By Lynn Fitzpatrick
My father died last week of a heart attack complicated by diabetes.
Half the population of the US is pre-diabetic. The largest growing market for prosthetic device manufacturing companies is the diabetic market. I couldn’t help but think that had I not left Argo Challenge to take on the issue of the lack of economic development associated with the America’s Cup, my father and others whose diets and exercise habits have ruined their lives, may have been exposed to a team and exhibits that could have been the catalyst to improving their health.
San Francisco’s Exploratorium is moving to a new site immediately adjacent to the proposed main venue for the America’s Cup. As of March, the exhibits for the new Exploratorium had not been finalized. Argo and the Exploratorium had had preliminary discussions about the synergies that could be created by having Argo’s sponsors contribute to funding the human body exhibits. There would have been a special emphasis on the exercise, fitness, nutrition, diabetes and prosthetics.
While the ACEA has made some arrangements with the Exploratorium, it probably amounts to nothing more than being able to host VIP events there, get special discount tickets for their VIP packages, and negotiate parking or the use of the Exploratorium’s waterfront.
While I braced myself for my father’s funeral services, I was happy to chat with the man with the irrepressible dream, Antonio Spinelli. Antonio has been Argo’s leader since the 2006 Winter Olympics and did a great job organizing the Argo team at events such as Les Voiles de Saint Tropez and the Rolex Maxi Cup, where Argo won significant prizes and generated substantial international press. It was also vetted for the 33rd America’s Cup, had it been a traditional America’s Cup rather than railroaded by a rogue challenge.
Antonio’s summer holiday is over and he would like to gear Argo up for the Extreme 40 Series. It’s a much more financially reasonable proposition than the 34th America’s Cup and it would prepare Argo for the 35th Edition of the America’s Cup.
It’s difficult for even those who have had frontline experience with dealing with the ACEA to think that there is a way to turn this Cup around. Just think. Wouldn’t the organizers and the teams be better off if they had more time to organize; raise funds; design, build and test boats and engage the sailing and non-sailing population alike? Why not take a time out, rethink and reformat the 34th America’s Cup into a commercially viable Challenger and Defender Selection Series followed by a Final that takes place in 2014 or 2015?
I’ll never give up on having a well-planned Defender Selection Series in the United States of America for this 34th America’s Cup; however, I want to support Antonio in every way that I can. Argo can empower people all over the world to forego the high-fructose corn syrup and the life of a couch potato in favor of a healthy diet and fitness program.
If you would like to contribute to Argo Challenge in any
way, please write to me at Lynn@WorldRegattas.com.
Dan Fitzpatrick's obituary: http://obits.dignitymemorial.com/dignity-memorial/obituary.aspx?n=Daniel-Fitzpatrick&lc=4799&pid=152757689&mid=4755049&locale=en-US
You don’t have to be a sailor to be on the team.
There are plenty of volunteer and management positions – development, finance, treasury, marketing, web design, webmaster, virtual media, merchandising, logistics, design, build, testing, coaching, training, physio, community outreach, housing, food preparation, legal, accounting, etc. If you have any suggestions and contacts for sponsorship, please let me know.
While the Extreme Sailing Series may be more modest platform that the America’s Cup, please don’t rule out the possibility of a bid for the America’s Cup in 2014 or 2015. If the team can be persuaded that the America’s Cup offers a commercially viable platform to reach the world with an inspiring and lifesaving message, we will consider it. After all, there are 1 billion people on the planet with differing physical abilities and a quickly growing worldwide population base of pre-diabetics and diabetics. You are sure to know someone who falls into one of these categories.