PHOTOGRAPH BY SHELIA LAVERY
Must have been that some of the worlds greatest sailors listened to Vince Guaraldi’s hit song, Cast Your Fate to the Wind. I’m no expert. What do I know? I’m looking at the same thing everyone else is looking at. I see a mark on the water and imagine how I might get to that mark before the next guy. Evidently the worlds greatest sailors neglected to ask me how I’d do it. My first bit of advice. Do what Spithill does. If that doesn’t work take up golf and go after Tiger.
Skipper James Spithill sailing Oracle bested opposing skipper Yann Guichard of Team Energy of France this last Saturday. Spithill is a piece of work. Ellison I am sure figured after having Spithill cause so much trouble it might be best to hire the Australian rather than be run over by him.
Yann Guichard Energy TeamFrancelooks on paper, on water, and in photographs to be a worthy adversary to the ever voracious Spithill. In a race for romance I’d bet on Guichard, but even that might be a bit of a risk. Spithill I’m sure would find his way into the heart of the same woman faster than his French counterpart.
On Saturday Energy Team after rounding the first mark went to the next mark taking the north side of the course while Spithill went the other way to the south. For a while that looked fine, but then Guichard kept going and going and going. Guichard cast his fate to the wind. It was death on that side. There were neither wind shifts nor stronger winds. All the armchair sailors I was seated with agreed that the French skipper had lost the race as he remained stubbornly on this side of the race course.
I know nothing about these guys. I’m guessing to be the sailor that steers one of these machines you got to be pretty good. But mixed into these great helmsmen is an outlier. That’s Jimmy Spithill. I’m also guessing that Jimmy has got the rest of the helmsmen talking to themselves. He must be annoying. He must be witty. He must find his way under their skin. He’s probably nice to them while planting little seeds of doubt in the subtext of their comradeship. He probably smiles, keeps his cool, then heads out onto the course and bashes their brains in again and again.
If one sharp knife in your drawer is not enough, and you are billionaire Larry Ellison get a second sharp knife. His name is John Kostecki, Oracle’s tactician. Jimmy this is your brain when steering, and this is your mortal lock second mate confirming what you already know. “Nobody, do you hear me, nobody, beats Jimmy and Johnny, you understand?”
PHOTOGRAPH BY SHELIA LAVERY
Well almost nobody. There is still the inconvenient fact thatNew Zealand even after this past weekends races leads the series by one point!
Who is this that dares to get in Jimmy Spithills wake? Dean Barker is his name. He is older than Spithill. He is from New Zealand. Born in Takapuna. A native, racing for his country. Like Spithill he takes pleasure in vanquishing those who dare get in his way, There is a one point difference after this last week of racing in San Diego. That’s it, that’s all that separates Spithill from Barker.
I can hear Larry Ellison’s instructions to Spithill, “bring me his head….”
BANKRUPT HEART THE SECOND NOVEL
Finn looked at Ry’s face. He seemed more relaxed. The harbor oozed tranquility and coaxed an unhurried demeanor from the people who lived there. Seagulls sat resting on the metal boat shed roof, mallards explored afloat on the water, while crows hopped about the docks— there was always a chance something to eat would turn up. The harbor was juxtaposed next to the freeway where rush-hour traffic was headed north at a crawl, bumper to bumper. There was a treasured serenity as the boatyard emptied of the men and the women who had finished up their work for the day.
“You can stay aboard if you like. I’ve got to get going.” Finn said opening the icebox and inspecting its contents. “I’ve got beer on ice, there’s a steak I need to cook, it’s just going to go to waste; I’ve got vegetables, bread, cookies for dessert, you’d be set up— galley’s got everything.” He was smiling, trying to coax a ‘yes’ out of his friend.
Ry was quick to decline. “No. I don’t think so.”
Bankrupt Heart Copyright © 2011 by Dana Smith