Thursday, April 19, 2007

At Least There's Cake

They shoulda talked to my friend Luis. He drives a cab, he's a rower, and he knows the waterways of Valencia. Luis says, loosely translated, "The winds in April are always !#@&!.

Granting equal time to non-cabbies: Kiwi helmsman Dean Barker says, "Last year it would have been fine. We were sailing in Valencia last April, and we had a good seabreeze."

Johan Barne, navigator for Sweden's Victory Challenge, comments, "I think it's probably harder on the spectators than the sailors."

And to a question asked on behalf of The Curmudgeon, Johan says, "There's no rule that requires the crew to stay on the raceboats while we're waiting for wind, but that's how we do it. We're a team. We can't afford to stop thinking about what we're there for, and everybody wants to be ready to go in minutes if something happens."

Copyright Christ Cameron/Emirates Team New Zealand

So there we were, with a brief flurry of hope at about 1600, enough to stir the postponement flags on the RC boats but not enough to bring them down. If I were covering comparables at an international political summit, I'd be reporting now that the ministers had released a joint declaration stating that, "The talks were frank and constructive." followed by: 1) a rehash of what I wrote the day before about the issues between the parties; 2) a segue into speculation about what comes next.

1) Please refer to yesterday's blog.

2) "Eventually it's going to turn," Dean Barker said. "We hope it's tomorrow, but it's been tomorrow for the last few days."

Barker added that it's not necessarily hard to keep his game on. "With this system [moving missed races to a makeup day and remaining with the calendar sked] you have new opponents to think about every day."

I ran into Paul Cayard who commented, "I could wind up going home without ever seeing a race." He's here for Italian TV, but only through Tuesday. But Paul then went on to say that he doesn't think it's going to be that bad. "The weekend looks better."

As ever, when the news is the lack of news, we former-ink-stained-wretches of the Fourth Estate turn to covering the press. But I think for once I'm legit. Friday is the birthday of one of the legends of sailing journalism—and you can't gain that status unless you're a sailor first—Bob Fisher. The Fish. As I write this in the fading light of Thursday, I happen to know there's a cake waiting for him at a gathering tonight at the BMW Oracle Racing compound. Gary Jobson is presenting a new film (speaking of legends), but at least a few moments of the evening will belong to The Fish. When he's in the room, you know it.

Two days ago I caught this particular fish in the Media Center (Centre?) with another of the all-timers, my SAIL colleague Charles (Chip) Mason. That's Bob doing the heavy reading. When I hang my gallery show, I'm calling this one Fish & Chip—Kimball