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In memoriam - Sail-World.com Australia Newsletter

16/12/2018


In memoriam

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Winning Appliances took the overall win on Matt Allen's Carkeek 60 - Ichi Ban  - photo © Beth Morley / www.sportsailingphotography.com


Dear Recipient Name

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the infamous, and tragic 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. A lot has changed since then, from boat design to safety procedures, and so thankfully there has not been a repeat. One also prays (or other act, depending on your persuasion) that there will never be another East Coast Low like it ever again. That term is meteorological speak for a cyclone below the tropics, and given that the weather in Australia in Summer is unpredictable at best, you can never really comment on the likelihood of said occurrence happening again.

One person has put together a campaign that both marks the event, and also celebrates sailing, friendship, and the desire to take on man's oldest challenge, all in the one go. He is John Winning Jnr, and we spoke with him just after the crew of Winning Appliances secured the overall win in the recent SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, which is a good hitout for some of the maxis and supermaxis about to embark on said Boxing Day event.

"Yes, it was a really good day, the crew were really happy, and we had a nice celebration afterwards. The whole genesis for going to Hobart this year comes from the fact it is 20 years since Dad's cousin, Richard Wining, was the skipper of the ill-fated Winston Churchill in the '98 race." John Dean, James Lawler and Michael Bannister all perished, and the historic craft was also lost.

John Winning and Mike Kennedy show the strain of 18ft Skiff Racing during the 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship - photo © Frank Quealey
John Winning and Mike Kennedy show the strain of 18ft Skiff Racing during the 18ft Skiff JJ Giltinan Championship - photo © Frank Quealey

 
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"So this campaign is all about honouring them, and the event, as well as being a great opportunity to rack up another race with Dad (John Winning Snr). He has not done one since 1996, so it his first time out in while. It is something between Dad and I, and we still have strong family connections with the descendants of those that passed."

The crew aboard Winning Appliances comprises a bunch of close friends and Skiffies, which is not surprising when you consider how long and how well both John Snr and Jnr have been a part of the 18-footer scene. John Snr still gets out there, too! "We've got Seve Jarvin, Lachy Gilmour, Ben Lamb, Troy Tindell (who has been leading the campaign for us), Will Parker, Tom Woodcock, and a great collection, including John Goldsberry and Justin Schafer who is our navigator. The latter two are coming out from the USA to be a part of it," said Winning.

"I do feel like I have been burning the candle at three ends lately, what with work, the 18s and also this Hobart campaign. You could say that I am looking forward to getting to Hobart, so I can remove one of three! We'll then get the 18 up and flying for the JJ Giltinan Championship. It wasn't right that the Kiwis won last year, but good on them for they really worked hard at it, so now is time to get it back."

North Sails have developed the wardrobe for both boats, so at least there is a known factor for them with Matt Allen's Carkeek 60, Ichi Ban, which has been renamed Winning Appliances for the 2018 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Yet in the early days of this campaign it was not looking quite so speedy. "A friend offered his Marten 49, but as we got closer, we looked for a bit of speed, and latched on to Ichi Ban, which is wonderful. We have a bit of time on the water so far to get her where we are now, and need some more to be where we need to be, but thus far we are very happy. Thanks Matt."

Winning Group, the new skiff for John Winning Jr. - photo © Frank Quealey
Winning Group, the new skiff for John Winning Jr. - photo © Frank Quealey

 
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And with that marvellous segue provided by John, this is what the President of Australian Sailing and the Vice-Chair of World Sailing's Oceanic and Offshore Committee, had to say, "It is really good that we have been able to enter both boats, especially to have someone take the Carkeek 60, with their special reasons for doing it. I have known John Winning Jnr for ages, so it was not difficult to loan them the boat. She's in good hands. It is important to remind ourselves of the tragedy and losses, as well as all the advancements made since then."

As for his own race, the very competitive Allen commented, "For sure we are keen to have a crack at back-to-back overall wins. It is a very hard race to win in the first place, let alone back-to-back. It is an incredible challenge," said the two-time winner, paying homage to the late and great Magnus and Trig Halvorsen who went the threepeat from 1963 to 65 with the wonderful Freya. "There are a lot of our ideas on board, even if it is a Botin hull. As the boats have all sped up over time they all work in very differing weather systems, so the overall meteorological framework constitutes a big component of your thinking," and - dare we say - luck too.

One person who will be keeping an exceptionally close eye on it all with be Dick Parker, from North Sails, who we mentioned last week in The Kite Douse. As mentioned then, Parker is just settling into his new role as Sail Designer, but did make time to give us a quick précis of his efforts to date. "I started at North Sails Sydney as an apprentice in 1986, and sailed skiffs and various keelboats at the time, doing most of the offshore races like Hobart, Mooloolaba and Coffs Harbour. In 1996 I moved to UK to go pro sailing, and ended up with One World Challenge for the 2003 Cup, thence onto Team New Zealand for the 2007 Cup in Valencia."

"After the 2007 America's Cup I moved back to UK, and started with North Sails UK as a sail designer. During this time sailed extensively around Europe with various boats, mainly TP52s, including the 52 Super Series on board Sorcha. My role at North Sails is primarily designing for boats between 20 and 80 feet, with my main focus is on optimising sails and boats for the IRC rule." Sounds like a very good man to know and have on your team when it comes to going fast, which is the main aim, after all!

So just a short dig back on the other board before we go across the line, and back in Hard not to miss, we had a look at AC36 when the additional eight challengers were announced. Some have been accepted already, and it will be wonderful if all make it, but it is important to mention that even Challengers of Record, like Hamilton Island and Mascalzone Latino have failed to be there for the big event in the past, let alone 'mere' humble run-of-the-mill challengers like those from Korea, China, Spain and France that did not build AC72s in the end. So not putting the kaibosh on anyone, just saying, steady on there...

Rolex Sydney to Hobart Sophie Ziszek part of the all female crew on OCEAN RESPECT RACING (Wild Oats X) - photo © Andrea Francolini
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Sophie Ziszek part of the all female crew on OCEAN RESPECT RACING (Wild Oats X) - photo © Andrea Francolini

 
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Right oh - here today there are some gems for you to review. We have information about the Route du Rhum, IMOCAs, the re-birthed The Ocean Race that will use them in its next edition, Lisa Blair to return from her solo circumnavigation of Australia, Sail Melbourne (and didn't the weather play a hand there), the Hobart, Il Duce gives us Girl Power, the 18-footers give us the Supercup, OK Australian Championship, AC36 news as the game rolls on, can the Transpac crack 100 entries?, the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour, Kitesurfers take to Victoria's famous shipwreck coast (although these days they market themselves as the surf coast), Perth to showcase sailing along its famous and stunning beaches, Transat Jacques Vabre, Jeanneau's new Sun Fast 3300 is already in build and looks impressive, another short-handed gem seems to have been born, and certainly there is much, much more.

Remember, if your class or association is generating material, make sure we help you spread your word, and you can do that by emailing us. Should you have been forwarded this email by a friend, and want to get your very own copy in your inbox moving forward, then simply follow the instructions on our newsletter page, where you can also register for different editions.

Finally, keep a weather eye on Sail-World. We are here to bring you the whole story from all over the world...

John Curnow
Editor, Sail-World AUS

 
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