"You can't do it, mate," British photographer Simon Bruty told me that night after our seventh Lazy Turtle. "Heidi has no idea what she's getting into. What if the boom hits her in the face? She could lose an eye. Big lawsuit."
"What if it hits me in the face?"
"I thought it bloody well had."
"You ought to see my bum."
Simon raised his eyebrows. "I'm not that sort of Brit, mate."
"Look, Heidi will be fine. She's coordinated." I explained to him that she had been a skier since she was six years old, that she had been a jazz dancer. She had to be light on her feet. If not, well, a boom to the supermodel's face would make some great pictures.
"How do you live with yourself?" he asked.
That night I slept like a lamb. In the morning I met Heidi for breakfast. She already knew she'd get knocked about.
We were placed in Cayard's boat, a good draw since he had put together the best record in the round robin, 7-1. Each skipper had been allowed to bring one crewman, and Cayard had brought Kostecki, a brilliant tactician who will serve with him in that capacity during Cayard's AmericaOne campaign in the next America's Cup, which will be held off Auckland in 2000. They made an impressive pair: Cayard, dashing, brash, confident to the point of arrogance; Kostecki, calm, understated and almost robotlike while assessing wind and water conditions. They had only raced together a handful of times and were using this regatta to further familiarize themselves with each other's style. They weren't about to pull any punches just because Heidi Klum was on board.
"Can I drive?" Heidi asked before the first race.