Mike Rouzee, Captain Fleet 49–Savannah, GA
A Firm, Yare Hand at The Helm
by Fred Brehob
In establishing a sailing program for a mature, sophisticated group you pay attention to values. Mike Rouzee, founder – captain of our latest fleet, #49, at Skidaway Island, near Savannah, Georgia, is ideal for such a task. He devoted his career on Wall Street to defining and optimizing values as Partner and Managing Partner of an Investment Management and Merchant Banking business. As a plus, his sailing experience encompasses over 50 years in one designs, ocean racers and board boats.
Small wonder then that after considering a number of other boats, he picked the Rhodes 19. The fleet is sited at The Landings, a private development community on a barrier island located on the Atlantic coastal area least likely to be hit by a tropical storm. They have seven boats that are used frequently by three person crews and they hope to send at least two to the Nationals and to eventually host the event
Mike began sailing in Lima Peru in 1946 where his dad was US Naval Attaché. When the family returned to the US in 1947, he began progressing through Blue Jays, Thistles and Lightnings. During college, Dartmouth ’62, and while subsequently serving with the Marine Corps and establishing himself in business, he reduced sailing to informal catch as catch can outings on sunfish and lasers.
During these years, his challenge and excitement quotas were filled gaining a sound education, serving the Corps at Guantanamo during the Cuban Missile Crisis and charting the intricate course patterns of financial currents.
Fortunately, he had the luck and good taste to encounter and marry in 1963 another sailor, Debbie, who grew up on Long Island in Blue Jays at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club. Sometime after establishing his career and starting a two daughter family with her, Mike reanswered the wind’s call. This second visitation was conducted in somewhat larger craft and featured a gratifying measure of success.
He achieved first in class with a second and a third in Marion-Bermuda races and a first in the 1999 Charlestown-Bermuda Race. In addition, Mike has crossed the Atlantic twice, sailed from New England to the British Virgin Islands four times and to the Bahamas twice. His northern most accomplishment is Newfoundland with Guadeloupe for the southern. He is celestially certified and while he still loves sailing, he also enjoys skiing and golf. He has served on the board of several companies and has managed finances for charities, churches and a congresswoman.
In 1998, with daughters well established, a successful, satisfying career history, grandsons and a number of time-demanding outside interests, he retired to enjoy the fruits. This decision was chronicled in the April 13 Barron’sof that year where he likened his investment state in the Market’s volatile late ‘90s to that of a bowman on a Sydney-Hobart racer in 30 knots with flare gun at the ready for an instantaneous incendiary spinnaker douse. In a real sense, his decision was sound as his company was headquartered at tower one of the World Trade Center.
The fleet is pleased with the Rhodes’ value and performance. Immediate goals are attracting more participants and locating three more boats to justify a crane installation.