​Success or Failure in Science? | Crew Diary by Jim Feldkamp

Jim Feldkamp Leader

Science is a hard taskmaster. And sometimes it is difficult to quantify what exactly constitutes a huge success or an epic failure in pursuit of the truth. As such we all recognise that scientific rigour must be applied to find the truth, especially when the identification of good wine is at the centre of the conversation!

Which brings us to our latest story. With the Clipper Race teams racing to South America, and prior to arriving in Punta del Este, we on Dare to Lead had heard a malicious rumour that there was a ‘A bad bottle of Malbec’ somewhere around this beautiful port city. Of course, we on board could not believe that this scurrilous scuttlebutt was genuine. However, knowing how our supporters would feel if we failed to purge this blatherskite we swore an oath to search high and low to see if this gossip was true.

Armed with little knowledge of the city, but fearless in the pursuit of the truth, these intrepid researchers marched out of the port to take up the challenge. Led by our fearless Skipper (or dragged along by his new bride?), and armed with corkscrews and a map, our band of merry men (and women) sallied forth to commenced this trek for the good people of Punta del Este, and to protect the town and its well earned reputation.

Our team was diverse, consisting of a multitude of professions to include, one world renowned plastic surgeon, a general practitioner, neuroscientist, a Teutonic banker, a former CTO of an online brokerage firm, and even our own ‘trained economist,’ just to name a few. Our scientific methodology was simple, straight and true. We would comb through the restaurants, bars and shopping centres sampling as much Malbec as possible and purge the offending bottle(s) if found — of course, this was all done in the name of science!

For ten days these brave souls pursued their chartered mandate at the aforementioned restaurants, bars and even an Asado BBQ, which would put any Texas BBQ to shame — with no luck. Yes, I am here to happily report to our followers that even though the sample size was huge we could not find a bad bottle of Malbec, Tannat or any other delicious red wine for that matter …. well done Punta!

So, as we leave Punta, perhaps a little bleary eyed, and tired, with a belly full of meat (and our research) we are relieved that this great city will maintain its reputation in South America as the place to be on holidays with friendly people, great food, and of course great wines!

Unfortunately, on the 23rd of October, we heard of another dastardly rumour. This time about Pinotage, the world famous wine of South Africa. So, once again in the name of science, we slipped our lines, hoisted our sails and set off to race to Cape Town to engage in another scientific research campaign of sampling the indigenous wines of South Africa.

The search continues …

Jim Feldkamp

Originally published at https://www.clipperroundtheworld.com.

Jim Feldkamp has 30+ years of Federal Government and military experience, specializing in international security and foreign policy initiatives.

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