Four was the magic number-Sport-News-Yacht OnLine

19 мая 2014 | Author: | No comments yet »
Ferretti 52S boat

Four was the magic number

Miracles of the cabala. Four was definitely the magic number for the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart. Bob Oatley’s 98’ Reichel-Pugh-designed supermaxi Wild Oats XI was first across the line for the fourth consecutive year. Not only that but the race attracted 100 participants and the 628-mile event (both numbers are divisible by four) turned into something of an extended match race between Wild Oats XI and Grant Wharington’s Skandia with just an hour and a half separating them at the line.

Just five hours behind them and aided by the sea conditions and breezes along the Tasmanian coast was a quartet of TP 52s (four again!). They actually ended up taking the first four positions in the final rankings in corrected time. Bob Steel’s Quest took overall victory and thus the Tattersall’s Cup.

Mr. Steel too had links to the number four or rather his wrist had. A long story but an interesting one. In 2002 (a year whose digits add up to four), he won the race with a previous Quest and caused a furore because just after he was presented with his prize of Rolex Yacht-Master he threw his old watch in the Derwent.

At this year’s prize-giving when he was asked if he would be doing the same, he took an old watch out of his pocket and flung it into the crowd before accepting his fourth Rolex. However, that particular new watch didn’t stay with him for long and ended up on the wrist of one Michael Green, Steel’s mentor and the man with whom he had won the race in 2002.

Ferretti 52S boat

This year the two were rivals in what was Green’s 30th Rolex Sydney Hobart. Green intends to go all the way to 35, the number marked by his father Peter, one of the well-known figures from the early racing days in the Bass Sea and who passed away in the 1990s. Since then Steel has poured a glass of rum into the sea after rounding the Tasmania lighthouse in his memory and drinks one too as he is crossing the line. Michael Green inherited a Rolex from his father but it was stolen from him four (that number again!) years later and so Steel decided to give him his prize. The other two IRC podium positions went to Cougar II, another Tp 52 from the Farr studio, and the Judel/Vrolijk Wot Now. Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin was fourth. Fischer is a hardy 81-year-old, by the way, with no less than 40 Sydney-Hobarts to his credit. He was presented with a commemorative medal at the prize-giving during which his achievements in the race — the 1992 Tattersals Cup and two line honours in 1980 and 1988 were recalled.

Walross IV (fourth) took the prize for the yacht that had come furthest the Nissen 56 is used by the Academy Sailing Club in Berlin to prepare young sailors for offshore racing. This year, however, the sailor with the highest number of Sydney-Hobart races to his credit was Tony Cable on 45 he was followed by John Bennetto and Lou Abrahams both on 44.

Giacomo Giulietti

(Yacht Capital, n. 2/2009)

Ferretti 52S boat

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