Race 12 - Day 10
12 June

James Feldkamp
James Feldkamp
Team Dare To Lead
Back to Reports View Team Page


‘Where it began, I can’t begin to know it…’- Neil Diamond

The Lemur: Day 9 of Race 12 and the dawn, or 3am to 9am watch was drawing to a close for Port watch. Sometimes known as ‘Westies Besties’. It had been a great watch, with smooth seas, a nice breeze pushing us along at about 8 knots with barely any trim needed for the Code 2 spinnaker. We’d just experienced a spectacular sunrise. An orange mackerel sky turning pink above a metallic blue sea transforming into electric indigo. ‘The Besties’ were in a chipper mood and, with watch changeover fast approaching a call for Neil Diamond’s epic song ‘Sweet Caroline’ was made. As the diligent DJ, attentive to the crew’s needs I quickly powered up the BoomBox and Neil’s stirring tune rang out.

The Seagull: Well, sports fans, where did it begin? Perhaps on the 0300-0900 night shift. Possibly, having drunk too much seawater, we saw the true colours of many of our Watch emerge. No, not funny, not mean, but perhaps SAD! For in those wee hours something strange happened to some members of our watch (we are in the Bermuda Triangle after all). Yes, with a spectacular dawn that could have harboured good tidings, I instead found the old guys of my watch dancing. Poorly…

It started out when our DJ put on Neil Diamond ‘Sweet Caroline’, and started swinging his hips.

The Lemur: Something about the music and the magical morning began to infect the crew, much like the impact of the music in The Clash’s Rock the Casbah. The watch on deck began to tap their toes, move their hips and sway their arms. Timon, the Meerkat, from Starboard watch popped his head up, smiled and began to rock to the rhythm.

The Seagull: As I began to look on in wonder, and then terror, a member from the other watch (call sign Timon-from Lion King), joined in. It was like a descent into Dante’s inferno. Then the helm started swinging to and fro. Looking back we saw Westie singing along. Sweet Jesus! Ooops, I mean Sweet Caroline.

The Lemur: Sweet Caroline ended and another classic started up, Glen Campbell’s ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’. As the music moved us, like the well drilled team we are, muscle memory took over and our bodies mimicked the actions used in sailing evolution. Pulling the halyard as we raise sails, “bell ringing” and “sweating sevens”. Grinding, easing and “making” the trim.

The Seagull: Then Glen Campbell's ‘Rhinestone Cowboy’ came on and all hell broke loose. It was pandemonium. Julian (from the Madagascar movie, and our DJ) started with the dance routine that can only be found in either a Clipper Race yacht, or a three Stooges movie. That’s right: ‘Ringing the Bell’ ‘Sweating the Line,’ ‘Grinding the Yankee,’ and what gives me nightmares ‘Easing the Halyards.’

Truly Disturbing!

The Lemur: As the crew laughed, sang and danced to classic tunes, we realised we had something special, something too good not to share! We would choreograph the moves, and Westie, Timon and I would bring joy to the world.

The Seagull: Good God! Make the bad man stop! But it continued, egged on by the oncoming watch these manly in-shape sailors (by shape: I mean round), were shaking their money-maker and honestly thought they could dance. Unfortunately, once you saw this display you just can’t ‘un-ring that bell.’ But wait, the beat went on… Thinking they were onto something. Westie, the more urban, talented, and snappiest dresser of them all, started to choreograph the trio into a semi-organized chorus line. Again, you can’t un-ring that bell!

Although they fancy themselves the reincarnation of the Chippendale's routing from the 80’s or perhaps the Chunk-n-dales from the 90’s they more resemble the Trueffelschwein of CV27. So, let me introduce to you…


‘Where the music is hot and the people are not!’

The Lemur: With spirits high, other crew members joined in, each bringing their own special talents to the project.

The Seagull: Unbeknownst to the choreographed troupe their exploits were being filmed. So, for about $50 a month in small unmarked bills, their friends and family will never see this sad display.

The Lemur: Unfortunately, the good times couldn't last and, as the Skipper came on deck for watch change and Happy Hour, though we detected some rhythmic head bobbing as he too was infected by the glorious morning and music, the stereo was turned down and the race was once again the prime target of the crews’ laser like focus.

The Seagull: Utterly shell shocked and waiting for the sweet release of death, I was finally saved when the skipper appeared on deck to signal watch change. This provided me the chance to escape to my bunk and cry. Why God, why Me!?!?!

The Lemur: What a morning! Fantastic to see the crew enjoying themselves, I even spotted the usually dry and distant Seagull tapping his beak and swinging his wings, or was that convulsing?

The Seagull: Does anyone know a good therapist?