Vet­eran May sets his sights on 50 Syd­ney-Ho­bart races

SAIL­ING

Kalgoorlie Miner - - SPORT -

The sailor with the record for com­plet­ing the most-suc­ces­sive Syd­ney to Ho­bart races is look­ing for even more land­marks.

Vet­eran nav­i­ga­tor Lindsay May will ex­tend his record for con­sec­u­tive pas­sages to 46 on Box­ing Day when he sails south on 1971 line hon­ours win­ner Kialoa 2.

May en­joyed hand­i­cap wins on In­dian Pa­cific (1984), Atara (1991) and the much- loved Love & War (2006) and a line hon­ours vic­tory in 1997 aboard Brind­abella.

Only six other sailors have done the race more times and just two have reached the half-cen­tury mark, which is a tar­get for May.

“It’s cer­tainly on my hori­zon. I’d like to think I’ll have the op­por­tu­nity to do that,” May said.

May has no plans to stop con­test­ing the race any time soon.

Only once in his record-set­ting run did he con­tem­plate not do­ing it and, iron­i­cally, it turned out to be one of his best years.

“In 1984, I was in­tend­ing to have a fam­ily Christ­mas in West­ern Aus­tralia,” May said.

“About De­cem­ber 10, I got a call-up from a bunch of mates — who I’d sailed with many times — to go on In­dian Pa­cific.

“And ’84 was a very, very tough race, there was huge re­tire­ments from the race and we ended up win­ning the race on hand­i­cap.”

He wants Kialoa 2 to beat her own per­sonal best time for the race, which she set last year, de­spite a bro­ken boom on the first af­ter­noon. While wins and records were al­ways cel­e­brated, May en­dured one es­pe­cially tor­tur­ous pas­sage to Ho­bart.

“In 1974, I fin­ished at 4am on New Year’s Day on a lit­tle halfton­ner and I don’t ever want to do that again,” he said.

“We were out drift­ing in the river go­ing nowhere, watch­ing the fire­works. We got to the dock at about 4am and we were greeted with three peo­ple and a dog and they were all in­tox­i­cated!”

Four of the five su­per­maxis in this year’s race are sched­uled to start in Satur­day’s open­ing race of the CYCA Tro­phy Se­ries, with Scal­ly­wag the only max­i­mum­length boat ab­sent.

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