07 July 2008

Seriously Crossing an Ocean

There are those that think that I'm not taking this ocean-crossing stuff seriously enough. They've fallen into that age old trap of taking MSNBC hyperbole at face value. To wit:
I am worried that you're not taking this race seriously enough. Don't you know that no less an authority than MSNBC said that this is "one of the most difficult sailboat races in the world", and is across the "farthest expanse of ocean between any two points of land".

See, MSNBC is in the business of selling bytes of electronic fiber optic pulses to the masses. They have to hype up this race to ensure that we read their pixels. Their ones and zeros are useless if we don't read them. So, they make it seem "dangerous" and "difficult".

But, in reality, this is the "Fun Race to Hawaii." Not like the SHTP or Trans-Pac or Vic-Maui, all of which are serious and somber races. No, the Pacific Cup is a fun race. We get to fish and we get to make up phrases like "one of the most difficult sailboat races in the world." Now that's fun. So, until they change the slogan of this race to "disastrously difficult and boring race to Hawaii", I'm going to have fun with it.

Of course, I'm still preparing for the sea monsters just in case. They are decidedly not fun.


Anonymous said...

I don't believe you. I trust MSNBC. You are just being too modest. You are a Serious Ocean-Going Racer and you are my hero.

Pat said...

Uh, when did the distance from California to Hawaii get to be greater than that between, say, the Marquesas and Easter Island? But, then, maybe MSNBC covers only the top half of the globe.

Tillerman said...

Yeah. Is that claim on MSNBC that the race is across the "farthest expanse of ocean between any two points of land" mathematically the same as saying that "the halfway point of the Pacific Cup is the furthest point from land in the world"? I can't get my mind around that question so early in the morning.

Edward debunked the latter claim in his Point Nemo post. Maybe our intrepid SOGR can address the other issue too?

EVK4 said...

I don't know. The claims made about the race are pretty funny and at some point I'll confess to who made them (not me).

I can imagine the fastnet and sydney-hobart and VOR and 3 bridge fiasco people getting a good chuckle over "one of the most difficult sailboat races in the world". Don't get me wrong, it's not easy but it is sailed mostly in tropical tradewinds. And we get to end up in Hawaii.

Still, my own PR agency would approve so who am I to argue.

Anonymous said...

In their rush to break a hot story, MSNBC has simply edited out details that today's wired world has no time for.

With a bigger news hole, they would have reported,

"This is one of the most difficult sailboat races in the world - that allows fishing."

The copy desk probably spotted the gaff, realizing that's where anyone with a pulse would stop reading. Copy editors are ruthless that way.

So take heart, the unedited version makes your task considerably less daunting. You're well prepared for the challenge. You've got the shoes, you've got the socks, you've got the Tiki mug.

You have nothing to fear but MSNBC itself.

Tillerman said...

If you Google "one of the most difficult sailboat races in the world" you find several references to the Pacific Cup. Actually I think they are all of the same article on different websites but I'm not enough into Serious Ocean-Going Racing to find out the true origin of this hoax.

However if you Google "the most difficult sailboat race in the world" you find one reference each to the Fastnet and the Vendee Globe. I wonder, do the Fastnet and the Vendee Globe allow fishing?

EVK4 said...

I believe that the Vendee and Fastnet allow fishing for anyone stupid enough to drag a drogue behind them. No Super Serious Ocean Going Racer would consider fishing during a race.

Tillerman said...

Geeze there's so much I don't know about Serious Ocean-Going Racing. If I were racing around the world I'm pretty sure I would be tempted to fish to supplement my diet of canned beef and moldy weevil-infested biscuits. Thanks for putting me straight on SOGR etiquette.

On the other hand, if a race had rules that said you had to catch everything you ate on voyage wouldn't that automatically make it "the most difficult sailboat race in the world"?

Anonymous said...

If you hooked something big and fast - like, say, a Marlin - could they get you on a rule 42 violation?

Or do Serious Ocean-Going Racers not have to worry about stuff like that? I've never heard of an Open 60 driver being called for ooching.

Pat said...

Ah -- if the copy desk spotted the gaff, that proves that the sailors on that boat intended to catch some big fish and land them with that gaff hook (assuming of course that this wasn't a gaffe, and if had been a Hollywood gaffer instead, that could really be shocking).