in memory of mike

in memory of mike

In a bizarre accident at Bayview Yacht Club after Saturday’s Detroit NOOD racing, an SUV suddenly jumped the edge of the parking lot and plowed into a dock where dozens of J/120 sailors and friends were sharing stories and beers as they do after every day of racing.  One sailor well-known to the Anarchist community was found drowned the next morning, while others have serious, though not life-threatening injuries, and the entire community is in a state of shock.

While the exact cause of the crash is still under investigation, one report mentions the 68-year old driver suffering a stroke, while BYC friends of SA tell us that it may have been something as simple as a water bottle lodging itself under the brake pedal of the car.  Either way, a tiny silver lining for the racing community and BYC itself is that there were absolutely no substances involved.  The driver, families, and community are going to have a hard enough time dealing with this tragedy without criminal implications.

The drowned sailor was 44 year-old Mike Badendieck, longtime crewmember of SA contributor Frank Kern aboard his J/120 Carinthia. Frank wrote the following tribute to Mike, and you can go to Frank’s blog for more pictures and comments from Mike’s friends and family.  There’s also a thread on SA about it, and you can see the events as they unfolded on the Detroit NOOD thread.  You can see video of where the car ended up right here. Our most heartfelt condolences to Mike’s family, the crew of Carinthia, the very close J/120 family on Lake St. Clair, and the Detroit sailing community. 

This past Saturday we lost a good friend in a tragic accident. Mike Badendieck was a close companion to a number of people. He had the bearing of a military man (he served a tour aboard a submarine) and showed composure under pressure. He knew how to have fun but had the seriousness to be not taken for granted. Trim and athletic he was a very accomplished sailor. He could handle any job on the boat.  Mike was a bit quiet but you would get an opinion that was always well thought out. He was passionate about his BMW. Annually he would go to performance driving school with old chum Rob Ramirez. It was washed at least 3 times a week and he was even got caught vacuuming his engine. He positively touched many lives and all will truly miss him.

-Frank Kern