Why I’m backing the rich boy race
It’s become pretty trendy at the moment to bag the America’s Cup for being a drag race between rich gits with ridiculously expensive toys. Normally I would be right on the bagging bandwagon. People who know me know I am the last person to get excited about sport – it’s really just not my thing, so when they see me screaming at the telly every morning in hope and despair it tends to leave them puzzled.
But the rich gits race has a trickle-down effect, and at the bottom of that trickle are people like me. (I am on the cusp of Gen Y so it’s allowed to be all about me sometimes, okay?)
I am trying to get a book about sailing published and I strongly suspect that is going to be a whole lot more difficult if we lose the cup.
I would like to think the publishing industry and book buying public are not that shallow, but I am also very aware of what a competitive and increasingly shrinking publishing market we have here in NZ. Publishers are not going to put money into something they don’t think will sell – and if ‘sailing’ becomes a dirty word in NZ then it’s not looking good for me!
In saying that, I have had some great and positive feedback from publishers and I am waiting to hear back from a couple. Even the publishers that turned me down gave me lots of great advice and basically said the ‘no’ was just because their publishing range didn’t include travel/biographic non-fiction anymore (of course they could all just be humouring me!)
Getting books published seems to be all about sales-pitches and marketing (two things I am remarkably crap at) and I thought NZ winning the cup might give me a few decent publisher pick-up lines.
I’m sure there are a lot of small-timers like me who are in the same position. There has been a lot of conjecture about whether or not the cup would bring bazillions of tourist dollars into New Zealand, but it can only do good things for the marine industry.
The little guys are benefiting already – I’ve lost count of how many breakfasts I’ve had at the Evan’s Bay Yacht Club waiting for someone to win the damned thing!
We have an amazing sailing and marine industry in NZ, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t need support. I reckon the cup coming here would be a way of showcasing our marinas, yacht clubs, sailing schools, boat builders/painters and mechanics and of course wannabe writers!
There was a chap on Campbell Live’s opinion caravan last night saying the money spent on the race would be better off going into the arts – well here’s a way for that to happen, positive thoughts people!!!
Perhaps I can take some comfort in the fact that, while one of its central characters is a boat, the book is not about racing. It’s about fear, sailing and the South Pacific – about keeping your sanity when you really have no flaming idea what you are doing and learning to deal with reality again once it’s all over. It’s also about the amazing people and places of the South Pacific so hopefully that’s material enough to survive the worst outcome.
Don’t think I’m giving up on Team NZ. For a sport-o-phobe these races have been brilliant fun to watch and as far as I’m concerned if it weren’t for forces out of our control we would have won several times already. I guess that’s part of the frustration really. As someone at the yacht club bellowed last weekend “how many times do we need to win this bloody race before we actually win it!?”
Our sailors are good, the rich boys’ toy is amazing and we’ve proved time and time again that we can beat the other guys – so tomorrow, once again, I will be screaming at the television.
Come on boys – do it for the little guys!