Tuesday 11 December marks the final warm-up for the “big boats” before the Rolex Sydney Hobart on a tight and fast-paced track around Sydney Harbour to raise money for SOLAS, the Safety of Life at Sea trust. Four maxis will likely battle for line honours; Black Jack, Wild Oats XI, Scallywag and Infotrack. Wild Oats X with the all female “Ocean Respect Racing” team, Naval Group and Winning Appliances are among those that will challenge the 100 footers for the IRC win.
For the third year running, “Sailor Girl” Nic Douglass will be skippering her own live broadcast thanks to Pantaenius Sail & Motor Yacht Insurance with an exceptionally talented arsenal of sailors.
Her team includes Rob Brown and David Turton (port and starboard trim respectively), her bow man and strategist Greg Torpy, her owner-driver is long-time Australian Sailing Team supporter and recently crowned Etchells World Champion, Martin Hill, and her twice World Champion skipper, Dad, Rob Douglass will be on “float”.
On her starboard side trim of the commentary panel is Rob Brown who was part of Australia’s greatest sailing victories including the 1983 Americas Cup win, a 1979 Admiral‘s Cup and three World Championships in the 18’ Skiffs designed by himself. He survived the tragic 1979 Fastnet and commentating for the Hobart with channel 7, and now continually gives back to his sport through management, promotion and coaching positions with some of Australia’s best. He has some serious accolades including the Order of Australia Medal for “Outstanding Contribution to Sport” he was inaugurated into the Australian Bi-Centennial Hall of Fame for being part of the “Best Australian Sporting Team Ever – Australia II” and is now part of the Australian Sailing Hall of fame introduced last year. Despite all of this he is fondly known to all as “Brownie”.
On her port side trim of the commentary panel is David Turton, or “Turto”, a marine ecologist, navigator, yachtsman, weather geek and an ex finance guy. Having spent the majority of his life in, on or under the water, David is now the Seabin Group’s chairman and takes on a myraid of other tasks that come with contributing to a startup, which is now well on the way to becoming a global brand. The Seabin Project have also joined the broadcast as a sponsor, and we look forward to hearing more about the work they are doing to save our oceans. We also look forward to him making a bet on every boat before the start, as in previous broadcasts this year with Nic, such as the QantasLink Brisbane to Gladstone Race.
Greg Torpy, “bowman” and strategist for the team, won the Etchells Worlds in 2004, has podiumed more than he can remember, and went to the 1988 Seoul Olympics on the Star with Colin Beashel. He has, in his past life worked with Better Homes and Gardens, but is going to be much happier to be back on the bow for the Big Boat Challenge to capture all the action under the banner of his newly formed company H2O Media Drones.
Martin Hill, of Hill PDA, a major sponsor of the Sailor Girl’s adventures is the newest Etchells World Champion, multiple Australian Farr 40 National Champion with his and wife Lisa’s “Estatemaster”, and will be helm for the day. He has been exceptionally generous in providing his Palm Beach as the broadcasting platform which he will navigate through the fleet and spectators with optimum skill.
Rob Douglass, won the Manly Junior Nationals in 1973, two Laser cubes, eight Tasar Nationals and two Tasar Worlds. As the least experienced “big boat yachty” and the most used to sailing with daughter “Sailor Girl” in the crew, he will be on float.
Other sponsors that have come on board include Musto, who have fully kitted the formidable team, Harken who are used to being “At the Front” have made sure that all ropes (or wires in this instance) will run smoothly, and Yoti who have provided a coach boat for the team to run final training sessions.
We hope that you will all come on board for this broadcast, completely by sailors, and for sailors who are all pumped for the race and a good bit of banter with the Sailor Girl as skipper.
Race start at 1230 AEDT – UTC +1100.
Watch the broadcast on Adventures of a Sailor Girl – Nic Douglass on Facebook.