As ocean racing enjoys rising entry lists around the world, the classic Fastnet Race is expecting more than 400 boats from over 20 countries on the startline on August 6, 2017. Among them are four strong Australian entries.
CQS, Maxi, Ludde Ingvall
Finnish former Whitbread Round the World Race skipper Ludde Ingvall will be leading the charge from Australia with his heavily remodelled Rolex Sydney Hobart Race line honours-winning maxi, CQS (ex-Nicorette). In her latest incarnation, this boat has been lengthened to 100ft and is futuristic-looking with a low volume reverse sheer bow, deck wings to increase her shroud base and a Dynamic Stability Systems lateral foil arrangement.
Ludde Ingvall’s record is incomparable: As skipper he has won the Maxi Worlds, Sydney – Hobart Race, Gotlund Runt and Chicago-Mackinac, and taken line honours at the Fastnet Race in 1995 with Nicorette with a 24 hour plus margin. “We won the handicap division as well and the speech at the prizegiving still makes me laugh. The Race Director said, ‘Those bloody Vikings stole our silver a long time ago and now they are back…!’”
This will be the first time in 15 years that Ludde Ingvall has raced the Fastnet Race, and the eighth time overall. “I love the race, love the challenge, love the history of it and am proud to be a part of its history,” says Ludde.
Onboard CQS will be a host of top New Zealand sailors including legendary former America’s Cup skipper Chris Dickson. Joining them will be the yacht’s sponsor Sir Michael Hintze, the Australian/British founder of the CQS hedge fund and billionaire philanthropist to over 200 causes.
The team will include:
Ludde Ingvall (Skipper, AUS/FIN),
Sir Michael Hintze (Sponsor, UK)
Chris Dickson (Helmsman, NZ), Rodney Keenan (Helmsman, NZ), Tony Long (Boat Captain, NZ), Alan Turner (NZ), Charlie Egerton Warburton (UK), Michael Rummel (UK), Malcolm Paine (NZ).
CLASSIC KIALOA II’S SECOND FASTNET RACE – CREW WITH EXTRAORDINARY PEDIGREE IN OCEAN RACING
Kialoa II, Sparkman & Stephens 73, Patrick (Sydney, AUS/UK) & Keith Broughton (UK).
Skipper: David Sawdon
Brothers, Patrick and Keith Broughton bought the 73’ yawl in 2016 with the view to compete in the classic ocean races as Kialoa II did under Jim Kilroy.
“Kialoa has raced in many of the great ocean classics, including taking line honours in the 1971 Sydney Hobart. I’ve raced in multiple Sydney to Hobarts and so has many of my Australian crew. We would like to take Kialoa on a journey to race those classics again, starting with the Rolex Fastnet,” says Patrick Broughton who is Chair of the Investment Committee for Dixon Advisory, an Australian financial advisory firm.
The CYCA and RORC member continues: “I’m looking forward to rounding Fastnet Rock and I am sure a memorable moment will be sailing into Plymouth Sound where I sailed as a boy at boarding school.”
The brothers’ love of sailing came from growing up in the Solomon Islands and together they sailed from Falmouth to Sydney in the Swan 51 Grandee to complete in the 1996 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Their crew are all good friends and great sailors with extraordinary pedigrees in ocean racing.
The experience stats for this crew are something to behold: A combined total of 162 Sydney to Hobart races of which seven crew are responsible for at least 10 apiece. They have a further 25 Fastnet Races under their collective belts. Both on and off the water, they present an interesting group:
Navigator Lindsay May trekked the challenging 98km Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea in April this year and has also competed in 44 consecutive Sydney to Hobart races, with equal most wins (3) on handicap as navigator.
Alex Simpson has rowed the Atlantic, holding the record for a team of four of 35 days.
Patrick Broughton rowed for Cambridge University in the Oxford Cambridge Boat Race in ’85, ’86 (won), ’87 and for Great Britain ’85-’86. He rowed the length of the Mississippi (2,300 miles) in 2014 with an old rowing mate to raise money for “Right to Play” a children's education charity.
Kialoa II was designed in 1963 for Jim Kilroy by the premier naval architecture firm of Sparkman and Stephens. One of the biggest differences between Kialoa II, built in 1963 and originally a sloop, and many earlier or similar vintage classics, was the construction – aluminum instead of wood.
The boat’s design goal was to compete and win in the maxi ocean racing category which it did fairly successfully, winning most of the major ocean races at least once during a racing career that spanned nearly a decade under Kilroy. One of her highlights was winning the gruelling upwind Sydney Hobart Race in 1971. She also won the 1965 Transpac Race (Los Angeles – Honolulu) in 9 days, 19 hours. Her first, and to date only, Fastnet was in 1969.
Around 1973 Kialoa II was donated by Jim Kilroy to the United States Coast Guard Academy in New London, CT, to be sailed by midshipmen and officers and entered in local races, including the Bermuda race. In 1978 the Coast Guard sold the boat to Martin Crowley and, following considerable repairs, Crowley took Kialoa II through the Panama Canal to the West Coast.
In 1982 she was chartered for the Victoria – Maui race, and was subsequently entered in the Clipper Cup in Hawaii before being chartered for a while in Maui, and then was brought back to California and put up for sale.
In 1999 Jos Fruytier, a Dutch sailor with a soft spot for historic sailing vessels, flew to Honolulu on Christmas Day and bought her on the spot. A sound hull was one reason that Fruytier decided to point Kialoa southwest into the South Pacific and begin a 20,000-mile voyage lasting over a year. He eventually delivered Kialoa II to Metur Yachts in Bodrum, Turkey for a full refit, completed in 2003, before continuing to cruise Kialoa II mainly in the Med and northern Europe.
Patrick Broughton (Co-owner, UK/AUS),
Keith Broughton (Co-owner, UK),
David Sawdon (Skipper, UK)
Lindsay May (Navigator, AUS), Bob Fraser (Tactician, AUS), Tony Hearder (AUS), Andrew Cutler (AUS), Jonathon Manser (GBR), Grant Chessels (AUS), Matt Souter (AUS), Ian Goldsworthy (AUS/UK), Jamie Hastie (AUS/UK), Jason Toyne (Bow, UK), Matthew Reed (Bow, GBR), Tom Gresty (GBR), Sam Shrives (GBR), Robert Small (GBR), Alex Simpson (GBR)
MINI-MAXI BACK IN UK WATERS
Chinese Whisper, Judel-Vrolijk 62, Rupert Henry
Also from down under will be Rupert Henry's Judel-Vrolijk 62, Chinese Whisper, which will be back on familiar waters: She was previously Sir Peter Ogden's all-black 62ft Mini Maxi, Jethou. As her previous incarnation, Chinese Whisper was one of the top mini maxis, winner in 2012 of the Rolex Volcano Race and the Giraglia Rolex Cup.
FIRST FASTNET FOR SYDNEYSIDERS WITH SYDNEY-HOBART EXPERIENCE
Sailplane 1, Beneteau First 40, Co-skippers: Muir Watson and Grish Stromov – Sydney, Australia
The Aussie team from Sydney have chartered Rob Bottomley’s First 40 for the race. They are hoping to live up to the boat’s thoroughbred racing pedigree. There will be 10 crew members including an IT consultant/App developer, a risk management consultant. Together, they have completed multiple Sydney-Hobart, Gosford-Lord Howe Island, Sydney-Gold Coast and Pittwater-Coffs Harbour races, but none of them have previously tackled the gruelling Fastnet.
The Sydney entry will be co-skippered by Muir and Grish who, together with Marike, completed the challenging Rolex Sydney Hobart Race in 2012 on Local Hero, a BH 36, winning the Battery Point Trophy for fastest small yacht (with Grish as the skipper). These three experienced skippers will be joined by three more skippers from other yachts, so safe to say that this crew won't be lacking for an afterguard! At least half the crew have sailed together for the last six years and most are from the Manly Yacht Club in Sydney.
As Marike noted: “We are confident that we have the beginnings of a happy, harmonious crew that will have fun together, competing successfully and safely”. Indeed, in their last outing, at the Helly Hansen Women's Challenge in March 2017, Marike skippered five of the Sailplane 1 crew to line honours and handicap victory in the female helm division on Moonraker, a Beneteau Oceanis 37.
The crew will be training together in Sydney during June and July and then flying over to Blighty to compete with almost 1,000 other keelboats in Cowes Week, the world's largest sailing regatta of its kind. Following that preparation, they will be joining almost 400 other boats in tackling the world's biggest offshore event, the daunting 605 nautical mile Rolex Fastnet Race.
It has been a collective aspiration for all of the crew to take part in two of sailing’s most iconic events, the Sydney-Hobart and the Fastnet races. Marike observed: “Our number one priority is crew safety, then boat safety and then it is to race to the best of our collective ability…. we’ve got some fantastic talent onboard and are all competitive but we remain an amateur team with almost no experience of the Solent or the Irish Sea – so we’ll be aiming high but sailing safely.
The most challenging part will the team thinks will be navigating the high traffic densities and the massive tides in the Solent, both of which are something they just do not experience in Sydney Harbor nor on the east coast of Australia.
“‘I wonder which is the tougher race: Sydney Hobart or the Fastnet?’ It’s a perennial topic of conversation at the yacht club bar, sitting on the rail in an overnight offshore race. We are determined to find the answer out for ourselves. We intend to draw on all our experiences from multiple Sydney Hobarts in joining the 47th Rolex Fastnet Race in 2017 to make the comparison first hand!”
Muir Watson (Co-skipper, Sydney, AUS)
Grish Stromov (Co-skipper, Brisbane, AUS/RUS)
Karl Onslow (Sydney, AUS), Marike Koppenol (Sydney, AUS), Peter Bennell (Sydney, AUS), Keith Thomas (UK), Sandy Farquharson (Sydney, AUS), Tomas Kliman (Sydney, AUS/SLO), Steve McKeogh (Sydney, AUS), Chloe Tetlow (Sydney, AUS/ZWE).