Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Exclusive Interview with Martin Hill, Co-Owner/Skipper Estate Master - Winner Farr 40 Tasmanian State Titles

After a brief hiatus, Estate Master, owned by Martin and Lisa Hill from Middle Harbour Yacht Club in Sydney, has returned to Farr 40 competition in Tasmania with a bang. After a five race series in the Tasmanian State Title in conditions that created carnage on day one and untold frustration on the second and final day, the Hills proved that consistency is key.
Martin and Lisa Hill Photo: Dane Lojek/ Farr 40 Association
“It’s nice to feel competitive again and that is what this Tasmanian State Title has all been about for us because we had to change the boat and we haven’t had the opportunity to race as much as we would have liked to. Our goal is to practise as much as we can we our young crew and work towards the Farr 40 Worlds in San Francisco. So all of this is about getting as much racing time on the water," a delighted Martin Hill said post regatta back at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
The Hills and their crew arrived in Hobart earlier last week in order to practise, hone their skills and enjoy the nice karma onboard.
Hamish Pepper, Martin Hill and Darren Jones Photo: Lulu Roseman
"We’ve got some new young people on board like Harry Bethwaite, who is the son of Julian Bethwaite and grandson of the late Frank Bethwaite, together with Max Vos who competes in the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. We are all trying to help teach them how to sail the boat with the more experienced guys like Darren "Twirler' Jones, who as a Tasmanian has an enormous amount of local knowledge."
Photo: Lulu Roseman
Hill added that there has been an awesome buzz onboard the boat right from the beginning of this crew being formed.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
"We have new Quantum sails and we’ve trained and prepared the boat so we’re very pleased with the results first up. Hobart is very tricky and the next four days at the Nationals will likely add a few more grey hairs to my head I am sure."
Voodoo Chile get the better of Estate Master on the start line Photo: Lulu Roseman
On having Darren Jones on board and his local knowledge of the Derwent River and all it's anomalies.
Photo: Lulu Roseman
“There is no-one better than Twirler when it comes to Farr 40s. He may be a bit older now and forget people’s names and he has a habit of calling everyone “Old Mate”, but there is no doubt his rapport with the younger people and to have someone there to keep on reminding them about their jobs so Twirler is really the person who is coaching the whole boat and getting us our speed on and I guess you have to have the trust in him so that’s good.

How great is it to have Hamish Pepper back on board?

“Hamish is a lovely man and I won my first international regatta with him. He is definitely good and showed some skills and tactical moves during the first day which took us from an ordinary position to a great position, and the starts we were winning. There is no doubt he’s one of the top ten tacticians in the world."

Going into the Aberdeen Asset Management John Calvert-Jones Australian Championships on Wednesday Hill and his crew are far from complacent.

“It’s always better to be ahead than behind but there are five boats that could win the Nationals and that still stands true. All of those boats are on the pace. There is Transfusion of course, Voodoo Chile and Wired is exceptionally fast as well as POW who has improved their boat speed, and Jeff Carter's Edake as well.

“There is no easy choice and if fact all of those boats will score and potentially finish in the top three placings, so it’s very, very close. There is still good camaraderie out there on the water.

“I think after all the things you do wrong you do analyse and that’s how you improve and it’s just about having more time on the water.

“It’s pleasant not sailing off Sydney Heads in the big swells and that’s good. Here the winds are tricky and I don’t know how you read the winds here. The locals know a little more about going to the right and that definitely does pay off.  I guess the thing I am getting acclimatised to is the coldness. This is summer and it’s freezing cold, like 10 degrees.

“I am worried about Thursday as not only is the forecast for 20-30 knots but also for rain and snow up in the higher elevations. I am very worried about that. I have been in Hobart before with sleet in my face so I think they definitely breed their men tough down here.”

Lulu Roseman

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