Navy One counts down to Sydney to Hobart

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Ryan Zerbe (author), CYCA/Hamish Hardy (photographer)

Topic(s): Sailing

Navy One, the Royal Australian Navy's entry in the 2019 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, during the recent Bird Island Race in Sydney. (photo: CYCA/Hamish Hardy)
Navy One, the Royal Australian Navy's entry in the 2019 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, during the recent Bird Island Race in Sydney.

With the 2019 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race only weeks away, the crew of Navy’s entry Navy One have victory in their sights.

The Beneteau First 40 racing cruiser and her crew of seasoned sailors have been training hard by competing in other races ahead of the main event on Boxing Day.

Navy Sailing Team Captain, Lieutenant Commander Nathan Lockhart, said the recent Cabbage Tree and Bird Island races offered genuine chance to train in heavy conditions ahead of the Sydney to Hobart.

Navy One and her crew performed well in the Cabbage Tree and Bird Island races, placing 21st on a 19th handicap and 22nd on a 12th handicap respectively.

“The Cabbage Tree Race was an excellent opportunity for the team to operate in heavy conditions, with our sails reefed down, and consolidate our training in a real-world environment where 28 other boats retired during the race with breakages.”

“The Bird Island Race was an excellent race for the team to train in, making many sail changes in heavy conditions and refining the teamwork required to achieve this offshore.

“Ultimately it was an excellent opportunity to build on trust in each other,” Lieutenant Commander Lockhart said.

The Bird Island Race was also a chance for Navy One to debut her new livery, which received positive feedback from the sailing community.

“We’ve received a lot positive feedback Navy One’s design and having Navy return to its tradition in ocean sailing,” Lieutenant Commander Lockhart said.

“Seeing the Navy crest on the hull and the main sail is a friendly reminder to our rivals - particularly Army’s boat, Gunrunner - that they’re up against a team of professional mariners,” he said.

With the Sydney to Harbour now only several weeks away, the Navy One team will continue to train hard by taking part in the ADF Sailing Regatta between 9 and 12 December, and conducting training on Sydney Harbour each day.

“The crew are excited as we progress towards the Sydney to Hobart, and they have the greatest pride in the opportunity to represent Navy in this Australian tradition for the first time in 18 years,” Lieutenant Commander Lockhart said.

“This crew come from ranks and units across Navy, and they’re united in their commitment to representing the service with pride.”

“They’ve trained hard and come Boxing Day, they’ll be ready.”