I had a moment pondering what other rarely watched sports announcers would sound like. I think this was during the Winter Olympics, curling you know. I tried to think of a less comment-able sport than curling. Sailing it was.
The scene is the annual Hamptons sailboat race, held during the most windy month of the year in Connecticut, October. I’m Alistair Pipwichhamshireford and here with me as always the find chap, Rodger Hammershem-Samuel-Smith, famous rower from Ipswich.
Rodger: Hallow Alistair, top o the morning to you indeed. Quite the blower out here eh, winds gusting steadily.
Alistair: Well said bean, take a gander at the famous wind sock, raised precisely at 4:08 am on the day of the race, though no know seems to know why other than that’s how it is. Viewers can find it up on the topper most right side of the screen. Old BBC logo, ever present, on the lower right of your tube..
Rodger: yes indeed, Alistair. I tell you that fabled wind sox, the old periwinkle, yeah. Salmons colour, and I tell you what Alistair…
Alistair: hmm yes right
Rodger: I daresay that bloody sox is what got me here. Everybody in Ipswich dreamt at night to someday hoist that wind sox,
Alistair: yes the Cavendish sox, eh? Right!
Rodger: yeah you know the story of the rowers that sad lot who drownt whiles sailing n a hurricane
Alistair: aye a brave bunch indeed. Thought they could ski in that too
(Background images of random sea crashes. Not necessary of the era circa 1963. Kennedys first year not to participate for obvious reasons….) _
Alistair: yes well we shant recant that story.
Rodger: perish the thought. I just wanted to add if I may…
Alistair: hmm yes course, the boats are just heading up to the area where this race, this historical 100th year of sailing in the United States
Rodger: yea quite right. If I may might I add…
Alistair: oh dreadful sorry I was all out of line there.
Rodger: no no think no more of it…
Alistair: yea of course please. Your anecdote?
Rodger: well not an anecdote but more of a well I hasten to call it a belief…
Alistair: ah here it is then!
Rodger: ‘ell I wanted to say this race meant so much to us in Britain… growing up listening to the great races over the years. It gave me hope really. I daresay I haven’t the slightest idea what may have come of me had I not tuned into BBC 2 on the transistor radio my father had. Great things
Allister: oh you meant the golden age my boy. The 50s sailing! Now that was some fierce completion! Indeed. Well met
(random shots of sailboats, mostly all lined up, very little action. Boats floating,_)
Alistair; so I had all the old trading cards of the rowers, some of whom made the bold leap from rowing to sailing.
Rodger: yes quite the distinguished roll, Malcolm Mc Colsig from Derry, mad rower fierce sailor boy!
Alistair: he was me favorite no question. The bravery in 56!
Rodger: hmmm yes
(cut to random guy grunting holding a boat wheel yelling nautical sounding terms everything fails, nothing works. Cut to boat sinking”
Alistair: might we…
Rodger: of course we must honor ole Malc, the talc as I’ve heard.
Alistair: yes he fancied talc on his bare hand vs. gloves.
(cut to guy talc-ing up. Bloody hands as a rope whizzes through his hands, he just powerders his hands as if nothings wrong)
Alistair: he had massive stumps!
Rodger: oh yes he had sort of cabbage hands. Sort of like the wrestlers yeah when they have a go for a long bit sans helmet.
Alistair: yes it was the talc that lead to the glove rule of 57.
Rodger: quite overdue really. A good sailor lost his hands with every race. A ladies and gentlemen, we are ready
Alistair: oh my. Yes boats at the ready. Such a feeling!
Rodger: and precisely at 8 o’clock the gun will fire and this race will be off
Alistair: oh my yes, my word, the hours I’d spend listening to a race. As you know races tend to take round 6 hrs conservatively.
Rodger: and there we have it!
(Cut to boats lined up no action, there is no wind)
Alistair: who-rah such a rush for the boaters.. they are having a go at the sea.
Rodger: yes indeed. The main strategy here is to find the wind innit, Alistair.
Alistair: I tell you you cannot win, simply cannot have a chance really unless you harness the wind. Make it yours.
Rodger: so there it is yeah? The secret!
Alistair: took me nearly 30 years of hard sailing to crack that one. Ha
Rodger: well no time to dally, we have a race afoot.
Alistair: why indeed they are all looking for the wind. They have a mate on there whose sole job is wind control. Finding breezes
Rodger: yes very important
(cut to boats still not really moving. Perhaps same scene as previously, also could just have a guy lick thumb and hold it up)
Alistair: so right yeah many stories I could tell…
Rodger: right well we have hours really. This is only a 5 nautical mile course and it takes most of the day figuring out wind patterns and breezes.
Alistair: oh my and what a day it shall be. Such methodical methods. Complex calculations are ensuing and you’ll hear cries and whoa from the wind minder
Rodger: yes indeed. We put together a few interviews so we filmed prior to this race. We’ll show these and then come right back and pick up the action.
Alistair: my, the technology. Interrupting live telly whilst we are still broadcasting…
Rodger: hmm I leave it to the camera operators and such. I have a passion for all tings boats. I cannot be bothered w all that technoly mumbo. Ha I don’t even know what to call it.
Alistair: quite right you are. And away right, eh> so much easier to just gathering round the old radio. Hours of intense sail boating, with only you imagination. it will cut away then yeah?
Rodger: presumably yes. We shall return to the running of the United states of America sail boat classic invitational brought to you by chesterfield cigarettes. I’ve had 3 since we started. New less asbestos filtered mentholated classic knights, you know the 200s?
Alistair: well I’ll have a go at one. I say smoking helped me over several colds, cleared it right up. Thanks Dr. O’shannesey at NH, Devonshire.