Offshore Yachting : February March 2009
T ack & Gybe The “new” Quest, a TP52, is now four years old. chance of winning overall. There’s a lot of good sailors and a lot of good boats, and it’s a yo-yo race in some regards because if you’re on the wrong side of the weather front the people in front of you pull away or the people behind you close in, so you’ve got to have an ounce of luck in being in the right spot at the right time. So I’m absolutely delighted to have won it twice, it’s sensational. But I also can reflect on the times I didn’t win it, like in ’95 I was announced as the preliminary winner of the race for 30 hours. In those days you used to have a different rule and you use to wait for the last yacht to get in before they did a course average speed and for 30 hours we were preliminary winner and after that three little boats came in on New Years Eve and changed the wind speed from 10 knots to eight knots and we lost by seven minutes! And you go, ‘bugger’! Mate, I could have been a three-time winner! OY: Well, I guess that makes sense of your fairly cautious post race comments when it wasn’t yet official… BS: Yeah, I mean, I chartered the boat in 2000 to an English guy and had half his crew and came second. We didn’t sail as well as we might have with a normal crew, so that was another one which might have got away from me. The criteria is: you’ve got to have a good boat – a competitive rating boat in that class – and then you’ve got to have a bloody good crew and a good navigator, because navigators play a very positive role. We had a 40 | offshore couple of navigators actually, one guy who was our technician and another who was our navigator, but between them they sorted out a few moves that the others didn’t really pick up on. We gybed inshore on the first night and got through a little lull that hit all the others – our guys thought there might be a bit more breeze on the other side which could work to our advantage and low and behold, we skipped away a few miles. OY: Is that the point at which you feel, in retrospect, that you won the race? BS: Well it certainly helped us, no doubt about that. But we thought we were back in the middle of the pack the next day when we blew our No. 4 (spinnaker) up, but that gybe was where we skipped away from a few of our competitors. OY: The racing was very close going down the east coast of Tasmania, what was going on around you? Did you have a clear sense that it was still very neck and neck with some of the other 50-footers? BS: We knew on the position reports who was around us; we crossed tacks with Yendys a couple of times and we knew Cougar II was pretty close because we crossed tacks with them on the evening before the 28th. So we knew they were thereabouts, they went inshore and we went slightly offshore and we all converged around Tasman Island. We were in front but they were coming from a better gybe angle and had their kites up, whereas we only had our headsail up and they were coming in quick. Basically we just held on to the end.
Yatching Media Kit 2009
April May 2009