FROM 1-25. Blowing a (super) gale

Oct 20, 2005 – 2300hrs UTC

2300hrs 20 Oct 2005 UTC 39’30”S 011’17”E Ref 466

Another salute – a week early because I want it out there before Steve leaves for the UK. This one is to a couple of guys without whom all this could never have happened. Stephen Jackson in Sydney and Malcolm Robinson in Hobart take it in turns to run the website – it owes its entire existence to these guys. They are and anyone who has sent us an email via the website has talked to one of them. You can join me in my roar of applause by sending them smileys at berri@…Thanks also to Tricia and Megan for accepting with the equanimity that they do, the disruption that all this must cause.

Malcolm: He turned up on the jetty a few years ago at the Royal YC of Tasmania and asked if we knew of anyone who needed a crew. A likely lad we thought – jump on, mate. Since then he’s done umpteen Hobarts, and Lord Howes and we’ve learned to love him dearly. He’s a sailor’s sailor – great downwind helmsman, not as good as me ;-) upwind in Berri but in his own boat probably about 10 % better. Courage is not about blind leaps but about calculated risk and facing known – or unknown – fears with ones eyes open. I remember a wild kite ride on one of the Hobarts – I bet Mal does too –  where we had the assy up in about 35 knots right, right out on the edge – swell building, Mal steering, averaging about 7 knots, catching waves and scared absolutely fartless. So was I. I could see his grey knuckles and was trying not to interfere cos I knew he was doing better than I could ever hope to do. He was cold and wet and – at last at one level, enjoying himself despite the shivers. We had a near wipeout with a bigger wave and a simultaneous gust and I pulled the plug – kite down and a relieved Mal – but he’d have stayed there if I’d asked him to. I think that was the ride that lifted us into third place that year. He’s a bit of a whizz with nerdery and he is responsible for the tracking charts and the photo albums on the website along with lots of enormously helpful advice. Thanks Mate, for heaps  and good luck with the new boat.

Stephen: what can I say. A perfectionist for a start – he is an accredited Olympic measurer and measured the Sydney olympic marathon course for SOCOG to within a few nanometres – double checked by another guy from the UK. Also stark raving bonkers. He’s skydived out of a Russian Antonov cargo plane onto the North Pole, climbed various mountains in Nepal and South America, has run 42 marathons with a best time of 2:32:17 (BASTARD! mine’s 2:41.49, so he’d have been 2k ahead of me), raced cars and motor bikes and push bikes, is a nerd with an MBA from AGSM, working towards a PhD. and has worked all over the world in various IT jobs. He sailed in the ’03 Hobart with us – that’s him on the website in the big white hat, (Mal is behind him in a harness, I think) he is our beloved El Pres in the Sydney Striders, is married, has 3 kids and is off to the UK on Nov 22 to marry one of them off and, incidentally, to collect our RORC award from Janet and Caro and bring it back. If anyone wants to buy him a beer while he’s over there, will find him until he leaves. I suggest an inaugural Convocation of UK Berri Webbers at Shepherd’s Tavern in Shepherd’s Market off Curzon St in London one day in November. In his spare time, he spends 24 hours a day running the website for us and keeping all y’all up with the news. Steve, I dips me lid bigtime. Some debts of gratitude go way beyond words. Thanks.

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