That sinking feeling
Do you recall when Australia One sank when it was racing against Team New Zealand during the 1995 Louis Vuitton Cup race? Yip, this was a team of some of the top sailors in the world, racing in a boat designed and built by world class specialists in their feild - and their boat sank!
When Australia One turned “into a banana” and split in the middle, it was a mix of design, weather and ocean conditions, sailing leadership, and skills of the crew as a whole. While it might have seemed easy to find one person or group ‘at fault’ to blame; the builder, the organisers, the helmsman...really it was a perfect storm and blame was not going to be a constructive way forward.
I’m sure once the crew were safely off the boat, they were soon focused on the outcome being a “-18”; how badly it all went wrong. But, this wasn’t going to stop them from competing. They needed to keep moving forward, and do so together in unison. They needed to focus on the +2, and do better next time. Pretty tough to do with the pressure of international media coverage and multi-million dollar investments, not to mention pride!
Closer to home
More recently, and closer to home, there have been several reports of waka sinking. In 2009 students from New Plymouth Boys’ High experienced a terrifying situation when they were caught by rising seas and their waka ama was slammed against rocks, while in 2012 at Waitangi a waka unexpectedly began taking on water and was rapidly submerged. Thankfully it was reported in both instances that all survived. While we can look back and see some of the more public responses to Australia One’s incident, the longer term impacts of the waka sinkings closer to home are less clear. Historical accounts of such circumstances suggest a range of responses.
What would you choose to do?