A chilly and drizzly morning dawned as the city of Boston awoke this past Saturday morning to news of two T trains colliding late the night before after the Sox game. But, down on Fan Pier the beehive that was the Volvo Village was abuzz with the activity and energy level of a small mud wasp nest. Arriving early and before the official opening Kyle and I slithered our way past rented security guards checking credentials, turning back those without them and yet somehow missing us shuffling by as the old “act like you own the place” worked yet again. Inside the village teams were preparing for the days racing and media crew hustled about presumably filing stories about “Life at the Extreme”…in Boston. Celebrating our small victory of entrance and desperately wanting to associate with the dangers of “The Race” Kyle and I decided it was time to put on our Hunter S. Thompson face masks and get some gonzo material for The Stern Scoop.
Cameras rolling we aimed our lenses at the hallowed containers of Puma which were stacked like teetering Jenga blocks about to topple. On the inside things looked fairly normal with piles of Puma merch here and there awaiting sailors with wallets swollen and ready to be emptied on the gear necessary to show their support of the hometown team. What we didn’t at first notice was that not only was there Puma gear piled high there were also PR people watching our every move for not long after we were being stopped for filming. “Excuse me, who are you with and what are you filming,” a pleasant lady queried? “We’re with the Stern Scoop, is this not a reasonable place to film”, we asked? Upon realizing the magnitude of our relative importance she kindly directed us toward the media trailers and suggested we attain proper credentials. Racing the clock before we were required to meet and board the fine catamaran Freedom, our day’s spectating Puma sponsored platform, we put on our most happy looking faces and cruised over to the trailer to get our credentials. Credentials in hand we were released by the Media czar and it was time to make our way to the appropriately named Freedom.
Having been kindly invited to Boston by Puma and their US sailing market distributor, Ronstan, we had spent the day prior meeting with and discussing Puma’s 2010 offering with Anja, Christian, and Finn who are (in order) Puma’s product line manager for sailing, sailing business unit manager, and the US’ head brand agent for sailing. Unfortunately, I can’t tell or show you at this time what they’ve got planned once the Volvo is over but rest assured it looks like they’ve got a very nice gear offering put together for us sailors and we’ve been promised they’ve got some very creative things put together for continuing to support the sport going forward which has us curious and very excited. No doubt though, a company as innovative and as committed to sports as Puma will surely come up with something special as their foray into the sailing world continues. But enough about that, time to get back to the story… It was time to get on the boat to watch the day’s races and those of us that had been up all night were in no mood for coffee and donuts, we wanted strong drink. We are, after all, the absolute cream of the national sporting press sailing blogs.*
With the appropriate rations requisitioned and transferred to the covert transfer and carry containers we were prepared to take in the days races. Inappropriately, Kyle and I didn’t get the “wear your Puma shoes” memo and for that we apologize. (Editor’s note for the purposes of requisitioning proper footwear for next time/shameless plea for “Tim” gear: Gents, Kyle wears a size 12.5 and I wear a size 11.5).
As I’m sure by now everyone’s read all that was written about the racing itself I probably don’t need to tell you about how exciting it was to watch the races so I’m going to leave the story there. I do however want to send a public thanks to the guys at Ronstan and Puma for having us along for the day. Gracious hosts and great partners to work with in the industry we always appreciate getting to spend time with them and others who share our passion for this sport and industry. Thanks guys, our trip was great. It was a classic affirmation of everything right and true in the national character. A gross physical salute to the fantastic possibilities of life in this country. But only for those with true grit.* As always, stay tuned to the Stern Scoop for more of that. In the next day or so we’re going to post that video we were taking.
*(Editor’s note #2: I’m really not that sarcastic, really. Some lines were lifted and adapted for this article from IMDB and the movie adaptation of the book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.)