Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Rolex Sydney Hobart; Don't Try This At Home Folks!

by Crosbie Lorimer on 31 Dec 2013
David ’’Ollie’’ Oliver (centre) holding the Tattersall’s Cup Crosbie Lorimer http://www.crosbielorimer.com
David 'Ollie' Oliver is the pitman aboard Victoire, the yacht having been announced as the overall winner of this year’s race and now the holder of the Tattersall’s Cup.

For Ollie this was a particularly sweet victory that finally exorcised the demons that have plagued him since missing out on Secret Men’s Business 3.5’s victory in 2010, through injury.


Not that this victory came easily for Victoire which experienced a heart stopping drama just south of Bass Strait; an event which demonstrates that good crew work can not only turn a dangerous situation into a swift recovery, but it can lead to the creation of a whole new manoeuvre.

Victoire was speeding south at 17 knots under spinnaker in 25 knots of northeasterly, just south of Bass Strait, when she was caught by a wave and swung into a Chinese Gybe.

Ollie takes up the story from here,

'I’ve had some good crashes in my time, but this one was the best ever.'

'We Chinese Gybed and we had the canting keel basically locked in (on the wrong side, holding the boat over) and so we had the boat vertical; we had two guys pinned down in the corner at the stern (one of whom was skipper Daryl Hodgkinson) and the only way up was to climb up the mainsheet traveller. So it was a full vertical; we had the boat over for about three or four minutes, that was pretty hairy.'

Asked how they recovered this position Ollie explains the new manoeuvre.

'It actually went like clockwork as we had a sail up again with ten minutes; but we had two guys down in the water, underwater, pinned down in the corner; we basically blew the tack (the spinnaker tack at the bowsprit), smoked the halyard, put the keel back in its position and we came out on the other gybe. We had the new spinnaker up in about ten minutes.'

'So it was a Crash - Chinese Gybe - Peel'!

'I don’t know how we did it, it should have been half an hour or an hour of damage and yet we managed to come out of it sailing 13 knots. It was great; we just dug in, it was Armageddon!'

'We were blessed, we should have lost the rig, we should have lost everything, in the end we came out of it beautifully and even with no kite up we were still doing 13 knots.'

'I don’t know how we did it, honestly. If it was night time it would probably have been a different story, we might have been in trouble.'

Creative and innovative as this new manoeuvre evidently was, it’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to practice it!
Barz Optics - Melanin LensesNaiad/Oracle SupplierWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

RNZYS Performance Programme ready to challenge on Sydney Harbour
The team will be led by Kiwi Chris Steele, who brings experience as a two-time New Zealand Match Racing champion. The team will be led by Kiwi Chris Steele, who brings experience as a two-time New Zealand Match Racing champion, as well as GC32 expertise.
Posted today at 11:51 am
Sailing World Cup Final– Chat with two coaches and a media boat driver
Enjoy the action from two very different, but both successful coaches here at the Sailing World Cup in Melbourne. Enjoy the action from two very different, but both successful coaches here at the Sailing World Cup in Melbourne.
Posted today at 11:27 am
Vendee Globe - Rescue operation underway in Southern Ocean gale
Vendée Globe Race Directors were alerted by Kito de Pavant’s technical team about serious damage aboard his boat Bastide At 0800 UTC this morning (Tuesday), the Vendée Globe Race Directors were alerted by Kito de Pavant’s technical team about serious damage aboard his boat Bastide Otio. Kito de Pavant, who was sailing at 16 knots under mainsail with two reefs in very heavy seas
Posted today at 11:18 am
No separating leading sailors at Sailing World Cup Final
Stipanovic and Kontides took a race win and a third apiece and Wearn was consistent with a pair of twos. Stipanovic and Kontides took a race win and a third apiece and Wearn was consistent with a pair of twos.
Posted today at 11:06 am
Vendee Globe - Cape to Cape
Alex Thomson has recovered some 19 miles against race leader Armel Le Cleac'h since the 1400hrs TU ranking Alex Thomson has recovered some 19 miles against race leader Armel Le Cleac'h since the 1400hrs TU ranking this afternoon and as the duo spear eastwards on port gybe in a strengthening NW'ly wind, the British skipper is slightly quicker.
Posted today at 5:36 am
Sailing World Cup Final - Future rock stars and a special graduation
Awesome to be on the ground for the Sailing World Cup Final in Melbourne, final for World Sailing's World Cup this year! Awesome to be on the ground for the Sailing World Cup Final in Melbourne, the final for World Sailing's World Cup this year!
Posted today at 5:02 am
A Q&A with Olympic champ Malcolm Page about his new job at US Sailing
I recently talked with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s newly hired Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job. Malcolm Page (AUS; 44) is a hyper-talented Men’s 470 sailor who won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) sailing with two different skippers, as well as seven World Championship titles, and who has long studied under the legendary Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko. I recently talked with Page, who was just hired as US Sailing’s new Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 5 Dec
Vendée Globe– Leeuwin record for Armel, damage for Josse and Attanasio
The French skipper Sébastien Josse suffered serious damage to the port side foil of the IMOCA Edmond de Rothschild The French skipper Sébastien Josse suffered serious damage to the port side foil of the IMOCA Edmond de Rothschild when he ploughed into the trough of a big wave this morning. He had been sailing on starboard gybe contending with difficult conditions, winds of 30-35kts and big, confused seas when the incident happened, some 900 miles to the SW of Cape Leeuwin
Posted on 5 Dec
Vendée Globe – Damage aboard Edmond de Rothschild
Sébastien contacted his shore team to inform that he had suffered major damage to the port foil on Edmond de Rothschild. At 0930 UTC this morning (Monday), while he was sailing 600 miles west of the longitude of Cape Leeuwin, Sébastien Josse contacted his shore team to inform them that he had suffered major damage to the port foil on Edmond de Rothschild.
Posted on 5 Dec
Thomson passes Cape Leeuwin in the Vendée Globe
British Skipper, Alex Thomson, has reached the Cape Leeuwin off Australia in a time of 29d 01hrs 28mins The next milestone is the infamous Cape Horn, where Thomson will turn the bow north again, and point Hugo Boss towards the finish port of Les Sables d’Olonne, France. Both Thomson and French rival Armel Le Cléac'h have beaten the previous record to Cape Leeuwin set by Francois Gabart (Macif) in the 2012/2013 edition which he went on to win.
Posted on 5 Dec