Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Sydney Hobart 2012 – Dump Truckers vow return

by Danielle McKay on 31 Dec 2012
06, DUMP TRUCK, Sail No: A 6, Owner: Justin Wells & Edward Fader, Design: Ker 11.3, LOA (m): 11.4, State: TAS Start of the 68th Rolex Sydney Hobart © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 had been a testing journey for 2012 Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year Justin Wells and the crew of Dump Truck, who vowed to make their return in the Boxing Day classic after retiring from this year’s race with the finish line just roughly 100 nautical miles away.

'It was one of the hardest decisions of my life,' said skipper and 2012 Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year, Justin Wells. 'To say to your crew ‘I’m sorry, we’ve got to radio in, we’re out’, that’s tough, really tough.'

At the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia before the start cannon fired on Boxing Day, the close crew of 10 huddled for a final briefing. Wells told his crew to have confidence; they’d done everything they could to be race ready.

They were champions of their local offshore series, they were well versed on their man overboard drill and the Ker 11.3’s rig had passed its dye test in July.

The green boat started with the big guns on the first line without issue. Day two they flew their Code Zero, racing at wind speed. 'We saw a lot of boats bigger than us trail behind us, which is always a big plus,’’ Wells said.

On day three, despite being the smallest yacht in Division 2, they were mid fleet and ready to capitalise with their home-water advantage as they raced off Tasmania’s east coast.

With near gale force southerlies nearing, the crew reefed the mainsail and the bowman went up the mast to check the decade old stainless steel rig. But a massive bang at about 1400 AEDT on December 30 signalled their race end.

The port, and then windward, D2, which stabilises the mast, had broken.

'Justin Foster just yelled to the crew to get off the rail; he crash tacked, he had to, to save the rig,’’ Wells said.

The crew lowered the mainsail along with their hopes of finishing the race.

'There was some deliberation, but with the forecast for bigger waves and more breeze from the south, the rig wouldn’t have lasted,’’ Wells said.

'There’s a lot of scenarios: had the forecast been lighter, had it have happened further south when we were rounding Tasman we might have been able to nurse her home.'

The crew limped to shore to refuel before motoring through the protected waters of Denison Canal and docking at their home club, the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania on Sunday.

Over a couple of beers with family and friends Wells admitted that while he and his crew were shattered, it wouldn’t be their last.

'I can’t say whether it’ll be next year, or five years, but we’ll be back’’ he said.

Dump Truck was one of five Tasmanian entries. Tony Lyall’s Cougar II was the first home, finishing in 16th place and seventh in IRC Division one.

Helsal III finished 31st across the line, Martela was 61st and Sean Langman’s Maluka of Kermandie is expected to be last across the line tonight.

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012

Related Articles

The Road to Rio now 99 days short
The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win. The Road to Rio 2016 still has a few curves, bumps and potholes for teams battling to win in Hyeres, at some World championship events and Weymouth World Cup but for many crews: 'It's 106 miles to Chicago we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.' Whoops wrong movie.
Posted on 28 Apr
America's Cup - Oracle Racing win in Court but with collateral damage
Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Oracle Racing have had another claim against them by a former crew member dismissed. Mitchell focussed largely on the circumstances of the matter and introduced into the public arena some interesting documents to support his claims.
Posted on 23 Apr
Children of the Internet, Rio and Hong Kong
I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. I have four daughters, the youngest, who in her mid 20's is a true child of the Internet. The kind of conversations I have with her run along these lines.... In the olden days we did not have television until I left school and they had a thing called print magazines, that reported events between two weeks and four months after they happened. And her sceptical response... Hoh! Daddy, Hoh!
Posted on 14 Apr
Go fast girls - 49er FX sailors Paris Henken and Helena Scutt
Paris Henken and Helena Scutt will be representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics, which will be their first Olympiad. American’s Paris Henken (20) and Helena Scutt (23) recently won a berth to represent the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the high-performance 49er FX skiff, a goal that the team has been working on for almost three years. While this is their first Games, writing them off as Olympic newbies would require ignoring their recent results and their strong teamwork.
Posted on 13 Apr
World Sailing Cup V3 - A Dead Rat in a Shoe or Spring Daffodils?
While a host of major sailing events go from strength to strength, the Sailing World Cup has very major issues. Last night my Irish better half was sitting beside me on the sofa watching an Australian version of the popular TV Cooking Program My Kitchen Rules on a tablet with her headphones while I was watching Diehard II for the seventeenth time (it’s a boy thing) on TV. She suddenly spluttered and laughed, took off her headphones and motioned for me to mute Diehard. (Seriously!!)
Posted on 9 Apr
Volvo Ocean Race appoints stadium racing pioneer as new CEO
Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Sail-World forecast the appointment of Mark Turner as Volvo Ocean Race CEO a month ago. We profiled Turner at that time. Today his appointment has been confirmed.
Posted on 31 Mar
Large spectator fleet heading north for boat watching season
I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase, but it is insanely apt and hilarious all at the same time, however. I’m absolutely not going to lay claim to the phrase. It is insanely apt and hilarious, all at the same time, however. Well then, boat watching season is definitely upon us once more. The whales will soon be gathering again off the coast of Queensland to observe all manner of racing and cruising craft as they head North for a Winter in the sun.
Posted on 29 Mar
Laser creator Ian Bruce passes away (1933 - 2016)
Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. Ian Bruce, driving force behind the Laser dinghy, sadly passed away at his daughter's home on Monday March 21 2016. His legacy to our sport, Canadian sailing and his beloved Royal St. Lawrence Yacht Club will be praised and honoured for years to come.
Posted on 24 Mar
Rio 2016 - Kiwi women sailors jump to escape Olympic Selectors' axe
Two New Zealand sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team Two New Zealand women sailors will head overseas on self-funded campaigns to gain selection in the New Zealand Olympic team in what is expected to be the final round of announcements.
Posted on 18 Mar
Gladwell's Line - Strong team but is Yachting's policy too extreme?
On Monday morning the New Zealand Olympic Committee announced a team of ten sailors to compete in five double-handers On Monday morning the New Zealand Olympic Committee announced a team of ten sailors to compete in five events at the 2016 Olympic Sailing Regatta. However despite qualifying in all ten Olympic classes, will only seven be sent?
Posted on 14 Mar
Schaefer 2016 660x82T Clewring One DesignNorth Technology - Southern Spars