Thursday, December 13, 2007

Ernesto or Reid? Who Would You Rather Be?

Who would you rather be, Ernesto Bertarelli or Reid Stowe?

In case you've been living under a stone for the past few months and don't know who the hell I'm talking about, Ernesto is the head of the Alinghi syndicate that won the America's Cup in 2003 and 2007;
Reid is the guy who is attempting to spend 1000 days at sea under sail.

Aside from being sailors these two guys have something else in common: they have both been the subject of a massive wave of criticism and abuse, especially on the Internet, over the past few months. So in some ways I'm asking you to choose between two bad options; that's why it's an interesting question. Who would you rather be, Ernesto or Reid?

Ernesto has been under attack for the way in which he has handled the preparations for his eventual defense of the America's Cup. A fake challenge from a virtual club, a lawsuit which he lost, stalled negotiations, self-serving press releases, more threatened suits from aggrieved challengers... you can read all about it at Rule 69 Blog.

Reid is being reviled for almost every sin under the sun from drug-running to fraud,
on a parody blog 1000 Days of Hell and in a long-running thread on Sailing Anarchy entitled Couple Cruise for 1000 Days, This is totally fucking ridiculous.

So which would you rather be?

On the surface it is an easy answer. Ernesto is younger (42 to Reid's 55), fabulously wealthy ($8.8 billion according to Forbes), has all the expensive toys that any sailor could desire.... and, oh yes, he just won the America's Cup, twice. Surely our friend Ernesto is living every sailor's dream?

But wait. Think about it. How is Ernesto spending his time these days? My guess is that he is embroiled in endless boring meetings with lawyers, PR guys and other suits, trying to find a way out of the hole he has dug for himself with respect to the next America's Cup match. That can't be much fun.

At least Reid is out on the open ocean with the wind in his hair, sailing a boat he built himself, dealing with whatever the sea and weather gods serve up, riding along with the porpoises and the albatrosses. Right now he is somewhere in the southern Atlantic along with his crew, a woman less than half his age variously described by his supporters and (some of) his detractors respectively as his "girlfriend" or his "sex slave". Man, that's better then every sailor's dream. Isn't that every old fart's fantasy?

(Just in case my wife's reading, I don't mean my fantasy, of course not dear.)

So who would you rather be? Ernesto Bertarelli or Reid Stowe? And why?


Anonymous said...

I would want to be Reid hes sailing and he gets free sex cant beat that. Thats everything a sailor could want

EVK4 said...

I'd go for Reid. He's got the haircut, the groupies and a bitchin' boat made out of bondo. Ernesto wakes up every morning having to think about Larry Ellison. Eek.

On another note, that SA thread started out as absurd and has devolved into pure dysfunction. I'd ditch the link, it can burn your eyes.

Litoralis said...

Reid is stuck in the middle of the ocean in an old boat with a girl who is probably getting more and more annoying as the months go by. Ernesto is a billionaire who could do exactly what Reid is doing any time he desires (except with a huge luxury yacht and a crew of supermodels instead of a leaky schooner and one inexperienced girl).
Easy choice, Ernesto all the way. Plus, I think I would enjoy messing with Larry Ellison.

EVK4 said...

Yet, because Larry Ellison is messing with him, he does not get to go out and drift in his luxury yacht in a heart-shaped path. Advantage Reid.

Pat said...

Ernesto, because I could challenge Larry and other fat cats to dramatically change the course of the AC and work to give sailing stronger grass-roots appeal.

Anonymous said...

I would rather be a simple Laser sailor. Just out there all by myself on my 'practice' lake. Today it was about 45F and 5-10 mph with a few (15 mph) puffs to get into some planing. With the sun shining, can't be beat.

Can't be jealous of either Ernesto or Reid.

Fred said...

A couple of days absent from the net due to family affairs (my mom cannot lookup for the ice anymore) I am wondering again what you are able to produce. TM, it is ridiculous but I seem to be as fascinated to read all this crap about the cheese scow and the AM cup "mis-developments" as many others here are doing. Must be the time out" for sailors, who cannot go to Sydney, to have to cope with. Keep these absurd questions coming.

bonnie said...

Would really prefer to be me than either of them.

However, it does seem like it might be better to be the guy who can pretty much ignore the naysayers because his goal really isn't dependent upon their opinion.

That would be Reid. He & Soanya are out there, they are sailing, they've had some setbacks but nevertheless are almost a quarter of the way there. I don't know if they're going to pull off the whole thing, but for all the energy that's been put into tearing him down, in the end, I don't think that being liked or disliked on a certain thread on a sailing forum really carries any weight in the eventual success or failure of the 1000 Days at Sea effort. That all comes down to can the two of them continue to cooperate & enjoy what they are doing, will they have enough food, can they keep everything working...none of that's a given, but the way they've worked things out, they are unlikely to get their dream squelched in some courtroom.

'Course then again, if you get your dream squelched in a courtroom, you generally get to walk away from it & figure out something else to do with your life. 'Specially if you're filthy rich.

Tough call.

Anonymous said...

Personally, three years on the same 70' feet of Schooner might just drive me nuts, with or without anyone to keep me company.

I'd volunteer to go to Mars though - especially with Schwartzenegger as my copilot. I'm waiting for them to develop a good through the wormholes faster than light hyper-drive. I doubt we'll be colonizing other planets before then anyhow. Three years without setting foot on land or at a palm tree laden Tiki bar surrounded by bikinied babes and blue lagoon? Why would I want to subject myself to such suffering?

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