The Show's in Town

The Volvo is in Baltimore and the race for second kicks off tomorrow at 1 p.m. My money's on Movistar to rack up one and make the race for second even harder.

Blazing sun in Baltimore is a good thing. It draws people to the waterfront. Add to that a Waterfront Festival with Tall Ships, lousy music, and fast food vendors. On the sidestage is the Volvo Ocean Race village, tucked away at the far end of the horseshoe-shaped harbor. The sponsor pavilions are a slow buzz of curious festival goers and sponsor VIPs busily shuffling off to meetings, dressed head to toe in team gear. It's a toss up whether it is Ericsson or ABN AMRO that has dressed their corporate guests best. Off the sea wall, today three of them hung stern to: Movistar, Brasil1, and Ericsson. A stream of elemetary school field trips have been boarding Ericsson, which kept a few of the guys well occupied. Meanwhile, other crews slowly loaded sails and lazily prepped the boat for tomorrow's in-port race, which will no doubt be a light one. ABN had its boats out sailing, as did the Pirates of the Caribbean-it's race rules to always have three boats in their slips so the pen isn't empty. Those out sailing today had the benefit of stopping in at the boatyard further down the harbor, which allowed them to load sails for tomorrow's race. Those on waterfront row had to drive theirs in by car. Needless to say, the racers were scattered to either sailing, or as Paul Cayard put it, dealing with "dog and pony shows." ABN AMRO One owns this race, so tomorrow, the race for second place begins. Everyone's fighting for the scraps. More tomorrow. The party is starting with me.