Rolex Sydney Hobart 2013 - Look out for Beau Geste
by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team on 25 Dec 2013
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2013 - New Zealander Gavin Brady flew back into Sydney this afternoon from Auckland with most of the Beau Geste team ahead of tomorrow race.
Beau Geste - Start 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race © Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi http://www.carloborlenghi.net
At the same time Karl Kwok who owns Beaut Geste was jetting in from Hong Kong. His new Botin 80 is considerably shorter than the clutch of 100 footer’s vying for line honours but after an impressive appearance in Sydney, she is being mentioned in 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours circles.
Kwok's team have had an unusual preparation, they sailed the boat from Auckland less than two weeks ago in full race mode.
Brady explains ‘we are really pleased that we sailed the new boat over with a lot of our race crew. The biggest thing was just getting comfortable with the yacht. The thing with these supermaxis is they make a lot of noises and they are fast and they creaking …. You are always on edge a little bit.
'It takes a long time to get comfortable and it was really nice to get, she’s starting to feel like it home and I think it takes a long time to get that and at the end of the day doing the trip across is the equivalent of a little more than two Hobart’s and that just gives a lot of time and some of that time is just sitting with a coffee in your hand, sitting on deck having a look around and getting comfortable with it.
'I think that it is an important part of learning the boat. You know that when you learn how to sail your first yacht, your Optimist or whatever, and you just go sailing around and you just get comfortable with it. I think you know that’s still applies to these big supermaxi’s.
Asked was this really a Volvo 80 sled. Brady responded 'She is the first of her kind. She has got a lot of riding moment and most of that comes from the hull form and she is quite light displacement. It is not a downwind boat I would say. It is certainly going to perform well downwind because of its weight but it also reaches quite well because of the beam. Typically a supermaxi would weigh upwards of 25 tonnes up to 35 tonnes. We are at 16 and a half.
'It’s not quite as crystal clear as saying the traditional supermaxis are big and heavy but you don’t get that power without the negative of displacement and that is just going to be very interesting for me in this race, is seeing this new type of race yacht against the more traditional supermaxi’s that are very impressive but obviously come with the price of displacement.
'What makes the Sydney to Hobart so unique is that yes you are out there racing the other boats but also you have got to factor in Mother Nature and she will really give you a kick in the arse if you don’t treat the sea with respect.
There hasn’t been any Hobart’s that I have done where we haven’t had to slow down.
'The first one I did was on a Mum 36 back in 1992 or 1993. I have had a bit of a range. I was fortunate enough in the last six or seven being on boats above 60 feet. 'I have been very fortunate to be a Constitution Dock on the early side but it is just such a great race.
'We look like we are quite late to the game because we were in the water, the last boat in the water but I think that since going in the water we have done the most sailing and the most balance of sailing than any team out here.
'Other teams don’t need to because they have already done it before too like Wild Oats team, they are a tight and strong team.
‘I think we needed to do that and I think we needed to come to Australia late and I think we needed to sail to Australia with our race team aboard the yacht. I think if we hadn’t done that we would be very unprepared for this race.
'The Sydney to Hobart really is a coastal race. A lot of people treat it like an offshore race and there is an element to that because you have got to get Bass Strait but you are really only sailing along the coast a lot of the time.
'You have got a lot of changing gears, reading the wind, a lot of little micro weather systems you have got to sail to in the Sydney to Hobart so you have got to make decisions on your feet. While there is a nice forecast at the nav station and the wind is going to shift in two hours this race just continually throws curve balls at you and you have to adapt. It’s a really tough race. A lot of the time you are actually on the coast.
‘ The Sydney Hobart is a really cool race and I think that you really find the balance between coastal type sailing where you have got to pick wind shifts and read currents and clouds and headlands.
‘That’s a big part of this race. I think the 52 helps us to adapt to that style. 'We have most of the Beau Geste TP52 team. The high intensity South Cross Cup style sailing really gets the team working together and communicating. I think it is an asset having the team. We have done a lot this year with the 52 and we have sailed the boat well. We have got some confidence here. '