by Will Canty
There is always plenty of cheerful rivalry between skippers and crews. With a new boat and a few new faces Kym Butler and his yacht 'One for the road' have upped the ante skippering his yacht to a very credible eighth Position in IRC category 3.
Crew of One for the Road - Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht race. Photo: #1 on board photographer: Adrian
'One for the road' delivered a credible performance in the Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race besting local Newcastle rivals Anger Management.
In a highly tactical race battled out along the NSW coastline there was no fiercer rivalry than that of crews from the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club and Lake Macquarie. Despite this, it must be said that in a race that was over 380 miles long to have all local Newcastle crews finish within minutes of each other (on corrected time and in some cases in actuality) demonstrated an impressive local sailing talent and some well-prepared yachts and crews. Well done!
But lets not get too carried away with such congratulatory backslapping. With the stakes high, the winners securing bragging rights at the bar, some times winning a small wager, and the ammunition to answer the second question on the post race check list ' Q2. So how did you go?' with bravado, to the victor went the spoils.
Two minutes separated first and eighth in IRC Division 3 (clearly the only division to count) placing one for the road in eighth Position with a corrected time of 3:14:13:21 ahead of rival yacht Papillion another Archambaut40 who finished some time later in 10th position.
The answer to the first question of course is 'so what are you drinking' and the boys aboard 'One for the road', a dry boat during the race, took delivery of their first drop since starting the race from officials upon tying up at the Southport Yacht Club.
It’s procedural and it wouldn‘t matter where you went in the world or in what sport you competed, the how to make conversation after an ocean race check list, with blokes whose names you often can’t remember or whom you know by colourful nicknames rarely differs. Loudly and often repeated; How did you go? What are you drinking?; AND, Whose round is it?; will be questions we have all asked and will continue to ask into the future. The answers can be painstakingly boring as you work through a tack by tack account of a race, whilst at other times highly entertaining, but like the weather, we take the good and keep on sailing.
Describing these scenes, which are time honoured traditions within many sports, including sailing, they were once verbalised to me by an English woman as watching karate in slow motion. The antics of skippers and exuberant crews recounting the moves that they made and many that they didn’t, how they outmanoeuvred a competitor, influenced decision making on board or brilliantly picked the right side of the course to take advantage of the changes in weather conditions and just generally outsmarted their other competitors.
In yacht club bars the world over, watching sailors describing a days sailing to other sailors bested or beaten by, I now know and refer to as 'sailing karate'.
As the conditions of this race allowed plenty of time to ponder all things relevant and many not so relevant to the issues at hand, the concept of sailing karate evolved. Enter the sailing ninja!
Taking the idea of karate influenced sailing further, what came to be known aboard One for the Road as 'in shore ninja-ring' (spelling of this new and innovative descriptive can be debated and agreed later), which, by our definition is defined as anything performance enhancing we did that actually worked and lead to a gain against any of our visible and in many cases not so visible competitors, was developed tested and evolved as we sailed as close to and some times almost into and or between some of the smaller reefs and islands dotted along the NSW and southern Queensland coastline.
We fully believe it was our 'inshore ninja-ring' that gave us our edge over our Newcastle rivals and bought us those valuable few minutes that lead to our victory over the boys aboard Anger Management. As you are no doubt wondering what the answer to question one of the post race check list was for our crew it was with some surprise and a great deal of exuberance the answer to was summed up in short order. 'We beat Anger Management'.
For those of you out there that wish to understand the techniques of the 'inshore ninja' there is only one way to learn this recently developed sailing art and that is to go offshore with the crew of 'One for the road'. This closely guarded style of sailing will no doubt take off and be referred to in regatta’s to come as the defining moments that clinched a victory from a competitor but for now it will remain the secret weapon of the crew of 'One for the Road'.
Official results can be found at http://goldcoast.cyca.com.au/