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Peter Langman's proud achievement with Maluka

by Di Pearson/RSHYR Media 31 Dec 2022 04:40 GMT 26-31 December 2022
Maluka approaches the finish line of the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race © Salty Dingo

Peter Langman sailed Maluka, the oldest and smallest yacht in the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet, across the Castray Esplanade finish line in Hobart at 03:39:16pm yesterday afternoon - a huge achievement for the 29-year-old who cut the umbilical cord when he rejected an offer to do the race with his father on Moneypenny.

After Maluka crossed the finish in Hobart, proud dad Sean Langman raced over in a rib with tears streaming down his face, jumped aboard and father and son hugged.

"I'm over words. It's just an amazing thing. I'm so proud of Pete," Langman said. Back at the dock, the two embraced as Sean said, "Champion. You are a champion."

It was Pete's ninth Hobart, but his first as skipper away from his Dad. He first skippered the yacht to Hobart with Sean on board to guide him in 2011. He was just 18 and doing his first Hobart.

It's a very different Pete today, so grown up, it was hard to recognise him from the teenager and young man we remember.

"Pete said he wanted to do the Hobart. I thought he wanted to go on Moneypenny, but he said, 'No Dad, I want to take Maluka."

Both are happy with their lot in life. Pete won Division 5 from another older boat, White Bay 6 Azzurro (Sean Kearns) while Sean won Division 0 from the 2018 overall winner, Alive (Philip Turner). And Pete finished well in time to see the New Year in.

"I am pretty exhausted but pretty happy to be here," Pete said on reaching the Hobart dock.

"It was a good race, a little bit of everything... some pretty nice champagne sailing at the start. I am happy to be here."

On his expectations going into the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 628 nautical mile race, Pete said: "They have been well exceeded. We at first just wanted to get here. To come away with a division win is massive. It is way more than what we were expecting. I think everyone on board is pretty stoked."

Everyone on board included Shaun McKnight who has done a lot of Hobarts with Sean and Pete, competing in his 12th race to the Apple Isle. Also aboard, was Pete's brother-in-law to be, Odhran O'Reily on his first Hobart. There was not a lot of Hobart experience on board, making Pete's result a real accomplishment.

How did your crew of six perform?

"Really well... above their pay grade I think. Half the guys were pretty new to it all - this was their first Hobart. To come away with a result like ours... you can't ask for anything more than that."

Was he keeping an eye on what Moneypenny was doing, as his father did the same from Maluka when his previous yacht, Loyal, took Line Honours in 2011?

"We didn't get reception until off the north coast of Tasmania. As soon as we got reception, I tuned in to the standings and saw Dad had won his division. So I texted him and said, 'Well done. I'm very proud of you.' And he said, 'Keep going. I'm very proud of you too'."

How did the gaff rigged Cliff Gale-designed 9-metre yacht built in 1932 go?

"She performed extremely well. I think she likes those hard downwind running conditions," Pete said.

"She straps in, locks in and just surfs the waves pretty well.

"There are a few breakages on the boat, mainly stanchions. There was plenty of water coming into the boat. Not too big a job list, but a couple of jobs to be dealt with now we have got here."

How does this finishing time compare to what your father did on Maluka?

"The record (3:07:59:51 in 2016) still stands, but I was on board for that one (as was Shaun McKnight) so I'll claim it as well," said Pete, who finished Maluka's eighth Hobart in 04:02:39:16.

Built in 1932 of Huon Pine, Maluka was lovingly rebuilt by Sean Langman. The two Langmans keep the much loved yacht in impeccable condition.

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