Please select your home edition
Jeanneau AUS 2019 SO410 Leaderboard

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.
Nanni Diesel 2019 FooterAnyport Ewincher 2019 FooterRaymarine AUS 2018 Aug - Axiom - Footer

Related Articles

Laser Europeans at Porto day 4
Burton remains top of the open rankings After eight races completed, Australian Olympic champion Tom Burton remains in first place in the Laser Standard category, followed by British and best European Lorenzo Chiavarini.
Posted today at 8:35 am
Australians at the Laser Europeans day 4
Stransky in overdrive as Burton streaks away It's Day 4 at the 2019 Laser European Championship in Portugal and Australia is firing with Mara Stransky moving up to eighth place in the Laser Radial and Tom Burton streaking away in the Laser.
Posted today at 6:57 am
Medemblik Regatta Nautical Festival day 3
Olympic future of windfoil surfing tested at the Medemblik Regatta The third day of the Medemblik Regatta had all the ingredients for a happy day of sailing. Nice wind conditions, lots of sun and exciting racing. A perfect day to start two new classes at the regatta
Posted today at 6:38 am
Race Yachts Premium Brokerage
When only the best will do... High Spirit is a Custom Build BOTIN 65, built by Spanish yard King Marine and launched at the end of 2015. There was no expense spared in building this magnificent racer.
Posted today at 5:33 am
First Yacht 53: 17 metres of sheer sensation
Set to make her preliminary series of tacks early this autumn Benefiting from the "First" legacy of 40 years at sea, the eagerly awaited First Yacht 53 will make her preliminary series of tacks early this autumn. The First Yacht 53 is a high-end sailing yacht marrying luxury and performance
Posted today at 5:21 am
Menorca 52 Super Series Sailing Week day 3
A tight fit at the top: one point separates top three On an uncompromising, very much one-sided race course off Mahón, Quantum Racing proved the top scoring boat at the Menorca 52 SUPER SERIES Sailing Week to take the overall lead at the first circuit regatta of 2019 by one single point.
Posted on 23 May
GC32 Villasimius Cup day 1
First win to Ben Ainslie and his INEOS Rebels UK team The opening day of the GC32 Villasimius Cup, the first event on the 2019 GC32 Racing Tour saw a stiff southwesterly buffeting the ten GC32 catamarans while moored in the Marina di Villasimus as their crews prepared for the season's first encounter.
Posted on 23 May
Maxi Edmond de Rothschild returns to the ocean
Time to take the plunge at her Lorient base There is no doubt that the large offshore multihull season is up and running! Following on from Actual Leader last week, Macif yesterday, today was the turn for the Maxi Edmond de Rothschild to return to the ocean this at her Lorient base.
Posted on 23 May
Marine Auctions Forthcoming Online Auctions
Marine Auctions have three vessels on display at SCIBS Well here we are on the first day of the "Sanctuary Cove International Boat Show" (SCIBS) and it looks like we are going to be busy for the four days.
Posted on 23 May
Laser Europeans at Porto day 3
Exciting fight for the European title with gold fleet already defined The wind returned to make matters better for the organization, and once again, the planned regatta schedule was fulfilled in full, with the addition of two more regattas.
Posted on 23 May