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The deck-sweeper rig (left) is indeed sweeping all before it in the A-Class following its introduction last year (seen here with an asymmetric wishbone). The concept was applied to the AC72s in 2013 and to the successful Groupama C-Class cat that appeared soon afterwards. However C-Class legend Alex Kosloff was way ahead of all of them; he is seen here (below) on the wire of his soft-sail deck-sweeper Little America’s Cup winner Aquarius V in 1976 (Seahorse June 2012). Sadly Kosloff passed away in 2013


BIG BOOTS TO FILL – Rob Mundle


His life represented the personification of the classic story of a young man climbing from the bottom rung to the top, of leading by example and, most importantly, leaving an indelible mark on count- less lives, as well as Australian society in general. His beginnings were humble: he has no memory of his mother as she passed away when he was about one year old. And when he got his first job he didn’t even own a pair of long trousers. Yet when Bob Oatley, AO, BEM, passed away in Sydney in January he was known the world over, particularly in the two areas of ocean yacht racing and winemaking.


On the tight course in Bermuda in 2017 the grinders will be work- ing constantly. Former oarsmen, kayakers and triathletes may find that their job feels more like a galley ship slave than a yachtsman.


AIR MILES – Terry Hutchinson


9pm Monday evening Sydney, Australia, on the eve of the 19th Rolex Farr 40 One Design World Champion ship.


Racing in any venue for the first time is tough. Sydney Harbour provides some unique chal- lenges: current, wind shifts off small headlands, and some ridiculous ferry traffic.


Tactically, during the pre-worlds Sydney Open regatta


I found myself overthinking situations and in an effort to keep things simple we reverted to Plenty’s strengths of boat speed and boat handling. For the most part the plan worked as we held the lead from start to finish of the regatta.


Tomorrow is a new day, though, and the Sydney Open result does not mean squat! As I do at the start of these events, I can feel race mode in my gut. The nervous anticipation and the feeling of wanting to get into the racing can’t wait.


Other happenings… At my last writing I was in the throws of Quantum Key West Race Week aboard Hap Fauth’s Bella Mente. Honestly, I would continue to encourage everybody to come to Key West. The event is reinvigorated with new leadership and a host of industry partners returning to the premier event of the winter. It is so cool to see the diversity of the classes, great one-design racing, and of course four Maxi 72s battling it out was impressive. To spice things up even more, in 2017 the event will also be Round One in the TP52 Super Series.


On deck straight after the Farr 40 worlds I am off to Antigua for the Caribbean 600 with Bella Mente. This is an awesome race as we will again have four other Maxi 72s to race what will be the hardest 600 miles of the year – 13 small races within one course. Should be great fun and yet, as we know, the race will most likely be decided going through the lee of Guadeloupe! Standing by in Sydney, Australia!


In sailing his name is synonymous with the famous 30m Australian supermaxi Wild Oats XI, the yacht that holds the distinc- tion of being the most successful competitor in the 71-year history of the Sydney Hobart race. He is also credited with introducing the canting-keel concept to grand prix ocean racing, and being the leader of the Australian team that won the Admiral’s Cup in 2003, the last time that once-grand international trophy was contested. For many Australians in mainstream life Bob Oatley was known as a philanthropist; he provided considerable financial support for Australia’s Olympic sailing and equestrian teams and funded ground- breaking medical research. He also donated $1.25million to ensure that the only authenticated portrait from the life of Captain James Cook, a work by John Webber in 1782, was brought to Australia to be permanently exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery, Canberra. In every sense he was a ‘true blue’ Australian; a direct descendant of a convict, James Oatley, who was born in England in 1770. James was apparently a little errant as a youth and was accused of stealing some bedlinen. His punishment in the courts was a life sentence, which meant being transported to the penal colony in Sydney, where he arrived in January 1815. He was eventually pardoned and went on to become a respected citizen, and the colony’s clockmaker. Bob was born on 11 June 1928 in the Sydney suburb of Mosman, his mother dying within 12 months as a consequence of a melanoma. With his father, Geoffrey, having to spend much of his time in the Australian outback in his role as a wool buyer for a Sydney company, Bob was raised by his mother’s sister, Aunt Muriel. The young lad loved adventure, especially camping trips to nearby Balmoral Beach, on Sydney’s Middle Harbour, and it was there that his passion for sailing was spawned as an 11-year-old. The water had a magnetic attraction for him, so he soon bought a flimsy canvas-covered canoe from a schoolmate for two shillings and sixpence, added a garden stake for a mast and a bedsheet for a sail, then set off on high adventures across the harbour to nearby bays and beaches.


With there being expectations that World War II would soon end, Bob’s father suggested he leave school as a 15-year-old and seek work, the theory being that opportunities for a young and inexpe- rienced lad would be limited once the soldiers returned home. It was an insightful move, and soon Bob found himself heading into the city for an interview that his father had organised. It was with Mr RA Colyer, the owner of the successful trading company Colyer Watson. Bob obviously impressed as he was offered a job as a messenger where he would run errands, deliver mail by hand across the city, and assist workers in the office in numerous ways, including filling their ink wells.


He started work just before Christmas in 1943. On the first day, as he headed for the city aboard a ferry, he panicked about what lay ahead: ‘I knew I was venturing into the unknown, and I was scared. Right then I just wanted to dive over the side of the ferry I was on and swim to shore.’ Fortunately, the urge to abandon ship subsided.


By his late teens Bob was impressing Mr Colyer with his dedication  SEAHORSE 9


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