On the heels of some very public whining about J/Class competition from billionaire Jim Clark comes some more media griping from Alfa Romeo owner Neville ‘Croaky" Crichton about the Sydney-Hobart and the general state of top racing in Australia. After (finally) beating arch-rival Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats during this year’s Hobart, Crichton announced the other day that it would be his last such trip, calling it ‘cold, miserable, then you’ve got to drink Cascade when you get there." About Oatley, Crichton called him "the most unsportinglike" of all the people Crichton’s sailed against.
Never one to mince words, Croaky had called the delivered version of his 2008 McConaghy-built, R/P designed mini-maxi Alfa Romeo III "a pig," explaining that a designer screwup had led to a boat that was all wrong, requiring an extensive rebuild at McConaghy China before her career even began. This is the same boat that went to the Copa Del Rey and won her first-ever event after the rebuild.
In a sport that seems to have lost some of the big-talking rich guys of years gone (think Turner, Conner, Bond), we find it refreshing to see the head honchos speak their mind – whether they’re whining like Clark or calling ‘bullshit’ on folks like Croaky. What do you think? Photo from Alfa Romeo Racing.