12 May 2006


After arranging to get coverage for first period, I rode my bike down to the North Cove on Tuesday morning to watch the Volvo Ocean Racers come in. Larry called and alerted me to the fact hat the boats were behind schedule (they were supposed to come in on the 8th) and that we'd likely see some action if we got down there in the morning.

I arrived around 6.40 and was just in time to see Paul Cayard's Pirates of the Caribbean paying the Statue of Liberty a visit. (Later in an interview PC said he knew he had enough cushion to take a leg down all the way to the statue "so the boys could see it.") This was before I was even at the North Cove (which is on the Hudson River Estuary, just above Battery Park, behind Ground Zero). I hurried my pace and made it there in time to see Pirates finish and drop the jib. There was a bigger crowd than I thought there would be. When Pirates finished the speakers on the dock began playing the theme of the movie, which was just martial enough to make you want to go apillaging and raid someone's booty.

Once I spotted Race Committee I headed over there. It was hard to believe, these three normal looking folks running the Actual VOR Committee. The time-keeper was using what looked to be her wristwatch. I mean, it was all working, and I shouldn't be saying anything at all, but I expected something a little more, I don't know, fancy, or complicated, or something.

Standing behind them I watched the next three boats come in – Brazil, Ericsson, and Movistar. Then I went back to where the boats were docking, on the north side of the basin, and waited for Larry to come by. He showed up just as Bonnie, from the Frogma Blog did. We chatted and took some more pictures. The crews wrapped the boat up, organizing the sails, and cleaning up loose lines and gear and all the while the skippers were giving interviews and chatting with the lackeys and groupies on the dock.

Then on Wednesday, I went down there again, early in the morning to watch the awards ceremony and check out new stuff. In England (New Zealand?) they call it "prize-giving" which I think sounds cooler. I had a job interview that afternoon so I took the whole day off so I could sneak some more looks at the boats and the crews. After the 3-2-1 prizes were given, all of the skippers got on stage for a plaque from the City of New York.

After that I tried to buy some gear, but they wouldn't let me on to the plaza level where the tents were set up because I had my bike. Mind you, I was walking the bike. And May is Bike Month here in NYC. But the small-minded, rules-loving idiot keeping law and order on the plaza wouldn't have it. I should have made him call the cops. I complained to the representative from Volvo and the guy who was announcing the awards, both from outside the US (so much more easy-going), and they laughed but offered little in the way of solutions.

There was some more mingling and I had an opportunity to meet up with Paul Cayard. We spoke for about 5 seconds and I managed to say good luck and congratulations about five times apiece. I was giddy like a school girl.

Overall the entire thing was very cool and I'm glad I got to see some of it.

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