Monday, May 23, 2005

Hungry Like a Wolf

As the 2005 Transatlantic Challenge begins and we follow the competitors and their daily progress (here and here) it’s a good time to consider the offshore racer, a special breed of sailor injured to the hardships and discomfort of pushing aggressively across the water 24/7 with no regard to personal safety in the high hopes of ultimate victory. In this vein read about 46-year old Duran Duran rocker Simon Le Bon and his next adventure (besides taking his aging act on the road). Simon nearly died in the 1985 Fastnet aboard Drum when her keel came off, a story in and of itself that is partially recounted in the article. Simon is going to take his life in hand once again and enter Drum in the next Fastnet race scheduled to begin August 7. It’s hard to say that I was a “fan” back in the 80’s and I’m certainly not now but you have to give this guy points on chutzpah. Name another popstar who’d willingly put themselves in this environment again after nearly being killed. He admits to a serious case of the shakes after the Drum disaster…"I had lost my nerve. I found it hard to sleep on the boat. I had my feet crushed up against the end of the bunk…” But now he’s back on the horse, slapping on face cream, eating sensibly, confining his post-show excess to a “glass of wine and a bite to eat” and in a 608 mile offshore race. And by the way, he has the balls to compare Duran Duran to the Rolling Stones. An offshore racer is, in part, someone possessesed of enough hubris that they see a low pressure wave on the weather fax as opportunity. Tighten those keel bolts Simon!

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