Jump-ing for joy after race week on Hamo
SB20 sports boat Jump, which competed in the SB20 world championship on Hamilton Island in December 2012, was entered into Audi Hamilton Island Race Week by owner and Hamilton Island resident Dennis Winstanley on the chance that it may attract other smaller trailer sailers.
Jump was classed together with a mixed bag of 20-44ft sized boats in the Performance Handicap Division 2 group, which included the first fleeters, an Elliot 7, Sydney 32 Hamilton Mentor, and a Melges 24.
Dennis put together a crew of windsurfing friends: Mark Long of Lake Macquarie, Johanna Gardner of Hamilton Island, with Greg Hyde of Sydney on the helm.
Overcoming the challenge of mobility in the boat, Paralympian hopeful Greg Hyde settled in to a routine and steered the boat, literally single handed with the use of his mobile arm, to victory.
Years of experience racing in large fleets on various types of vessels paid off with superb tactical decisions made throughout the week.
Even though Jump was the smallest boat to participate this year, it kept up with many larger boats, making the most of the light breezes and tidal advantages around the islands.
At one stage heading around Dent Island, Hyde toppled backwards overboard, was dragged back in by his crew mates, and carried on to win the day’s race.
“It was great to see Greg’s old confidence in sailing return as the week progressed and he got used to competing among able- bodied sailors once again, like he did in the 80s and 90s before his illness,” Winstanley said of his long time sailing idol and latest SB20 crew member.
“All in all it was a great week, superbly put together by Hamilton Island. I hope that Jump’s achievement is an eye-opener to other boat owners to give sailors with disabilities the opportunity to showcase their talents in competitions in this sport. I can’t wait to do it all again next year.”
ICON: Hamilton Island boat Jump sailing beside the iconic yacht club during last week’s 30th anniversary regatta. Photo Hamilton Island Photography