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

 

Sail-World.com : Rolex Sydney Hobart – Its a cruel race says the winner

Rolex Sydney Hobart – Its a cruel race says the winner

'Loki (AUS),Stephen Ainsworth'    Daniel Forster/Rolex Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex

Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011 overall handicap winner Stephen Ainsworth first sailed his own yacht in the 1998 Hobart race. A tough initiation but things have improved since then as Stephen explains to Sail-World.com

‘My first Hobart was in 1985 in a boat called Neville Chidgey’s Swanson 36 Mystic Seven.

‘I had done Sydney Noumea and Lord Howe Island races with Neville and then the Hobart race. I moved to the UK and was living there for six years, had a young family and was busy with work so I didn’t sail for six years.
Then I got back to Australia thought ‘I’ll get back into sailing’. I thought I could do some offshore racing but it took me a while to find a boat.

My first year doing the Sydney Hobart in my own boat was 1998, with my Swan 44 Loki. We rolled in Bass Strait and we didn’t do a complete 360 but was turned upside down and smashed a port hole and filled up with water, then basically ran bare poled, surfing down massive waves. We limped into Narooma, (north of Eden) the following day.

‘We stayed there overnight, took Michael Bell (the Swan dealer rep at the time sailing as crew) off to hospital as he had hurt his leg, we got the port hole fixed, steadied the boat and we went back to Sydney the next day.

Stephen Ainsworth, owner of LOKI Rolex Sydney Hobart -  © Rolex-Daniel Forster?nid=92417  

By 2000 I had switched to a Swan 48, again called Loki. I was a slow boat in those days and was playing a trick coming home in the following breeze, as the 48 is a terrific boat upwind. Not much good downwind because it is too heavy but upwind it really sailed to its rating.

‘Then came the Reichel Pugh 60 Loki which we lost off Sardinia in October 2007 when the rudder broke on a lee shore.’ (Stephen and his crew were winched from life rafts by Italian Navy helicopters - ED.)

‘McConaghys built the 63 for us in 2008 at Mona Vale in Sydney. ‘It is a very, very good boat offshore and we can race in regattas and be very competitive too. It is a fantastic boat.

‘Reichel Pugh got it really right. We had a bit of surgery on the boat before it went into the water as there were problems that Reichel Pugh had with their chimes but it was worth the extra cost and time involved in fixing the problems.

‘We have had a great run with the boat, both offshore and around the cans in the last three years.

‘The hardest part of the 2011 Hobart, of course, was the first night. There was plenty of wind but it was only for the first hour it was really hammering. It wasn’t a constant 40 knots, just some initial gusts and probably only for half an hour or so.

‘We went to a double reef, and number 4, luckily, before it came. We got the chute off, put on a 4 jib and very quickly put one reef in and then put another reef in when it started to get violent. We were happy as we were ahead of the game when we approaching the roll front – which you could see was coming very quickly.

'When that front came through it hit us quite hard with gusts of up to 40 knots and driving rain - that was really quite stinging rain as big drops being driven 35-40 knots tend to hurt. After that we knuckled down and belted upwind for the next day or so and we had a bit of seasickness on board. Quite a few of the guys threw up, but they just kept on going.

60, LOKI, Sail No: AUS60000, Owner: Stephen Ainsworth, Design: Reichel Pugh 63, LOA (m): 19.3, State: NSW - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011 -  © Rolex-Daniel Forster?nid=92417   Click Here to view large photo


‘Coming down the north coast of Tasmania we had a soft patch and there was a bit of a transition. It did go quiet but we found our way through that reasonably well. The key was not to stop and we didn’t.

‘There was a good mix of conditions during the race, but probably the real highlight was the fact that we never stopped and we kept going the whole time. We nearly stopped, we got as low as two knots boat speed, but we managed to keep moving.

‘My brief to the navigators was ‘whatever you do don’t let us fall into a hole where we stop because that is fatal’. We were winning last year’s race as we got to the other side of Bass Strait after all that heavy air. We had our sister ship Limit 15 miles behind us but then we stopped - we just stopped and everybody was sailing up to the horizon. When you’re a high rating boat that’s just instant death to you on handicap.

‘These things nearly break your heart. It is just a cruel race, very cruel.

‘It is such a fickle race and it’s devastating when that happens. I was talking to Rob Hanna (TP52 Shogun) today and in this year’s race he fell in a hole and sat there for eight hours. They were in the river and they were becalmed and had a procession of boats sail around them, round the shore, after leading them for hours and hours, only to finish up hours behind them.

‘Now we have won the 2011 Sydney Hobart, by finishing at three in the morning, which is unusual.
‘From Tasman Light we had a reasonable 12 Knot (maybe) breeze, although it was a gradient breeze. We were able to carry the breeze pretty much until we past the Iron Pot and as we went up the Derwent it gradually faded. We ghosted in. We were desperately looking for any breeze that we could find and we had a code 0 up and we fell across the line. We were so relieved, that last few hundred metres was agony.

‘This year, actually when you look at it, was a big boat race. All the top boats in the handicap division are all from division 1 or 0.

‘Normally we’d not have expected to be able to keep going in the River so late at night - maybe it was Loki, the Norse God of mischief and trickery, playing up again.

‘I am very proud of our crew. They have evolved. I think the key part of this crew was bringing Gordon McGuire on board a couple of years ago, he is a great asset, a very good sailing master and very good at managing people. We have built a very nice team and they are all good guys and enjoy sailing on the boat

‘This boat has been remarkable. It’s been a progression - everything you learn as you are going along you put into the next boat. You develop experience and expertise with the people who you have been sailing with and utilise more of that, this boat is the result of a lot of years of accumulated expert experience and not just mine, but that of a number of people.

Loki crew are presented with Tattersall’s Cup and Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece by Patrick Boutellier (Rolex Australia) and Commodores Graham Taplin (RYCT) and Garry Linacre (CYCA). -  © Rolex-Daniel Forster?nid=92417   Click Here to view large photo


‘This is a great boat and at 63 feet it is still manageable. I am very happy with it. I have been lucky in that, because of the state of the economy around the world after the GFC very few boats have been built, so it is still highly competitive.

‘Michael Hiatt’s Farr 55 Living Doll did well to take second this year. I was probably more surprised at how well Living Doll went as she has always struck me as a bit of a ‘one trick pony’, good in light air and flat water. I think they are sailing the boat a bit better in the sort of offshore conditions that we got and are now a contender in all conditions. .

‘Syd Fischer came third with his TP52 Ragamuffin. From our experience with the TP52's, if they get a lot of downwind component in the race they are competitive. They can sail to their rating very well and exceed their rating downwind, upwind and reaching … not so sure.

‘Overall there was quite a bit of upwind in this year’s race and our good transitions and our lucky run to the finish were the keys to winning 2011 Sydney Hobart race.

‘I will be back in 2012. Absolutely. It is a small group of people who have won a Hobart race but it’s a really small group of people who have won two. Hopefully I can join that exclusive club but I am 57 years old so if it’s going to take another 15 or 20 years, I don’t know if I will make the distance.’




by Rob Kothe & the Sail-World team

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=92417

10:42 PM Fri 30 Dec 2011 GMT






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

Click for further information on
2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Related News Stories:

09 Jan 2012  McConaghy built Loki's jubilant Tattersall's Cup victory
07 Jan 2012  2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart images
04 Jan 2012  Bob Robertson weathers another Rolex Sydney Hobart
02 Jan 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart - Trophy presentation in Hobart
02 Jan 2012  A special mission of loyalty for a lost mate
02 Jan 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart: Post Race Protests - is there another way?
01 Jan 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race overall
31 Dec 2011  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Divisional winners awarded
31 Dec 2011  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Natelle Two arrives in Hobart
31 Dec 2011  Maluka last in for New Year in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Volvo Ocean Race: Fleet charges the door of the Doldrums Casino *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz
The Volvo Ocean Race has lifted intensity again on Day 9 with the fleet spread across 100nm of ocean and charging in a line for the turning point of Fernando de Noronha, 220nm off the Brazilian coast. ... [more]  

The first eight days of the 2014-15 Volvo Ocean Race have been filled with more excitement and tighter racing than anyone could have anticipated. Up until Saturday morning, Leg One has left the fleet with few tactical options and therefore has kept everyone tightly packed as one unit of seven boats. ... [more]  

As expected the third day of the 2014 La Torche PWA Grand Slam proved to be a quiet affair with very light winds throughout the day. After a chilly and overcast start, the sun eventually broke through to produce another beautiful afternoon in La Torche. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15. The sun’s out. It’s warm – not too hot, but warm enough for just a tee shirt. Ian Walker is stood at the helm of his Emirati boat, generous Atlantic trade winds whistling past his ears. 'We’re going straight through,' he claims, confidently. 'What Doldrums? - they’re going to say. Azzam isn’t even going to slow down.' ... [more]  

At 1700 CET in the Rolex Middle Sea Race, 113 yachts had rounded Stromboli, the active volcano that marks the most northerly point of the course. Race leader on the water, Esimit Europa 2, was less than 20 miles from Favignana and preparing to turn south with 289 miles to go and is expected to finish the race in the early hours of Wednesday 22 October, which would be well outside the course record ... [more]  

It is with great pleasure that the Star Sailors League announces that two more top Brazilian sailors will be joining the fleet of 20 super-champions taking part in the Star Sailors League Finals 2014 being held for the second consecutive year at Nassau Yacht Club in the Bahamas between December 1st and 7th. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team Alvimedica. It’s hard to explain the complexity of the weather in this part of the world. No computer model or forecaster can accurately predict the winds because the air here is dry and warm, 23c now, and the typical barometric pressure gradients that generate them become very weak. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15, Day Nine onboard Team SCA. We’re a boat on a mission: catch the fleet. And they’re getting closer by the mile. The first time I sailed past Cape Verde islands was in 2010 when I was helping deliver a catamaran from Gibraltar to Antigua, W.I. ... [more]  

Thailand bids for 2016 IODA ‘Optimist’ World Championships by Jordan Rumsby, Royal Varuna Yacht Club
Pattaya's Royal Varuna Yacht Club has submitted a bid to host the 2016 International Optimist Dinghy Association World Championships, offering the world's most talented junior sailing teams a chance to experience the steady wind, sunshine, smiles, great food, and family-friendly attractions of Thailand's top dinghy sailing destination ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this second gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 Prizegiving ... [more]  

Bill Green - builder and sailor passes on by Malcolm McKeag, Scuttlebutt Europe, Lymington, England:
Bill Green, San Francisco-born sailor, Navy jet jockey (not a lot of people know that); US Coastguard; shrimp-boat hand (not a lot of people know that either); One Ton Cup winner and most latterly proprietor of Green Marine slipped quietly away from this life ... [more]  

Tom Burton (AUS) retained World #1 in the Laser after a tremendous fight back at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao where he picked up bronze. The Australia had a tough opening day, finishing down the pack in both races but as the week progressed he worked his way up and sealed bronze on the final day to keep hold of World #1. ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from the Final Day - Day 4 ... [more]  

Photographer Ellen Hoke was on the water at the Farr 40 Worlds sailed from the St Francis Yacht Club, San Francisco, and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 ... [more]  

Rolex Middle Sea Race 2014 - A hard day's night by Media Royal Malta Yacht Club
Rolex Middle Sea Race - As high pressure moved in from the north, the area around Stromboli had virtually no gradient wind and for those yachts yet to reach Stromboli, a south flowing current has slowed proceedings even further. For the competitive offshore yacht racer, performing well in light wind is more difficult than blasting through a storm at top speed. ... [more]  

34th Student Yachting World Cup - France knew today its best day since the beginning of the competition. They spent the two races at the very first positions, even rivaling with the ultra-dominant English team. They showed today an astounding panache, and can now hope to improve their ranking before the end of the SYWoC. ... [more]  

The Chinese entry Donfeng Race Team, has lost her lead on Day 9 of the Volvo Ocean Race, with boats on the east and western side of the course threatening. Two hours before the most recent sked at 0640hrs UTC, Dongfeng was still being listed by Volvo Ocean Race as the leader. But Team Brunel is now listed as the leader, but on a time taken projection basis, Team Brunel is fifth. ... [more]  

Flying Dreams is a movie directed by the talented Elsa Blayau is an ode to ocean, water sports and femininity. Based on an original idea from Alex Udin, Elsa Blayau transformed the project to a complete story and brought it to reality with this realization. ... [more]  

The 70th running of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is living up to expectation with 98 high-calibre entries received so far, from Sean Langman’s 1932 built Maluka of Kermandie, the oldest and smallest boat at nine metres, to the super maxis. The most talked about boat though, is the Verdier Yacht Design and Vplp 100 footer, Comanche. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Blogs from the Boats - Leg 1, Day 8 plus Videos *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.nz/com
Several of the On Board Reporters aboard, provide their unique views of Leg 1, Day 8 of the Volvo Ocean Race - in text, images and video. Catch a birthday at sea on board Team Brunel, and unravel the fishing net with Team SCA Hear and see how the crews coped with the front that came through in the nigh ... [more]  

Shala Youngerman and her team from Southwestern Yacht Club won the 23rd annual Linda Elias Memorial Women’s One-Design Challenge Sunday in this two-day fleet race regatta organized and sponsored by the Long Beach/Los Angeles Women’s Sailing Association and hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club. ... [more]  

After three days of racing in the Valparaíso bay, the Santander team was crowned champion of the Off Valparaíso Race, first stage of the Soto 40 South American Tour that was held in the Yacht Club de Chile with the participation of eight boats. ... [more]  

Day two of the La Torche PWA Grand Slam saw the glorious golden sunshine continue together with the waves, but unfortunately the wind remained absent again. To keep the crowds entertained Jules Denel (JP / NeilPryde) and birthday boy - Antoine Martin (JP / NeilPryde) - attempted a bit of wave tow-in with varying degrees of success, as Antoine Albeau (RRD / NeilPryde) took control of the jet ski. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng consolidates lead on Day 8 *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com/nz
After cutting between the Cape Verde islands, separating from the rest of the Volvo Ocean Race fleet, Chinese entry, Dongfeng gained an initial significant lead, which they are in the process of consolidating. One routing option for the then race leader Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing, gave the team the option of cutting inside the island group, they are close to the optimum course for Fernando off Brazil ... [more]  

RS:X Youth World Championships - All set for Clearwater action by RS:X Olympic Windsurfing Class Association
Mild, breezy weather, temperate Gulf of Mexico waters and wide bands of sugar white sand - this is the place where 2014 RS:X Youth World Windsurfing Championship racing is about to start. 'Clearwater Beach is the perfect spot to play host to the young windsurfers gathering here from around the world for international competition', says Frank Chivas. ... [more]  

The first 24 hours of the Rolex Middle Sea Race has seen the fleet progress slowly up the eastern seaboard of Sicily towards the Strait of Messina. By 16.00 on day two, a mere ten per cent of the competition had passed through the Strait and started the leg to Stromboli, where they will turn west towards the Egadi Islands. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 - If only it were that easy. Amazingly we did manage to replace the rudder and regain first position amongst the fleet however just hours afterwards, navigator Pascal Bidégorry was faced with an important strategic decision. ... [more]  

Ian Moore, navigator on Cookson 50, Mascalzone Latino, is no stranger to the Rolex Middle Sea Race, this is his fourth and Ian was part of the winning crew on Bryon Ehrhart's TP52, Lucky in 2010. Ian describes the tactical nuances of the first night at sea. ... [more]  

Top videographer and photographer, John Navas, was on the water for the final day of the Farr 40 Worlds being sailed on San Francisco. ... [more]  

The brilliant conditions of last week’s opening race of the season were duplicated today when the Australian 18 Footers League’s Major A. Frizelle Trophy race was sailed in a 20–knot North East wind on Sydney Harbour. Current JJ Giltinan champion Gotta Love It 7 team of Seve Jarvin, Sam Newton and Scott Babbage showed why they are the world’s best team. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race - The fleet has finally left the West African Coast. They are now in the trade winds, making the westerly course across the Atlantic Ocean to FernandoThey will find the Cape Verde Islands in the way and that will cause some issues of navigation. ... [more]  

2014 ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - It was a light wind, big wave finish at ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao as the medallists were decided across the six fleets competing on the waters of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition. ... [more]  

2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - In life, timing is everything. And, after seven years in the Farr 40 class, the timing was right for New York financier Alex Roepers to achieve a long-held goal of winning the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. ... [more]  

Coast Guard rescues two near Wachapreague
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 2
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - Massive swell on day 1
Volvo Ocean Race: Welcome to Al's Ocean Cafe
Argo Group Gold Cup survives Hurricane Gonzalo
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng regains lead after incident packed Day 7 *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race: Dramatic video of Dongfeng rudder replacement
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica bounces back
Volvo Ocean Race - Team SCA expecting the expected + Video
Rolex Middle Sea Race - New record for Mediterranean classic
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Medallists decided across six fleets
Volvo Ocean Race - Impressive turnaround for Dongfeng Race Team +Video
Volvo Ocean Race: Race closer than leaderboard suggests - Leg 1, Day 6
Volvo Ocean Race: Dongfeng Race Team break rudder after collision
2014 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship - Famous breeze frustrates
2014 Off Valparaíso Race - Day 1
Sunfish World Championship - Victory for Argentina's Francisco Renna
Volvo Ocean Race - Feeling the pressure six days in
Volvo Ocean Race - Alvimedica cautiously cruising down coast of Africa
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Brunel still within striking distance
Volvo Ocean Race - Testing times for Team SCA + Video   
Beijing 2008 Olympic legacy lives on in Qingdao + Video   
La Torche PWA Grand Slam - A return nearly 20 years in the making   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Game on for remaining fleets   
Farr 40 Worlds: Day 2 Image and Video gallery *Feature   
Day 5 of the Chris Benz Lüderitz Speed Challenge: 4 more records!   
Volvo Ocean Race: Coastal racing at its best - Leg 1, Day 5   
Chris Poole new number one Open Match Racer in U.S.   
Rolex Farr 40 World Champs - Plenty leads as Struntje Light impresses   
2014 Soto 40 South American Tour - Back in action   
Volvo Ocean Race - Mail arrival brings excitement for Team SCA + Video   
Volvo Ocean Race - Jens Dolmer getting restless onboard Team Brunel   
Volvo Ocean Race - Too close for comfort as fleet pushes on + Video   
Foils or not? Explanations from IMOCA Class President Jean Kerhoas   
Ben Ainslie's Olympic Finn sails are up for auction   
Volvo Ocean Race - Team Alvimedica goes to school   
Volvo Ocean Race - Intensity level rises for Dongfeng Race Team   
China Cup Regatta - Olympic medallists and offshore legends to race   
St. Barth Cata Cup - Friendly US rivalry on the Island   
ISAF Sailing World Cup Qingdao - Tight and tactical racing + Video   


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 WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT