Thursday, September 15, 2011

DET Challenge 5- Dyneema Queen, what?

Every autumn in the United States, there is a certain set of girls in the high schools who begin a long campaign to be crowned their local schools Homecoming Queen. These girls start off by plastering the schools walls with posters emblazoned with a photo of themselves which list why they are the bee's knees , why they are full of win and why they should be crowned Homecoming Queen. The student body elects the Homecoming Queen and you would think that with all the posturing and bragging that goes on that they were winning something more than a crown, a sash and a photo in the school yearbook. The winner is usually the one to begin her camapaign 3 years before she is eligible and culminates with her baking cookies for the entire school. to say "Thanks!". During her crowning, she has to first look surprised " Who? ME?!?!", then as the crown is placed on her head she is expected to cry and finally she poses with a self satisfied, yet demure smile for her yearbook photo.

 I never ran for Homecoming Queen. The very thought of lauding my attributes and accomplishments in such an overt way just went against everything I was taught, namely that if you do good things you don't have to point them out to others. Actions will always speak louder than words. Answering the final point in Challenge 5 makes me feel awkward, a bit as if I am running for Homecoming Queen...or Dyneema Queen.....or something.

The final point in the Dyneema Experience Challenge 5 is to explain why Dyneema should send you to the Puma boat in Spain. That is something a heck of a lot more enticing than a crown and a sash. My discomfort at crowing "I am fabulous!" is dwarfed by my desire to take the master class in Spain. I'm getting ready to cast off the lines and sail far, far away and boy oh boy do I think I can learn some useful information from Team Puma. The only way I can do this is because in reality, the reason my campaign has been so beneficial to me and to Dyneema is because it has never been about me.
Just a few of the amazing cruisers who have been along for the ride-Canadians, Americans, Kuwaitis, Brits
During the entirety of DET, I've been nothing but myself. I know that I'm quirky, with a big, offbeat sense of humor and my video submissionsand writing illustrate that. Another quality that is just me all over is my tendency to be very sociable. People are some of my favorite people, after all and its this point that enables me to say " Yes, I did do a good job for DET". You see, the reason the Dyneema Experience has been such a success from my end, is because of the huge cruising community that I have been involved with for several years. Sailors that I am pleased as punch to be associated with.
from Portugal to Alaska, from Norway to the Midwest
In sailing forums, message boards, private Facebook groups and chat rooms, my participation in the Dyneema Experience brought conversation after conversation to Dyneema and not so much what I was doing with it but more importantly, how Dyneema could be beneficial to their boats. It never really was about me, I was just the catalyst for the conversation because they had known me online for so very long. Sailors who had experience with Dyneema offered advice, help and just talked about the qualities of Dyneema to myself and a huge contigent of cruisers who had previously never given much thought to what was inside their rigging. It was an amazing thing to see and to be a part of and I know without a doubt that the coolest thing of all is that my Dyneema Experience has been made up not of slick videos, or clever advertising but about sailors talking to other sailors. Conversation can be a very powerful thing.
There simply isn't enough bandwidth to include photos of all but I will not forget a single one of you!
So why do I deserve to go to Alicante? I don't, the hundreds of cruisers who supported, followed and encouraged me do. The sailors and cruisers who answered question after question from me and a plethora of other sailors about selecting the right Dyneema for the right application, about splices and alternative uses and about more rigging topics than you could imagine do. As it turns out, I'm the person representing these folks, so if I win, I'm the one who gets the privilege of sailing on Puma but I will not go alone. I will take everyone of these amazing sailors with me in my heart because it is all thanks to them.

Win or lose, I have a lot tobe thankful for. Looks like I am going to have to bake a metric butt load of cookies...


  1. You're totally right. I've been sailing for years and all this talk about Dyneema had me thinking about how it could improve my boat and my sailing. On to a new era, perhaps.

    I'm pretty sure it has done the same for others too.
    For that alone it was worth it.

    Good luck, you deserve it!

  2. Conversation can be a very powerful thing -- absolutely! And you happen to look adorable in a tiara!

  3. i hope you win the opportunity to learn would be fabulous

  4. I don't even know if my high school had that homecoming thing. I don't think we did, but I don't really remember. I guess I could check my yearbook. I am SO GLAD Cassie & Jared's doesn't.

    I hope you win!!!!!!!!!! And those pictures are so cute!!!!!!!!! The you winning ones. The other ones are very nice, but I wouldn't really describe them as "cute". :-)

  5. Loved it. You would make a great Dyneema Queen!

  6. Cidnie,
    I "met" you through a mutual sailing friend. You are getting the Dyneema word out in a big way. Your enthusiasm alone is probably creating a vortex that will suck you across the Atlantic onto the Puma boat. I am certain that you will pay that gift forward, and Dymeema will benefit in multiple ways beyond their imagination.

  7. I've been sailing for 26 years and have a whole lot of NE Ropes... but no Dyneema. I'm sure it's the cat's meow... and perhaps when I upgrade my rigging it will be Dyneema... but not because of this blog.

    I couldn't even figure out what this Dyneema challenge was all about as I began reading except that there were prizes.. and ypour blog was about fitting out your boat to get away for cruising. That's what interested me.. boat stuff, human stuff... and frankly I could care less about Dyneema, or Defender or Docksiders... all incidental to the core of your writing which is a window into the lives of a terrific family about to get going on a terrific journey and the preparations for same.

    Hope you win... but as I commented previously... you have already won!