Please select your home edition
Edition
Auckland On Water Boat Show

Rolex Sydney Hobart - Kinsmans have the Race in their crosshairs

by Jim Gale on 18 Dec 2012
The Four Kinsmans - Fred, George, Tony and Harry just prior to the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart. © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
The Rolex Syndey Hobart Yacht Race is set to start in just over a week and crews are busy preparing. There are some that might assume that if you want to hit a target at long range you might try a hi-powered rifle – to hit a 600-mile target - How about a cruise missile? But a blunderbuss?

Still, Tony Kinsman insists there is nothing short-range about his Blunderbuss. In fact, he has seven and a half thousand sea miles to prove it.

That is how many miles his Beneteau First 40 Blunderbuss has travelled since Tony and his three sons launched her a year ago, and by the time she is back in Brisbane via Hobart’s Constitution Dock after completing the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, the mileage will be up over 9000 miles.

It’s a measure of just how committed Tony and his sons Fred (21), George (23) and Harry (26) are to an ocean racing adventure that began four years ago; one that has added a whole extra dimension to the traditional father/son relationship.

In the first few years, the family campaigned a Beneteau 40.7, also called Blunderbuss, including in the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart, the first time either father or sons had competed in the annual 628 nautical mile race.

'We didn’t do too well,' Tony concedes, 'We blew out a sail, that sort of thing, but we wanted to keep going and do better.'

So in 2011, Blunderbuss 1 made way for Blunderbuss 2, and a decided lift in the family’s competitive fortunes. The Farr designed Beneteau 40s rate very well and the Kinsman’s won their Club Championship this year, having won their division in last year’s Pittwater to Coffs Harbour Yacht Race.

And joining the winner’s circle hasn’t been the only benefit of trading up. 'She is a beautiful boat to sail,' Kinsman says of the F40, 'Markedly better than the 40.7 - especially downwind. She has a deeper rudder and is much more controllable.

'In the Brisbane Noumea race we had 35 knots downwind for more than 12 hours, but we were able to control her quite comfortably. We exceeded speeds of 20 knots at times - only momentarily as we surfed down a wave, true, but the spray from the bow comes over like a fan hitting the boom. In some other boats you would be very apprehensive,' he says.

Kinsman is a long-time passionate sailor, and exposed his kids to the contagion at an early age. As a youngster, he sailed Sabots and Fireballs, went ocean racing in his carefree 20’s and then settled back into off the beach dinghies and catamarans. Over the years, the family chartered yachts in Queensland and around the world.

Four years ago, with his oldest son Harry in his early 20s and the youngest, Fred putting his pimply teenage years behind him, Tony began to look at ocean racing again.

'This was always a father and sons project,' he acknowledges. 'Ocean racing appeals to younger people; they like the risks and they enjoy each other’s company. You go through phases when you bring up kids, but when you get through all that and they start to mature and mellow and develop relationships, it opens a window and we can take advantage of that.'

Yacht racing imposes its own schedules. You have to show up for race days, which are set down in concrete well in advance. For Kinsman, it beats random barbeques and a card on Christmas Day hands down. 'We all live in different places now, lead different lives, but it (Blunderbuss) brings us together - and we have a stronger relationship for that.'

'We will always do one of the larger races each Christmas; the Hobart in 2010 and this year - Coffs last year,' Kinsman says.

'We can’t do Hobart every year. For a Queensland boat it is a much larger project. You end up in Hobart and that’s a long way from Queensland. The crew delivers the boat as well, so it’s a bigger organisation and commitment of time that we can’t always make.'

Kinsman is confident they will do a lot better this year than in 2010. He and his crew have done a lot more sailing together and everyone on board has done long races so knows what to expect.

There is one comparative newcomer, Craig Blackwood, who came to ocean sailing late, in his late 30’s actually, when he helped bring Blunderbuss from Devonport to Sydney after the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart. 'It was his first time offshore and we got really thrown about a lot,' Tony says. 'I expected him to say never again, but he said ‘that was fantastic’ so he’s part of the crew.

Blunderbuss is one of six Beneteau 40s competing in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, so he is looking forward to an intense race within the larger race. 'We’ll all be sailing in the same bit of water. We’ll be able to see each other; it’ll be a tough race,' he says.

The Farr designs rate very well in their divisions, so the leading Beneteau First 40 could well win the division, and even the race, as another F40, Two True (Andrew Saies) from South Australia did in 2009.

Blunderbuss gives some of the other Beneteau 40’s a bit on handicap, mostly because of the sail wardrobe Kinsman has chosen, but 'We’ve been sailing actively for 12 months and we’ve had our fair share of results,' he says confidently.

A Blunderbuss is, after all a weapon, not a Rolex Sydney Hobart website

Wildwind 2016 660x82North Technology - Southern SparsNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – the better mousetrap
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - The grand classic ocean race is remembered for many things. Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - The grand classic ocean race is remembered for many things from records and personal achievements, to tribulations and unfortunately, disasters too. 2012 will be no different in that department. However, rising out of the turmoil with a plan and path forward is the Supermaxi, Wild Thing and her enigmatic Skipper, Grant Wharington.
Posted on 2 Jan 2013
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race video selection
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2012 - A selection of videos Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2012 - A selection of videos including pre-race drama, 50 Golden Years three part documentary and more footage of the race.
Posted on 2 Jan 2013
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Quartet of honorary gentlemen
Sydney Hobart Race 2012 presented its highest award to John Kirkjian, Peter Campbell, Rowan Johnston and John Honeysett The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 presented its highest award to John Kirkjian, Peter Campbell, Rowan Johnston and John Honeysett for their individual contributions to the Boxing Day spectacle throughout the years.
Posted on 1 Jan 2013
Sydney Hobart 2012 – Maluka of Kermandie's arrival formally ends race
Sydney Hobart race officially ended after Sean Langman-skippered Maluka of Kermandie crossed finish line at 9.40.12pm he Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 officially closed its curtain after Sean Langman-skippered Maluka of Kermandie crossed the finish line at 9.40.12pm, ending up last on line in the 628-nautical mile ocean race for the second consecutive year.
Posted on 1 Jan 2013
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Prizegiving on New Year’s Day
Sydney Hobart Race 2012 scheduled to formally award the trophies to the overall and divisional winners on January 1 The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 is scheduled to formally award the trophies to the overall and divisional winners of this year’s Boxing Day Race classic at 11:00am on Tuesday 1 January 2013 at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Posted on 31 Dec 2012
Sydney Hobart 2012 – Dump Truckers vow return
Justin Wells, Dump Truck crew vow to compete in 628 nautical mile race after being forced to retire 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.
Posted on 31 Dec 2012
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - The match races within the race
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has been billed as the match races within the race The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has been billed as the match races within the race – long-time foes battling for glory across several divisions, with just seconds separating winner from loser, while many had nervous waits for final results.
Posted on 31 Dec 2012
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - Boats flood into Hobart with tales to tell
Day five of the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart has seen a flood of boats arriving in Hobart, each with tales to tell. Day five of the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart has seen a flood of boats arriving in Hobart, each with tales to tell. This has been a difficult race for the smaller boats; they have experienced a range of weather from good to bad. Few would deny theirs has been a true Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Posted on 31 Dec 2012
Sydney Hobart 2012 – Tony Cable successful in 47th Boxing Day race
Tony Cable, Duende finishes Rolex Sydney Hobart journey after three days, 22 hours and nine minutes The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 was a turnaround for Tony Cable from last year’s short-lived journey as the 47-time Boxing Day race participant skippered Duende to the finish line after three days, 22 hours and nine minutes.
Posted on 30 Dec 2012
Sydney Hobart 2012 – Gold medalist looks for more sailing challenges
Australian Paralympian great Liesl Tesch enjoys latest Boxing Day race adventure, eyes more Sydney Hobart Race voyages The fast and furious nature of their latest Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race adventure makes Australian Paralympian great Liesl Tesch and the DisABILITIES crew craving for more 628-nautical mile voyage in the future.
Posted on 30 Dec 2012