uncharted desert island

uncharted desert island

We’ve been pretty hard on the folks running the Louis Vuitton Trophy in La Maddalena, Sardinia, and for good reason; the coverage of what is meant to be one of the premier events in yachting has been dismal. We know that few racing fans can muster up any excitement for the dinosaur IACC beasts, while the usual mainstream and yachting press hangers-on have mostly skipped this out-of-the-way event held on an island with nearly no reliable internet; if they can’t work, they can’t come. The live coverage itself certainly doesn’t do the Louis Vuitton name proud, with nothing but the Virtual Eye video game and a muffled Kiwi on a cell phone making up the bulk of it. Today’s video feed went down during the crucial Artemis vs ETNZ matchup – apparently, their batteries went dead. Even sailing crazy Italy is off the radar – one Italian journalist at the event told me today that "there are more top sailors racing this month in Italy than perhaps ever before, and no one even knows about it!"

While we have no problems bashing poor performance (<cough> BMW/Oracle <cough>), we’re bummed to see it from a good friend and big fan of Sailing Anarchy, Vincenzo Onorato. What we see as a failure is his baby, held at the Club that he’s so proud of. And from a guy who has spent millions of Euros and years bringing sailing to the disadvantaged and to kids all over Italy, it’s been something of a surprise to see such an important regatta held in such a remote place, with so little access to the outside world. And we want to know why.

So at 8 AM, I leave for the airport to face 26 hours of travel; three flights, a rental car ride, and a ferry trip later, I’ll be on the ground in Sardinia talking to some of the biggest dogs in the game today for three full days – I might even get to go out on the water for a race or two. I know what I’m curious about, but what do you want to know? Assuming BMW/Oracle are still hanging around after being eliminated today, we might be able to grab Spittie and JK and Coutts, and we have good access to Brady and Larson and the Mascalzone boys, but who else should we track down to pepper with Anarchist questions?

Stingray gave me one from the Louis Vuitton Trophy thread, which you can read to get up to speed if you are so inclined.

"I’d like to get a sense of just which teams have ‘bosses’ that are contributing feedback on the Design Rule and Protocol ideas [for AC 32 -ed]. Because if they do have guys involved at that level then it could suggest an early likelihood or interest in an AC campaign. The Artemis situation is especially interesting to me, particularly Hutch’s ideas on it, assuming he and other sailors know what is being discussed in those circles or are willing to speculate on it."

Anyone else? The best question wins whatever cool shirt I can grab from our Italian friends. Put ’em here.