sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Rolex Sydney Hobart – Kiwi Olympic wonder bound for big race
Rolex Sydney Hobart – Kiwi Olympic wonder bound for big race

'Blair Tuke and Peter Burling on the 2012 Olympic medal podium at Portland. Tuke will take part at Boxing Day’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race'    Richard Gladwell ©    Click Here to view large photo

New Zealand’s 49ers Olympic silver medalist Blair Tuke will make his first big step towards his transition to big boat racing when he joins seasoned skipper Ray Haslar and the RP42 Rikki crew for the upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012.

Life hasn’t been the same for Kiwi 49er sailor Blair Tuke since the 23 year-old won a silver medal at the London Olympics, catapulting him from young-electrician-with-big-dreams to rock star with the world at his feet in his native Bay of Islands and beyond.

Those feet have barely touched the ground since September; but for a while, anyway, the merry-go-round of speaking engagements and glad-handing politicians is on pause. Like a million sailors before him, Blair Tuke has found that the ocean can indeed be a soothing thing.

For a few weeks now the Olympian has been just one of the crew, and a junior one at that, on the RP42 Rikki, out of Kerikeri, New Zealand, bound for the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart.

'It has been a fun couple of months, but it is good to get away from New Zealand for a bit,' he says. 'The first night out on the delivery trip to Sydney I was on watch, just me and the sound of the waves, and I could relax. There were no more speeches or appearances to make,' Tuke said.

He can get back to what he does best, winning a boat race and, he hopes, in the process launch a new ocean-racing career.

'I’d love to be able to make a career out of sailing. I want to do the Volvo Ocean Race next - and some big boat sailing. Go back to the Olympics in four years, and do one better than I did this year.'

Tuke has already spent part of December at Sail Sydney racing his 49er at the Olympic classes regatta.

'When he said he wanted to do the Volvo Ocean Race, I told him he had better do the Rolex Sydney Hobart with me first, see if you like it,' says Ray Haslar, Rikki’s owner/skipper and eight-time veteran of the 628 nautical mile race to Hobart.

By his own admission, Tuke did his last ocean voyage when he was 12 or 13 on a family voyage to Fiji. He has a bit to learn yet, though Haslar says that Tuke will pick things up fast. 'After half an hour on the helm, he was at ease - just a natural.'

Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2012 - left: Ray Haslar owner of RIKKI from New Zealand -  Andrea Francolini - Rolex ©   Click Here to view large photo
It helps that the RP42 has a lot more in common with a skiff than your regular 40-foot cruiser/racer.

'The trip over was really good,' Tuke says, 'The principles are the same (as the 49ers). Rikki is a very nice boat to drive. We’ve got a lot more training to do in Sydney, but I’m really looking forward to the race. I’ll be trimming and steering,' said Tuke, who crewed Peter Burling to their silver medal in London.

Despite the fact that only two of his crew have Hobart experience, Haslar is confident that he has a real shot at winning the race.

Rikki was launched last year as a beamy reaching and running boat in the style of the IRC40 Chutzpah and the Ker40 AFR Midnight Rambler, though in practice she did not turn out to be quite as fast downwind as expected.

'We were half a knot slower than the projections, so I have put on a 30 square metre larger genoa. It costs us 50 seconds an hour in our rating, but the extra speed more than makes up for it,' Haslar maintains.

Ironically, the downwind disappointment may work to Rikki’s advantage in the long race to Hobart. 'She turned out to be much better upwind than we expected - very, very good,' Haslar said.

A good all round boat, her New Zealand feels, for a race that more often than not is 50 percent uphill.

Haslar is very happy with Rikki, his fourth boat. 'I really enjoyed the whole project. Sitting down with the designers, going through what we wanted to do with the boat. Why we wanted this at the expense of that. I designed the layout and the interior, so a lot of this is my boat. Reichel/Pugh put a shell around it,' he said.

Rikki won her first big ocean race, the 250 nautical mile (Not) Round White Island Race of 2011, and placed second on IRC in this year’s Auckland to Noumea race.

Haslar is confident she can beat the local speedsters on the long track. 'We owe AFR Midnight Rambler three minutes per hour. You can’t beat that round the buoys, but by the time those Ker40s are loaded up for a long race, they sit lower and are not as fast,' he reckons.

He also knows what it’s like to win a Hobart, being part of the Pathfinder crew when she won in 1971. 'Everything we touched turned to gold. We got a good westerly, then a nor’ westerly across Bass Strait - and we ran down all the boats that had been parked off the Tasmanian coast,' Haslar recalled.

So he knows that luck is a fortune in this race too. Yet he says that New Zealand sailors have to come over here, despite the cost and effort.

'Bringing a boat here is a very big deal. It cost us $60,000 in insurance just to get here; you’ve really got to want to do it,' Haslar says. 'We started getting all the ducks in a row in September.

'It is a challenge - but this is my aim in life. This is my last racing yacht; I’m 69, so I want to do as much as I can. I’ve got five years more at this level, maybe.

'It’s fine to do well where you are, but you’ve got to do well in a bigger pond to see just how good you are,' he said.

A Rolex gold watch may not have the same lustre of Olympic gold, but it will be more than enough for Ray Haslar, Blair Tuke and the rest of the Kerikeri Yacht Club. They will have to climb over a few hundred Australian sailors to get it, though.

Tuke wants that Olympic gold, too, in 2016. He will have to climb over another two Australians, Nathan Outteridge and Iain Jensen, to get that.


by Jim Gale

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=104878

7:53 AM Thu 20 Dec 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.


Related News Stories:

20 Dec 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Is Wild Thing the Wild Card?
19 Dec 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – The Rise of the Beneteaus
19 Dec 2012  Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Sailors with disabilities make return
19 Dec 2012  Wild Oats XI seeks Rolex Sydney Hobart clean sweep
19 Dec 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart - Love & War in the rigours of the NSW south coast
18 Dec 2012  Clipper Race champ still hopes to land crew place in Boxing Day's race
18 Dec 2012  Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Warwick Sherman living life to fullest
18 Dec 2012  Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Ragamuffin-Loyal on track
18 Dec 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart - Kinsmans have the Race in their crosshairs
17 Dec 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Wild Oats XI set to fly
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

America's Cup: Five Challengers sign-on for 35th Match by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,




















AWT Quatro Desert Showdown at Punta San Carlos by American Windsurfing Tour,
















America's Cup: Rod Davis - Time for a change after ten years with team *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,








Maxi yacht rendezvous this September in Sardinia by International Maxi Association,




















America's Cup: Team NZ wish Davis well with new team *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-world.com/nz,


Fisher's View: Sailing perfection at Hamilton Island- Day 3
Roble and Wilson still number one match racers in the U.S.
2014 Formula Kite World Championship Day 1
IFDS World Championship - Day 1 images by Jude Robertson
Volvo Ocean Race: Forget the f-word - Team SCA profiled
52 Super Series - Fleet grows, 2015 dates revealed
420 and 470 Junior Europeans - Teams from 9 nations on the podium
IFDS Worlds - Former president presented with ISAF awards medal
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Improvements aplenty in Byte CII fleets
America's Cup: New Zealand loses top coach to Artemis Racing
Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part I) *Feature
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race Day 9 - Swish on record pace
2014 CORK Olympic Classes Regatta - Day 3
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games - Day 2
2014 IFDS World Championship: Opening Ceremony images
Opera House Cup - Images by Ingrid Abery
Teams descend upon Cowes for inaugural J/111 World Championships
Hamilton Island Race Week: Everywhere there's smiley people
IFDS World Championships - US Paralympic hopefuls ready for racing
Sopot Match Race - Poland's Tour debut deemed a triumph
Vineyard Race celebrates 80th running of the East Coast classic   
Nanjing Youth Olympic Games: Young sailors begin racing on Lake Jinniu   
AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Victory for Morgan Noireaux   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland Race - Day 8: Test of endurance   
Bart's Bash: Over 2300 entered from 588 yacht clubs - Join here   
Halifax ready to welcome the world at 2014 IFDS World Championships   
RC44 World Championship title to Bronenosec + Video   
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week: Day 2 Images by Crosbie Lorimer   
IFDS Worlds - Gary Jobson to attend opening ceremonies   
Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Dalton DeVos crowned champion   
2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic Games trailer   
2014 Chicago Grand Slam - Canfield wins   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Varuna takes overall lead   
Audi Hamilton Island Race Week; Crosbie Lorimer Day 1 Images   
Fisher's View: Hamilton Island Race Week - Day 1 - Stayin' Alive   
CORK Olympic Classes Regatta 2014 - Day one   
Youth Olympics: practice over, athletes welcomed, time for YOG sailing   
Round Britain and Ireland Race - Record for Artemis-Team Endeavour   
2014 Melges 32 U.S. National Championship - Day 2   
Sevenstar Round Britain and Ireland: Artemis sets fourth course record   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL WAS US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT