“Talking Sailing” From My Archives. From Rooster to Feather-Duster

Spectacular Southern Ocean scenery as seen from ‘Tokio’ on the second leg of the Whitbread Race. These were the good times… 

By Richard Crockett

“We went from rooster to feather duster in no time at all” has to be one of my all-time favourite headlines. Not because of the disaster that befell Chris Dickson and his ‘Tokio’ crew in the Whitbread Round the World Race of 1994, but because Dickson captures the desperate situation so well in words.

It’s a great story to read, which opened like this: “No matter how many times you drum into yourself the idiom that “it ain’t over till the fat lady sings”, the suddenness with which fortunes can change still comes as a major shock. In a matter of seconds, the loss of ‘Tokio’s’ mast, turned our campaign upside down.

To borrow a phrase from well-known yachting broadcaster, Peter Montgomery, we went from rooster to feather duster in no time at all. Although, we all hate the idea of coming so close to putting together a winning campaign only to see it all collapse around your ears, there are positive aspects about the experience to draw on.

READ IT ALL HERE:  Pages from 1994 06 – SAILING Magazine – OCR

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