Dr Stephen Sherwin’s biennial boat-rocking starts here. The owner of Corby 41.5 Nasty Medicine toys with the Bermuda Sun every chance he gets. This 2012 section of the Newport-Bermuda Race supplement has been censored.
The skipper noted the joy he gets from sailing and racing his ‘magnificent looking’ and ‘well constructed’ boat.
He said it challenges the crew to achieve maximum performance, making for a good day’s outing.
Dr Sherwin said: “Pound for pound, it’s better than anything else on the water. It’s treated us very well in the open ocean, especially since we plugged the leaks. They were a little conservative with the deck fitting caulking.”
And he deadpanned: “The keel remains in place.”
He said he was proud to be the only Bermudian skipper this year, but will miss some of his good friends, Dr Colin Couper and Paul Hubbard who previously raced and gave him a ‘good hiding.’
Minus Mr Hubbard’s Bermuda Oyster, Skipper Sherwin also claims title to having the only true Bermudian boat in the race.
“We’re a boat that resides permanently in Bermuda,” he said. “Mark Watson’s racing, and I believe he’s American, and the boat he’s chartering is in the States. I believe Amanda Mochrie is chartering a 40 from the UK.”
Dr Sherwin has done seven Bermuda Races to one Marion Bermuda.
Why not more Marions?
“Due to Buzzard’s Bay phobia… a hell of a day’s hack,” he said. “The other reason is because I don’t have the fortitude to race every year, and the boat has more appropriate specifications for the Newport-Bermuda Race.”
In addition to its skipper, Nasty Medicine’s 2012 crew comprises Bermudians Alan Frith and Andre Simons; navigator Jerry Burnham, watch captains Richard Crossley and Mark Proctor, Ian ‘Herbie’ Feathers, Leah Cunningham and Gary Ince.
Nasty Medicine will again take part in the Onion Patch Series, for which it won the Gurnet Rock Trophy in 2008, but then, in 2010, placed 12th out of 14 in IRC Class Seven.
What happened? True to form, the doctor-skipper said: “We went the wrong way and dragged the anchor.”
He noted that the boat’s Onion Patch team, including Buddy Rego’s Vanquish and Peter Gibbons-Neff’s Upgrade actually won the Corinthian Cup in the 2010 NYYC Regatta, the first of three legs in that Series. Nasty Medicine also came second in class, there, and won one other prize.
“There’s nothing that we want to beat.
We just want to improve our position in the fleet.”
Dr Sherwin said he got into sailing by being “shoved in a boat as a child, with a handkerchief and a stick and no oars and a seized up Seagull engine.”
Nowadays, the skipper has to consider more formal boat arrangements.
He’s installed a new stove he designed and constructed himself and upgraded sea berths he hopes will no longer eject sleeping crewmembers.
With regard to the economy, he said: “We’re all a lot more careful with the way we use our budgets, but we’ve always had a hands-on approach to the boat’s maintenance.”
According to Dr Sherwin, camaraderie overrides the need to be successful in the Bermuda Race.
“We are quite competitive, but at the end of the race, we’ve always got a good list of excuses why we didn’t do so well.
That sense of camaraderie is lasting.”