Yachties to defend title in iconic race

After the disappointment of the cancellation of the 2020 Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race, Navy One is returning to the water for this year’s race.

CAPTION: Navy One on Sydney Harbour. Story by Lieutenant Kiz Welling-Burtenshaw. Photo by Able Seaman Leon Dafonte Fernandez.

The Navy sailing team captain Commander Nathan Lockhart said he was excited about the team and said diversity was the key to a successful campaign.

“It is paramount that the team represents the majority of the Navy and a crew of 20 has been selected from current serving personnel across a diverse range of ranks and experience,” Commander Lockhart said.

Navy had success in 2019, winning the Oggin Cup as the first military-crewed yacht completing the race on corrected time.

A new crew was brought together last year but did not have the opportunity to defend the cup due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“Ultimately, it was disappointing for the crew to miss the opportunity to take part in the big race after months of lead-up training,” Commander Lockhart said.

Navy will look to build on the training from last year, but with the current COVID-19 restrictions, Navy Ocean Sailing Team 2021 member Sub Lieutenant Angus Ekberg said the lead-up training would be limited.

“We are looking at other avenues to progress our training and bring the crew together, with virtual online discussions and training,” Sub Lieutenant Ekberg said.

“This will allow us to progress our theoretical knowledge and ultimately maximise our practical training once we are able to get onto the water.”

The campaign for 2021 will again be undertaken on Navy One, a Beneteau First 40 based in Sydney.

Navy One will display the Navy livery and fly the white ensign as a RAN vessel within the fleet VIP Squadron.

Team member Leading Seaman Kellie Nash thrives on the pride among the crew.

“The strong Navy branding of Navy One gives the crew a sense of immense pride in the honour of representing Navy in one of the world’s most challenging ocean races,” Leading Seaman Nash said.

The 2021 Navy campaign will include the 174nm Cabbage Tree Island race to be held on December 3.

This will be followed by daily training on Sydney Harbour and off the coast in December in the lead-up to the 628nm mile Sydney to Hobart event starting on Boxing Day.

The Navy One ocean sailing team for 2021: Captain David Prentice; Commander Nathan Lockhart; Lieutenant Commander Ben Brown; Lieutenant Commander Tim Binns; Lieutenant Commander Kirstin Norris; Lieutenant Tori Costello; Lieutenant Tracey Magyar; Lieutenant Kate Millward; Lieutenant Alix de Caritat de Peruzzis; Sub Lieutenant Angus Ekberg; Sub Lieutenant Toia Mangakahia; Midshipman Chris Cooper; Midshipman Grace Corboy-Stevens; Midshipman Jack Barber; Chief Petty Officer Kieran Davis; Chief Petty Officer Jason Little; Petty Officer Matthew Dawe; Leading Seaman Kellie Nash; Able Seaman Damon Jackson; Able Seaman William Sherman.

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