Monday, 6 April 2009


I always believed Michael Lennon had an affliction. I've never seen someone spend so much time working on boats, showing such skill and expertise in things like rope work. It's the same with some other great sailors I know. Just obsessed. I suspect Scott Babbage is the same.

Me? the only degree I had was in "Ductology". This is the science of using duct tape as an integral element of boat maintenance. I began years ago with light temporary repairs, mainly to keep the water out and progressed to complex load bearing engineering solutions that were likely to result in a DNF. I even began tapeing my worn out sailing kit up. I've recently read that it is widely accepted as a qualification in the motorcycle racing industry, but for me it became all consuming. Boot laces were no longer needed and dry suit seals were replaced by it. The only down side being trying to get out of the suit when you'd wound half a roll around your neck to keep the water out. As a result of one particular close to death changing room experience I felt very near to Michael Hutchence when he died as a result of his own particular rope work.

But I'm getting better, twice my boat has been back for a tweak and I'm beginning to pride myself on the odd bit of quality maintenance. Knots are largely now a thing of the past.

This weekend we raced in Haying Bay, which was unfortunate as the sea breeze was only in the harbour. Mike and I sensibly retired after a lap of low ridding, but Spring felt like it was here.

This Easter weekend we have an open Moth race in front of the club Friday and racing each day with the RNLI pursuit race Monday, an event I've always supported, as I've been rescued by them more that once.

Largely as a result of the Duct tape giving way.

Anyway because its Easter and because we are racing the weather will be appalling. It always is. Specifically a tornado will come to town and wreck a small caravan park in Portsmouth. It always happens...


Anonymous said...

Leather belt not rope!


n4rkla said...

Duct tape = grey sticky weld