A counterpoint to “Media Matters” from Friday. Comment here.
"The first question I have when I read ‘Media Matters’ is “Who does Media Matter to?”
I’m the organizer of the Got Wind and Water group. Media matters to me – if it will make what I’m trying to do with the group easier. I had to take a long hard look at this topic as I organized our effort to participate in the Sarcoma Cup last weekend. One of the many goals I have with the group is to make it easier for people (like me) who want to sail.
It is a simple goal. As I conceived of the idea that GOTWAW could enter the Sarcoma Cup, a lot of ideas popped into my head. As I struggled with making it a reality, I began to realize that I was straying away from the purpose. Some of these ideas involved promotion, sponsorship. Those two ideas aligned with media, and in hindsight, the Viper capsize incident and the 505 Worlds carnage reports were all over the media.
Our accomplishment; taking a dozen people, the majority of whom had never raced before, half of whom had sailed for less than a year, chartering a J120 and competing with it, placing in both days – we tied for second in PHRF B on Saturday, and captured a 4th place (behind Shadow and a couple of Express 27s that made a brilliant tactical flyer – but trophies were awarded out to 4th place – so we placed) on Sunday.
Would media have helped? What was our goal anyway? Our MAIN goal was to have FUN, FUN, FUN. We accomplished that. Would it have been fun to have our group plastered all over the media. Yeah, but that would have only added a fourth FUN to the line up.
The first FUN was sailing together. The second FUN was to sail well (25 knots on both days? – no wipeouts? yippie!). The third FUN was to place. I got mentioned in the race results in NorCal’s report, but they didn’t know the story behind www.gotwaw.com, so they didn’t pick up on that.
A secondary goal was to do it easily. Would media have made it easier? I’m still wrestling with that. Was it easy? It was a lot easier than buying a boat and preparing it for any race. Did we find the right people? Was that easy? Oh Yes! on both counts.
GOTWAW is a growing group. Since April, we’ve had 64 events, 288 sailors have joined up. 77+ sailors have sailed 289+ times. With no media, just the internet – just being there online in public. Would media coverage and sponsorship help grow the group? I thought so, and I still think so, but it would take the kind of work that you are talking about in Media Matters.
And honestly, I’d rather just go sailing.
John Cabrall, Organizer