Saturday, February 25, 2006

How The Other Half Lives

If you've been here before you know my idea of a good day on the water is some Laser frostbiting in 15-20 knots of breeze followed by beer and pizza.

Some racing sailors live in a different world.

Over at the Scuttlebutt Blog, some guy called Jim Madden is writing about a so-called race from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta
in his new J/65. After rounding up the local catholic priest for a boat "christening" (does an unchristened boat have original sin?), Mr. Madden then watches as his suitably glamorous (blonde of course) wife fails to break the champagne bottle on her first try but gets it on her second try "with only minor gelcoat repair needed". Mr. Madden's response to this incident is not recorded.

Jimmy and his buddies then set sail for Mexico on their floating palace complete with media room, a chef and a modest 28 bottles in the wine cellar. It gets really hairy in the early going when they have the major psychological trauma of having to reset an electrical breaker and then have to make a strategic decision whether or not to motor, which is apparently allowed in this rich man's form of "racing". After sushi and sashimi and pecan pie (accompanied by a fine Syrah of course) things really go to pieces when the crew can't agree on who should push the buttons to trim the kite.

Ye gods. Is this man for real? Or is this some made-up fantasy by some frustrated Canadian Laser sailor trapped in the ice-bound north for several more months?

And if he's for real, who is this Madden guy anyway? Is he the same Jim Madden who founded Exult, Inc. which according to this site "offers tailored solutions to a diverse client base by leveraging its customisable and scalable Multi-Process Outsourcing(SM) operational platform, which includes Multi-Client, Multi-Center, Multi-Channel, Multi-Shift and Multi-Shore capabilities"?

Geeze, if he talks like that on the boat he is welcome to the other 27 bottles of wine.



Anonymous said...

I don't know if I'd call him a sailor. There are sailors and then there are sailboat owners, who aren't necessarily sailors.

I personally prefer smaller boats than that, but that's just me. If someone offered me a J/65, I'd take it, and turn around and sell it. :D

Carol Anne said...

There are ways to sail, enjoying the finer things in life but without making a travesty of the term "sailing."

Anything that involves major consumption of electric power is just plain dead wrong on a sailboat. You can have a 12-volt system running some electronic navigation or communication equipment, and that's OK. But a wine cellar? Give me a break!

You got red wine, you can keep it in a wine rack (every civilized boat should have one) in the cabin. You got white wine you want to chill, most places the water you're sailing in is cool enough, you hang the bottle in a mesh bag off the transom to chill it.

And for heaven's sake, if the people who are helping to operate the boat are "employees," you're not a real sailor. If you're paying them, they're "crew" -- and if you're not paying them, in addition to being "crew," they're "friends."

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