2010 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race by Givenchy Langer



2010 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race by Givenchy Langer

 

A lifelong dream was made a reality when I received an invite to participate in the prestigious 2010 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

After many months of preparation and flying around the country to qualify, I found myself on Boxing Day at start line of the Sydney Harbour amongst a huge fleet of yachts and spectator boats ready to start the 628 nautical mile journey to Hobart.

The lead up was sensational, the cruising yacht club was buzzing and all the emotions were stirring.  Especially knowing we were facing extreme southerly weather predictions and the possibility of the most challenging Hobart in ten years.  The Bureau were not wrong!

I sailed on a Beneteau “First 40” named Paca.  With a prodimant French crew, lead by Western Australian local, sailing master and champion, Phillipe Peche.

There was high expectations on the boat following the huge success on the 2009 race when two Beneteau First 40’s, “Two True” and “Wicked” came 1st and 2nd overall winning the Tattersdale Trophy and winning DIV 3 respectively.

After a relative poor first 24 hours we blasted out way back into contention after we had an amazing 2nd afternoon and night, lead by the amazing leadership and skill of Phillipe and a somewhat nervous crew.  For 24 hours we faced southerly winds on 45 plus knots with huge swells and seas.  While many boats were retiring around us and television helicopters hoved around us wanting a good story, Phillipe helmed to have us jump approximately 30 positions to 3rd place in our division of almost 40 yachts.

We were blessed with a warm 3rd day to “dry and thaw out” and then faced a challenging night “downwind”.  When we reached Tasman Island we had 40 miles to the finishing line knowing we were possibly winning our division.  With 5 miles to go I was amazed at the determination and concentration that all the crew still had considering the end of the race was near and a cold beer and bottle of rum was waiting after 4 days, 10 hours, 42 minutes and 52 seconds out at sea.

Entering Constition Dock will be remembered forever with a huge spectator crowd applauding us in as well as my family.

An amazing effort by “Paca” and its crew in winning our division.  A special thanks to owner Phillipe Mengual, navigator Robert Sturch and to Phillipe Peche who’s skill and professionalism was evident from the start, and to my “French mates”.  Well Done!

An amazing boat and unique in the backing up and winning Division 3 for the second year in a row.  An amazing experience.

Also congratulations to Beneteu  First 45  “Victorie” winning division 2.

Images courtesy of “Paca” blog.