Betsy Speicher

Wind (1992)

Rate this movie   2 votes

  1. 1. Artistic Merit

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  2. 2. Sense of Life or Personal Value

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21 posts in this topic

There is a tactile exhilaration to sailing captured in this film. However, you do not have to be a sailing enthusiast to enjoy its basic values and ideas. They are implied and integrated into the plot, characterization and theme, but not explicitly worked out or fully developed so this film gets sevens from me. Nevertheless, the film shows that it is not divine favor that brings winds of victory, but man’s reason, determination and vision, that bring one to take advantage of every situation and turn a disadvantage into an advantage.

There are cinematographic moments that bring forth my thirst to get scuppered in 50 knot winds with the waves to match even when watching this film at 3 a.m., as well as grin-winning (from me, at least) shots of maritime technological advancements that lead to dominance of the America’s Cup when technology is matched with proper training, discipline, physical bravery, mental stamina and an enduring belief in one’s self.

For me, this particular sailing event, in reality, more than any other, even the BTChallenge, exemplifies the attitude of bringing the best forward for use today, rather than to dream or pray about, and to innovate in the face of enormous constraints. The 32nd America’s Cup is not even over at the time of writing, and I’m already looking forward to the next one. Wind is the movie of choice tonight, before racing resumes, and then it's an above-deck celebration of jibing.

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The cinematography alone makes this movie worthwhile. (Arthur Miller's daughter, the stunner who plays the bratty rich girl, is another reason...;-) )

Asked what he thought of racing large sailboats during a promotional tour, Modine said:

It's like playing high-speed chess on a football field.

As for the US effort in this America's Cup, I quote the movie:

and the reason we don't have the Cup is because we don't deserve the Cup.

(The US dominance of this event until the 1980s was the longest winning streak in sports -- it's why the Cup is called the "America's Cup.")

Go KIWIS!!!

(BTW: When the 32 America's Cup was being organized, the broke Kiwi Team was given crucial seed money by the owner of Team Alinghi; as head of the Defender's Syndicate, he couldn't imagine running the event without them. Well, they've given him his money's worth.)

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I wrote:

(The US dominance of this event until the 1980s was the longest winning streak in sports -- it's why the Cup is called the "America's Cup.")

The incredibly fast yacht that first won this trophy was named America. That's where the name comes from.

To see pictures of this yacht click here and here.

(Note that prints of these pictures, made from the original 8"x10" negatives, can be ordered through the site.)

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Does the movie portrary the reasons for the early successes in yacht design based on new methods of testing models in towing tanks being developed at the time?

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Does the movie portrary the reasons for the early successes in yacht design based on new methods of testing models in towing tanks being developed at the time?

No, the movie glosses over this important step and focuses on the characters' physical interaction with hulls, sails, and each other, as well as dialogue. I would have preferred incorporating model testing into the plot for the basis of a great twist. For example, the Defender could have stolen data to gain an edge. Alas, this is a very simple movie.

As a side note, Basil Poledouris (1945-2006) who composed the score for the movie was a sailing enthusiast himself. I think this is evident in the great music for this film. For great sound further away on the film music continuum from James Horner, and closer to Miklos Rozsa or Ennio Morricone, with none of the weight.

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There's a famous quote Re the level of breakthrough America represented.

The Marquess of Anglesey, one of the original members of the Royal Yacht Squadron, looked America over and declared:

"If she is right, then all of us are wrong,"

A quick google Search revealed that the marquess was referring to America's narrow bow and wider stern, the opposite of the "cod's head and mackerel tail" style that dominated English yacht design at the time.

(There's a replica of America out there. She looks identical to the original schooner above the waterline, while sporting a modern underwater shape. She has been featured prominently at several Cups and drops in on the big East Coast boat shows from time to time. I saw her in Annapolis in the late 90s. The design still screams, thoroughbred.")

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... America's narrow bow and wider stern, the opposite of the "cod's head and mackerel tail" style that dominated English yacht design at the time.

(There's a replica of America out there. She looks identical to the original schooner above the waterline, while sporting a modern underwater shape. She has been featured prominently at several Cups and drops in on the big East Coast boat shows from time to time. I saw her in Annapolis in the late 90s. The design still screams, thoroughbred.")

I would only define one or the other as a thoroughbred, not a combination as you have described. A complete replica of America is a great visual reference for learning about and appreciating an aptly-named vessel for her innovation and beauty in history; she was a thoroughbred. I have the same appreciation for her history as for semaphore. A modern underwater shape implies hull form optimization, and the arresting visual and tactile result of such optimization, combined with the towing tank facilities that figure strongly in the construction of thoroughbred hulls, raise a different sort of appreciation from me. My appreciation of a thoroughbred hull is about what man's growing understanding of fluid hydrodynamics implies about the future within reach - efficient tidally-powered desalination plants, better porcine implants and, of course, heightened nautical experiences. I think a combination of the two denies each their rightful thoroughbred status.

But I agree that the Kiwis are giving Ernesto his money's worth!

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"Thoroughbred," as in racer! (Not sure what role water makers play in round the cans, or round the island, for that matter, racing.)

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A complete replica of America is a great visual reference for learning about and appreciating an aptly-named vessel for her innovation and beauty in history; she was a thoroughbred.

A high quality 1/4" scale plank on frame wood model is available from Blue Jacket Shipcrafters in Searsport, Maine. It's an advanced kit, but if you pay them enough they will build it for you. They also produce a 1/8" scale intermediate plank on frame wood model kit.

Other companies have made wood and plastic kits of America for a very long time, but Blue Jacket is the oldest and best; it was originally the famous Boucher company started in 1905 which created the 'mass produced' model ship building industry in the US. Blue Jacket produces beautiful models and you can see many incredible examples built up in their Searsport store, where they also sell professional quality tools and books on ship model building. Their expert craftsmen make almost all the parts and give spontaneous guided tours of their manufacturing process. I have a Boucher model of the clipper ship Young America -- built by my father but never completed with the full rigging and now a future project of my own -- and have some of their original catalogues and books going all the way back to the 1940's as family heirlooms.

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A high quality 1/4" scale plank on frame wood model is available from Blue Jacket Shipcrafters in Searsport, Maine. It's an advanced kit, but if you pay them enough they will build it for you. They also produce a 1/8" scale intermediate plank on frame wood model kit.

Watching the 5th match of the 32nd AC as I type this - and I'm winning the 1/4" scale model kit if NZ wins. :o

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A high quality 1/4" scale plank on frame wood model is available from Blue Jacket Shipcrafters in Searsport, Maine. It's an advanced kit, but if you pay them enough they will build it for you. They also produce a 1/8" scale intermediate plank on frame wood model kit.

Watching the 5th match of the 32nd AC as I type this - and I'm winning the 1/4" scale model kit if NZ wins. :)

So you don't get to build it? :)

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A high quality 1/4" scale plank on frame wood model is available from Blue Jacket Shipcrafters in Searsport, Maine. It's an advanced kit, but if you pay them enough they will build it for you. They also produce a 1/8" scale intermediate plank on frame wood model kit.

Watching the 5th match of the 32nd AC as I type this - and I'm winning the 1/4" scale model kit if NZ wins. :)

So you don't get to build it? :)

No - I got the 1/8" scale model!

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A high quality 1/4" scale plank on frame wood model is available from Blue Jacket Shipcrafters in Searsport, Maine. It's an advanced kit, but if you pay them enough they will build it for you. They also produce a 1/8" scale intermediate plank on frame wood model kit.

Watching the 5th match of the 32nd AC as I type this - and I'm winning the 1/4" scale model kit if NZ wins. :)

So you don't get to build it? :)

No - I got the 1/8" scale model!

Are you going to build it yourself?

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Are you going to build it yourself?

Yes, the fun is to see who can build a model the fastest. The loser puts money in the Flexjet fund.

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Are you going to build it yourself?

Yes, the fun is to see who can build a model the fastest. The loser puts money in the Flexjet fund.

Does quality count? These are not simple snap-together kits. You could stick together a bunch of raw parts in a hurry that don't even resemble America. :) May you get get Betsy to manage it so it comes out on time and under budget with quality. :)

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Are you going to build it yourself?

Yes, the fun is to see who can build a model the fastest. The loser puts money in the Flexjet fund.

Does quality count? These are not simple snap-together kits. You could stick together a bunch of raw parts in a hurry that don't even resemble America. :) May you get get Betsy to manage it so it comes out on time and under budget with quality. :)

Quality questions are a moot point, it defintely does count. We don't go with model kits that you put together in an hour or even several consecutive hours in a day! We get 1 hour sessions each time, and see who is finished faster. That's why the stakes are 2 hours of flying time for the loser to pay out.

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Are you going to build it yourself?

Yes, the fun is to see who can build a model the fastest. The loser puts money in the Flexjet fund.

Does quality count? These are not simple snap-together kits. You could stick together a bunch of raw parts in a hurry that don't even resemble America. :) May you get get Betsy to manage it so it comes out on time and under budget with quality. :)

Quality questions are a moot point, it defintely does count. We don't go with model kits that you put together in an hour or even several consecutive hours in a day!

Good, because that's sure not what you got with this one.

We get 1 hour sessions each time, and see who is finished faster. That's why the stakes are 2 hours of flying time for the loser to pay out.

How do you determine the quality level and stick to it without the urge to cut corners in the race? It sounds like you have contradictory goals. From the 1941 edition of the Boucher catalogue Scale Models of Famous Ships and Blue Ribbon Working Models when the 1/4" scale model cost $9.50 (with solid hull):

First and last DO NOT HURRY.

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1941 Edition of Boucher catalog page for America with complete parts list (published 1940)

Metal parts had to be filed and smoothed.

Wood parts, including hull, had to be sanded to shape.

post-29-1184396165.jpg

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How do you determine the quality level and stick to it without the urge to cut corners in the race? It sounds like you have contradictory goals.

These are not incompatible goals in this context. In hindsight I see I should have stated the winner is the person who can maintain excellence and to do so in a superior manner – by using the least amount of time. It is the combination of the self-control required and the act of model building which makes this activity fun - and of course, the winnings even more so.

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