Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 - Sherman leans on beginners' luck

by Jim Gale on 23 Dec 2012
First Timers ready to race Press Conference © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race rookie Warwick Sherman hopes to lean on ‘beginners luck’ as the cancer-survivor goes all out for his dream aboard his Jason Ker designed Sydney GTS43 Occasional Course Language.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed] Emerging from a serious cancer scare this year, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia member decided 2012 was the year he would turn fantasy into fact aboard his new Occasional Course Language.

'It’s a bit frightening in a way. Something I looked at and always wanted to do, but thought it was something that I would never do. My wife Judi has done three and I felt like a bit of a wimp, but this (cancer) was a trigger,' Sherman admitted today.

'I might get the bug or might not. This might be my first and last.'

Racing to Hobart is a huge physical challenge for a fit youngster let alone a man coming out the other side of cancer treatment. Sherman is confident he will be up to it, but it has been a lot of hard work to get here. 'I’ve been lucky,' he says. 'I’m not a naturally tough person, but I just hit it head on. Through the cancer treatment, I kept sailing on and off, and as I got stronger I could do more and more miles.

'This is the first big race I’ve done since the treatment but we have done a lot of miles.'

Sherman isn’t the only Hobart virgin in his fifties this year. Fifty one year-old Steve Kidson has been a volunteer on the CYCA start team for seven years. 'I did a lot of dinghy sailing and wanted to learn about ocean racing,' he said. 'All the rules and tactics - that’s why I volunteered for the start boat.'

This year, Kidson will be at the start line not as an official, but as a member of the crew of the Mummery 45 Icefire.

'I have often sat on the start boat on Boxing Day and longed to be out there, and this year I am,' Kidson said.

At the other end of the rooky scale are young guns like Owain Brady on Love & War and Clinton Evans on Quest.

Brady is joining the gang, some are from the old Brindabella crew, on Love & War, under the guidance of navigator Lindsay May. It is a tight knit, one would have to say venerable band that has been sailing Hobarts together for many years.

As one of the two younger and fitter crew on board (the other is owner Simon Kurts’ son Phil), 22 year-old Brady can look forward to some heavy lifting. Not for nothing are he and Phil split between the two watches. In return they will learn from some of the best.

The wily Lindsay May is up for his 40th Hobart. 'He’s going to teach me a lot,' Brady acknowledges. 'He knows Love & War inside out, and he looks after his crew.'

Brady has a long, tough slog ahead of him on the near 40 year old timber Love & War. Clinton Evans, a 24 year-old, will get there much faster on Bob Steel’s TP52 Quest.

Brady wants lots of wind over the bow: 'going upwind we can really put it to the racing boats,' he declares, but concedes that down wind is another matter.



Evans can’t wait for the big nor-easter predicted for day two to kick in. 'Quest is a pretty quick boat. We love it downwind.'

By the look of it they will get their fair share of both.

On the Kiwi boat Rikki, Blair Tuke is knuckling down to the business of ocean racing fresh from winning Silver at the London Olympics in the 49er skiff. This is the crack dinghy sailor’s first ocean race, and a whole new experience after the fanfare and excitement of London.

'The Olympics were the pinnacle of what was four years of hard work,' Tuke said. 'I had spent four years aiming for one thing.' Whereas the races then were a culmination, this Hobart race is a beginning. 'This is the start of what I hope will be a sailing career, and the start of a new challenge.'

Perhaps unwisely, Tuke used Rikki’s delivery trip as a chance to catch up on Hobart history. 'I read the 98 ‘Fatal Storm’ book, and watched the clips on YouTube, maybe I shouldn’t have,' he jokes.

'But as long as you know the boat is in good nick and you have done all the hard work, training and properly preparing the boat, you shouldn’t be nervous.'

There is scarcely a boat in the fleet that does not have at least one crew member doing a first Rolex Sydney Hobart. Aboard Brindabella, for instance, there are six, aged in their 30’s and 40’s and none of Enchantress’ crew from South Australia has been in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, but they have done thousands of miles and won the Melbourne Hobart race.

CYCA Commodore Howard Piggott says that whether they are on a crash-hot race favourite or a cruiser/racer hopeful, they are in for one adrenaline rush come Boxing Day. 'This is a life changing event,' he tells them.

[Sorry, this content could not be displayed] All will be surrounded by experienced sailors. They are the new chums, there to learn, except of course for Warwick Sherman. He may be the only Hobart virgin in Occasional Coarse Language’s dozen crew, but he is also the owner.

When asked his role on the boat, Sherman proudly declared 'principal helmsman …and cheque Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012

Wildwind 2016 660x82Ancasta Ker 40+ 660x82Naiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

The Great Dane dies at 88 + Video
One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. One of the heroes of sailing, Paul Elvstrøm (DEN) has died at the age of 88 years. Known as the Great Dane, and winner of four Olympic Gold Medals, and many world championships in multiple classes from dinghies to keelboats, Elvstrøm put a footprint on the sport like no other.
Posted on 7 Dec
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
America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted on 2 Dec
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
A Q&A with Sharon Green about the prep work that ensures great images
I talked with ace photographer Sharon Green to learn more about the prep work that goes into each image that she snaps. I caught up with ace photographer Sharon Green at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about the behind-the-scenes preparation work that goes into each image that she snaps. While some of Green’s tips are specific to professional shooters (e.g., helicopter time or juggling multiple camera bodies), plenty of amateur lensmen will be well served to consider Green’s racecourse-proven tips.
Posted on 23 Nov
Dockside with CQS - radical, revamped supermaxi up close
The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday - the White Island Race which will double as Rolex Sydney Hobart Qualifier. Originally the 90ft Nicorette designed by South African Alex Simonis, the new project to upgrade to a 100ft supermaxi has been led by Brett Bakewell-White (NZ) and Bakewell-White Yacht Design.
Posted on 22 Nov
Gladwell's Line - President Croce caught at helm in Perfect Storm
No real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way an eight-year term After a year or more punctuated with issues that should not have happened, it is no real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. Also gone is one of his lieutenants, Chris Atkins (GBR) as Vice President, who remarkably polled 13th out of the 15 candidates.
Posted on 15 Nov
Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep