sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : Rolex Sydney Hobart – Its a cruel race says the winner

Rolex Sydney Hobart – Its a cruel race says the winner

'Loki (AUS),Stephen Ainsworth'    Daniel Forster/Rolex Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex

Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011 overall handicap winner Stephen Ainsworth first sailed his own yacht in the 1998 Hobart race. A tough initiation but things have improved since then as Stephen explains to Sail-World.com

‘My first Hobart was in 1985 in a boat called Neville Chidgey’s Swanson 36 Mystic Seven.

‘I had done Sydney Noumea and Lord Howe Island races with Neville and then the Hobart race. I moved to the UK and was living there for six years, had a young family and was busy with work so I didn’t sail for six years.
Then I got back to Australia thought ‘I’ll get back into sailing’. I thought I could do some offshore racing but it took me a while to find a boat.

My first year doing the Sydney Hobart in my own boat was 1998, with my Swan 44 Loki. We rolled in Bass Strait and we didn’t do a complete 360 but was turned upside down and smashed a port hole and filled up with water, then basically ran bare poled, surfing down massive waves. We limped into Narooma, (north of Eden) the following day.

‘We stayed there overnight, took Michael Bell (the Swan dealer rep at the time sailing as crew) off to hospital as he had hurt his leg, we got the port hole fixed, steadied the boat and we went back to Sydney the next day.

Stephen Ainsworth, owner of LOKI Rolex Sydney Hobart -  © Rolex-Daniel Forster?nid=92417  

By 2000 I had switched to a Swan 48, again called Loki. I was a slow boat in those days and was playing a trick coming home in the following breeze, as the 48 is a terrific boat upwind. Not much good downwind because it is too heavy but upwind it really sailed to its rating.

‘Then came the Reichel Pugh 60 Loki which we lost off Sardinia in October 2007 when the rudder broke on a lee shore.’ (Stephen and his crew were winched from life rafts by Italian Navy helicopters - ED.)

‘McConaghys built the 63 for us in 2008 at Mona Vale in Sydney. ‘It is a very, very good boat offshore and we can race in regattas and be very competitive too. It is a fantastic boat.

‘Reichel Pugh got it really right. We had a bit of surgery on the boat before it went into the water as there were problems that Reichel Pugh had with their chimes but it was worth the extra cost and time involved in fixing the problems.

‘We have had a great run with the boat, both offshore and around the cans in the last three years.

‘The hardest part of the 2011 Hobart, of course, was the first night. There was plenty of wind but it was only for the first hour it was really hammering. It wasn’t a constant 40 knots, just some initial gusts and probably only for half an hour or so.

‘We went to a double reef, and number 4, luckily, before it came. We got the chute off, put on a 4 jib and very quickly put one reef in and then put another reef in when it started to get violent. We were happy as we were ahead of the game when we approaching the roll front – which you could see was coming very quickly.

'When that front came through it hit us quite hard with gusts of up to 40 knots and driving rain - that was really quite stinging rain as big drops being driven 35-40 knots tend to hurt. After that we knuckled down and belted upwind for the next day or so and we had a bit of seasickness on board. Quite a few of the guys threw up, but they just kept on going.

60, LOKI, Sail No: AUS60000, Owner: Stephen Ainsworth, Design: Reichel Pugh 63, LOA (m): 19.3, State: NSW - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011 -  © Rolex-Daniel Forster?nid=92417   Click Here to view large photo


‘Coming down the north coast of Tasmania we had a soft patch and there was a bit of a transition. It did go quiet but we found our way through that reasonably well. The key was not to stop and we didn’t.

‘There was a good mix of conditions during the race, but probably the real highlight was the fact that we never stopped and we kept going the whole time. We nearly stopped, we got as low as two knots boat speed, but we managed to keep moving.

‘My brief to the navigators was ‘whatever you do don’t let us fall into a hole where we stop because that is fatal’. We were winning last year’s race as we got to the other side of Bass Strait after all that heavy air. We had our sister ship Limit 15 miles behind us but then we stopped - we just stopped and everybody was sailing up to the horizon. When you’re a high rating boat that’s just instant death to you on handicap.

‘These things nearly break your heart. It is just a cruel race, very cruel.

‘It is such a fickle race and it’s devastating when that happens. I was talking to Rob Hanna (TP52 Shogun) today and in this year’s race he fell in a hole and sat there for eight hours. They were in the river and they were becalmed and had a procession of boats sail around them, round the shore, after leading them for hours and hours, only to finish up hours behind them.

‘Now we have won the 2011 Sydney Hobart, by finishing at three in the morning, which is unusual.
‘From Tasman Light we had a reasonable 12 Knot (maybe) breeze, although it was a gradient breeze. We were able to carry the breeze pretty much until we past the Iron Pot and as we went up the Derwent it gradually faded. We ghosted in. We were desperately looking for any breeze that we could find and we had a code 0 up and we fell across the line. We were so relieved, that last few hundred metres was agony.

‘This year, actually when you look at it, was a big boat race. All the top boats in the handicap division are all from division 1 or 0.

‘Normally we’d not have expected to be able to keep going in the River so late at night - maybe it was Loki, the Norse God of mischief and trickery, playing up again.

‘I am very proud of our crew. They have evolved. I think the key part of this crew was bringing Gordon McGuire on board a couple of years ago, he is a great asset, a very good sailing master and very good at managing people. We have built a very nice team and they are all good guys and enjoy sailing on the boat

‘This boat has been remarkable. It’s been a progression - everything you learn as you are going along you put into the next boat. You develop experience and expertise with the people who you have been sailing with and utilise more of that, this boat is the result of a lot of years of accumulated expert experience and not just mine, but that of a number of people.

Loki crew are presented with Tattersall’s Cup and Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece by Patrick Boutellier (Rolex Australia) and Commodores Graham Taplin (RYCT) and Garry Linacre (CYCA). -  © Rolex-Daniel Forster?nid=92417   Click Here to view large photo


‘This is a great boat and at 63 feet it is still manageable. I am very happy with it. I have been lucky in that, because of the state of the economy around the world after the GFC very few boats have been built, so it is still highly competitive.

‘Michael Hiatt’s Farr 55 Living Doll did well to take second this year. I was probably more surprised at how well Living Doll went as she has always struck me as a bit of a ‘one trick pony’, good in light air and flat water. I think they are sailing the boat a bit better in the sort of offshore conditions that we got and are now a contender in all conditions. .

‘Syd Fischer came third with his TP52 Ragamuffin. From our experience with the TP52's, if they get a lot of downwind component in the race they are competitive. They can sail to their rating very well and exceed their rating downwind, upwind and reaching … not so sure.

‘Overall there was quite a bit of upwind in this year’s race and our good transitions and our lucky run to the finish were the keys to winning 2011 Sydney Hobart race.

‘I will be back in 2012. Absolutely. It is a small group of people who have won a Hobart race but it’s a really small group of people who have won two. Hopefully I can join that exclusive club but I am 57 years old so if it’s going to take another 15 or 20 years, I don’t know if I will make the distance.’




by Rob Kothe & the Sail-World team

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=92417

11:42 PM Fri 30 Dec 2011 GMT






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

Click for further information on
2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Related News Stories:

09 Jan 2012  McConaghy built Loki's jubilant Tattersall's Cup victory
07 Jan 2012  2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart images
04 Jan 2012  Bob Robertson weathers another Rolex Sydney Hobart
02 Jan 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart - Trophy presentation in Hobart
02 Jan 2012  A special mission of loyalty for a lost mate
02 Jan 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart: Post Race Protests - is there another way?
01 Jan 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race overall
31 Dec 2011  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Divisional winners awarded
31 Dec 2011  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Natelle Two arrives in Hobart
31 Dec 2011  Maluka last in for New Year in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World









Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 CEO Knut Frostad talks (Part III) *Feature by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team,


Audi Melges 20 World Championship - ‘Samba Pa Ti’ crowned champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,










Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Final race to decide champion by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,










Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show - 13 things to See and do by Fort Lauderdale International Boat Show,




Volvo Ocean Race: Update from Team Vestas Wind in images by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz,








Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Classic Garda conditions on day 2 by International Audi Melges 20 Class Association,
























Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Alessandro Rombelli's 'STIG' leads
Volvo Ocean Race: Call of Duty comes first for Team Alvimedica
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini
Helping boaters understand weather basics
PWA Alacati World Cup - Exciting finish on day 2
Match 40s find the surface again + Video
Audi Melges 20 World Championship - Day 1 images by Max Ranchi
Clagett Regatta names first Executive Director
Transatlantic Race - Fleet expanded for 2015 edition
IFDS World Championship overall
Anna Tunnicliffe: Alinghi finishes second - Extreme Sailing Series
2014 18' Skiff International Regatta - Day 2
2014 Audi Melges 20 World Championship - It's go time in Garda
2nd Annual Keith Dinsmoor Regatta September 13-14
Aldo Alessio Regatta - Three days of tight racing
PWA Alacati World Cup - First blood to Van Der Steen and Offringa
Oakcliff Sailing hosts the Nacra 17, 49er and 49erFX Nationals + Video
International 18ft Skiff Regatta underway on San Francisco Bay
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2014 - Quality fleet for Maxi Classic
Sailing Champions League - which is Europe's best sailing club?
Weta fun at the Wine & Roses Regatta   
Extreme Sailing Series: The Wave, Muscat claims victory on Cardiff Bay   
International 14 World Championships 2015: Not just for boys   
Rio de Janeiro achieves 50% treatment of sewage outflow *Feature   
2014 AWT Quatro Desert Showdown - Event memorable videos   
2014 18' Skiff Int Regatta: Day 1 at San Francisco - Reversal on beach   
Emirates Team NZ: Last race boost cannot save team from table bottom   
PWA Alacati World Cup - Furious slalom is upon us   
J/111 World Championships - The Winner is Shmokin Joe!   
J/24 US National Championship - Victory for Will Welles’ Cougar   
Extreme Sailing Series: View the Final Day's action - Replay   
NYYC Grandmasters Team Race - Reign continues for Noroton Yacht Club   
WSSR announces new World Record Around Britain and Ireland   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final day photos by Tim Wilkes   
2014 Detroit Cup - Morvan wins   
Newport Bucket Regatta 2014 -Images by George Bekris   
IFDS Worlds 2014 - Final report: USA qualifies for Rio 2016   
Extreme Sailing Series: Absent With-Out Leave – Ben Ainslie Racing   
2014 IFDS World Championship - New champions claim medals   
2014 IFDS World Championships - Sunday’s race images by Tim Wilkes   


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 NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT