Offshore Yachting : February March 2009
T ack & Gybe Photo: Andrea Francoini Willed Bob Steel’s overall victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2008 aboard his TP52 Questhas elevated this Sydney yachtsman to an elite list of just nine other skippers to have won the bluewater classic twice. By Matt Henry Steel for. The Rolex Sydney Hobart 2008 was no different. While many sat spellbound by Wild Oats XI and Skandia’s duel for first past the post, just hours behind a fascinating battle was unfolding between a spirited fleet of highly-charged TP52s. At the head of the pack was Quest, skippered by Sydney yachting stalwart Bob Steel, winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2002. Offshore Yachting caught up with the two-time Tattersall’s Cup winner in mid-January to get the inside word on his stellar 2008 Hobart campaign and his plans for Quest in 2009. OY: It’s no doubt been a busy month, have you had a chance to sit back and take it all in yet? BS: Yes and no, I sort of move onto the next thing. It was a good result and I’m still very pleased. A 38 | offshore OY: And what is the next thing for you? BS: Well I’ll do the Audi Sydney Harbour Regatta in March, and then I’m still thinking about the sailing program for the rest of the year. I might take the boat offshore and do the Asian circuit, or the Transpac – or I midst the great media flourish which annually engulfs the line honours battle in the Sydney Hobart, it’s the true blue yachties who will ask: ‘who won overall?’ Afterall, it’s the Tattersall’s Cup which the majority of competitors in the fleet are vying might stay here. I haven’t quite made up my mind yet. But I’ll have to soon because I need to get the plans sorted – saying it is one thing, but doing it is another. OY: 2008 was a great year of racing for you, starting with a win in the Skandia Geelong Week and second in the Audi Sydney Gold Coast race. You must be quite happy with how the boat is at the moment? BS: Yeah absolutely, it’s a great boat – it’s an older boat, it’s a 2004 model – but it seems to be a constant design. We’ve been able to do the kinds of things we need to do to make it competitive under IRC, like putting a bowsprit on it, a new keel on it and putting some good sails on it – and putting a good crew on it is always pretty important. All those things. It’s a fabulous boat – real value for money. It sits in the middle of the big boats, it’s very fast as you know and the costs are quite reasonable. OY: As you say, it’s very quick in its own right, which you showed by winning a very competitive division in the Sydney Hobart… BS: I think we were only four and a half hours behind Wild Oats XI – quick! It must have been conditions which favoured us because we blew a number four spinnaker out on the first morning which didn’t help us at all, and maybe we would have been even more competitive still.
Yatching Media Kit 2009
April May 2009