Rock the Boat


Rock the Boat may be a doc, but it’s also a stirring adventure story— the account of an
all-HIV-positive crew’s odyssey in the TransPac yacht race, an epic sprint from California to Hawaii. The idea was the
brainchild of Robert Hudson, who founded a support group for AIDS patients and brought on board filmmaker Bobby Houston. After an overchatty start, the movie takes off when the Survivor sets out from Long Beach in the 1997 TransPac, its hull inscribed with the names of friends lost to AIDS— and it
becomes apparent that this is not another treacly saga of male bonding under pressure. These amateur gobs’
nerves soon get frazzled and personality conflicts develop on the overcrowded vessel— we’re treated to endearingly bitchy outbursts and cabin-feverish flare-ups. By the time they reach Hawaii, though, they’ve become a band of brothers. No, they don’t come in first— they finish 19th. Yes, they are some kind of heroes. The kind who’ve earned the right to say, after they’ve
circumvented a hurricane, “We’ve outrun worse things in our lives.”

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