Sailors with disABILITIES

Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2012 Skippers Report

The Race

As you may be aware this was a tough Hobart, we went around the corner into a Southerly and within an hour we had blown our first head sail which was a real shame cos prior to this we had three of the six TPS put away behind us and right on the tail of the other two and Quest in range.  Buggar! It was a real buggar. I was very proud of how the boat was going and the crew performing.  Although sea sickness was having some effect.

Fortunately, the breeze increased for us to get into the number four range.  We were able to hang on to the back for a while at least.  It was very disheartening watching these boats sail away knowing we had the knowledge and skills to stay in touch.

From here on we seemed to find every parking station between Sydney harbour and the finish line.  It should be said that it was a great run under a northly for quite a few hours with the boat bopping along with boat speeds of in excess of 20 knots.  The plan had been to move slightly to the right as the wind went to the north west which was a good plan except the wind did not go there or only for a very short period!  We battled across a relatively benign Bass Strait behind Flinders Island and into Banks Strait where we decided to have a little rest...for quite a few hours actually...well really, it was a big rest and so it went on down the Tasmanian coast.  We actually got our number 1 medium up for a little the only headsail left... oh hang on let’s not forget our trusty number four all things for all winds!

But our four had its chance picking up 20 knots then 25 and  I saw 35 knots out of the south south west as we dragged around Tasman Light. We struggled and set a course for Cape Raoul  the winds are abating a little and the Iron pot was approaching.  It was a lovely clear morning as we approached the Derwent, one boat Chutzpah in front of us and Rikki behind us not the finish we had in mind.  A finish never the less.  Under the circumstances pretty pleased with this outcome.

I was very happy with the crew particularly how they all looked after each other.  It was great to watch the team come together.  WELL DONE.

I think special mention should go to those members of the crew who committed early and who worked throughout the year, my personal thanks and appreciation for all your efforts I know the year was not without its difficulties.

I would like to mention in dispatches three people Brad Allen a great race Brad, Bridget Canham a true yachtswoman in every sense of the word Cathy Josling had told me what a great sailor you were and as always she was right, I said three didn’t I?  There are more than that, Jason Natherson I have watched develop and grow into becoming a decent mariner. I would also like to thank the Network Ten team Ashlea and Matt for their professionalism and understanding of our circumstance.

I also must thank our now notorious Boat Betty and those who were left behind for many reasons thank you for your help.  Unfortunately, there are so many places on the boat and it is left to me to decide the final cut.  This task is very difficult and you think after lots of years one would get better and it would become easier, doesn’t seem to work out that way.  I must acknowledge George Johnstone’s contribution at times he kept me sane and become a good friend in the process.

So in closing well done you Hobart veterans you have all ticked the box now…I hope SWD sees you around… remember Twilights have started and Try Sail Days are on, Regatta on 3rd May and we need your help and support.  SWD will be going south in 2013 so if your crazy enough and want to tackle it again, consider your opinions and how you can make it happen!  These are big projects and we need your help.  If there is anyone out there in web land that would like to consider the possibilities and commitment if you want to have a go I mean really have a go we would like to hear from you.

David Pescud


SWD RS2H retired


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