Please select your home edition
Edition
Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

The ‘Mayor of Eden’ makes it to Hobart

by Jim Gale on 30 Dec 2004
Hardy's Secret Mens Business Emirates Team New Zealand / Photo Chris Cameron ETNZ
Just imagine! Two and a half days of bashing your head against the wall in 35 knot winds and vicious seas and then, with Hobart virtually in sight, the wind dies and it takes you almost 12 hours to cover the final 40 miles of the 628 nautical mile course.


Such is the tale of the South Australian yacht Hardys Secret Mens Business in this 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.


The brand new, state-of-the-art Reichel/Pugh 46 foot racing machine passed Tasman Island just after midnight and finally crossed the finish line just after midday today.


Yet dockside, her laconic owner Geoff Boettcher was remarkably philosophical. “We just expected it somehow. Last year we had a parking lot, without it what would the race be.


'We had our downhill hairy ride, we had our bash and bang and a nice little calm coming in is good.'


Boettcher’s race plan had been to hang on as close as he could to the bigger 52-footers Ichi Ban and Yendys. He figured that with his better rating he could afford to give them a few hours across the finish line and still beat them, which would put him in a great position for an outright race win.


For most of the race the plan worked well, until at the height of the gale, Hardys Secret Mens Business fell off a wave and damaged the ring frame just forward of the mast.


They headed in towards Flinders Island to try to shore up the frame before it started to do real damage to the hull. 'It started to flex, and that’s when you get cracks in the hull. The boys went to town and strapped a bit of spare sail batten on either side with a hand drill and some self-tappers to shore it up.

'I didn’t want to limp into Hobart. We went slowly for a while and then a bit harder, then we were racing again.'

Boettcher reckons that the incident cost them four hours all up, and, as it turned out, arriving at Tasman Island at midnight instead of 8.00pm proved very costly.

Around midnight the wind died in Storm Bay, as it usually does. They had missed the window of opportunity.

Despite the wild conditions and the damage to his boat, at no time did Boettcher consider pulling out of the race. He has found himself stuck a few times in Eden in the past and jokes that his boat will have to sink before he ever turns back again.

'They call me the ‘Mayor of Eden’ because I’ve had to pull in there a few times. I’ve got fellow yachties back in Adelaide making bookings for me at the Eden Travel Lodge.

'I drew a big arc around Eden and said to the guys ‘we’re not going there’.”

Hardys Secret Mens Business is the ninth out of 12 yachts to finish the 2004 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the latest three being Phil Coombs’ Dekadence from Melbourne and the Sydney yachts, Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki and Gunther Schmidt-Lindner’s Austmark.

The first Tasmanian boat due is Craig King’s Interum, which is expected across the finish line at 8.30pm tonight according to Yacht Tracker.
X-Yachts AUS X4 - FOOTER - 3SYC Sail Paradise 2020 - FooterBandG AUS Triton2 FOOTER

Related Articles

Marseille SailGP overall
Tom Slingsby wins historic first SailGP Championship for Australia Tom Slingsby today made history, helming the Australia SailGP Team to victory over Nathan Outteridge's Japan SailGP Team in the SailGP Season 1 Championship Final Race.
Posted today at 6:10 pm
The Clipper Race Leg 1, Race 2, Day 7
Scoring Gate points up for grabs On the day seven of Race 2: The Commodore's Cup, Visit Sanya, China and Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam lead the charge to the Scoring Gate but until Qingdao reappears from Stealth Mode, the team to be awarded the first bonus points of Race 2 will remain undecided.
Posted today at 11:22 am
Australian Open Match Racing Championship
Jordan Reece named 2019 Match Racing champion Jordan Reece, head coach of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Youth Sailing Academy, today showed that he, personally, has the match racing skills that he has been imparting to Academy students.
Posted today at 10:12 am
RS Sailing win The Green Blue Environmental Award
Joint winners at the 2019 Southampton Boat Show RS Sailing are proud to be jointly awarded British Marine's Environmental Award for their sustainability efforts alongside Spirit Yachts at the Southampton International Boat Show 2019.
Posted today at 10:00 am
North Sails Weekly Debrief
Melges 20 Europeans, J Class Official Partnership, Revenge of the sailmakers, North Kiteboarding “Winning the Europeans is a like a cherry on top of a cake,” says Filippo Pacinotti, skipper of Brontolo Racing, the 2019 Melges 20 European Champion.
Posted today at 8:00 am
Pipe Opener Regatta 2019
Pipe Opener Regatta in southern Tasmania Two Sydney Hobart division winning yachtsmen, Richard Grant and Ed Psaltis, have duelled on the Huon River in southern Tasmania to decide the winner of the 2019 Cock of the Cock yacht race off historic Shipwrights Point
Posted today at 7:32 am
Ichi Ban claims Flinders Islet Race win
Victory for Matt Allen and his crew on the grand-prix racing TP52 Matt Allen and his crew on the grand-prix racing TP52 Ichi Ban have claimed the overall win for the 2019 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Flinders Islet Race.
Posted today at 6:47 am
Flinders Islet Race line honours
Chinese Whisper pounces under the cover of darkness to claim line honours David Griffith and Rupert Henry's JV62 Chinese Whisper has reigned supreme in a fiery Flinders Islet Race line honours battle with rival David Gotze's RP63 No Limit, crossing the finish line a mere 47 second apart
Posted today at 5:57 am
Sail-World NZ e-magazine: Sept 21 - AC75's sailing
The week was notable for Emirates Team NZ getting a weather window sufficient to sail Te Aihe Read the latest newsletter from Sail-World New Zealand, with the Top 50 stories covering the America's Cup action and other sailing news from NZ and elsewhere.The week was notable for Emirates Team NZ getting a weather window sufficient to sail their AC75
Posted on 21 Sep
Marseille SailGP day 2
China's first race win of SailGP Season 1 Phil Robertson and the China SailGP Team triumphed with a first-ever race win on the penultimate day of the Marseille SailGP Season 1 Grand Final.
Posted on 21 Sep