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2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Rogue Wave

by Kevin Le Poidevin 4 Oct 00:45 PDT 26 December 2021
Rogue Wave - 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race © Kevin Le Poidevin

Port Stephens based offshore sailor Kevin Le Poidevin and his Adelaide based co-skipper Darrell 'Daz' Greig, are two long serving Air Force aviators preparing themselves and their 1983 Sigma 36 Rogue Wave, to race in the iconic 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (RSHYR) on Boxing Day.

Flying the Port Stephens Yacht Club burgee, the pair will race in the inaugural, and extremely challenging, double handed division. Their goal is to beat their 2019 RSHYR elapsed time of 5d:6h:42m, arriving just in time for New Year's Eve. Whilst Covid has impacted their training, the pair have sailed and raced shorthanded together on Rogue Wave since 2012.

"Racing offshore 24/7 is an extremely challenging adventure, with fatigue being the #1 risk. If the risk is realised, the only outcome will be sub-optimal decisions that impact safety - not a place we want to be. The Sigma 36 is a moderate displacement design, meaning it doesn't jump up onto the plane like modern designs, however she will surf in big seas. Pressing her design constraints, we did manage a new top speed of 14.5 knots in the 2019 Hobart race. We know we will always be at the back of the fleet, so we need to race the boat hard to stay competitive, but at the same time try not to break stuff! Striking the balance between keeping the body fuelled, and rested to be competitive, are the key ingredients for success", said Kevin.

The aviators are racing to support their Air Force mate, Nathan "Bullet" Draper, who continues to kick goals in his battle with brain cancer.

Two charitable organisations have played a key role in supporting Nathan and his family, so the lads are keen to promote awareness and help raise funds for Brain Tumour Alliance Australia (BTAA) and Soldier On. "I encourage you to support Nathan by donating to these wonderful organisations. BTAA is staffed by volunteers, receives no government funding and operates entirely on the generosity of the public, so any assistance you can offer is greatly appreciated", said Kevin.

Having project managed multiple campaigns, Kevin understands that entering events like the RSHYR, require a significant investment of time, funding, coordination and effort, as well as marine industry support. "A big thank you to Tristan and Brian Pattison at AUSIGN Melbourne for their generous support and supply of my hull decals. Sam and Greg Newton at ROLY TASKER SAILS Australia delivered my Warp Drive Tri-radial mainsail and jib and Scott Archer at IMAGINE SIGNAGE has done a fantastic job making the charity logos that will stand out on the new mainsail", said Kevin.

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