WildWeb is incapable of having a normal office party. After all, we’re an office of adventurers, surfers and crazy creatives. Normal just doesn’t do it for us.
This year’s Christmas party was no exception. Divided into two teams, each in our own little racing boat, WildWeb took to the seas and conquered Durban’s harbour. ‘Social sundowner sailing’ in summer is a popular Wednesday afternoon event held by the Royal Natal Yacht Club, and this last Wednesday, the WildWeb team was eager to participate. WildWeb owner, Paul, is an avid skipper and organised for two boats and roped in two extra skippers (and good friends of WildWeb), Anthony and Lorna, to help out on the second boat.
All decked out in our Christmas gear, we optimistically packed some drinks and snacks into the boats and Paul gave us a brief run down of all the technical terms and sailing jargon. The saying ‘learning the ropes’ has never made more sense. Once briefed, it was sails up and off we headed!
Having never been sailing before, my expectations of the afternoon were fairly calm; spend a few hours floating around the harbour, get a tan and enjoy a nice, cold drink. However, this illusion of a relaxing booze cruise was quickly shattered when on the first ‘jibe’ (a downwind turn), one of the boats broached and next thing we knew, marketing team leader, Kelly, was in the water! Luckily, Anthony quickly pulled her back to safety and, besides a scraped knee, Kelly was absolutely fine. If anything, I was more traumatised than her and quickly started considered my options for getting back to shore.
After a bumpy start, we got back on track quickly and within no time were ‘tacking’ and ‘jibing’ all over the place, and ready to start the race. The race itself involves doing two laps of the harbour as quickly as possible, while avoiding hitting any buoys (or other boats for that matter). Amazingly, despite almost losing Kelly at the beginning, my team came in second (beating the other WildWeb boat) and has now earned the office bragging rights!
And because no sailing evening is complete without a braai, we ended off the night with a braai on one of the larger yachts. Not bad for an office party, right? I can’t wait to see how we’re going to top this one next year.
(Shout out to Shannon for braving the waters with his iPhone to capture the day!)