by Gemma Bird
Gary McCarthy, skipper of the Beneteau 34.7 ‘Brilliant Pearl’ from the Mooloolaba Yacht Club, looked weary as the boat pulled into the marina after day three of racing at Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week 2011. ‘It’s been a tough day at the office today; we are worn out … this weather day after day has been very hard!’
Brilliant Pearl Saturdays race. Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week 2011
‘We had winds of up to 28 knots today, creating a lot of very hard work for all on board; she doesn’t like this weather too much that’s for sure.’
Gary and his crew have had a lot of fun at this year’s Magnetic Island Race Week, considering the windy weather and the extra effort that they have had to be put in to compete in the heavy conditions.
Gary says much of their success is due to Brilliant Pearl's crew and to the muscles on board Eric - 26 year old German Eric Hoger, the latest and youngest addition to the crew.
‘Eric is the big strong lad on board who is a god send to our crew’ Gary said. Eric jumped off Brilliant Pearl with a big smile on his face, they had just finished putting the sails away and cleaning up after a long day of sailing.
‘Tough day out there, but as long as you’re on the boat on the water, you’re always having fun! In my eyes that’s the bottom line.’
Eric was born in Sydney and then moved to Germany with his family when he was only three years old. When Eric lived in Germany he liked to compete in regattas, ‘I learnt to sail just like everyone else and after a lot of practice our crew was able to qualify for the 2002 Youth Worlds in Canada, and the Aussies won that.’ He then did a lot of match racing in Germany and was lucky enough to compete against some of the big names in sailing. In 2003 he completed a Transatlantic race.
Eric and his girlfriend moved to Magnetic Island in March of 2011 after working in London for a year. Eric was looking forward to getting away from his desk job and moving to the Queensland tropics, where he hopes to get involved in the off shore industry.
‘I quit my job in the UK in an office, because that was way too far away from the water and the boats. And now I’m trying to find a job in the offshore industry on board.’
Eric hopes that his future involvement in the offshore industry will keep him on the water and take him to ports in Norway, Mexico, Western Australia and possible Negara. ‘I don’t have any qualifications as of yet, I want to do my dynamic positioning ticket and my commercial diving ticket’ explained Eric.
Commenting on the tough conditions in the early part of the regatta Eric said ‘the Islanders have confirmed these are the strongest winds since Cyclone Yasi. We’ve been living here since March and we haven’t seen winds like this.’
Being an avid sailor Eric was excited to be competing at Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week 2011.
‘This regatta came to me … I was lucky and I’m having a good time. This is the first time a big event has come to me and I didn’t have to go to it’ he laughed.
Brilliant Pearl Crew. Eric Hoger is at the back left. Sealink Magnetic Island Race Week 2011