Lock ’em up, lock ’em up…

21 May

The VOR fleet in Newport, RI


I should know better than to step into this quagmire but sometimes I just can’t help myself. This, coming from someone who has been chucked out of a number of bars in my lifetime, is going to sound a bit like the pot calling the kettle black. However, I think it’s a bit of a disgrace (well maybe that’s a bit harsh) – a bit of nonsense how the seven sailors from the Volvo Ocean Race behaved that got them arrested in Newport the other night. Yes plenty of sailor have been kicked out of bars all around the world, and some have been arrested and that’s all well and good, but these guys are professional sailors with sponsors backing them (and cutting some fairly decent pay checks). As such I think that they could have and should have acted better. The City of Newport has welcomed the Volvo fleet and laid out the red carpet. I just think that there should have been a bit more respect shown by the sailors and I know that there is gong to be a lot of hissing and booing about my position on this but there you go.

Having said that I have been trying to think of other incidences that have taken place in previous races. There was that one time in Uruguay that some Kiwi sailors got into trouble for inappropriately touching some pretty girls in mini-skirts that were handing out free cigarettes. Probably the worse incident happened to the French team La Poste. They got themselves into serious trouble when four crew members beat up a burglar who had broken into their crew house. I guess that they did a bit of a number on the guy and the Uruguayan authorities were not amused. They were charged with assault and jailed for a few weeks. The sailors were still languishing in jail when the race restarted prompting a protest by the remaining 11 crew. They had special T-shirts made that had the word Libertad written across the front of them.

Maybe I am wrong and it was all just a little bit of fun. When they were arraigned the judge dismissed the assault charges and made them pay fines of various amounts with the money going to the Boys and Girls Club. Very original I think.  I hope that their sponsors felt the same but I somehow doubt it. Large corporations have strict policies about behavior. Hope that they don’t pull their money out of sailing.

Capacity crown for the start of Leg 9 in Newport

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This article was syndicated from Great Circle Sails Blog

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