Monday, June 19, 2017

Evanston: I don't understand

        Two things happened on the water this past weekend I don’t understand.
        The first is how a US Navy destroyer with all of the people and systems it has on board, many of them probably unknown to those outside the military, could be involved in a collision with a container ship.  
        The NY TIMES ran an article with some useful contextual information, including the phrase, “the unique status of the captain of a Navy ship in American society — absolute authority, and absolute accountability.”  That is also true of some solo sailors.  Only some.  Not those engaged in the round the world races, who may be the only person on the boat but are tethered to a race committee, weather routers and their shore team.  They are no more alone nor have absolute authority or absolute accountability than a race car driver.
        I will be interested in the findings of the Navy’s investigation.
        The second is why Jimmy Spithill, the Australian helmsman of ORACLE who has a reputation for being aggressive in pre-start maneuvers, was not in the races against New Zealand on Saturday and Sunday. 
        I expect that when the series resumes, he will be.