Please select your home edition
Edition
Helm Events 728x90

Spinnaker memories from a Sunshine Coast blue water sailor

by Ian Grant on 30 Mar 2011
Ken Down Sailing Ian Grant
Spinnaker Tales - Ken Down, a Sunshine Coast blue water sailor has successfully mastered frightening squalls and stormy seas during his successful career of ocean racing.

His personal seamanship remains unquestioned after surviving the tragic North Sea storm which claimed the lives of 15 fellow competitors during the 1979 Fastnet Race.

The memory of that struggle which ultimately paved the way for the Australian Team to win the symbol of World Ocean racing supremacy The Admirals Cup still remains each time he wears his ‘storm suit’ to challenge natures elements.

During the next 21 days he will be focused on analysing the Queensland coastal weather with his son Lucas as they prepare to contest the 63rd Brisbane to Gladstone race with the Farr 40 class sloop Bribie Star.

Ken Down has often said – 'He has a score to settle after provisionally winning the 1979 Gladstone race on the water then losing the chance to sip Rum and Coke from the prestigious Courier-Mail Cup after a protest committee found Hot Bubbles had breached a rule on the start line.

This was a disappointing result for Ken Down and Mal Dawson the owner skipper of Hot Bubbles 11.

The 2011 coastal classic contested over 308 nautical miles presents the veteran offshore sailor with a new challenge.
In fact the father and son combination will become embroiled in a tactically demanding match race to repair some wounded pride from last year when Bribie Star finished third behind the David Lambourne helmed Lambourdini and the David Elliott skippered Eleven to decide Queensland’s fastest Farr 40.

Based on the 2010 result Lambourdini holds the ‘Bragging Rites’ with a marginal .08 knot speed advantage over Elleven while Bribie Star was another .04 knots off the pace.

Both Ken Down and son Lucas believe that Bribie Star will be on the pace when the second by second Farr 40 class match race begins on Good Friday (April 22).

Meanwhile the Bribie Star crew will need to make sure they make the right sail selection and pack the speed sailing spinnakers because Lambourdini and their other class rivals have upgraded their boat speed with consistent results in short course racing on Moreton Bay.

Race honours have been shared on the bay and the Lambourdini crew are aware that they will need to again be on the pace to retain their title as the best Farr 40 offshore racing combination.

Their marginal 2.9 seconds per nautical mile speed advantage stands to be challenged with their rival crews on David Elliott’s Ellleven, Ken Down’s Bribie Star, the John Lehman helmed Bobbie’s Girl and Russell Mc Cart’s Night Nurse all prepared to become engaged in a tactical dog fight for the honour of being Queensland’s fastest Farr 40 class offshore racing combination.
PredictWind.comAncasta Ker 40+ 660x82Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best Eyewear

Related Articles

Tom Squires 'dab's' while skydiving at Sailing World Cup - Melbourne
Tom Squires from the British Sailing Team is in Melbourne jumped out of a plane as part of the event earlier this week. Tom Squires from the British Sailing Team is in Melbourne for the Sailing World Cup Final sailing on the RS:X jumped out of a plane as part of the event earlier this week. He took the opportunity to do his first 'dab' and managed to hurt his shoulder.
Posted today at 7:25 am
Vendee Globe - Dealer's choice - Antipodean duel in stormy low
Armel Le Cleac’h and Alex Thomson have throttled back to preserve their boats and equipment as best they can Gusty, squally winds averaging 40kts, big, confused seas compounded by an awkward wind angle are all contributing to the worst period yet for two leaders of the Vendee Globe as they deal with a nasty, messy low pressure system. Armel Le Cleac’h and Alex Thomson have throttled back to preserve their boats and equipment as best they can but even so speeds are still averaging between 18 and 20 kts.
Posted today at 6:11 am
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman - 'It’s emotional and shocking'
Conrad Colman has shown in this race that he is not merely able to deal with the technical problems thrown at him Conrad Colman, currently in twelfth place directly south of Madagascar, has shown in this race that he is not merely able to deal with the technical problems thrown at him, but he has also revealed his ability to communicate how he feels and what life is like aboard an IMOCA with all its ups and downs. Here is his reaction to the recent incidents in the race.
Posted today at 5:24 am
International Melges 20 Miami Winter Series - Home Cookin'
When Melges 20 first emerged as a top level one-design boat in 2009, it quickly called Coconut Grove and Biscayne Bay When the Melges 20 first emerged as a top level one-design boat in 2009, it quickly called Coconut Grove and Biscayne Bay its winter home for its great mix of perfect sailing conditions and family friendly surroundings.
Posted today at 4:07 am
Solo Round the World record attempt makes long-term sponsorship work
The recent focus in the sailing news has been on the boats racing in the Vendée Globe and the epic battle Tomas Coville is aboard Sodebo vying for the single-handed, non-stop circumnavigation record. Coville rounded Cape Horn at the tip of South America yesterday and is currently turning his bow north as he deals with the strong currents in the Estrecho de le Maire, or the Straits of le Maire
Posted on 8 Dec
Vendée Globe – Thomson locked in battle for first place
Alex, who has been locked in battle with Armel Le Cléac'h, was sitting in second place as he passed the half way mark Alex, who has been locked in battle with Frenchman Armel Le Cléac'h since the race began on November 6th, was sitting in second place as he passed the half way mark - the tip of New Zealand’s south island.
Posted on 8 Dec
12 Metre Class maps Road to 2019 Worlds in Newport – Countdown begins
The International 12 Metre Class has announced the Road To The Worlds, a 900-day schedule of international regattas The International 12 Metre Class has announced the Road To The Worlds, a 900-day schedule of international regattas and social events leading up to what will arguably be one of the most highly anticipated Metre yachting events
Posted on 8 Dec
Solo round-the-world record attempt – Thomas Coville rounds Cape Horn
The skipper of Sodebo Ultim’ sets a new solo reference time between Ushant and Cape Horn. With an average speed over the ground of 25.33 knots, the skipper of Sodebo Ultim’ sets a new solo reference time between Ushant and Cape Horn.
Posted on 8 Dec
Double capsize in thrilling Act 8 opener at Extreme Sailing Series
Sydney Harbour delivered 'classic conditions' in an electrifying opening day of the finale that saw two teams capsize. Sydney Harbour delivered 'classic conditions' in an electrifying opening day of the finale that saw two teams capsize. Clear blue skies were met with a blustery north-easterly breeze of around 22 knots as the eight international crews hit the iconic waters of Australia's largest city, for the eighth and final Act of this season.
Posted on 8 Dec
Oman Air lay foundations for gripping duel at Extreme Sailing Series
Oman Air made a flying start to their final bid for championship honours on a wild and windy day in Sydney Oman Air made a flying start to their final bid for championship honours on a wild and windy day in Sydney to lay the foundations for a gripping duel with rival Alinghi in the ‘winner takes all’ finals
Posted on 8 Dec