Displaying items by tag: Mark Mills
In a time of inevitable national introspection, the design work of Mark Mills is a breath of global fresh sea air, taking us out of ourselves. Already in 2020, his design work has been recognised with the MDO Montecarlo Trophy for the quality of the biggest vessel to emerge from his County Wicklow design studio to date, the 30-metre Wallycento Tango. And his smaller designs continue to attract, with the rapidly-growing popularity of his Melges IC37 - in which Anthony O’Leary’s Royal Cork team took the Bronze at last Autumn New York YC Invitational - a testament to the versatility of this talented naval architect, our International Sailor of the Month for April.
County Wicklow based yacht designer Mark Mills and Wally Yachts have won first prize at the première edition of the MDO Montecarlo prize for the wallycento Tango.
Wally and Mills were honoured at the awards ceremony held at the Yacht Club de Monaco with first place in the competition, which celebrates international excellence in innovation, technology, design and sustainability.
The prizes were accepted by Mark Mills of Mills Design, and Stefano de Vivo, managing director of Wally, representing a design group including Pininfarina, Persico Marine, and Pure Engineering. Once again, an international award recognises our work in yacht design and innovation, this time on the wider basis of architectural and product design on a global scale.
The nominees were judged by a panel of prominent authorities on design – including renowned architects Mario Botta, Richard England and Jean-Michel Wilmotte- based on their stylistic, dimensional, functional and economic traits and features.
Ireland is on the International yacht racing stage this week thanks to triumphs on the water and off at last Saturday's Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.
As Afloat reported previously, the Crosshaven, County Cork team led by Anthony O'Leary snatched the bronze medal from Canada in a superlative last day finish while the Kilbride, County Wicklow design team of Mark Mills is celebrating the success of its new IC37s used at the prestigious Big Apple event.
The Invitational Cup produced stunning racing across the full range of conditions for the Club’s fleet of 20 new Mills designed Melges IC37’s. This sixth edition of the biennial Corinthian championship was a true test of talent, teamwork and perseverance over four days and twelve races. After a strong early showing by the San Diego Yacht Club, the Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron came to the fore to win the event on the final day. Six-time participant Royal Cork Yacht Club won the last race to take the final podium placing.
The response to the new IC37 designs has been phenomenal: “A boat that was a surprise. Really technical and fun in all conditions.” Perhaps the highest compliment was made to designer Mark Mills on the lawn at Harbour Court after racing one day: “really the perfect fleet racing boat.” The remarkable spectrum of organisational talent on show by the NYYC to create the event, envisage a new class for it, have 20 of them built, run the racing, and host the competitors is unparalleled.
A County Wicklow yacht design has won the inaugural Offshore Sailing Worlds at the Hague last weekend. The Landmark 43, from the drawing board of Kilbride–based Mark Mills, produced a stunning win in Class B at the Dutch event.
Claus Landmark drove his Landmark 43 'Santa' to a runaway victory. Her sistership White Shadow of Torkel Valland was second, both well clear of the third-place finisher.
This design builds on Mills' experience with winning dual-purpose IRC designs both custom and production to offer 'true performance cruising comfort and outstanding results on the racecourse'.
The first event to combine the IRC and ORC World Championships, it was scored using the combined results under each rule, underlining the strength of this Mills Design 43 footer in the light-medium conditions that prevailed off the Dutch coast.
Landmark had already won the 2016 ORC World Championship in Santa, but success here carries twice the sweetness as it represents the first coordinated effort to bring the world’s two major rating systems together at a single event. Designer Mark Mills commented after the event “This provides us with a well-controlled trial for comparing the two rating systems, from which we are learning more about crossover opportunities to make our designs more capable under both rules, and perhaps under a unified rule of the future.”
Meanwhile, Ireland's only entry at the Championships, Fools Gold from Waterford Harbour was 22nd from 39 in Class C.
The first County Wicklow designed Melges IC37 designed by Mark Mills, Afloat.ie's Sailor of the Year in 2009, arrived at New England Boatworks last Monday afternoon, and was out sailing Tuesday afternoon after fitting keel, rudder and rig.
Three days of sailing 001 in wind speeds between 6 and 20 with the development group including Harry Melges, Kenny Read and designer Mark Mills, key contributors from Harken, Spinlock, and Southern Spars, and NYYC members onboard produced unanimous enthusiasm for the new design.
North Sails President Read who was an integral part of the development of the class summed up the first sail as “Really amazing, the boat feels good!”. With no major issues arising it marked the smoothest assembly and initial sailing trials imaginable in perfect spring conditions in Newport.
Melges IC-37 for the New York Yacht Club
Designed to offer a stable platform for a wide range of crew skills to enjoy high performance sailing the IC37 combines the design DNA of the latest generation of raceboat with features to appeal to the widest cross-section of sailors and owners. Strict One Design limitations on the boat and crew, a deliberately limited sail wardrobe, and attractive pricing are key components in building a class with widespread appeal, built on the foundation of 20 boats ordered by the New York Yacht Club.
Mills was very enthused “Its probably the smoothest first week I’ve seen, going from a truck to getting a wide range of stakeholders out sailing on a fully debugged boat in less than a week is remarkable, I think the consensus is we have an awesome boat, and class, on our hands.”
When his design team were notified that North Sails would be the official sailmaker for the new one-design yacht, designed by Wicklow-based Mark Mills, Marshall knew it would be a challenge to cover the entire wind range with an inventory of just three sails — one main, one jib and one spinnaker.
“It was clear from the outset that 3Di was the only option for sails that could take the loads of a 37-foot boat yet perform well in winds anywhere from 5 to 25 knots,” he says.
“With 3Di, tapes are oriented in the direction of the loadings, giving outstanding stretch resistance, and Aramid and Dyneema fibers provide exceptional durability. So the 3Di decision was an easy one.”
Fabric is one aspect, but sail shape is something else, and Marshall and his team set about a painstaking development process to model the Melges IC37 sails in a variety of wind conditions and with a range of mast properties.
North Sails has much more on the story HERE.
There was both disapppointment and excitement for Irish Sailing fans at the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup on Sunday when the Royal Cork Yacht Club team headed by Anthony O'Leary failed to make the top ten of the 14–boat fleet overall but confirmation from New York that a County Wicklow design is to be used for future Cup competitions might give the rub–of–the green to future Cork – or indeed Irish– campaigns.
O'Leary finished the series in 11th but previously finished as high as fifth in 2009.
The weekend event brings to a close the involvement of the Swan 42 one-design, which was instrumental in getting the regatta off the ground eight years ago. The foundation laid by the Swan 42 class will be carried forward in 2019 with the IC37. As Afloat.ie reported in May, The Club has committed to purchase a fleet of 20 identical keel boats built by Westerly Marine to a design by County Wicklow's Mark Mills (the 2009 Afloat Sailor of the Year). New York Yacht Club say this 'will ensure that the world's premiere Corinthian one-design keelboat regatta remains a must-do event for sailors around the world'.
More information on the 2019 edition will be released before the end of 2017.
In Saturday's single race, the Southern Yacht Club was as sharp as they had been in the previous 11 races, starting strongly and never wavering. SYC eventually finished second to Royal Thames in the race, and four places ahead of their only remaining competition for the overall trophy, Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron from Australia. In 12 races, the Southern Yacht Club team accumulated just 34 points, the lowest winning total for a Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup by 10 points.
With a margin of 8 points over second-placed Royal Sydney to start the day, and only one race remaining, Southern Yacht Club was in a comfortable position. But light air and fog can dampen the confidence of even the most credentialed sailor. A long delay only added to the anxiety.
Southern Yacht Club was the first rookie competitor to win the Rolex NYYC Invitational Cup since the host New York Yacht Club won the inaugural competition in 2009. But the team, which was composed of veteran sailors with many significant campaigns under their collective belt, approached the regatta with the appropriate commitment. Buoyed by the membership, and especially crew member Stephen Murray Jr., the team was able to purchase a boat to train on all summer and sail in regatta.
The 2017 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup took place September 9 to 16 at the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court, in Newport, R.I. Amateur sailors representing 14 yacht clubs from around the globe converged on Newport to race in the ultimate one-design, big-boat competition. The boats and sails are provided and the rig tune is standardised across the fleet. The Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is sponsored by Rolex, Porsche, Nautor's Swan, AIG and Helly Hansen.
1. Southern YC, USA, 34
2. Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron, AUS, 46
3. Eastern Yacht Club, USA, 67
4. New York Yacht Club, USA, 74
5. Royal Thames Yacht Club, UK, 77
6. Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, HKG, 85
7. Japan Sailing Federation , JPN, 88
8. Yacht Club Argentino, ARG, 92
9. Itchenor Sailing Club, UK, 96
10. New Bedford Yacht Club, USA, 114
11. Royal Cork YC, IRL, 114
12. Royal Swedish Yacht Club, SWE, 121
13. Shelter Island Yacht Club, USA, 121
14. Royal Yacht Squadron, UK, 134
After a decade of competition with the Swan 42 One-Design sailboat, the New York Yacht Club has announced a new class that will carry the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, sailing’s Corinthian interclub competition, into its second decade.
Production on the IC37, designed by County Wicklow's Mark Mills with support from KND-Sailing Performance and SDK Structures, will start in the next few months. A fleet of 20 37-footers, all owned and maintained by the New York Yacht Club, will be available for the 2019 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup. The fifth Invitational Cup will be sailed this September in 15 Swan 42s and Ireland is represented again by Royal Cork Yacht Club.
“A decade ago, we created a new class of boat and a ground-breaking international sailing competition,” says Commodore Philip A. Lotz. “Both have been tremendous successes. The first four editions of the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup have set a new standard for interclub competition, bringing amateur sailors from 43 yacht clubs from 21 countries to compete off Newport. The Swan 42 was an instant success with 18 boats competing in the class’s inaugural national championship in 2007. More recently, the design has found tremendous success in handicap regattas around the world. The dispersion of the class away from the Northeast United States has made it harder and harder to get enough boats to meet the continued interest in the Invitational Cup. To ensure the future of this great event, the Club decided to build its own fleet of raceboats. From 19 submissions from top yacht designers around the globe, we have selected a 37-footer drawn by Mark Mills. We think it’s the perfect choice to carry this regatta forward and build upon the substantial legacy established by the Swan 42.”
Unlike the Swan 42, which was built to cruise and race both around the buoys and offshore, the IC37 is purpose-built for competition. The flush deck, square-top main, open cockpit and wide beam carried all the way to the transom are all hallmarks of a thoroughbred raceboat, designed to be pushed hard on all points of sail.
“It’s definitely a planing downwind design,” says Mills, who founded his eponymous design firm in 1996. “We tried to find a displacement that produces that outcome, but still provides a boat you can build within the determined cost envelope and doesn’t leave you lacking stability going upwind. It will be an exciting boat to sail.”
Since the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup is a Corinthian regatta sailed in supplied boats, the design brief also specified that the boat be sturdy, relatively straightforward to sail and welcoming to amateur sailors.
“One of the goals was to accommodate a wide range of ages of both genders,” says Mills. “It would be easy to do a lighter boat that’s very aggressive and very dynamic and required burly 20-somethings to sail it. But that would fail against the requirements of the club. We’re trying to create a boat that’s light and high performance, and can be sailed aggressively by a wide variety of sailors.”
The IC37—a working class title that's subject to change—will measure in at just over 37 feet, or 11.3 meters, with a 6-foot retractable sprit. The beam is just shy of 12 feet and the displacement is scheduled to be approximately 8,000 pounds with 50 percent of that in a T-bulb that will draw just more than eight feet. A two-spreader carbon rig will support 900 square feet of upwind sail area and 2,000 square feet of downwind sail area. The projected ratings for IRC, ORC and ORR are 1.180, 542.7 and 545.3, respectively.
“We were overwhelmed with the response to our initial request for proposals,” says NYYC Sailing Committee Chair Paul M. Zabetakis, who skippered the Club's Invitational Cup entry in 2015. “We feel that’s a strong indication that there’s an opportunity in sailing for the next great one-design class. While our primary goal is to create a boat that will sustain the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup well into the future, we also hope that the momentum provided by the Club’s investment will establish a class that will reinvigorate a general interest in Corinthian yachting in larger boats.”
While the class rules are a work in progress, the Club is committed to sustaining the amateur focus of the Invitational Cup and promoting the inclusion of women and youth sailors.
With the design selected, the next step is to choose a builder. Experienced yacht builders from across North American and around the globe have expressed an interest. The Club expects to make that decision within the next few weeks.
“While we have more than two years until the start of the 2019 Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup, our timeline doesn’t have a lot of margin for error,” says NYYC member Arthur J. Santry, who chaired the IC37 Selection Subcommittee. “We hope to start the tooling by mid July and sea trial the first boat before the end of the year.”
Commodore Lotz' connection to the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup goes back to the inaugural competition in 2009, which he won while representing the host club. He also claimed two Swan 42 National Championships.
"Each time we run the Invitational Cup, the bar gets raised," Lotz says. "The teams come to Newport better prepared and the competition gets more intense. With the IC37 we have the perfect boat to continue that trend. We expect the 2017 event, the final one for the Swan 42, to be the most competitive yet. We anticipate the switch to the IC37 will increase both the interest in competing and the effort each invited club puts toward winning Corinthian sailing's top prize."
With the launch of ‘Flame’ the first Cape 31 in South Africa last week, Mark Mills Design’s latest high performance design from County Wicklow was revealed.
Conceived and brought to fruition by Cape Town resident and prominent sailor Lord Irvine Laidlaw of ‘Highland Fling’ fame, a regular Cork Week competitor, it is in production and already growing as a successful new One Design class at the Royal Cape Yacht Club.
Boasting high performance features such as an innovative ramp deck, an all-carbon keel fin, and a Southern Spars carbon rig, the light but powerful 31 has already impressed sailors in Cape Town across the full range of conditions they get there. See vid below.
There’s nothing that really compares with the annual Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. While most of the more-populated parts of the world in the Northern Hemisphere are in their midwinter shutdown, somnolent and sluglike in a festival of consumer excess, away south of the Equator one of the most magnificent city harbours in the world is exuberantly celebrating outdoors in all its midsummer glory. And then it tops out the party with one of world sailing’s great spectacles. W M Nixon anticipates the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2015, which starts in full daylight in Australia an hour after this is posted at midnight on Christmas Day in Ireland.
With the Yuletide festivities scarcely put away, a group of extreme boats at the peak end of the hundred foot size limit - every last one of them owned and sailed by larger-than-life characters – comes roaring out of Sydney’s glorious harbour at the head of a magnificent fleet, a colossally varied collection of 108 craft in which every crew reckons they’re in with a chance. For although line honours for the biggies are what captures the headlines, for the dyed-in-the-wool enthusiasts the only real trophy in the thrash to Hobart is the Tattersall’s Cup for the overall winner on IRC Handicap.
A severe weather forecast of three days ago has now been watered down, but there’ll still be plenty of breeze at some stages to be going along with. The start is expected to be in a moderate to fresh northeasterly, stronger outside once they begin making southing down the Tasman Sea, with most boats chasing that elusive race-winning south-going current which may be anything up to ten miles offshore.
Then everything changes in the weather situation with an active front rolling up from the south and southwest, with strong headwinds – maybe gusting to 45 knots in the front itself – providing atrocious wind-over-tide conditions with the under-lying south-going current. There’ll be a lot of Christmas dinners spread out over the ocean……After that, the winds are forecast to fall away as the bulk of the fleet get to the Bass Strait, but overall the pundits are reckoning boats in the 60ft to 75ft size range are looking to be the favoured cohort, while George David’s Rambler 88 – with the legendary Brad Butterworth in the afterguard – is now looking good to give the hundred footers more than a few tense moments.
By the time you’re likely to be reading this on Saturday morning, the drama will already be unfolding on the other side of the world, and all sorts of newsfeeds will be available for the best armchair offshore racing of the year. Yet as a Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race addict, I’ll readily concede that the last thing addiction provides is a clear picture, so you can expect this anticipation to be something of a rose-tinted view.
The Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race – a classic course which is staging its 71st edition as 2015 draws to a close
But that said, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race of 2014 will take some beating. It provided the glorious battle for line honours between the new Comanche and the continually-evolving Wild Oats XI, veteran owner and local favourite Bob Oatley’s originally 98ft Reichel Pugh Wild Oats XI of 2005 vintage, but modified almost every year since, such that by December 2014 she was a hundred footer. Against her, the big new fat girl, Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s JK-designed total hundred footer Comanche, so big and beamy you could fit two Wild Oats into her and still have room to spare.
Yet although all the heavy metal seemed to be on Comanche’s side, including having the formidable Kenny Read as skipper, in the end the skinny girl wriggled her way through some awkward conditions which Comanche loathed, and wriggled to such good effect that Wild Oats took line honours.
It’s reckoned you’d still have room to spare after fitting two of Wild Oats XI (left) into the very different hull of Comanche (right)
And then, to put the icing well and truly on the Hobart cake, as the various potential handicap winners were knocked out by the remorseless ticking of the clock, an overall winner emerged who was the very epitome of the true Australian ocean racing spirit. The veteran Farr 43 Wild Rose, owned successfully for many years by Roger Hickman, was on top of her immaculate form, and won the Tattersall’s Cup.
The true spirit of Australian offshore racing – Roger Hickman’s 28 year old Farr 43 Wild Rose (ex-Wild Oats) is defending champion in this year’s Rolex Sydney-Hobart race
And what was Wild Rose’s back-story? You just couldn’t make it up. She was one of the first boats to be called Wild Oats, brought to the Australian racing scene by a legendary entrepreneur called Bob Oatley who’d been so successful in business in Papua New Guinea that at one stage he was controlling 95% of the entire country’s GDP. And then, when local interests bought him out, he shifted operations back home to Australia, and created himself a new conglomerate business empire on an even large stage.
He found that the challenge of campaigning a serious offshore racer at the top end of the exuberant Australian offshore racing scene went perfectly with business. If the boat did well, enterprises like Robert Oatley Wines did well too. But regardless of that, it was fun. So although he’s looking into his 90s. Old Bob is as keen as ever on the whole crazy game, and with Mark Richards he has the perfect skipper/boat manager to maximize returns from the sheer entertainment provided by keeping Wild Oats XI up to the mark to fulfill her role as the people’s favourite.
The improvement project for 2015 was basically to re-position the mast. Now most folks, if they decide the mast is too far forward, they’d simply move it aft. But not the Wild Oats team. At its most fundamental, what they’ve done is keep the mast where it was, but they chopped off the bow - the chainsaw pix say it all - and then added a completely new longer slimmer bow. Try as you might, you can’t see the join…...
If you’re going to take the bow off the boat with a chainsaw, better make sure you’ve the owner there to do it with you. Mark Richards and Bob Oatley start the drastic surgery on Wild Oat XI
You can’t even see the join….,Wild Oats with her new longer bow (right) with the old bow (left) kept in storage “in case the new one didn’t work” . But would you call that new stem a “clipper bow”?
Then, to keep her down to a hundred feet, they shortened and re-shaped the stern, such that the result of it all is the skinny girl is now super-slim. But thanks to the latest materials and some ferociously clever engineering and technology, Wild Oats is able to carry a mighty canting keel which keeps this torpedo of a boat upright and powering successfully along, in which mission she is further assisted by all sorts of canards and foils which can be deployed from multiple orifices.
Central to the whole story today, however, is the fact that the Hobart Race 2015 is the first real test of the completely re-vamped Wild Oats XI, and she’s yet again up against Comanche as a trial horse. But after such radical changes, naturally there are those who’ll question them. For a start, it has been noted that with the completely new bow section, the even longer bowsprit on WOXI is receiving additional support from a sort of solid strut from the stem which creates what some of us might describe as a clipper bow.
The re-configured Wild Oats XI is faster than ever, but what length is she?
And if you accept that this has indeed become a clipper bow of sorts, instead of a straight stem bow which happens to have a solid strut support for an unusually long bowsprit, then you’re accepting that Wild Oats’ hull has now become more than a hundred feet long, and therefore above the size limit for the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race. At the time of writing, the Race Committee seemed to have accepted that Wild Oats still has a straight stem. But we can think of a few sea-lawyers who might possibly demur.
In the end, it’s a matter of definitions. Just recently, a Classic Boat magazine profile of the magnificent Fife-designed-and-built 1926 Fastnet Race line honours winner Hallowe’en revealed she is just over 71ft LOA, and something like 47ft when unladen on the waterline. The waterline length was fine, as it allowed some immersion in seagoing trim to stay within the Fastnet limit of 50ft LWL. But what’s with this 71ft plus in the LOA department, when the Fastnet Rule – set after the inaugural race of 1925 – clearly set the upper LOA limit at 70ft? Well, it seems that Hallowe’en is 70ft LOA on deck. And LOD was seen by many as being one and the same thing as LOA back in 1926. So now you know.
Hallowe’en, 1926 Fastnet Race Line Honours Winner, at the Royal Irish YC. While she was 70ft LOD to comply with the Fastnet Race maximum size, her hull LOA is actually slightly north of 71ft. Photo: W M Nixon
Whatever, this morning the one thing we’re starting to know is just how well the new-style Wild Oats is going, as there’s plenty of wind forecast for some stages, and the only test so far against other boats was in smooth water conditions in the Solas Big Boat Challenge a fortnight ago. This was a 14 mile round-the-buoys sprint within Sydney Harbour in which George David’s Rambler 88 was still right there with Wild Oats at the weather mark, but thereafter the Oats lengthened away in impressive style, while the other hundred footers weren’t really in contention with either her or Rambler.
Racing in the Solas Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour a fortnight ago. The new look Wild Oats XI is already showing ahead, but she had quite a job to shake off the smaller Rambler 88 (second right). There’s a lot of sailing history in this photo. Perpetual Loyal (second left) was formerly George David’s Rambler 100 which capsized at the Fastnet Rock in 2011 after snapping off her keel.
But of course Comanche very sensibly stayed away from the Solas Big Boat Chalenge. In-harbour contortions aren’t her thing at all. The big wide boat needs the wide open spaces of the clear ocean and the challenge of the 628 miles to Hobart. So it’s right now that the two monsters in their current form are at each other’s throats for the very first time, like a giant rattlesnake against a huge python. Jurassic Park goes sailing…….
After the hors d’euvre of the line honours battle, we then re-focus on the body of the fleet for the main course, and on the race tracker it’s fascinating to watch as fortunes wax and wane for different groups. But within each group, regardless of how they’re doing within the fleet at large, as the race progresses the group leaders become more clearly defined, but quite why and where it happens is sometimes only discernible in the post-race analysis.
For instance, last year the Dun Laoghaire crew of Barry Hurley and the Rumball brothers were right there on their First 40 with the comparably-rated Wild Rose as they approached the Bass Strait. But then with a couple of twists and turns of fortune Wild Rose got herself into a better rhythm, and there she was – gone – while the Irish crew slipped in the rankings.
The top Irish skipper within class in 2014 was Sean McCarter in the Clipper Division with Derry/Londonderry/Doire - he won the Clippers as they took it in as part of their multi-stage race round the world. The Clippers are there again this year in what is the most international fleet yet seen in the Sydney-Hobart, with a first-time strong mainland Chinese representation, particularly through Ark 323, their TP 52 whose home club is the Noah Sailing Club. If they do well, we can hope to find out how a challenger from the People’s Republic seems to draw so heavily on the Old Testament for the names of boat and club alike.
Will she finally find her true form? The Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban (Matt Allen), raced by Gordon Maguire, is in the size cohort favoured by the pundits to suit the forecast wind and weather.
Our own Gordon Maguire, winner overall in 1991 and 2012, is going again, and again it’s on Matt Allen’s Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban, which has a new rudder and other mods, and has been showing an improvement in form. And we now know that Maguire is going with the Carkeek 60 which is called Ichi Ban. Because you see, Matt Allen happens to have a TP 52 which is also called Ichi Ban, and though the modified Carkeek 60 seemed to have found better form to win the Cabbage Tree Island race at the end of November, even then Allen wouldn’t say which Ichi Ban would do the Hobart Race. But with the wind pattern forecast, it will be the Carkeek, indeed she is now rated one of the favourites if the weather does as the gurus say it will.
Another boat of special Irish interest is the completely new Wicklow-designed Mills 45 Concubine, built in Dubai for South Australian sailor Jason Ward of Adelaide, and only afloat since November 11th. So she has scarcely been sailing seriously for much more than a wet week. But the word is the boat’s potential is enormous. And simply seeing how she performs in this ultimate test tank of modern middle distance offshore racing is going to be top of the interest levels for the next few days.
Her lines were drawn in the midst of the Wicklow countryside – the new Mark Mills-designed 45ft Concubine will have her first real test in the Hobart Race
For although the Hobart Race is of rather more recent date than the other classics such as the Bermuda Race and the Fastnet, they are biennial whereas the Sydney-Hobart has been an annual event ever since being founded in 1945, and thus has built up its mystique more quickly. As a result, some devotees log up an astonishing number of races to Hobart, and this year Tony Cable will be doing his 50th . This time round – as it has been for the past four Hobarts – he’s aboard Damien Parkes’ JV52 Duende, but he has been on many different boats, and in all he has raced to Hobart with 308 different crewmates over the years, so they’re going to need a very large premises for his reunion.
Tony Cable is doing his 50th Sydney-Hobart Race – these are the name plates of the 15 boats he has sailed on
The Sydney-Hobart Race started at the end of World War 2 when Sydney cruising men asked the great offshore racing legend Captain John Illingworth RN – who happened to be running the navy yard at Wooloomoolo at the time – if he’d be interested in a cruise-in-company down to Hobart over Christmas. He said he’d be interested in the offshore passage to Hobart, but only if they made it a race.
Rani (John Illingworth) was winner of the first Sydney-Hobart race in 1945
By the time it got going, he’d acquired himself a little locally designed and built sloop called Rani. Despite having one of the smallest boats in the fleet, Illingworth battled on through a proper Southerly Buster and then another gale, before he finally got to Hobart expected to be dog last in this new race, as Rani’s radio had packed it in shortly after the start. Thus they’d no word of anyone else at all, while they themselves had been posted missing.
But he found he was twenty hours ahead of the next boat on the water. He’d won overall by hours or even days, and it was a long time before all the fleet had got in. Every other entry had sought shelter of some sort. And one boat had even gone into port so that her crew could go to the cinema to pass the time before racing on south once the weather had improved. Be assured that things are different these days in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race
Captain John Illingworth looking more than somewhat weatherbeaten at the finish of the first Hobart race in 1945, which he won. He went on to win the Fastnet Race overall twice (in 1947 and 1949) with Myth of Malham.