David Scully, onboard watch captain aboard Cheyenne, contemplates the boredom of round the world yacht racing
We have been mildly amused by a Magnus Wheatley commentary published in Scuttlebutt. I can sympathize with boring. It is true that there is a lot of routine involved in setting RTW records. On the other hand, there is also some great sailing. Last night, for instance, was not particularly gripping in terms of performance. Our speed barely exceeded 15kts in the puffs. But, man, you should have seen the stars! All the way down to the horizon, and just zinging in brilliance and fire. The moon, which you may have missed in England, is showing just a sliver on its bottom circumference, cradling the part in shadow, which you can also clearly see. Today the sky and sea have a quality of blue which seems particular to the middle of the ocean. But reading about this is not the same as seeing it.
As for conning sponsors, Magnus, I think they must all be reading your comments. We could’nt get one, though we conned our hardest, and Tracy Edwards was similarly unsuccessful, though she conned with the best of them. So don’t waste any sympathy on the sponsors. They aren’t very interested either.
I apologize about politically correct. I take this criticism to heart, and will do my best to improve, but as a writer you will appreciate that when the elements of your story are 13 professional sailboat racers on a boat, and the weather, the source material for something spicy is a little limited. Not exactly WWF. So you have a point there, one I will think about when timing myself on my next run. But wait a minute! If timing yourself at running and climbing Everest against the clock, (you have to climb Everest against the clock. If you take too long you loose your place in the queue. It is like a public golf course in Katmandhu these days). If these things are simply not done, then maybe we stopwatch clicking record setters are not politically correct anyway. Does the criticism apply?
I suspect that most people who led the human race from caves to condominiums started out by doing something that was of little interest to their fellow cave dwellers. When Steve built Cheyenne, it was possibly the first boat ever built specifically for challenging oceanic records, at that time almost all held by the clipper ships. As a result of his pursuing this course, a whole new growth curve has been added to sailing, and one that is making a big impact on the sport. A whole new world of bigger and faster is being opened up. Magnus, if you want mainstream, there is always Beckham. Otherwise, we will sail, and you can scroll.