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Irish Crews Live the Dream in 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

30th December 2019
The HYC Breakthrough crew at the race start The HYC Breakthrough crew at the race start

Outside of overall victory for Howth's Gordon Maguire and line honours for County Meath's Jim Cooney, the corinthian team on the Howth Yacht Club entry Breakthrough have been talking about competing in the Sydney Hobart bluewater classic to media in Tasmania.

For HYC's Jonny White, racing in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, let alone finishing it, was a dream that he has woken from and now accepts is real after crewing on HYC Breakthrough.

White, a member of the Irish crew that sailed on the Beneteau First 40 HYC Breakthrough, rated his debut in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia event as: “Epic. Absolutely epic.”

“This is the first time for us all ... I don’t think it will be our last.”

Led by Irishman Darren Wright and representing the Howth Yacht Club in Ireland, the crew chartered the boat from her Australian owners Matthew Vadas and Jonathon Stone.

The Irishmen have a ‘bucket list’ of offshore races, and they had already sailed in dozens of Round Ireland and Rolex Fastnet Races. The Rolex Sydney Hobart was a ‘must do’ event.

Jonny WhiteJonny White speaks to the press in Hobart

Breakthrough was an ideal choice of boat. Vadas last raced her in the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart to 52nd overall. In 2015, she was 12th, her best result after four previous finishes.

Speaking after HYC Breakthrough finished 92nd on line honours in 3 days 10 hours 43 minutes at 11.43 pm, Sunday, White smiled and said: “It’s quite a surreal experience, really.

“Coming from Ireland as a sailor, if you ever thought you could end up here, it was probably a dream. Was it a dream too far? Now, we realise it wasn’t.”

White is keen to re-live his dream. He said he hopes to return, and that the HYC Breakthrough crew do too. “[This is the] first time for us all ... I don’t think it will be our last.”

Darren wright Kieran JamesonDarren Wright (skipper) with Kieran Jameson (at mast) in Hobart

Irish crewmate Keiran Jameson concurred with White, saying of his experience in the 628-nautical-mile ‘Blue Water Classic’: “It was really great. It had everything in it that we wanted.

“Bass Strait was a fantastic crossing, really exciting. Crossing Bass Strait for us was the dream … and we got a blow as we crossed it. That was perfect … couldn’t be better.”

Jim Cooney HYCLine Honours winner Jim Cooney, skipper of Comanche (second from left) with the Howth Breakthrough crew in Hobart

Published in Sydney to Hobart
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