Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Why So Negative?

The following is a response to among others Bemused & Confused in Tennessee (see below)

The Question
Some of the supporters of Reid ask us why we do not take a more attitude towards the journey of Reid and Soanya. Why do we not emphasize the beauty out there?

My Answer
You are right, we should admit that it is beautiful out there! One of the reasons why many of us sail is because it is beautiful out there! I mean, you work all day, feel crappy, you step on your boat and go out for an hour and you feel good again.
Well, anyone on Sailing Anarchy who has sailed quite a bit (and most of us have) also know that on somedays it is still beautiful out there, but not so safe. Nature is beautiful, but certainly needs to be respected. On some days you just have to say: my boat and/or myself are not made for these conditions. Most of our boats are in pretty good shape, probably in much better shape than Reid's boat. Still, on some days we just have to obey mother nature and stay in the harbor. At this point I am not necessarily talking about the ocean. When we talk about the ocean, we even get to a whole different level. Multimilllion dollar projetcs have gotten into serious problems. Professional, sponsored ocean racers have died. Pieces of rigging made out of high tech materials and thought to be indestructable, have been destroyed. in short, the ocean deserves some serious respect!
The Anne is in comparison to these ocean racers a piece of junk (I am sorry for the negativity, but that is the truth). The project is perhaps to some extend impressive as many people would have given up a long time ago, but the construction method of among others the hull is not very reliable and has many flaws. The bowsprit failure is just an example. Sooner or later a more serious failure will occur (a mast might fall over, a serious leak might occur, etc.). When they will encounter a real storm they are going to be in some real trouble. They might survive it, if they are very lucky. Since they are not making more than 2 to 4 knots, they could not escape a storm if it showed up on the weather map. It is not a question of if, but rather a question of when they will encounter a storm.
So, in summary, we are negative about this project because we know sailboats and we can recognize that this is an ill-prepared project that is encouraged by a blind idealism. To go out into the ocean in a boat like this is suicide. Beauty yes, but this will end ugly.


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