Once again some of the little boat guys went to do battle on big boats to Hobart – seems they like us out there. Or as Tim Bilham from Sydney points out, the Sydney-Hobart was their training ground for their subsequent Nationals victory. Coincidentally their Hobart ride was on the First 45 Victoire, another larger Tupperware version of their J24 ‘Victory’ .
Tim says, “our training for the Nationals on Death Star has been predominantly centered around Hobart preparation. On our J24 crew, we have Duncan (bow), me (pit) and Sean (helm) who all did the S2H on Victoire (Beneteau First 45).
We won our IRC and ORCi divisions and came 5th overall on IRC. Only plastic production boat in the top ten. Shane (our trimmer) sailed the Hobart on Investec Loyal. I’m sure he’s using a lot of the knowledge gained from sailing a 100 foot maxi with powered winches in his J24 sailing”.
“David (our mast guy on the J24) is the smart one and skipped the Hobart but this doesn’t seem to be holding him back at all on the J24.”
As we know the S2H fleet had some moments out there and some boats didn’t make it, although we think all the J Guys got there.
By comparison the other overwhelmingly J24 crewed boat was the Elliot 44 ‘Veloce’ out of Melbourne doing the M2H Eastcoaster. Veloce was one of the front 3 that got away from the fleet and had a dream ride to Hobart, beating the old race record and finishing in a time of 2 days 2hrs 40min to take the race and series wins and just to keep the boys happy, hitting around 24knots down the coast of Tassie in the middle of a very black night. Veloce also set an additional informal record as the smallest boat in many years to win the King of the Derwent Double with line honours and handicap wins. Making the boat go to Hobart were Melbourne J Guys; Mark Houghton, Kelvin Oldridge, Simon Grain, Noel Duffy and of course Fitzy, joining us for the race in Hobart were Stewart Geeves, Neil Wallace, Priscilla Cutter and Lisa Simonov. So you might say most of the crew !
Jane Flowers who sails on ‘Make My Jay’ went down the east coast in luxury on the 60ft Swan Dreamcatcher 3 and Rowan “Two Dogs” Pollard also out of Sandy, won 1st place in Cruising Division of the S2H in Scarlet Ribbon, a Buisen 48, (keeping himself a much tidier boy than previous ‘escapades’ offshore).
So that’s at least 13 J24 Guys that I know of doing the Hobart thing. Well done everybody. And then many of us fronted up for further training in Sydney !