Mark grew up on the water at the South Shore Yacht Club in Milwaukee, WI. Mark has been the crew on winning teams for the 1997 & 2011 North American Championship, the 2005 Bacardi Cup, the 2006 & 2009 Kiel Week, and the 2006 European Championship. Mark has been part of three America’s Cup campaigns and won the 2008 World Championship in the 5.5 Metre Class. Mark has apperared in every edition of the SSL Finals and will be competing with Pavlos Kontides at the SSL Finals in Nassau, this December.
SSL: If you weren’t a sportsperson, what would you be?
MS: Most likely in the business world. I studied Business at Northern Michigan University and also received an MBA from the University of Miami.
SSL: What is the greatest sacrifice you have had to make in order to achieve success?
MS: That would have to be my body, I sacrifice it every time I go sailing.
SSL: What animal fascinates you and why?
MS: Killer Whales. They are formidable problem solvers as well as one of the most powerful and dominant animals in the ocean.
SSL: What kind of a person makes you angry?
MS: People in general don’t make me angry, I try not to let any one bother me. But if I had to pick one, it would be bad drivers.
SSL: What kind of person makes you happy?
MS: Girls who smile a lot 🙂
SSL: What was is your favourite memory from another sport?
MS: In College I played Football. In my senior year I was the Team’s Most Valuable Player. I played Quarter Back, Tight End, Holder, Snapper and other specialist team positions over my four eligible years.
SSL: What film inspires you?
MS: I found the Rocky movies very inspirational. They came out during a time in my life where I was very impressionable.
SSL: Is there any specific method/memory or technique you use when competing to help motivate yourself to work harder/perform better?
MS: When I am sailing I just concentrate on the other boats, our speed, our manoeuvres and if we are not leading trying to pass other boats.
SSL: If you could invite people through history for dinner, who would you choose?
MS: Top 5 – Albert Einstein, Vince Lombardi, Yogi Berra, Andrew Simpson, Colonel Saunders.
SSL: How many Golds/World Championships is ‘enough’.
MS: There is never enough. I have one but have been waiting for another since 2008.
SSL: A child asks you if Santa Claus is real, what do you say?
MS: Of course Santa is real. Who do you think puts all those gifts under the tree? Or who eats the cookies and drinks the milk the night before Christmas?
SSL: If you could have a super hero special power what would it be?
MS: To be able to fly.
All SSL events use a qualifying competition followed by a knock-out system. Teams take part in the qualifying rounds, which is a series of races over three days. The top 11 teams progress to the knock-out stage, which has four stages. In one-off races teams are eliminated, until just four teams remain to contest the final. The winner takes home a big slice of the $200,000 Prize Purse.
Watch all the action live from the Star Sailors League Final. With expert commentary from special studio guests. On the water, the latest in hi-tech camera technology, as well as Virtual Eye 3D Graphics, will provide thrilling viewing. Armchair sailors can also join the race with Virtual Regatta.