The story of Anthony Bell’s road to the ultimate Aussie racing prize is epic and quintessentially Australian. Picked up for a firesale price after nearly killing her entire crew in the Fastnet, this beast of a boat would throw obstacle after obstacle at Bell and his team over the past three years, until finally, the Perpetual Loyal (nee Speedboat) got it right this past week. Bell picks up not only the first-to-finish trophy but also the overall Hobart race record, smashing Wild Oats‘ 2012 time by more than four hours – something not even the mighty Comanche could pull off. WOXI was knocked out for the second straight year.
We’ve enjoyed Bell and his crews’ attitude over the years, and we’re intrested to hear about the ‘different sailing challenges’ he has said he’s moving on to now that he is ready to sell the big JuanK beast – at what is probably a much higher price than she’d have fetched before the team’s excellent performance…
Always precisely where the action is, Nic “Sailor Girl” Douglass sat down with a guy that embodies the kind of sacrifice and work ethic exemplified by the campaign. The above video features Loyal boat captain Brad Kellett – the youngest sailor to participate in 25 consecutive Hobarts and one of the most respected boat captains in the Southern Hemisphere – and he talked all kinds of pre-race prep with Nic and even let her have a sneaky look around.
She also covered the finish of Perpetual Loyal (she was right on the pin), the dock arrival, champagne, press conference and banter, and interviewed Kellett, Bell & Slingsby live on the dock. A few hours later, when the sun had come up, Brad was still on the boat, spending time with “his girl” when everyone else was in the pub. Champion.
You can see Sailor Girl’s full coverage, including her full pre-start show with over 30 boats, her start commentary, live with the first 14 boats home, Customs House action, and be in the draw to win some free stuff here.
A quick note about media: We’ve long criticized the CYCA and Rolex for years of weak coverage and a resulting lack of international exposure for this exceptional race as well as a lack of interest in improving – or even acknowledging – the problem. We’re glad to see things are changing. While race organizers and their media partners continue to lag other events in understanding how the internet works, their content and media outreach have improved significantly for this year. Even where they are behind, they are lucky to have a spark plug like the Sailor Girl showing them exactly how to do it right. Why they aren’t just paying her to run their social media, podcast, interview world…we have no idea at all.
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