Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

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.
Protector - 660 x 82Zhik Dinghy 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

Heerema delayed by Biscay lows, Groundhog Day for Destremau
With 16 boats now finished, eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. With 16 boats now finished, the eighth edition of the Vendée Globe becomes the race with greatest ever number of finishers. Until now it was the 2000-2001 edition, with 24 starters and 15 finishers, which saw the biggest number of starters reach the end of their race at the legendary South Nouch buoy.
Posted today at 10:24 am
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season with major victory at RORC C600
Bella Mente Racing starts 2017 season off with major victory at RORC Caribbean 600 Bella Mente Racing, led by owner/driver Hap Fauth, launched its 2017 campaign season with a major victory this week, winning IRC Overall, CSA Overall and CSA 1 at the RORC Caribbean 600 in Antigua; The team took home coveted RORC Caribbean 600 Trophy for the IRC win as well as the Bella Mente Trophy, the team’s namesake award, for being first IRC yacht to finish that is wholly manually powered.
Posted today at 4:54 am
Cool drone footage of Dongfeng Race Team on the water
Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Dongfeng is back in the water and training is well underway for the returning Chinese campaign. Stunning drone footage of the re-fitted Volvo Ocean 65 has been released as the team hit the water off the coast of Lisbon.
Posted today at 3:52 am
49th Transpac early entry deadline approaches on March 1st
Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race is well underway Planning for the 49th edition of the Los Angeles-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race presented by the Los Angeles Times and organized by the Transpacific Yacht Club is well underway, with 52 monohull and multihull entries from nine nations already signed up for this biennial 2225-mile ocean race, one of the world's oldest having first been sailed in 1905.
Posted today at 3:36 am
18ft Skiffs - JJ Giltinan Trophy - Replay coverage - Race 1
Live coverage of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain Replay of Race 1 of the JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiffs from Sydney harbour - sailing in the wind and rain
Posted today at 3:25 am
Hat-trick all around for Phaedo^3 in this year Caribbean 600
Lloyd Thornburg and crew of Phaedo^3 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class. Lloyd Thornburg and the crew of his MOD70 Phaedo^3 for the last three editions of the RORC Caribbean 600 have gained not only line honours each time but also three wins in their class.
Posted today at 3:16 am
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman's thoughts on his incredible performance
Colman was the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels After finishing 16th in the Vendee Globe, crossing the finish line under the jury rig which had carried him the final 720 miles of his race since he was dismasted, Conrad Colman was greeted by a hero's welcome into Les Sables d'Olone. The first New Zealander to complete the race he was also the first boat in the history of the race to finish using only natural energy, no fossil fuels.
Posted on 24 Feb
More winners announced in RORC Caribbean 600
As dawn broke on day five, crews who had finished the race were beginning to arrive back in Antigua. At Dawn on the fifth day, the leading Class40s were approaching the finish. Throughout the race, the battle in the class had been intense, with three yachts taking the lead at various points along the course.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendee Globe - Conrad Colman finishes under jury rig
Colman constructed and stepped a remarkable jury rig which has allowed him to sail the final 740 miles of 27,440nm race New Zealander Conrad Colman wrote a new chapter in the storied history of the Vendée Globe when he crossed the finish line of the eighth edition of the non stop solo round the world race under a makeshift jury rig.
Posted on 24 Feb
Vendée Globe – Romain Attanasio takes fifteenth place
French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the solo race around the world French skipper Romain Attanasio, sailing Famille Mary-Etamine du Lys, took 15th place in the non stop solo race around the world this morning (Friday 24th February) when he crossed the finish line at 1006hrs UTC.
Posted on 24 Feb