Please select your home edition
Edition
Navico 2020 fun LEADERBOARD AUS

Rolex Sydney Hobart - Blonde figurehead tough as they come

by Danielle McKay on 23 Dec 2010
BRINDABELLA Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
For’ard hand Sophie Ciszek makes one impressive figurehead, but behind her iconic Aussie blonde surfer look is a woman who can match it with the best.

The 25-year-old will be manning the wettest, toughest and arguably most physically demanding position on a yacht when she steps up to the bow aboard iconic Australian maxi Brindabella in this Sunday’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

The statuesque 6ft tall, 74kg light-weight has as much an imposing presence as a contrasting one, in what is largely a testosterone driven position in yachting.

'I've had a lot of comments lately in the last two weeks, especially because the boat’s so big, there’s a lot of heavy gear and a lot of load,’’ she said.

'She’s as tough as they come, probably stronger than even some of the boys on board,’’ Brindabella boat manager Justin Sutherland said.

Ciszek punishes her body with a grueling daily routine to ensure it’s ripped and ready for the 628 nautical mile trip across the infamous Bass Strait to Hobart, which will start this Sunday at 1pm from Sydney Harbour.

Every day she runs for about an hour, she surfs four times every week and she does yoga to keep her core strong and her limbs flexible.

But why does she do it? Well, it’s all about the challenge.

'I love it, it’s so much fun, it’s just exciting,’’ she said. 'It’s pretty tough, you have to keep your wits about you.’’

A close alliance with late sailing legend Andrew Short gave the Mornington Peninsula sailor her ticket to the big boat racing scene when he offered her a ride aboard ASM Shockwave 5.

She first learned the ropes of the bow on a 46ft Reichel Pugh called Shamrock, and got her first taste of offshore racing when she competed in the 2008 Melbourne to Hobart.

'I started on the bow basically because it’s the place to learn,' she said. 'If you can do the bow you know all the other parts of the boat.'

Last year she was aboard Grant Warrington’s ill-fated Etihad Stadium, so despite starting, she never made it out of the harbour.

But, this year, she’s confident she’ll round the Iron Pot and turn north up the Derwent River, sending shivers down her spine when she sees the Rolex finishing buoy bobbing off Castray Esplanade.

'I think I’ll just be so excited,’’ she said.

Website click here
Pacific Sailing School 2020 - FOOTERUpffront 2020 Foredeck Club SW FOOTER38 South - Sun Fast 3300 - FOOTER

Related Articles

Vendée Globe Day 81 morning update
Victory? It's too close to call. It is still too close to call. And it likely will be for much of this final morning racing for the leaders. Louis Burton in third this morning noted the discrepancy between what the weather models are forecasting and what he has on the Bay of Biscay.
Posted today at 7:04 am
Nice touch: PATRIOT flies again
A 'Band-Aid' thank you from NYYC American Magic The NYYC American Magic base has been a hive of activity since their yacht capsized and near sank. Today, with an immense amount of work, and the support of the team in the Emirates Team New Zealand's build facility, PATRIOT was back out on the water.
Posted today at 5:53 am
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild homeward bound
After having to abandon their Jules Verne Trophy record attempt Just a matter of hours was all it took for the Gitana Team to go from the satisfaction of a record time for its descent of the Atlantic aboard its flying maxi-trimaran to the great disappointment of discovering damage on its rudder.
Posted today at 5:34 am
Vendée Globe Day 80: Everyone's a Winner
Title will be decided between the Famous Five With something less than 24 hours until the first solo sailor finishes off Les Sables d'Olonne, even the most advanced modern weather routing programmes operated by some of the finest minds in ocean racing cannot seem to agree who will win.
Posted on 26 Jan
8 Bells: Bob Fisher - Mr America's Cup
The larger-than-life yachtsman, journalist and author passes away at 85 Bob Fisher, the larger-than-life yachtsman, journalist and author crossed the bar peacefully on January 25 surrounded by family. He was 85.
Posted on 26 Jan
Learn from the Experts Webseries: Spinnaker Hoist
How to succeesfully and safely hoist the spinnaker shorthanded With the boom in shorthanded sailing, the team at J Composites have created a series of videos on help you with your manoeuvres. The first is the Spinnaker Hoist.
Posted on 26 Jan
Entries open for The Ocean Race Europe
Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team becomes first to enter new event The Mirpuri Foundation Racing Team has become the first team to enter The Ocean Race Europe, following the opening of the entry period.
Posted on 26 Jan
Self-sufficient while sailing around the world
The first boats home in the Vendée Globe will be crossing the finish line on Wednesday They will shortly be finishing. The first boats home in the Vendée Globe will be crossing the finish line off Les Sables d'Olonne on Wednesday.
Posted on 26 Jan
PlanetSail: AC75 Crew Work Explained Part 1
Matt Sheahan gets the low-down from Nathan Outteridge The spectacle of an AC75 at speed in flight is breathtaking, but to learn to fly these boats at speeds that have rarely been achieved has meant that teams have had to climb a near vertical learning curve.
Posted on 26 Jan
Vendée Globe Day 80 morning update
Rolling into big Wednesday This is D Day for this Vendée Globe, when it will slowly become evident how the two different strategies are going to play out. It looks like the group which have gone north to come in with the stronger breeze have taken most of their losses.
Posted on 26 Jan