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Had he chosen that moment for a reverie on the joys of sailing, Turner would have had the crowd even more spellbound. He has, in quieter moments, reflected, "Some races are so beautiful that you're sorry to finish. There are times when the weather is perfect. The Montego Bay race in '66 was one. It was a full moon, clear nights, warm, and there was a good wind. The world was beautiful. In our sport, you're out there with nature—you're as close to nature as you can be—with gulls, flying fish, whales, the dawn, the sunset, the stars.
"You take a deep breath and you feel alive, really alive. The brilliance of the stars is hard to describe. You think you can reach out and grab a handful of them. It's as if they were 10 feet away, and there are millions of them. There are so many beautiful sights. The coast of Tasmania with its cliffs that go 1,000 feet straight up. Sailing past Molokai, in Hawaii, in the moonlight after not having seen land in two weeks; storming past the coast of Cuba; seeing Bermuda loom some 70 or 80 miles away, or seeing the phosphorescence in the tropics. It's just so beautiful out there."
At the finish now, in the finest hour of any sailor's career, following the greatest outpouring of affection ever seen at an America's Cup race, some people were waiting for Turner to match this eloquence. Alas. During the last trip to shore and a press conference; after having had innumerable quarts of beer, champagne and—bingo!—aquavit (courtesy of some overzealous Swedes) poured down his throat, Ted Turner arrived at the pinnacle dead drunk.
"You ought to catch those Super Bowl winners when they've had several hours to enjoy it instead of just a few minutes," Turner says in his defense. "Honestly, what was I going to say? A friend of mine was disappointed in me. He thought I'd missed my moment. My moment? How the hell could I be profound? It was just a boat race. It was over. I had been away all summer. It was time to get back to work. I didn't even have time to make the Today show, and they wanted me bad. I have to work to earn a living.
"Anyway," said Ted Turner, the famous philosopher, "my father always said to never set goals you can reach in your lifetime. After you accomplished them, there would be nothing left. I'll have other moments. I'll have more fun. My teams may keep losing but I'll enjoy myself.
"No need in sitting alone on the shelf," Ted Turner, the famous crooner, is singing again. "Come to the Cabaret. Da da da da da, boom, boom, boom. I'll have a bounce in my step, a smile on my face. Hey, happy-go-lucky me. There'll be a load of compromising. On the road to my horizon. Like a rhinestone cowboy. Riding out in front of a star-spangled rodeo. Like a rhinestone....
"What I need to do is put out a record," says Ted Turner, the famous recording artist. "Like Wolfman Jack. Talk about a star. The 'Wolfman's Favorites.' You ever hear that? Yeah. That's it. Ted Turner's Favorites. Man, I love the Wolf. He's so cool. I wanted to send in the money. Get me his favorites. Wolf always says '...and remember, the old Wolfman loves you.' Yeah. I love him. You know what? I got to get him down here to Atlanta. Me and Wolfman Jack. What a pair. What an affair. What an unstoppable combo! You know the Wolf? You know his number? Hey, Dee?"
Talk about a star.