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Southern Spars

Brindabella - the icon of Australian Sailing

by Ian Thomson on 28 Sep 2010
ASM-Brindabella Ian Thomson
There are awards for yachtsmen and women, however if there was an award for a boat Brindabella would certainly dominate. The history behind this great boat is amazing however this year alone, there are two of her current race records that have once again stood the test of time. She still turns heads whenever she sails and now she has a new challenge in 2011.

Brindabella was built back in 1992 and currently holds the following race records:

* Fastest Sydney to Hobart for a conventionally ballasted boat
* Bird Island Race
* Sydney to Gold Coast
* Sydney to Mooloolaba
* Cabbage Tree Island Race
* Sydney to Woolongong
* Sydney to Newcastle

This year, Bob Oatley's 100ft Maxi Wild Oats XI attempted to break the record for the Sydney to Gold Coast but failed to beat Brindabellas record from 1999. That's 11 years ago and we know where technology has gone since.

And just this weekend gone, the newer yachts failed to get the 15 year old Bird Island Record off her.

So why is this boat so special? I believe it is the passion for this boat. Every owner of this boat is so passionate about her. George Snow obviously has a passion for any boat he has raced on and created so much history on this boat. Then the late Andrew Short bought her and optimised her for IRC ad raced her consistently. Now another local Sydney-sider has bought her and his passion seesm to top them all. Jim Cooney has spent the last 6 months bringing her back to her former glory. Countless hours by him and his crew as well as the much need funds see the almighty Brindabella back to her glory days.

Now he has plans to make his own history with the yacht. He plans to compete in this years Sydney to Hobart however the big plan is for May 2011. Jim has joined forces with Ian Thomson from Save Our Seas Australia and together they are planning an attempt for the fastest circumnavigation of Australia by a monohull. Ian broke the record earlier this year for solo around Australia and now wants the crewed record. Ian approached Jim as he wanted Brindabella for his campaign. When asked why he chose Brindabella Ian said 'I wanted a boat that was strong, has stood the test of time and something people would relate to. Everyone knows the almighty Brindabella and so many people have raced on her or want to race on her. She is an icon of sailing here in Australia and there is no better boat to hold this record.'

Jim & Ian plan to compete in next years Brisbane to Gladstone as a warm up and then return to Sydney and set off in Mid May to challenge David Pescud's current record of 37d:1h:23m:7s. They plan to go under 30 days. More unique is that you get a chance to join the crew. They are accepting applications online at www.sosoceanracing.com/australia.htm

This is a once in a lifetime chance to race on Brindabella and make more history so check it out today. You could be a world record holder and all aboard the iconic Brindabella, a true champion of sailing here in Australia.

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