Gary Ince is one of a tight-knit crew aboard Dr Stephen Sherwin’s Nasty Medicine.
“I have always had a fascination for the ocean, but had never sailed before I came to Bermuda,” Mr Ince said.
He did a few pleasure cruises, joined the J24 one design fleet and then Dr Sherwin.
He sailed the Block Island Regatta on the doctor’s original, Custom 40 Nasty Medicine in 2005, and Newport-Bermuda Races of 2008 and 2010 on the current, Corby 41.5 Nasty Medicine.
Mr Ince said: “The 2008 race was particularly enjoyable as we had a really good result coming third in our class.”
“Through Steve I have had a great opportunity to be a part of so many sailing campaigns, both in Bermuda and on an international level.”
Dr Sherwin explained crew formation by saying: “It’s chance encounters and enthusiastic intent, really, often not based on previous sailing experience, though that helps, and is well taken care of by a number of the very experienced crew… We can train them on the boat, basically.”
“There’s no particular structure to the way we recruit. We probably pay more attention to someone’s personality than their sailing ability.”
Mr Ince noted the ‘good camaraderie’ and ‘healthy competitive attitude’ of the crew and said: “We are all good mates and everyone gets on really well both on and off the boat… Trust in each other is extremely important, knowing you can rely on each other in any circumstance.”
A racing boat, Nasty Medicine is not designed to be comfortable, according to Mr Ince.
“It is trimmed right down for performance and has little creature comforts. It is a beautiful design and an amazingly ‘hot’ looking boat.”
Nasty Medicine’s crew pool, according to Dr Sherwin, includes six
others who sailed only in the NYYC Anniversary Regatta.
Dr Sherwin said: “We rent a crew house in Newport, which is impeccably maintained by the crew for the two campaigns for the week.”
Mr Ince noted: “Newport is such a vibrant place. From the New York Regatta the week before to the Onion Patch Series in Bermuda, it’s a brilliant race, and the whole experience is terrific. The number of Bermuda boats participating [in the Bermuda Race] this year is disappointing.”
He added: “Steve is an incredibly enthusiastic and excitable guy to sail with. He is hugely competitive, very technical, and his knowledge and experience is vast. He is always upbeat and just loves to be racing. All these qualities are very infectious and overspill on to the crew.”
His skipper inspires individual performance, according to Mr Ince, who trims the headsail and spells the crew at helm.
“As a secondary function, I look after the crew’s culinary requirements as cook, a bit of a glorified pot noodle and sandwich maker, really.”
Or as Dr Sherwin put it: “a good cook, when armed with water and dried veggies.”
Mr Ince said: “There’s a real fascination coming off a night watch when the sun is just rising and a new day is beginning, everyone anticipating our position in the race.
“There’s a real buzz about the boat trying to get the perfect sail trim to maximize our speed and position.”
Would-be sailors should contact RBYC and RHADC, according to Mr Ince, who said: “Bermuda has a really friendly sailing community, and there are always skippers looking for crew on a wide range of vessels.”