Right wing Devin Setoguchi is scheduled for a once-in-a-lifetime experience when he flies with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels during the California International Airshow at 9 a.m. on Aug. 4 at the Salinas Municipal Airport.
“Our PR guy called me earlier this year and asked me if I would want to try and apply for it and they ended up picking me,” Setoguchi said about the opportunity to fly with the Blue Angels..
Setoguchi will be the second Sharks player to ride with the U.S. Navy Blue Angels. Teemu Selanne flew as a guest on Oct. 3, 2002, also in Salinas prior to the California International Airshow.
Although Setoguchi has never had a problem with the constant air travel during the hockey season, flying in high-speed bombers isn’t like sitting in a Boeing 737 passenger jet.
“Flying I have no problems with, but this isn’t just flying,” he said. “It’s flying at high speeds and doing weird things, too. Everyone keeps telling me I’m going to throw up or get dizzy, but hopefully that doesn’t happen to me.”
Setoguchi also believes only a certain type of hockey player is cut out for this kind of thing.
“(Center) Jeremy Roenick would be the best because he has fun doing all this stuff,” he said. “He likes to go on wild rides. And I’d probably say (defenseman) Danny Boyle would be the worst because he’s the worst flier on our team. He’s always looking out the window when we hit a little bit of turbulence so I don’t think he would be able to handle it.”
The California International Airshow will be held Aug. 7-9. Besides the Blue Angels, the show will feature the U.S. Army Golden Knights Parachute Team; Robosaurus, the 40-foot tall half dinosaur/half robot; and many other thrilling acts. The California International Airshow is a charitable organization that donates all profits from the event to local charities. The organization has raised more than $7 million since 1980.
The Blue Angels’ mission is to enhance U.S. Navy and Marine Corps recruiting efforts and to represent the military service to the people of the United States, its elected leadership and other nations. The Blue Angels serve as positive role models and ambassadors for the Navy and Marine Corps.
Even though flying with the Blue Angels wasn’t something Setoguchi had on his “Bucket List,” he’s still excited about going up.
“It kind of just popped up and it was a random thing,” Setoguchi said. “Now it’s going to be the experience of a lifetime so I’m going to try and enjoy it.”