Please select your home edition
Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

Family ties in Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

by Di Pearson on 24 Dec 2016
Family ties - Nikolas, Jim and James Delegat on Sydney Harbour Andrea Francolini Photography
It’s been said before that sailing with your family is a great way of bonding – a leveler - and so it is for at least 34 boats taking part in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, including New Zealander, Jim Delegat, who has two sons joining him for the blue water classic.

Jim, a pioneer in New Zealand’s burgeoning wine industry, owns the Volvo 70, Giacomo. This is the third time Giacomo has sailed across the paddock to compete in the 628 nautical mile race. The last time was 2014 when the elder of his two boys, Nikolas, who turned 20 in November, joined him as an 18 year-old.

Now younger son, 18 year-old James, will join his older brother and Dad for his first attempt at the race billed ‘the hardest yacht race in the world’. James also represents the youngest competitor this year, having turned 18 on 11 December.

Jim says: “I know that Nikolas and James can crew well on Giacomo, but it is more the occasion and being in the company of a high performance team that makes it very special for them and me.

“That said, both Nikolas and James have always been on Giacomo with me. Try keeping them off it. They have done the Coastal Classic, Auckland Fiji and inshore series.”

Both sons grew up learning to sail as toddlers at Kohimarama Yacht Club. Initially they sailed Optimists in the ‘learn to sail’ program.

James moved on to the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron and has spent two years in their Youth Academy program. He has currently taken a year out, as Giacomo has been based in Sydney for the Blue Water Pointscore which ends with the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

“In the last two years he and his team (Southern Cross Racing) have sailed in the China Cup regatta, where they won the Far East 28 R division in 2015 and 2016,” Jim says. “You could say they’re both of a very competitive nature and yachting has, for the most part, been in their lives.”

“I’ve been delivering Giacomo from Hobart and Sydney since I was 14,” says James. “I’ve sailed a 100 foot superyacht in the Millennium Cup 2015 and competed at match racing events, such as the Musto Youth International Match Racing Regatta,” adds James.

So while the Sydney Hobart is a big deal, James is not daunted by what lies ahead. Like his father, he is just hoping to finish the race, as last time Giacomo contested the race, 2014, she was dismasted off the Tasmanian coast. A better result was sixth over the line in 2013.

Nikolas comments: “I was on board for the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, but we didn’t finish (the mast came tumbling down on the Tasmanian Coast), so this is a matter of unfinished business. I’m very keen to get back out there this year.”

Meanwhile, spare a thought for the wife and mother of the three, Kate Delegat, the chief organiser behind the scenes. She manages the administration, race entry and crew welfare, but every now and again, jumps aboard for a sail when the busy schedule spares her.

Others with family connections in the race include the Volvo Open 70, where coincidentally Maserati, also has an owner Jim (Cooney) a son James (18) also doing his first Hobart, and a 20 year-old daughter Julia, doing her second. The parallels with Giacomo are unusual.

There are also brothers Derek and Martin Sheppard (co-owners of Black Sheep) and Mark and Greg Tobin (After Midnight), and wife and husband duo Stephanie and Steve Kerin (she owns Dekadence).

In other cases, brothers are being pitted against each other, such as Mitch White on Giacomo, while younger brother Morgan is on the super maxi CQS – and Holger Streckenbach and son Felix (who turns 25 on 28 December) are racing on Patrice Six, while younger son/brother, Theodor (21) is on Hollywood Boulevard.

The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia.
Anyport Ewincher 2019 FooterGul 2019 CODEZERO EVO FooterBandG AUS Zeus3 FOOTER

Related Articles

100th entry sends ABRW into 'Overdrive'
100th entry sends ABRW into 'Overdrive' Whitsunday sailor Rupert King is the 100th entrant to the 2019 Airlie Beach Race Week, with his performance cruiser Overdrive.
Posted today at 3:44 am
Laser Radial World Championship day 5
It was a day to stay in phase and stay in the pressure It was a fine day for Laser racing at the Radial Worlds - clear skies and a mostly steady 18-20 knot Westerly. They call this the Kamikaze Wind. The velocity varied a bit, with gusts in the low 20s and lulls down to about 15.
Posted on 23 Jul
Class 40 offshore action set for 2021 and 2023
Double-handed circumnavigations in planning While the Transatlantic Race 2019 winners have been announced and the podium positions are filling up in the Transpac Race, word recently arrived of two new doublehanded, round-the-world Class 40 races for 2021 and 2023.
Posted on 23 Jul
Last wave see rough conditions in Transpac 50
Final finishers get rough seas and big breezes on approach By sunset on Monday, only a handful of yachts were still at sea heading towards the finish in the 50th edition of the LA-Honolulu Transpacific Yacht Race, organized by the Transpacific YC.
Posted on 23 Jul
America's Cup: Schedule changes, Superyacht cynics
The America's Cup teams are saying little publicly after a round of meetings in Newport RI The America's Cup continues to simmer away, with the issues of the day being foiling arm delivery, the America's Cup World Series schedule, Kiwi media discounting superyacht visitor numbers, and including the latest ACWS promotional video from Prada.
Posted on 23 Jul
GKA Freestyle World Cup Fuerteventura overall
Corniel Conquers Yesterday Paula Novotna won the women's division here at the GKA Freestyle World Cup Fuerteventura 2019, and today Adeuri Corniel won the men's with the most powerful performance of the entire event!
Posted on 23 Jul
RS Feva World Championships day 1
200 boats kick off with a bang in Follonica, Tuscany The 2019 RS Feva World Championships have kicked off with a bang in the beautiful town of Follonica. The 200 boats will race in a qualification series for two days before splitting into gold, silver and bronze fleet for the final series.
Posted on 23 Jul
Australian Team at ILCA Laser Radial Worlds
Tricky battleground at the ILCA Laser Radial World Championship The ILCA Laser Radial World Championship on Miho Bay, Sakaiminato City, Japan, is proving a tricky battleground for the Australian Sailing Team's Zoe Thomson, Mara Stransky and Elyse Ainsworth.
Posted on 23 Jul
Laser Radial World Championship day 4
Final series begins in women's fleet The Finals Series for Radial Women's Worlds began today after the conclusion of the five race Qualifying Series yesterday. The 111 sailors have been split into Gold and Silver fleets and will race in those fleets for the remainder of the event.
Posted on 22 Jul
2019 Rolex Fastnet Race - Hot prospects
Andy Rice reviews the competition in classes IRC Zero, One and Two The weather will play a significant outcome in determining the overall results of the Rolex Fastnet Race. Winning your division is more within each team's control, and here we'll look at the top three IRC handicap categories in terms of size and speed.
Posted on 22 Jul