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Splish splash I was takin' a bath

By Skeletor Papathanassiou - posted Thursday, 25 January 2007

Some years ago, for the benefit of Fairfux readers, I compiled the Christmas clichés that could be relied upon to arrive every year, trotted out as if entirely novel each December by some witless journalist or media adviser. A couple of years later, Crikey invited its readers to do the same thing, demonstrating that remorseless capacity for innovation and "outside-the-box" thinking that people associate with Australia's foremost e-zine.

However one Crikey reader produced a Christmas cliché I'd forgotten, which was the discussion of weather for the Sydney-Hobart yacht race, and it's that immortal race that I wish to crap on about this evening, after spotting the first press article about the 2006 edition.

I confess I don't hate the Sydney-Hobart Yacht Race (henceforth, SHYTR) as much as I despise the Melbourne Cup, which involves systematic cruelty to animals. But the sight of a large number of quite wealthy people (mostly men) setting off in million-dollar vessels and getting salivated over by the media fucks me right off.


But what particularly fucks me off is that when, inevitably, half of these wealthy cunts require rescuing because 1. they can't sail or 2. they decided to be Alpha Males and press on into the teeth of a cyclone, millions of taxpayer dollars are poured into the drink to rescue them, and millions of words are poured out by bored hacks on reluctant holiday duty about what brave blokes they are.

Years ago, when about half of the fleet was wiped out by a monumental storm that they had all been told to avoid like the plague, I admit I was torn between feeling immense sadness for the wretched families of these men, wondering if they'd lost their loved ones to a howling storm, and, I'll confess, a quiet schadenfreude about the fate they had so doggedly sought. The fact that the survivors all blamed the weather bureau afterwards tipped me decidedly into the latter camp.

So (adopting a David Stratton voice) here they are then, the seven reasons why I hate the SHYTR:

  1. Contrary to what you will read in the paper and hear from the participants in the lead up to the race, the ocean is not some final frontier where a man can test his innate qualities in an age of creature comforts and indulgence. It is not a playground for big swinging dicks. It is a vast, volatile element that will crush you with supreme indifference because you are completely irrelevant.
  2. Ergo, a SHYTR yachtsman is not brave, he is thick. Very thick.
  3. They always bitch about the spectator craft during the start. Admittedly, it's hard to know whom to hate more - fuckwits on their racing yachts, or dickwits with their own boats clogging the harbour for a view of the race. The ideal is therefore that a spectator craft and a maxi yacht collide and both sink.
  4. The jazz bands. You watch this year. Every year in the media coverage, without fail, there will be a segment on how Sydneysiders littered the shores of the harbour and beaches to see the yachts. Inevitably, too, there will be footage of a jazz band playing in some beachside park as part of some organised entertainment for such fucktards. I hate jazz bands. I hate yachts. I hate people turning out to see yachts. But worst of all, I hate jazz bands entertaining people who have turned out to see yachts. Welcome to Jazz Club. Grrreat! CUNTS!
  5. The handicap winner. Line honours I understand. The biggest, fastest boat. But the handicap winner? All I can think of is a retarded boat spazzing its way down to Hobart. Plucky. Determined to overcome its disability. Don't judge what I can do but what you think I can't. Disabled are able. I was born on a pirate ship. What a great example.
  6. The Melbourne-Hobart Yacht Race. WTF? One isn't bad enough? And what's the point? They're already going from SYDNEY, you fuckwits. Can't you start from there? Or are you trying to join in the Sydney fleet and pretend you're part of them? Cheating pricks. And don't get me started on the Melbourne-Devonport race. That is surely sponsored by Pissants'R'Us.
  7. Hitting whales. Everything that goes wrong with these yachts is put down to "I hit a whale" or "I hit a sunfish" (whatever the fuck they are). No, you didn't hit anything. It's the ocean - the chances of hitting anything are a billion to one. You just can't steer a fucking boat you wanker.

Fuck off yachties. You are a walking - better yet, floating - compelling case for a massive luxury goods tax.

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First published in The Spin Starts Here on December 20, 2006. It is republished as part of "Best Blogs of 2006" a feature in collaboration with Club Troppo, and edited by Ken Parish, Nicholas Gruen et al.

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About the Author

Skeletor Papathanassiou is a lecturer in Applied Ebonics at the Canberra Institute of Performance Studies. His new book "Socio-semiotic narratives in the persecution of Robert Hughes" will be published in 2008. Skeletor blogs at The Spin Starts Here.

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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