Please select your home edition
Edition
Spinlock - Rigsense - 728x90
Product Feature
Harken 18mm Fly Block - 2698
Harken 18mm Fly Block - 2698
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine


Full racing risks
New for old cover
www.noblemarine.co.uk

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Tony Ellis ticks off 51 races

by Di Pearson 29 Dec 2018 02:06 GMT 29 December 2018
Tony Ellis sailed his 51st Sydney Hobart - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2018 © Andrea Francolini

One of the highlights in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race happened when Triton ceremoniously sailed to the Castray Esplanade finish line in gusts up to 45 knots with record breaker Tony 'Ace' Ellis at the helm.

Why did Ellis have the distinction of helming David Gotze and Michael Cranitch's LC60, Triton (NSW), over the finish line? Because he had just competed in his 51st Sydney Hobart race, therefore equalling the record of Tony Cable, who sailed his 51st last year.

Ellis also has a record of his own that is unlikely to ever be broken – he sailed 41 of his races with old mate Syd Fischer.

The affable Sydneysider is uncomfortable in front of a camera, so to distract him, we got him talking about the race while the camera clicked away. We asked if this milestone race would remain a memorable one and why.

"At times it was frustrating, including being stuck in peas-soup fog two thirds of the way across Bass Strait – we had our own private parking lot there," Ellis said.

"Otherwise we had a great race with a good crew. It will stay with me because of the great guys on the boat."

On the weather in the final miles, he said "we came around Tasman Island with a nor' wester and with gusts up to 40 knots in Storm Bay. We dropped the heady (headsail) and put a reef in the main. We put up a No. 5 (the smallest headsail in the wardrobe).

On Teasing Machine, the big gusts were not the only topic of discussion. Crew member Alexandre de Girval broke his hand during the last 24 hours when he was at a winch trimming a sail. Despite the pain, de Girval sat patiently on the deck of the French boat waiting for an ambulance.

"He is a medic – an osteopath," Eric de Turckheim, owner of the NMYD54, said with a wry smile.

The French yachtsman came to our race in 2015 with an earlier model of Teasing Machine and finished seventh overall – robbed of the win by a fickle Derwent. This time was quite different: "Forty knots in the river," said de Turckheim, who is currently placed 32nd overall in a race that still has a way to go.

"The race was a bit frustrating because of the change in the weather – but we knew it was coming so it was not a surprise – big gusts and big winds."

Two late imports on Andy Kearnan/Peter Wrigley's TP52 Koa, Larry Jamieson and Campbell Knox, told a similar story. "Forty six knots and we had the full main up – thank god the owner was below," said Jamieson. "Thank god he was on the main," Jamieson said of Knox whose experience saved them from damage.

He and Knox are hardened yachties. Apart from racing around the globe, they also do a lot of deliveries, their most recent was mid-December to sail Chinese Whisper from Osaka in Japan to Sydney.

And so the stories will continue as the yachts continue to arrive at the finish line in Hobart.

For all information and to follow the race on tracker: rolexsydneyhobart.com

Related Articles

75th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race entries open
Encouraging sailors from around the world to join Entries are now open for the 2019 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, with the just-launched Notice of Race (NOR) encouraging sailors from around the world to join the historic 75th running of the 'Everest' of ocean racing. Posted on 15 Apr
New foiler design with Rolex Sydney Hobart in mind
Capable of leading the 30m maxis over the 630 nautical mile course Twelve months work and investment from a highly experienced Australian group has led to the development of a 15.2 m fully foiling design intended for the 2019 RSHYR. Posted on 26 Mar
Kyle Langford Talks Comanche and Sail GP
Kyle Langford Talks Comanche and Sail GP Kyle Langford at only 29 years of age has become one of Australia's most experienced sailors. His resume includes two America's Cup campaigns, the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean Race aboard Team Brunel and an RC44 World Championship win. Posted on 1 Jan
Trophy presentation closes 2018 RSHYR
Official prize giving at the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Hobart The 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race came to an end on December 31 at the Grand Chancellor Hotel in Hobart, where the Official Prize Giving took place. Posted on 31 Dec 2018
Alive secures overall victory
Phillip Turner's Alive has been announced as overall winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Turner and his crew, comprising skipper Duncan Hine and navigator Wouter Verbraak, were rewarded for their historic success with the Tattersall Cup and a Rolex timepiece at a presentation held on Constitution Dock. Posted on 30 Dec 2018
Late call to race pays dividends for Trumpcard
In the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race A late decision to race the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race paid off for the Queensland entry Trumpcard on Sunday when it finished at 7.32am this morning. Posted on 30 Dec 2018
Tasmanians claim Tattersall Cup in home port
Tasmanians claim Tattersall Cup in home port With all boats still racing now outside their handicap times Phillip Turner's Alive Yachting representing Derwent Sailing Squadron Inc has won the double for the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart; the George Adams Tattersall Cup for Overall Winner on IRC Posted on 30 Dec 2018
Rolex Sydney Hobart Supermaxi interviews
Interviews with skippers and some highly credentialed crew With much of the attention in Hobart focused on the AIS protest against Wild Oats XI (the protest found invalid at the hearing just completed) this selection of interviews with skippers and some highly credentialed crew aboard the four super maxis Posted on 29 Dec 2018
Wild Oats Xi wins line honours
Wild Oats Xi wins line honours At 15:00 AEST on Saturday, 32 yachts had completed the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart, there had been six retirements and 47 were still racing. Throughout the last 24 hours on the approach to the finish line in Hobart Posted on 29 Dec 2018
Rough ride home leaves former Wallaby smiling
Rough ride home leaves former Wallaby smiling Former Wallaby player Mick Martin was almost thankful that he and his crew on his TP52 entry, Frantic, were given a rough ride to the finish of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this morning. Posted on 29 Dec 2018