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KNIFEThe Race Rescue: Race makes the cut
KNIVES MAKE ME NERVOUS - as nervous as a solitary English football-supporter down an alley with a bunch of Galataseri yobs. Ive made mistakes with knives in the past. The tip of my left thumb is now numb, because Ive accidentally sliced it off so often.
ÂÂÂÂ What else makes me nervous Well, before I started looking like a pillar of society, I often got stopped driving my car in the early hours by the boys in blue. Whats in the bag, sir Somehow I felt that a knife suitable for killing grizzly bears would take some explaining.
 I am also quite nervous of ropes. My time as a boat-crew member taught me that ropes were important. They needed to hold when required and equally they needed to be let go as necessary. We always kept a large bread-saw next to both the forward and aft winches. There comes a time when a bend is under tension and the warp just has to be cut. As for ropes under waterÉ
ÂÂÂÂ Divers need a knife. Not for fending off sharks but for emergency use, in case you get entangled. Its a piece of safety equipment and, as with a fire-extinguisher, you hope you never have to use it but when you do, you expect it to work.
ÂÂÂÂ So what do I want from a knife I dont want to cut myself unexpectedly. I want it to cut easily through a problem, not cause one. I want it to be a tool, not a weapon. I want it to be secreted away in my kit, forgotten until the day I need it.
ÂÂÂÂ The new Race Rescue Knife is aimed at the competitive sailing market. It has a 10cm blade of high-quality 425 stainless steel, so it shouldnt be reduced to a fragile rust stain in its sheath when you come to use it. It has a special protective yellow etching to protect it from such corrosion.
ÂÂÂÂ I found that its serrated edge made short work of almost any rope and its convex profile saved me from having to look out the Band-Aids. What it was not particularly good at was cutting through nylon monofilament line under water.
ÂÂÂÂ However, I experimented on a bit of nylon net and I am sure that a certain amount of extra energy applied would increase its efficacy. If you find yourself entangled, youll suddenly discover that you do have that energy!
ÂÂÂÂ The Race Rescue Knifes handle is covered in rubbery plastic which gives a good grip, and its bright yellow, so you should be able to find it easily. Theres a shackle key in the blade that can be used for hauling out any nails that have their heads proud, but if you dont need that feature you could opt for a similarly priced version with a monofilament hook instead.
ÂÂÂÂ This knife would be useful for any dive-guide who has to swim down and tie a line round a wreck, the way they have been doing on the Thistlegorm for the past 12 years. Its a cats cradle of lines down there at times, and the guides from heavier vessels have found that they need to use a wire hawser and shackle to be secure. I dont approve, but its a fact.
ÂÂÂÂ One might find that an emergency arose and a line needed cutting fast, and the Race Rescue Knife is the tool for the job. Its better than a bread-saw, anyway!
The Race Rescue Knife and simple sheath costs £35.
  • Markat 01935 815424, www.markat.co.uk


  • Divernet Divernet
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    + Good for cutting rope


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    - Not so good for monofilament