STORM A COMIN’: Iain Jensen at the Infotrack launch of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in Sydney on Tuesday. Picture: AAP Image/Brendan EspositoOlympic gold medallistIain Jensen said a Sydney to Hobart win on debut “would be up there” in his career highlights as he prepares alongside fellow Lake Macquarie sailors Ben Lamb and Tom Braidwood on InfoTrack.
Jensen, who wongold at the 2012 London Olympics and silver at the Rio Olympics in the 49er class,received a call from InfoTrack helmsman Lamb asking him to join the crew.
“I’ve always wanted to do the Hobart, it’s an iconic race in Australia,” Jensen said. “To come home with a Hobart win would be up there for sure.[Lamb] sort of asked if I was interested in doing it. He told me who else was on board and which boat it was and it seemed like a really good opportunity.”
The crew of Sydney to Hobart favourites InfoTrack are confident they can not only defend the title butbreak the race record this year.
TechentrepreneurChristian Beck bought 2016 line honours winner Perpetual Loyalthis year and rebranded it after his company.
Perpetual Loyal, skippered by celebrity accountant Anthony Bell, set a new race record of one day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds last year.
“We’d like totry tokeep the record,” saidBeck, also the skipper ofInfoTrack.”If the conditions are right we’d like totry andholdon tothat record. I think if it’s windy we have a chanceof winning.”
Beckis estimated to be worth more than $600 million and was named Ernst and Youngentrepreneurof 2017 last month.
He hasn’t doneoffshoreocean racingbefore and admits it’s a “whole new world”.
“It’s all about the crewbecause I don’t knowwhat I’m doing, soI really need a good crew,”Beckjoked.
InfoTrack boat captain Ty Oxley will compete in his 15th Sydney to Hobart this year and is confident the 100-foot supermaxi can break the race record if the weather conditions suit.
“It took fourhours, 50 minutes off the record last year so anything’s possible,” Oxley said.“It’s definitely capable of winning again and it’s definitely proved itself to be capable in those strong conditions.”
InfoTrack has assembled a star-studded crew withdecades of Sydney to Hobart experience and Olympic medals.Some were meeting Beck for the first time at Tuesday’sInfoTracklaunch.
Beck is also keen to organise a weekly race between supermaxis in the style of the start of theSydney to Hobart, where the yachts race to be first out of the Sydneyheads.
InfoTrack,Comanche, WildOats XI andBlack Jack are the supermaxisin the107-strong fleet.
“It’s going tobequite acompetitive year this year.Comanchewillbea hardboat tobeat,” Jensen said.