May 28, 2010

You Can Help


Controversy continues to swirl around the re-ordering of Tillerman's Top Blogs list.

Bloggers are manuevering cagily to snag one of the coveted spots on the list after recent shakeups were announced. The latest campaign has been mounted by veteran San Francisco Bay superblogger Edward, a perennial favorite on anyone's list, who made that old mistake of assuming. He thought his five consecutive wins guaranteed him a lifetime spot, but neglected to read Tillerman's fine print.

Edward is now locked in a life or death struggle with juggernaut John Bertrand Inc. - a multinational sailing conglomerate with offshore offices located in the Bahamas (for tax purposes). Besides still sailing, Bertrand manages an empire of racing syndicates, sailing clinics, training gyms, and a string of pizza shops on Staten Island. He also manufactures those little plastic caps that go on the end of USB flash drives that everyone always assumes are just made in China.

Edward seems to be the only blogger with the chops to knock off sailing legend Bertrand and has thrown down the gauntlet to Bertrand in the form of a sailing race challenge (there's that gauntlet again - has anyone ever actually seen a gauntlet being tossed?) .

Wisely, Edward has stacked things in his favor by opting to choose both the venue and the boats to be sailed. He hasn't made a final decision, but his Newport 28 is now in a downwind slip and must be motored out to the start line which means getting his old Atomic 4 to start - deemed highly unlikely by most observers given how long it's been sitting unused (yes, 'it's' does get an apostrophe in this context).

So, it's likely the race will be sailed in El Toro's over the tricky J Dock course, where Edward's local knowledge of the ever-changing Berkeley Marina currents should pay off handsomely for him.

The El Toro's simplicity is also expected to play to Edward's advantage. Bertrand, used to sophisticated racing machines, is said to be at a loss when there's only one string to pull. He said in a Sailing interview last month,

"In an El Toro, I never know what to do with my hands."

So, as a concerned sailing blogger, what can you do to help Edward in the John Bertrand Challenge?

Ah, that's where O Dock comes in. For this momentous race, we have decided to give up our traditional interdockal rivalry and are throwing our undivided support to Edward. To help in gathering the substantial funds that Edward will need to build a successful syndicate, we are making available to the blogging public these attractive and trendy plastic wristbands with the SailStrong motto tastefully imprinted. Wearing one will let you show the world your commitment to this worthy cause without actually having to think about it too much.

The wristbands are available for only $49.95 through our website From the $49.95 purchase price, fully 10 per cent goes directly to Edward to support the John Bertrand Challenge. We retain a modest 90 per cent for administrative costs and to help pay for my recently repaired autopilot.

Show Edward you're behind him in his struggle to take on John Bertrand and in his fight for truth, justice, and the American way. Visa and Mastercard accepted.



  1. It's posts like this that make you one of my favorites.

  2. Faaantastic! Hey, there's a guy in another country who is very interested in purchasing 2 gross of your inspirational & patriotic Sailstrong wristbands for resale in his country. Coincidentally, he owes me $150,000 dollars and because of certain cross-border banking regulations he has been unable to pay me. I really need the money so we were hoping that you could help us out - he will send you a money order for whatever amount you agree on (he is hoping for a discount for his bulk order) plus shipping plus an extra $150K which you will send to a bank account in the Cayman Islands, which will only need for your full name, date of birth, first pet's name, mother's maiden name, social security number, & credit card & bank account numbers, along with any random PIN numbers & passwords you might want to throw in.

    Upon notification, I will send you $1000 for your assistance in completing this transaction.

    Sound good? Oh, I just can't imagine why it wouldn't!


    it is really funny how little that new improved version of my kayak smiley looks like a kayaker with all the html in there! Thanks again for your help with that!

  3. Thanks for landing this impressive order, Bonnie. It sounds like a great deal. You'll understand if I run the details past the O Dock legal department - just a formality.

    I only wish Edward could hear about all of the support that's already pouring in.

    But, to show you how seriously he's taking this John Bertrand Challenge, he's training for the 300-yard El Toro race by doing an overnight ocean race to Monterey as we type.

    That's dedication!

  4. Overnight race? In an El Toro?

  5. No, No, not in his El Toro. He's saving the hi-tech, carbon fiber, canting centerboard El Toro for the showdown with Bertrand.

    So as not to tip his hand about the El Toro's speed, he's doing the ocean race in the 'b' boat - a much slower Pacific Seacraft 46.

  6. Oh - er - um - legal department?

    gee, y'know, I hate to have gotten your hopes up but I can't seem to find his email know how it is when you change out so sorry!

  7. Actually, not that I was going to have to leave the country because I was plotting any underhanded sculduggery involving money orders or anything, but having to leave the country right now would've messed up my chance to see Ed's "B" boat anyways. And I'm pretty psyched about that. Hey, O-Docker, why don't you stow away?

  8. I'd never pull it off, Bonnie. They're watching weight on that boat down to the last gram and would surely notice.

    Even on their iPod's, they've banned all heavy metal tunes.

  9. No, I don't think they're that desperate.

    By the way:

    You can track Edward's progress in the Spinnaker Cup (underway this weekend) in real time here thanks to the AIS transponder on Valis.

  10. I had previously considered supporting America's Cup Race 33 in West Wight Potter 15's off Cape Horn. But, the El Toros would also have been good.

  11. Ooh, very cool google maps mash up.

    Alas I was just about to put in an order for 10,000 wrist bands when my credit card company rang me up.

    Apparently someone has been using my CC to buy lots of useless technology. Until the fraud department clears up what's happening here will have to put that order on hold.

    And you can't ban heavy metal from iPods / iPhones / iThings as that's the core ingredients of the "Heavy weather mix" you play when the average wind speed exceeds 30 knots

  12. Ah, JP, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you're here.

    For some reason, I've stayed up until 3am watching Edward's progress. Most of the day they were steaming along at 8-9 knots, on track to finish around 2am.

    But, just a few miles out, the wind has died and they're sitting parked. It looks like they won't finish till after daybreak.

    So, I'm turning in and hereby assigning the Edward watch to you.

    Expecting a full report in your next blog post.

  13. Alas O'Docker I was just about to start writing when my crew arrived and then the boat hire place did their guided tour.

    Buff alas wasn't available.

  14. Thoroughly understand about Buff, JP.

    Sportswriters are all alike. At that hour, I'm sure he was in no condition to do any responsible reporting.