Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Sailor of Tomorrow...

What will the AC sailor of 2009 look like? If this roller coaster of a ride we call the "America's Cup" begins to flatten out and we see bigger boats, larger crew numbers and no crew weight limit, what will the AC sailor of the future need to be like in keeping pace with their new ride? It's not just the AC, the designers are evil men who I swear have rugby on their mind and see Mother Nature as the true opponent and our sailor the last samurai to take her down with their newly wielded sword (boat).

The global climate is changing, Mother Nature's wrath has seen the postponements of many a race this season and canceled others. The sponsors and community want better media coverage and media wants exciting coverage to ensure ratings. Magazines sell when there are cool pictures and news of the struggle keep people reading. What will sailing of the future be like?

Will there be a tipping point where the sadistic designer goes too far and the sailors willing to walk the line converge with an ever temperamental force who's response is to the global changes triggered by human hands? More than likely and usually why most sailing forums have the gallery of contributors who are against the Volvo Ocean Race or Vendee Globe, maybe from the same blood lines who thought the world was flat?

Much like those who peek at Sailing Anarchy but post the Scuttlebutt burgee, it's very exciting to see what the next crazy design will be, how it will challenge the sailor and will it stand up to the test of nature. In most cases such "peeking" is from the warmth and comfort of home or office , living vicariously through the on-board cameras and virtual spectator. In all seriousness, some of us would not be so hooked if not for the Mad Hatter of a designer, over the top sailor and captivating awe of taking on natural forces no human can control. Much to the same curiosity of the less than polished scoop of SA.

So it's my creative eye which pictures a sailor of tomorrow half resembling a rugby player with a hint of ballerina as they dance across their beast of a boat while taking on an Ahab, salty dog personality with each crashing wave.

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