by Bronwen Ince
Legend of V8 motor racing looking for top honours at XXXX Sail Paradise 2012 on the Gold Coast
• The Corby 36 offshore racer is one of the most competitive yachts for its size in the world of ocean racing. (Image courtesy Corby Boats) - Sail Paradise 2012
A leading light of Australian motor racing, Roland Dane, has purchased one of the world’s most successful small ocean racing yachts with the aim of taking top honours at XXXX Sail Paradise 2012, which will be staged by Southport Yacht Club off the Gold Coast from March 21 – 25.
To give his campaign the best possible chance of success, he has called on one of Australia’s top offshore racing sailors, former Sydney to Hobart race record-holder Michael Spies, to step aboard as project manager and sailing master.
Dane, who heads the Australian V8 championship winning motorsport team, Team Vodaphone, is a relative newcomer to offshore sailing, but he obviously harbours a determination to win on the water that is akin to his efforts in motor racing.
The yacht he has purchased and renamed Jessandra II is a Corby 36 design that has been prominent in regattas in Europe and Australia.
Launched as Rosie in 2004 and re-named Rockall III when she was campaigned in Australia, this small yacht boasts an impressive list of firsts, including class winner in the 2011 Commodore’s Cup in the UK, and outright wins in the UK and German IRC class championships and at Cork Week.
Last year she was second in one of the world’s major long-distance offshore events, the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
‘Our intention is to see Jessandra II as the most successful ocean racing yacht under 40ft in Australia,’ Spies said, ‘and there’s no better place to start that campaign than at Sail Paradise.’
Following XXXX Sail Paradise, Jessandra II will compete in the Brisbane to Gladstone Race at Easter then be prepared for the Audi IRC Australian Championship at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August.
Organisers of Sail Paradise confirmed this week that Queensland’s favourite beer, XXXX, would be the naming rights sponsor for the regatta.
• Southport Yacht Club will host XXXX Sail Paradise 2012. (Southport Yacht Club image) - Sail Paradise 2012
‘ It is wonderful to have XXXX back with us as a sponsor for a major regatta,’ said Southport Yacht Club’s CEO and former commodore, Neale Hollier. ‘They were behind the highly successful XXXX offshore series this club staged more than 20 years ago, so we look forward to enjoying similar success with them through Sail Paradise.’
Neale Hollier also confirmed that the social program for XXXX Sail Paradise was destined to match the pleasure that will come for the crews when racing their yachts along the shoreline of the Gold Coast’s famous golden beaches: ‘We’ve even planned a big beach party for the sailors, their families and friends this year. It will be something not to be missed.’
XXXX Sail Paradise 2012 will signal the opening of Tourism Queensland’s Season of Sailing.
For more information on XXXX Sail Paradise go to the regatta website, www.sailparadise.com.au
or contact Bronwen Ince at Southport Yacht Club: (07) 5591 3500.