Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Support Team Zorro

We need to show the world that a bunch of nuts from the desert deserve just as much respect as any other sailors.

A bit of background for readers who may be new to this forum: This past spring, the Rio Grande Sailing Club hosted the regional championships for the Mallory Cup national men’s sailing championship – essentially a quarter-final event. Our region, the Sailing Association of Intermountain Lakes (SAIL) covers New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, the western end of Nebraska, and the very westernmost bit of Texas (El Paso).

We had three teams from New Mexico/El Paso competing; nobody showed up from Colorado, Wyoming, or Nebraska. We had some very good racing, and in the end, a team from the Rio Grande Sailing Club, under the leadership of Zorro, won, earning a place in the Area F finals, which were to be held in Austin, Texas.

But then, due to lack of entrants (Zorro and the SAIL runner-up were the only teams), the Area F finals were called off. That meant that Team Zorro advanced to the national championships in San Francisco.

Here’s where things get tricky. In other parts of the country, where sailing is a more visible sport, a top sailing team can get corporate sponsors to help with the expenses of competing. Out here in the desert, if I wear a New Mexico Sailing Club polo shirt, people think it’s a joke – I have a hard time to persuading them that sailing actually happens in this part of the world. Some people remain unconvinced even when I show them pictures of my boat and sailing activities in the desert. A newspaper reporter (a former colleague who I really thought would be more perceptive) interviewed a New Mexico Tech student who was on Roy Disney’s Morning Light project, and even he said that she would be doing preparations “but not sailing” here in New Mexico – in actual fact, she sailed with the New Mexico Tech sailing club – yes, there is such a thing.

So sailing teams in the rest of the United States can get some good corporate sponsorship. But Team Zorro can’t. We can try to work things out in a low-budget way – the wife of one of Zorro’s crew members has connections through which she can get airline tickets at a steep discount. But lodging in the Bay Area is still dreadfully expensive. And ideally Team Zorro should get out for some practice before the actual event; yes, Zorro is good, really good, but he and his crew need some time working with currents and tides if they’re to do well in the finals. And they would need to rent or borrow a boat in which to do such practicing.

Zorro is pursuing some sponsorship here in New Mexico, but it’s not likely to bring in much money. Right now, he’s worried that he won’t even have the wherewithal to get his team out to San Francisco at all. And that is something that I won’t allow to happen. Zorro has won the right – not just the right, but the duty – to represent the desert lunatics in the national championship. Maybe you can’t send money, but if you can provide assistance with lodging or a practice boat, that would be good. We don’t mind bunking on a second-hand sofa in somebody’s basement, or sailing on a boat that’s a mess but reasonably seaworthy, especially if it’s a J/24 or something similar.

Let me borrow some words from the musical Man of La Mancha to explain what Zorro is doing …

To dream ... the impossible dream ...
To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ...

This is my quest, to follow that star ...
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far ...
To fight for the right, without question or pause ...
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause ...

And I know if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest,
That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm,
when I'm laid to my rest ...
And the world will be better for this:
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach ... the unreachable star ...

(Thanks to STlyrics for the words)

Yeah, we’re a bunch of lunatics from the desert. Maybe, like Cervantes/Quixote, we’re delusional and we don’t know better. But you ought to give us a fighting chance.

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5 Comments:

Anonymous Mom said...

How about contacting some of the media who might be willing to air the story--with the hope of getting some support from businesses or individuals?

Fri Aug 08, 09:16:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Tillerman said...

Have you noticed that the sailor from your area, Area F, is leading the US National Singlehanded Championship (O'Day Trophy) after one day of racing.

Hooray for "lunatics from the desert"!

Fri Aug 08, 08:29:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

Of course, Area F consists of more than just desert, as it includes a goodly chunk of the Rocky Mountains, a piece of the Great Plains, and even some bayou country.

Still, those are all considered unlikely locations for sailors.

Sat Aug 09, 01:13:00 PM MDT  
Anonymous tillerman said...

And the lunatic from the desert/ mountains/ plains/ bayou extended his lead at the O'Day on Saturday/

Sun Aug 10, 05:55:00 AM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

I note that he won. Turns out he's from the Dallas-Fort Worth megalopolis, so he's not some desert/ mountain/ plains/ bayou nut. According to Google Maps, his hometown is on the edge of a nice-looking lake in the middle of the urban sprawl.

So he's probably not a lunatic. Oh, well.

Mon Aug 11, 03:39:00 AM MDT  

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