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Bob Norson 06-08-2006 03:34

I just got back from covering the inaugural SYDNEY MACKAY YACHT RACE, a 900 mile coastal bash.

Line honours go to SKANDIA, 98 feet long, canting keel beauty. Over a day ahead of next up LIVING DOLL.

My favourite was TOW TRUCK, a little Mumm 30 that beat several larger boats.

To see the on-going report and photo gallery from a cruisers perspective see


Weyalan 06-08-2006 16:18

Great stuff Bob,

Some excellent photos. Was surprised to see a couple of Hobart boys, that I have raced with, on board Living Doll. Looks like they had fun though, and I'm sure that the beers have been slipping down with regularity since they finished.

Bob Norson 06-08-2006 17:48

You got it mate! The evening after they came in I caught the whole group on the wharf in a circle around Michael Hiatt, squatting around boxes of fish and chips and bottles of rum, wiskey and a slab of beer. They had been at it all bloody day! The airport was doing good business with much traffic to Malbourne and Hobart and Sydney.

Thanks for the remark on the photos.. I took about 700 pics. Was only able to arrange for a boat to chase three coming in. had to wait at the wharf for others. And some had the utterly poor taste to come in at night... I frooze my butt off in my car at 0230 sitting on the breakwater which is the "gate" waiting for tow truck in case my flash might be strong enough.. (it wasn't) I nodded off for about the time it takes for a thirty footer to flash by me ....AAARRGH! This job is hard sometimes!


sneuman 06-08-2006 19:07

Nice report, Bob. Isn't Skandia a Rolly Tasker design or am I thinking of a different boat?

sneuman 06-08-2006 19:24

Well, just looked at the photos - it's definitely NOT the Tasker boat. Nice pix tho!

Bob Norson 06-08-2006 20:35

Thanks for comments on the pics and cover. It is rewarding as I try to work this out from scratch. The text that you saw was first draft and more to come. Hope to sell enough ads to fund 5 or 6 pages for the event but you take what you get and do what you must. here is some info about this amazing boat that includes the answer to your question and more...

"Winner of Line Honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2003, Overall Winner of Hamilton Island Race Week 2004 and China Coast Regatta 2004, and Line Honours Winner of many other events, 'Skandia' is undoubtedly the most successful Australian super-maxi ever.
In December 2003, three months after launch date, Grant Wharington skippered his Victorian designed and built 98' high-tech canting keel carbon fibre super-maxi 'Skandia' to a well-publicised victory in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race, entering the history book as the first Victorian yacht ever to win Line Honours in this world-renowned ocean race.
Their next Sydney Hobart was not such a happy event. Early on the 28th of December 2004, in the pitch black of night whilst leading the fleet in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2004, the cylinders controlling the massive 14 ton canting keel failed, causing irreparable damage, and spelling the end of Team Skandia - Wild Thing's challenge for "back to back" Line Honours wins.
After many hours of trying to stabilise the keel, at 8 am it became clear that this would not be possible, and so the crew abandoned ship, leaving Wharington's beloved super-maxi to face the Bass Strait alone.
As expected the keel eventually fell out of the yacht, and the yacht capsized breaking her mast in 4 places, and losing almost everything (bar a couple of pairs of shoes and 2 anchors) from inside. She was eventually towed to Lady Barron, Flinders Island, put on a barge to Port Welshpool and then brought by low-loader back home to Mornington. Her arrival was in stark contrast to her arrival excatly a year before, when the victorious crew had been welcomed by thousands of well wishers at Mornington Yacht Club.
However, not to be discouraged, Wharington and his team set about rebuilding the maxi as soon as they could, and the rebuild is now well under way. They plan to campaign Skandia Wild Thing #2 in Europe and will be shipping the yacht from Melbourne to Southampton in May 2005. Don Jones, Chief Designer, has taken the opportunity to optimise his record breaking design and the yacht will model a larger more powerful rig, plus some other smaller changes.
The legal case regarding the cylinder failure is also under way, and the team are hopeful for a quick and positive outcome."

Special breed aint they!



Weyalan 06-08-2006 23:31

Just FYI Bob, I will be up in your neck of the woods later this year... I will be spending 10 days or so cruising the Whitsundays (or thereabouts) on an Adams 40'. To say that I am looking forward to it would be an understatement!

Bob Norson 09-08-2006 15:02

It would be fun to catch up if it were possible to do without getting in the way of the sail. Whatever you do don't do that!! TCP 'offices' located in Bowen for now, called the top o the Whitsundays but spend a lot of time in the midst. You'll love it but be prepared for the angst of having to leave... it can be tough, I couldn't do it!


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