sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Y'all come back now, ya hear - Heaven Can Wait, a personal journey

Y'all come back now, ya hear - Heaven Can Wait, a personal journey

'Granny Jen on Lake Macquarie during the Heaven Can Wait regatta - Heaven Can Wait'    Greg Dickson    Click Here to view large photo

'Good mooooooorrrrrrning, Lake Macquarie!'

Heaven Can Wait 24-hour yacht race competitors were greeted by that Robin Williams-style reveille harking back to the movie Good Morning Vietnam just after 6am on Sunday as the marathon race drew to a close.


The radio wake-up call was a bit of light relief on the part of the cancer charity event’s principal race officer Blake Middleton, delivered in his distinctive North American accent. Middleton, a cancer survivor himself, is more usually talking to sailors on Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota, which he refers to as his 'Up Over, not Down Under' homeland.

And a little light relief was welcome after a tough night of driving rain, winds to 25 knots and cold, as the fleet reported in their positions for the morning radio sked.

Overnight incidents included several boats grounding in shallows and the disappearance of one of the rounding buoys which had blown ashore.

When it was all over at noon that Sunday the skipper of division one scratch winner Stealthy described it as 'probably the toughest 24-hour race we’ve sailed'.

Stealthy, owned by Bob Cowan, was this year skippered by World Volunteer of the Year Michael Cowan, and the sports boat sailed 137.84 nautical miles, completing more than four laps of the lake. 'It was a very wet ride, so much so that one auto-inflate life jacket inflated by itself when its wearer was climbing into a bunk for a rest,' Cowan joked. 'There were rain squalls, wind squalls and rum squalls, what a bloody night.'

As one of the six crew members of Gosford entry Granny Jen, a 37-foot Hanse, I found there was never a dull moment during the 24 hours on the lake and the race lead-up. The constantly changing weather and new demands of night sailing added greatly to the challenge. The fact I was sailing as a relative novice with highly experienced crew members Glenn Ingle, Phil Tayor, Dave Bracher, Greg Lowe and Stuart Ambridge meant I was learning heaps along the way.

Getting there was half the fun, as they say, and in this case it sure was. It was a very pleasant reach up the coast on flat seas to Belmont from Gosford. Starting at around 5am on Friday, we averaged eight knots in 15-20 knot westerlies by sticking close to the shelter provided by the land while those who left from Sydney and struck out beyond the tankers were hit by gusts more than 30 knots.

Another novel experience as we sailed into the lake past Swansea bar was being 'skull dragged' up the channel in an area were keel boats regularly run aground. Avoiding the danger involved an inflatable boat tying a line to our spinnaker halyard to heel the yacht over as we navigated a particularly shallow part. Our hosts later made it clear that the need for regular dredging was just as much a political hot potato here as are the hazards of Half Tide Rocks are back on Brisbane Water.

Special guests at the welcome dinner at Toronto Royal Motor Yacht Club on Friday night were ISAF Sailor of the Year nominee Nathan Outteridge and Australian Sailing Team Development Squad member Will Ryan who spoke about the challenges of competing at an international level. Both competed in the Heaven Can Wait One Lap Dash, a shorter race for faster craft which starts in tandem with the 24-hour yacht race.

Sleeping aboard at Toronto Marina our Saturday sunrise alarm clock came in the form of dragon boat rowers being shouted fierce war-cry instructions by the person whose job it is to shout fierce war-cry instructions, but that was OK.

The races started in 8-10 knots gusting to 13 and for the Moths in the 28.5 mile one-lap dash it was all over in a little under three hours. Line honours were not decided until the last mile with the lead constantly changing between foiling Moths steered by Outteridge and Scott Babbage, with victory going to Babbage but Outteridge’s lap record established last year never threatened. The division one dash handicap winner was Mike Green’s Evergreen.

Meanwhile in the 24-hour race it became, as one competitor commented, 'a war of attrition' with cold southerly squalls continually coming through carrying buckets of rain making it particularly testing for smaller boats.

Granny Jen’s crew routine of three-hours-on, three-hours-off worked well and the squalls punctuated periods of steady cruising with moments of intense action. The most memorable moment was when our spinnaker was hoisted in light breeze but became a real handful when 20 knots suddenly hit us and one of the sheet ropes detached. This led to a frantic effort to haul the sail below decks before it could be damaged or lost overboard. You had to be there.

In the final wash-up Granny Jen finished fifth in division one and fifth on handicap and was proudly leading the fundraising 'virtual race', so far contributing almost $5000 to the $27,000 so far raised.

Granny Jen helmsman Glenn Ingle said overall he was quite pleased with the boat’s performance considering she was an untested boat sailing with her 'new boat delivery sails'. Owner David Rowe, who was unavailable for the race, has plans to be back and sharing helm duties in the same race next year but like all competitors he will be hoping for drier weather.

Middleton said the race was building a reputation of being a 'magic' event he described as like offshore racing inshore, with the lake topography presenting additional obstacles and the possibility of sailing many miles and making numerous gear changes. 'It’s an adventure, just ask Nathan, you can be empowered by events like this,' said the MS survivor.

Footnote: Funds are still being sought for the Cancer Council’s men’s cancer fundraiser with all funds to be spent in the lake region. To contribute go to the event website and follow the links.

Heaven Can Wait website




by Peter McIntosh

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=89219

7:11 PM Mon 3 Oct 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
2013 Heaven Can Wait 24-hour Yacht Race

Related News Stories:

24 Nov 2013  Pictorial: Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta 2013
11 Nov 2013  Heaven Can Wait Charity Sailing Regatta - Going down this weekend!
09 Nov 2013  Time to enter the Heaven Can Wait charity regatta
28 May 2013  Heaven Can Wait charity sailing regatta set for Lake Macquarie
17 Oct 2012  Heaven Can Wait Yacht Race images
17 Oct 2012  Heaven Can Wait 2012 - Tracking the marks with Yellowbrick
08 Oct 2012  Heaven Can Wait fundraising approaches $30,000
02 Oct 2012  Heaven Can Wait 2012 results
30 Sep 2012  Heavenly sailing conditions at Heaven Can Wait 2012
29 Sep 2012  Wild times at Heaven Can Wait 2012
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Before the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, Ken Read, skipper of the US supermaxi Comanche gave this tour above and below decks of Jim and Kristy Clark's new 100ft flyer. ... [more]  

Sail-World is now running live in the changed website format. If you are running on a Mac with iOS please scroll to the bottom of the site and check that your region is set for your region and not some other. It can be correctly set up using the drop down boxes. Then go to the top, click refresh, and you should be away. ... [more]  

The overnight and morning finishes have been marked by some very close racing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race. The battle for third place was won by Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer), after the canting keel supermaxi dropped back significantly yesterday afternoon, and then powered through in the fresh northerly ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats XI and Comanche Finish Images *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
The Comanche and Wild Oats XI teams were equally gracious in victory and defeat on the dockside in Hobart today. It had been a close fought battle and while Comanche had reeled Wild Oats XI back in overnight to within 9nm , there simply wasn't enough air to power up the American boat in the run across Storm Bay and up the Derwent River. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: In what skipper Mark Richards described as the crew’s most hard-fought line honours triumph, Wild Oats XI held off the impressive challenge posed by Comanche, the newly-launched entry from the United States. Completing the race in 2 days, 2 hours, 3 minutes and 26 seconds, Wild Oats XI finished eight hours shy of the race record she set in 2012. ... [more]  

After being dismasted a short time ago in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Giacomo is motoring to the lee of Maria Island. In other race news, a very disappointed Bill Wild has retired his Reichel/Pugh 55, Wedgetail, from the race after suffering mast damage in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race at approximately 7.40pm off Schouten Island. All are safe and well on board. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Spithill was one of six helmsmen on Comanche. 'We can’t leave it at that,' he declared after finishing in Hobart. He says that on his watch this morning the boat reached a top speed of 32 knots and knows what she is capable of. 'Everybody got to see the true potential of this boat at the start. ... [more]  

Top international yachting photographer, Carlo Borlenghi was in the air above the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race fleet and provided these images of the third day of racing in the classic ocean race, as the leaders closed in on the finish, and the dock celebrations by Wild Oats XI. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - 'This is the sweetest victory by far,' Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards declared today after steering the silver-grey thoroughbred to a record eighth line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart. 'To rewrite a bit of sailing history doesn’t come along every day. To win a Hobart is a great honour but to win an eighth; I can’t believe I am here,' Richards said. ... [more]  

Photographer Andrea Francolini was on the water at 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours finish and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI entered the Derwent River some forty minutes ahead of Comanche at the Iron Pot and gybed her way up river in 5-10 knot southeaster, bright sunshine and crystal clear light to take a record breaking eighth line honours win in this race at 3.03pm The size of spectator fleet that accompanied Wild Oats XI and the crowds on the dock were much the largest ever sen for this race. ... [more]  

The Volvo 70 Giacomo lost her rig in the vicinity of Maria Island about 5.30pm local time yesterday evening. A second yacht Wedgetail (an RP55) lost the top off her mast in the same area at the same time. Giacomo is a Volvo 70 owned and skippered by Jim Delegat (NZL) and has a full New Zealand crew aboard ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart Wild Oats XI takes number eight by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
Wild Oats XI finished at 303pm, with her big A2 flying. Her elapsed time was two days two hours three minutes and twenty six seconds 02:02:03:26 That was some eight hours outside the race record she set in 2012 of 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds. ... [more]  

At the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race photographer Daniel Forster was on the water and provided this gallery of images from Day 2. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats XI scores comfortable 8th win by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) has crossed the finish line for the Rolex Sydney Hobart race to take her eighth win in the offshore classic. She crossed the finish line in the Derwent River sailing on port tack with a big asymmetrical headsail flying, and accompanied by a bevy of spectator craft as she crossed the finish line at 3.00pm local time. ... [more]  

In Alamitos Bay Yacht Club's annual Boxing Day race the hometown Gibbs brothers, Riley, 18, and Sawyer, 16, started last in their 49er skiff but passed all of the other boats of various types to finish first in brilliant sun but cool light air Sunday. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI is still leading the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, some 38-nm from Hobart, and hoping to close in on a record eighth line honours win. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The crew on the American super maxi Comanche have not thrown in the towel. They do not believe the race for line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart is over despite Wild Oats XI’s commanding lead. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Bob Oatley’s 10 year-old super maxi Wild Oats XI is racing towards an historic eighth line honours victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart this morning. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Wild Oats rounds Tasman Island by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
Seven time race winner, Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) looks set to take her eighth win, after rounding Tasman Island just before noon, local time. The supermaxi rounded the landmark with a ten mile lead over the US supermaxi Comanche and has about 35nm to sail in a direct line to the finish line off Hobart. ... [more]  

With the front runners in the Rolex Sydney Hobart expected to sneak through in light to moderate tail winds, the weather prognosis for the remainder of the fleet is, well, interesting. The simple analysis is that fresh northerly winds will give the fleet a fast ride on Sunday and during the daylight hours of Monday. ... [more]  

Wild Oats XI (Oatley family) is expected to cross the finish line, around 4pm on Sunday and take her eighth line honours win. The race leaders are making good time down the coast of Tasmania, and at daybreak had approximately 100nm to sail. ... [more]  

Sydney to Hobart - Another 40 foot white-wash? by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team
With the Supermaxi battle probably all over in this 70th Rolex Sydney to Hobart race, unless Wild Oats XI drops her rig in the next five hours, she is set to take her eighth line honours victory so at last the attention will shift to the real race, the battle for handicap honours. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart: Your Turn, Then My Turn, Then Your Turn! *Feature by Crosbie Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
With the front runners over halfway to Hobart, this year’s race is turning out to be quite a page turner already; and that’s just the big boats. So let’s start with them. Wind back to the start, first honours to Comanche in the shoot out to the first mark. To be fair it was akin to pitting a brand new Bugatti Veyron against some classy and quick Ferraris and Porsches. The result in those ... [more]  

There is absolutely no way anyone can predict these before the vast majority of the still 109 vessels racing actually get home to Hobart Town. One can, however, talk about the very things that do go into making these results that so many chase and to do so, we have to work through a myriad of vessel designs, ages and types. ... [more]  

Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014; Handicap Honours Predictions VIDEO *Feature by Dale Lorimer, Hobart, Tasmania
Given the weather models for the race, Crosbie Lorimer did the rounds of the CYCA dock just prior to the start of the race to find out who the various skippers, navigators and tacticians believed might take out the overall Handicap win on IRC. Here are some of their predictions, how they are panning out for some and an update on the position at the front of the fleet. ... [more]  

Sydney Hobart 2014: A ridge too far for Comanche by Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR Media
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - That’s the conclusion that one might well draw from the huge difference in the performance of the Hamilton Island super maxi Wild Oats XI and her main challenger, the US boat Comanche. ... [more]  

Photographer Daniel Forster was in the air again for the Sydney Hobart 2014, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The chase for line honours at the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is intensifying with the leading boats approaching the halfway mark of the 628-nm race. ... [more]  

By Grand Prix ocean racing standards she’s an old girl, and there’s no denying she’s had a few makeovers during the past decade, but Bob Oatley’s 30-metre long supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, was leaving no doubt today that when it came to speed she’s still got great legs. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - After 24 hours the Hamilton Island supermaxi Wild Oats XI has taken the lead for the first time in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the 70th sailing of the event. ... [more]  

Photographer Howard Wright was on the water at the start of the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

Looking back it is not so long ago that sailors making long trips had to make the key choice between light weight and taste. But now, thankfully, technology and demand means that there is more and better choice in freeze dried foods. But the lack of fresh food and the limited choice of diet does mean eating remains a chore, part of the daily routine during the three months ... [more]  

2015 Fireball World Championship - Notice of Race released
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Supermaxi Race Start VIDEO *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Perpetual Loyal forced to retire with hull damage *Feature
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart: Clouds backs the small boats for overall win
Rolex Sydney to Hobart: Replay video coverage on Sail-World *Feature
Sydney Hobart - Comanche leads but Oats XI keeps the rubber band on
Will Comanche take a scalp?
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014- Southerly takes its toll
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Comanche leads in softening morning breeze *Feature
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Comanche take a gun to the knife fight + Video
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Supermaxi contest + Video
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Images from the flying start on Sydney harbour
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014: Start photos by Andrea Francolini
Sydney Hobart 2014 The Cutting edge Formula 1 yacht still leads
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 – Grand dame heads back to Sydney
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Day 1 start images by Carlo Borlenghi
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Race Start Images by Crosbie Lorimer *Feature
Clipper Ventures 10 starts Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Another year another record
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2014 – Comanche on the warpath
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – Spinnaker start forecast   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI ready to go   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: Hobart coverage - December 26 - Live   
Rolex Sydney Hobart - The Peyron Perspective -Old People On New Boats *Feature   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart - Spithill to grind on Comanche   
Rolex Sydney Hobart; Wild Oats XI trials Goose for Christmas   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - The Weather Gate *Feature   
For Christmas a Shiny new Sail-World.com *Feature   
Sydney-Hobart: Wacky Races 3 – Gravel and Red Max versus VMG *Feature   
Yankees at the Gate - A pre Sydney-Hobart conversation with Ken Read *Feature   
Rolex Sydney Hobart: Line Honours Skippers Press Conference - Video   
Barcelona World Race 2014-15 -A different Christmas   
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Vestas Wind recovery video *Feature   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2014 - Another great journey south   
Sydney Hobart - Ragamuffin's David Witt explains deck failure + Video   
Wild Oats XI - Damage drama in lead-up to Sydney Hobart Race   
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race images by Photographer Carlo Borlenghi   
Five faces behind the 100ft super maxis by Andrea Francolini   
2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Everyone's in with a chance   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT