Thursday, February 21, 2013

Exclusive - Team Australia's Sydney - Hobart Speed Record Update with James Ogilvie

As the hours tick down for the start of Team Australia's Sydney to Hobart speed record attempt there are no butterflies in mainsail trimmer/rigger James Ogilvie's stomach.
The Sydney catamaran sailor got involved in Team Australia through friends and fellow sailors Grant Pellew and Katie Spithill and has been part of the crew since the ORMA 60 competed last year at Airlie Race Week and Hamilton Island Race Week.

“It’s always been on the cards to attempt this record. We just had to wait for the right conditions and delivery of a new mainsail from Mike Sanderson at Doyles in New Zealand. When we got the call from Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham on Monday to let us know that the right weather window had opened up we swung into action," Ogilvie said.

“This boat is designed for short handed sailing and given we are trying to beat the record set by Wild Oats XI last year (1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds) we expect to be offshore for not much more than 24 hours," he added.

With the adrenalin factor so high, the comfort onboard is a lower priority and there is limited space down below for the crew of seven to rest. There is just a workspace for the navigator and three bunks. It will be all hands on deck for the team for most of the journey fuelled by a diet high in carbs, sugar and Tim Tams.

Joining Ogilvie is Sean Langman (owner/skipper) together with his 19 year old son, Peter Langman, Josh Alexander (sailing master), Larry Jamieson (sail trimmer), Aaron Hampo (grinder, cook, comic relief) and Shaun ‘Kiwi’ McKnight (navigator).

“I haven’t been offshore before but the other guys have said that 45 knots would be the boat's absolute limit. We are expecting up to 30 knots and we only need to average 14 knots to break the speed record. With the south east pressure we expect to have two or three reefs in the main and two of the three hulls out of the water. The boat flies at 25-30 knots."

The Sydney start line will be set in between North and South Head and Ogilvie expects it be a reach out of Manly Cove.  

Forecaster Roger Badham is predicting maximum breeze at the start, ESE winds at 23-27 knots and off the far south coast of NSW, E-ENE at 18-23 knots. For the run across the Strait ENE winds 24-28 knots (maybe 25-30) are expected and NE 22-27 knots off the Tassie coast tending NNE-N/22-28 on the lower east coast.

"As a catamaran sailor this is a very exciting opportunity for me to be able to race offshore on a big trimaran. It certainly raises awareness of the excitement these larger multihulls could add to the future of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race."

Lulu Roseman

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