Please select your home edition
Edition
T Clewring AC72

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

Related Articles

Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr
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
An interview with Jake Beattie about the 2016 Race to Alaska
In 2014, Jake Beattie and a few friends envisioned the Race to Alaska. Now, it’s time this wild race’s second edition. In 2014, Jake Beattie-the executive director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend, Washington, and a few friends hatched the bold idea of a human-powered race to Ketchikan, Alaska, took flight. They decided that their human-powered race would start in Port Townsend, Washington and run to Ketchikan, by way of the inside passage between Vancouver Island and British Columbia.
Posted on 14 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
Southern Spars - 100Schaefer 2016 660x82Kilwell - 5