Facebook Sailing

March 6, 2013 § 1 Comment

Seen first in the March 2013 issue of Spinsheet Magazine.

Facebook Sailing

“Thunk… kerplunk.” The sound of a cell phone dropping from a pocket, bouncing on a deck, splashing and sinking into the dark water.

“Awwww #^%$#%.” The sound of the owner of said cell phone. Thinking about lost calls, forgotten numbers, missed texts, and worst of all, the 7 or 8 hours of upcoming frustration sorting out the terms of the next contract with a hungover store clerk or someone in a distant call center.

“Splash, gasp, laugh and holler!” The sounds, a short few hours later, of said cell phone owner, lost phone forgotten for the time being, entering the water to cool off between sailing races.

Have you experienced such a day of loss and recovery? Or witnessed it? It’s a common modern weekend sailing story. Day-to-day disappointment and stress turned to joy in the course of a few sunny hours spent sailing.

The contrast is striking; a lost phone conjures dark feelings, and a summer sail and swim erases them completely. I think it’s evidence of an important sailing storyline.

Let’s explore why it happens.

We’ve been told that the cell phone connects us to something, and while it may seem counter-intuitive, it might also be said that the cell phone is disconnection in the extreme. While we anticipate human contact through it, the contact is, in reality, more absent then present, more fleeting and frustrating than fulfilling. Why do we stare at our phones anticipating tweets in buses or in line at the grocery cashier? Often, I find, I’m tethered to the screen, awaiting seven or eight inconsequential, usually misspelled words. I reply with something equally cryptic (and undoubtedly more flawed grammatically) and then step off the bus or shuffle forward in line. Imagine a future with no eye contact, no complete sentences, where no person can sense a change in the direction of the wind, or where nobody has an outdoor adventure to remember together.

Sailing, on the other hand, is both materially untethered and socially connected at the same time; freeing and encompassing in both large and small bursts.

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In yer face, Rolex

January 9, 2013 § 1 Comment

In yer face, Rolex

Seen first on SailingAnarchy.com.

Energy drink marketers are way smarter than I. After all, in the last 10 years they’ve invented new and novel ways to get folks to pay $7 billion more for caffeine. It’s the equivalent of repositioning the hot-dog as la cuisine gastronomique. Genius.

But this time, I think they’re really on to something. They might even Save Sailing!

Look around. Sailing is changing. It’s getting faster and way more fun for the pros. So the pros need helmets. And helmets need logos. Any savvy marketer will tell you those logos should reflect the target audience’s grandest aspirations. For example, everyone knows that NFL fans prefer tasteless beer and pizza.

What an honor it is for sailors to have caught the attention of said brilliant energy drink marketers, even in our advanced age. We’re no longer lowly connoisseurs of platinum timepieces and French champagne. No, thankfully, we sailors have just been promoted to the gas station drink cooler.

It’s a new day for sailing. Shed the pretension. Blue blood be damned. Let’s get real about our awesome sport. It’s extreme. It’s in yer face. It’s for guys with huge trucks.

Popeye, meet Viagra.

—–

Update (01/16/2013): Here is what the Anarchists had to say. My favorite comment:

Skoal Bandit KWRW ?

Filing a protest

June 9, 2012 § 2 Comments

Filing a protest

First published on SailingAnarchy.com, June 2012.

Never accept a meeting request when the executive’s assistant starts with “he would like to tell you his ideas.” I did it this time and got burned.

These are the ideas of the head of AC-34’s Event Authority, in a nutshell:

  1. The financiers are tiring of the spend.
  2. Professional sailors can’t make a living.
  3. There aren’t enough amateur sailors supporting this pyramid.

So this AC will invent new TV heroes to attract fans to fund year-round professional sailors, take the financiers off of the hook, and transfer the costs to an unwitting couch-bound audience duped into an overpriced hat and a junkmailbox crammed with offers from sponsors. “We’re building a new pyramid.”

Oh, and sailors should sit quiet and be pleased, “’cause you get the trickle down.”

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