Every Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2013 competitor aiming for line honours and overall glory has been waiting to see the new boat, Beau Geste. She has arrived in town and sailing master Gavin Brady warns 'We’ve arrived ready and probably more prepared than anyone else.'
Beau Geste, the 80 foot Botin design that everyone is talking about, was ordered by Hong Kong business identity, Karl Kwok, following the near-demise of his previous Beau Geste.
Brady and the Rolex Sydney Hobart race crew, minus Kwok, sailed the yacht from New Zealand into Sydney Harbour last evening after leaving Auckland on Tuesday. Brady was bemused when people questioned: 'What took you so long?'
The Kiwi sailor, whose resume includes five America’s Cups, 10 Hobarts and Volvo Ocean Races and match racing titles, said: 'We didn’t deliver the boat to Sydney for the race, we raced the 1400 nautical miles here – that’s two and a half Hobarts,' he said of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual 628 nautical mile race.
'We are probably the most prepared yacht entered in the race.'
'We tested everything; our watch systems, sail changes, we put reefs in the main, shook them out, we did everything we would normally do racing a boat, down to getting the milk right in people’s tea.'
Brady also reminded us that he and owner/skipper Karl Kwok have sailed together so long: 'We can read each other like a book, we have our communication down pat; things like our terminology. And with Steve Hayles in the nav station – the three of us, along with the rest of the crew, are ready,' he said.
'Quite frankly, we’re ready and we’re confident. We got half way here, and in the Tasman the wind died, then it picked up. So we did windward leewards. One minute we were pointing at New Caledonia, the next at Hobart. It was the perfect practice. It was open-ocean and no wind shifts. It doesn’t get any better than that.'
Brady said that owners should take advantage of racing from their home port to Sydney for the start, just as the Beau Geste crew has done, 'because that’s the best preparation you can do for the race.'
Beau Geste arrived in Australia with no damage on her maiden voyage. 'The worst that happened to us was hitting a sunfish 20 minutes into our voyage – hopefully it was the last one. We left it with a headache,' Brady said.
Asked what his hopes for the Rolex Sydney Hobart are, Brady said, 'I hope when I look back after the race, standing at Constitution Dock in Hobart that I’ll be able to say, ‘We did the best preparation possible and it paid off.'