The 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race will be for Noosa’s Jason Rowed just like another day at the office.
The 47-year-old spends his life travelling the world competing in big sailing regattas as trimmer and helmsman with big-name teams.
The professional sailor has completed more than 20,000 ocean miles, but surprisingly, or as he says “because I am smart”, he has only competed in three Hobart races.
His first race was on the 34-foot Leroy Brown, then he moved right up to the top of the list in 2005 to compete on 100-foot Wild Oats X1 when the team won all three top race honours.He joined the Ker 46 Patrice team in 2013 and headed to Hobart with them in 2014. They finished third on handicap in IRC Division 1.Rowed has remained with the Patrice program, in between racing on Marcus Blackmore’s MC38, and heading offshore for major events in Europe and Asia.He hasn’t been on Patrice since it’s last event in early October as the boat has been under the knife at the Noakes yard in Sydney.“We are optimising the boat with a new keel fin and reducing the bulb weight,” Rowed said.While this work is being done Rowed has been up in Asia competing in several high-profile events on the same design boat as Patrice.“Generally I have one or two of the other Patrice crew come with me, so we are all familiar at racing the Ker 46s a lot.”
Prior to the Hobart race start the team will have three to five days of training.“We will also have to do a qualifier; 100 miles or so because of the new keel,” he said.The Patrice team will have some stiff competition in the 628-mile race south.“But, as per any ocean race, you’ve to finish the race to get a result,” Rowed said.“You’ve also got to cross your fingers that luck goes a little bit your way as well and get the right conditions.”The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race starts on Sydney Harbour at 1pm on December 26.
By Tracey Johnstone
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2016
13 December 2016
Caption – Patrice competing in the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Credit – Rolex / Daniel Forster
Credit – David Brogan, www.sailpix.com.au