Please select your home edition
Edition
Marine Resource 2016

Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 - Sherman leans on beginners' luck

by Jim Gale on 23 Dec 2012
First Timers ready to race Press Conference © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race rookie Warwick Sherman hopes to lean on ‘beginners luck’ as the cancer-survivor goes all out for his dream aboard his Jason Ker designed Sydney GTS43 Occasional Course Language.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed] Emerging from a serious cancer scare this year, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia member decided 2012 was the year he would turn fantasy into fact aboard his new Occasional Course Language.

'It’s a bit frightening in a way. Something I looked at and always wanted to do, but thought it was something that I would never do. My wife Judi has done three and I felt like a bit of a wimp, but this (cancer) was a trigger,' Sherman admitted today.

'I might get the bug or might not. This might be my first and last.'

Racing to Hobart is a huge physical challenge for a fit youngster let alone a man coming out the other side of cancer treatment. Sherman is confident he will be up to it, but it has been a lot of hard work to get here. 'I’ve been lucky,' he says. 'I’m not a naturally tough person, but I just hit it head on. Through the cancer treatment, I kept sailing on and off, and as I got stronger I could do more and more miles.

'This is the first big race I’ve done since the treatment but we have done a lot of miles.'

Sherman isn’t the only Hobart virgin in his fifties this year. Fifty one year-old Steve Kidson has been a volunteer on the CYCA start team for seven years. 'I did a lot of dinghy sailing and wanted to learn about ocean racing,' he said. 'All the rules and tactics - that’s why I volunteered for the start boat.'

This year, Kidson will be at the start line not as an official, but as a member of the crew of the Mummery 45 Icefire.

'I have often sat on the start boat on Boxing Day and longed to be out there, and this year I am,' Kidson said.

At the other end of the rooky scale are young guns like Owain Brady on Love & War and Clinton Evans on Quest.

Brady is joining the gang, some are from the old Brindabella crew, on Love & War, under the guidance of navigator Lindsay May. It is a tight knit, one would have to say venerable band that has been sailing Hobarts together for many years.

As one of the two younger and fitter crew on board (the other is owner Simon Kurts’ son Phil), 22 year-old Brady can look forward to some heavy lifting. Not for nothing are he and Phil split between the two watches. In return they will learn from some of the best.

The wily Lindsay May is up for his 40th Hobart. 'He’s going to teach me a lot,' Brady acknowledges. 'He knows Love & War inside out, and he looks after his crew.'

Brady has a long, tough slog ahead of him on the near 40 year old timber Love & War. Clinton Evans, a 24 year-old, will get there much faster on Bob Steel’s TP52 Quest.

Brady wants lots of wind over the bow: 'going upwind we can really put it to the racing boats,' he declares, but concedes that down wind is another matter.



Evans can’t wait for the big nor-easter predicted for day two to kick in. 'Quest is a pretty quick boat. We love it downwind.'

By the look of it they will get their fair share of both.

On the Kiwi boat Rikki, Blair Tuke is knuckling down to the business of ocean racing fresh from winning Silver at the London Olympics in the 49er skiff. This is the crack dinghy sailor’s first ocean race, and a whole new experience after the fanfare and excitement of London.

'The Olympics were the pinnacle of what was four years of hard work,' Tuke said. 'I had spent four years aiming for one thing.' Whereas the races then were a culmination, this Hobart race is a beginning. 'This is the start of what I hope will be a sailing career, and the start of a new challenge.'

Perhaps unwisely, Tuke used Rikki’s delivery trip as a chance to catch up on Hobart history. 'I read the 98 ‘Fatal Storm’ book, and watched the clips on YouTube, maybe I shouldn’t have,' he jokes.

'But as long as you know the boat is in good nick and you have done all the hard work, training and properly preparing the boat, you shouldn’t be nervous.'

There is scarcely a boat in the fleet that does not have at least one crew member doing a first Rolex Sydney Hobart. Aboard Brindabella, for instance, there are six, aged in their 30’s and 40’s and none of Enchantress’ crew from South Australia has been in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, but they have done thousands of miles and won the Melbourne Hobart race.

CYCA Commodore Howard Piggott says that whether they are on a crash-hot race favourite or a cruiser/racer hopeful, they are in for one adrenaline rush come Boxing Day. 'This is a life changing event,' he tells them.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed] All will be surrounded by experienced sailors. They are the new chums, there to learn, except of course for Warwick Sherman. He may be the only Hobart virgin in Occasional Coarse Language’s dozen crew, but he is also the owner.

When asked his role on the boat, Sherman proudly declared 'principal helmsman …and cheque Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012

navathome 660x82Hall Spars - BoomBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2016 - Day 1 Video
Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head Day 1 of Audi Hamilton Race Week 2016 provided the first opportunity for Wild Oats XI and Scallywag to go head-to-head on an inshore race course. The two boats shadowed each other in the pre-race manoeuvres prior to the start of a race to Lindeman Island and back, starting in Dent Passage. Both boats made a fine spectacle as they reached to the northern tip of Dent Island before heading upwind
Posted on 21 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images of the penultimate race in the Finns - Scott wins
Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn Sail-World's Richard Gladwell was on the water for the final race of the Qualifying Series of the Mens Finn, in what potentially could have been Giles Scott's (GBR) Gold medal winning race. In the end, the current world champion won in style.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Images from the Mens RS:X Medal Race
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water at the Medal Race for the RS:X class won before the race by Dorian van Rijsselberghe (NED) without needing points from the Medal Race. Nick Dempsey (GBR) was second on a similar basis.
Posted on 15 Aug
Rio 2016 - Sailors talk of Life at the Extreme on the Atlantic Ocean
Certainly the Volvo Ocean Race catchcry of Life at the Extreme is not a phrase associated with the Sailing Olympics. The 470 crews were suffering the mixed emotions of survival of an extreme test by nature, the cold, and for some elation at their placings, after Thursday's battle for survival. In conditions that looked more out of the Volvo Ocean Race, than an Olympic sailing regatta, crews battled 20kt plus winds and Atlantic Ocean rollers that towered up to four metres.
Posted on 13 Aug
Rio Olympics - Fourth gallery of images the fearsome Niteroi course
Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Fourth image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds. believe it or not the sea conditions were worse inshore as the fleet encountered the backwashed Atlantic rollers
Posted on 12 Aug
Rio 2016 - Third image gallery of 470's braving the Atlantic Ocean
Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean Third image gallery from racing on Day 4 in the Mens and Womens 470 class on the Niteroi course in the Atlantic Ocean - sailing in 3-4 metre swells and 20kt plus winds
Posted on 12 Aug