Navy One to assemble fresh crew to defend Sydney to Hobart title

This article has photo gallery Published on LEUT Geoff Long (author), CPOIS Kelvin Hockey (photographer), ABIS Jarrod Mulvihill (photographer)

Topic(s): Sailing

File image: Navy One sails south to Hobart during the running of the 2019 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. (photo: Chief Petty Officer Kel Hockey)
File image: Navy One sails south to Hobart during the running of the 2019 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

Navy will be back in the water for this year’s Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race after a successful campaign in 2019 that saw Navy One win the Oggin Cup as the first military-crewed yacht on corrected time.

This year’s campaign - which also includes two Audi Blue Water Series events commencing next month - will assemble a new crew from across Navy with a diverse range of ranks and experience.

Navy Sailing Team Captain, Lieutenant Commander Nathan Lockhart, said a crew of 20 will be sought from current serving personnel, with all experience levels encouraged to apply. Currently serving wounded, injured or ill veterans are also encouraged to apply.

File image: Lieutenant Commander Nathan Lockhart, RAN, Team and Yacht Manager of Navy One.

File image: Lieutenant Commander Nathan Lockhart, RAN, Team and Yacht Manager of Navy One.

“It was great that we had success last year but our objectives are broader than that. We want to represent a wide cross-section of Navy who want to take part and enable them to work in a team environment that builds resilience,” Lieutenant Commander Lockhart said.

“Last year’s crew felt immense pride in the opportunity to represent the Royal Australian Navy in this international event and we want to offer that chance to others in 2020.”

Navy returned to its traditional home on the ocean for the 2019 Sydney to Hobart race after an absence of 18 years, which aligned with the 75th anniversary of the great race.

The campaign was undertaken in Navy One - a Beneteau First 40 Racing cruiser yacht, which was relocated from HMAS Creswell to Sydney and upgraded to take part in offshore racing.

As she did last year, Navy One will sport Navy livery and fly the Australian White Ensign to again highlight Navy’s participation.

The 2020 campaign will commence training and preparation from October, with some changes put in place to suit the current environment.

“This will not be a traditional preparation, due to the COVID-19 restrictions and limitation requirements needed to ensure the crews’ safety,” Lieutenant Commander Lockhart said.

“The Sydney to Hobart race is a pinnacle in ocean racing and is an excellent opportunity for our people in a highly challenging and competitive environment.”

The 2020 Navy campaign will include the 174-nautical mile Cabbage Tree Island race on 6 November, and the 86-NM Bird Island race on 5 December.

This will be followed by daily training in December in the lead up to the 628-nautical mile Rolex Sydney to Hobart event starting Boxing Day.

2019 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race imagery is available on the Defence Image Gallery:
https://images.defence.gov.au/S20192715
https://images.defence.gov.au/s20193071
https://images.defence.gov.au/S20193311
https://images.defence.gov.au/S20193362