“Oh, he is too good”, answers Casey Bates the question how it is like to race against his dad Wayne Bates. He laughs: “I have been lucky to beat him one or two races in a regatta. He is a good sailor and he will keep beating me for a long time.” Father and son from Melbourne, Australia are currently in respectively 21st and 48th position at the ACO 10th MUSTO Skiff World Championship 2019.
Father Wayne has been in the class for about 5 years and got his son involved: “It is a really good boat and Casey has come through Mirrors, 420s, 29ers and 49ers. With a 2-man boat is hard to always be able to sail, so the MUSTO Skiff is a really good boat to improve the 49er sailing. He was at the right age and I was getting another boat, so at home he is sailing my old MUSTO Skiff.”
Casey says he loves the boat: “You are on the job of 2 people, but by yourself. It is great racing and the fleet is awesome. You make friends, who you are going to have for the rest of your life.” Being asked whether his dad coaches him, he laughs: “Oh yeah, I still remember in the early days when I just got the MUSTO. We would be going out in just 15 knots, so not that windy. I would be upside down for 90 percent of the time. Dad would drop the kite, come back to me, give me pointers and tell me I have been an idiot.”
Dad himself calls the competition with his son ‘really good’. “I am getting older and so does Casey. The tide is going to change soon. There are a couple of other father/son combinations in the fleet, where the son is beating his dad. That will happen to me for sure, soon enough.” Maybe even by his daughter in the near future: “She is a little bit older than Casey and I am trying to get her in the MUSTO, so we might end up with a father/son/daughter crew.”
Meanwhile on the fourth racing day, the sailors are still waiting for the weather to improve. Thunder flashes are striking Medemblik and it is raining. Casey however won’t regret the delay and therefore forced rest, as he is limping. “I have been a bit silly on the lay day, as I was throwing myself head first down the water slide and my foot kept back. I am going to have to sail today. There is no point coming all the way here and don’t have a try. I have done what I have done. I have to cope with that and have to go sailing.” He better does, because he needs to catch up on his 49er skipper Haydey Harding in 43rd position…
By Diana Bogaards