunter 37′ in PHRF class 1 with a rating of 114. In other words the crew sailed a 37′ boat with a handicap of 114 seconds per mile. This year a total of 462 boats participated with 25 boats in the PHRF 1 fleet including Dennis Connor, who took first in fleet.

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