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Rolex Sydney Hobart - Pale Ale Raging

by on 29 Dec 2008
PALE ALE RAGER, Sail No: YC 560, Owner: Gary Shanks, State: SA, Division: IRC, Design: Elliott 56, LOA: 17.10 m. Rolex/Daniel Forster
By the time Sail-World caught up with the Pale Ale Rager Team dockside this morning, they were definitely raging. 25th boat across the line in the 64th Sydney to Hobart race, they’d arrived at 05:42 and since then the famous South Australian Coopers Pale Ale had proven as popular as ever.

However Rager’s owner and skipper Dr Gary ‘Gaz’ Shanks had been pacing himself. He talked about the 2008 race.

‘It was mostly downhill and that suits a boat like our Elliott 56. The Tasmanian Coast was good, we were screaming along we were doing 15 to 16 knots and it was really only just before Tasman Light when the wind died out quite quickly within 15 to 20 minutes. That’s where our chances died at the same time.

‘We had a fast time; a really, really great run and the new guys on board had a fabulous time. We sailed the boat sensibly but sailed really fast. It was really good but the weather decided that it wasn’t for us.

‘Not a typical Sydney Hobart because it was a lot more down hill than your normal Sydney Hobart, but if you were putting it down in the history of Sydney Hobart’s weather, this is one for glamour – absolute glamour.

‘Storm Bay and the Derwent ... a big difference this year. In past years we’ve had zero knots, this year we had 50. We got smacked at the end of the race rather than at the start of the race. It was really quite spectacular.’

Earlier this year Rager finished in second place on line honours behind Grant Wharington’s 98ft Skandia Wild Thing in the storm ravaged Adelaide to Port Lincoln Bluewater Classic, in which half the fleet withdrew during the first five hours.

She took Line Honours in the 2002 and 2003 Adelaide to Port Lincoln Yacht Race. Her Hobart results include PHS fifth overall in 1998 and third overall in PHS in the 1999 Hobart.

A personal footnote about beer. The team has been post race testing beers for decades at race venues around the world.

Our personal favourite is South Australia’s Coopers Red. It’s the closest thing you are ever going to get to having an angel crying on your tongue.

SCIBS 2024 FOOTERRS Sailing 2021 - FOOTERHyde Sails 2022 One Design FOOTER

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