Tasmanian yacht brings Sydney Hobart fleet to 92


Champion Tasmanian yachtsman and Sydney Hobart veteran Greg ‘Enzo’ Prescott’s latest racing yacht, 2Unlimited, is the last of 92 boats to be entered for the 74th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Entries closed at 5.00pm last Friday….”I believe I was the last boat to enter….right on five o’clock”,  Prescott said yesterday,  adding “and this will be my 28th Sydney Hobart’, Prescott said in an interview with Peter Campbell, ‘The Mercury’ yachting writer.

His latest boat named 2Unlimited is the former Farr 40 national champion Estate Master, previously owned by Sydney yachtsman Martin Hill who last Saturday changed classes and won the Etchells class World championship in Brisbane.

The fleet of 92, including a record five super maxis headed by last year’s line honours winner Comanche and a dozen international entries, has exceeded the expectations of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and gives early indications of worldwide interest in next year’s 75th annual ocean classic.

The entry of 2Unlimited brings the Tasmanian contingent this year to three boats:   Alive, Philip Turner’s Reichel/Pugh 66 (DSS); Black Sheep, Matthew Pilkington and Rob Gourlay’s Beneteau First 45 (RYCT); and 2 Unlimited, Greg ‘Enzo’ Prescott’s modified Farr 40 (RYCT/DSS) but many more are expected for the 2019 edition.

Black Sheep, also contesting 74th Sydney Hobart Race. Photo Peter Watson

Prescott has had an outstanding career in yacht racing, notably in the Sydney Hobart, the Admiral’s Cup and One Ton Cup, the Melges 32 one-design class and, more recently, in the SB20 sports boat class, including finishing seventh in the worlds on the Derwent last January.

After racing off-the-beach dinghies on the Derwent, Prescott sailed in his first Sydney Hobart race in 1980  as a 17-year-old aboard his father’s yacht Hotshot and the following year skippered the same yacht to seventh place overall in a fleet of 160 boats.

He remains the second youngest ever to skipper a yacht in the Sydney Hobart and has since competed in a total of 27 races.

“It’s a rather late campaign but one of the reasons I’m doing it again is that I want my son Lachlan to sail with me in the 75th race next year when he turns 18 and is eligible to compete as a crew,” Prescott added.

Prescott’s crew this year will include world champion international Tasmanian sailor Darren ‘Twirler’ Jones.  The ‘good mates’ have sailed together in10 Sydney Hobarts and Jones has joined him Prescott in his major campaigns in the Melges 32, 2Unlimited, which including national championships wins.

Prescott and Jones were both inducted into the prestigious Tasmanian Yachting Hall of Fame in 2016, being described then as ‘two of Tasmania’s pre-eminent yachtsmen.’

“I bought the boat, then called Estate Master, in Sydney a couple of months ago and after some work on her electronics and rig we sailed her down to Hobart, arriving last Wednesday week,” Prescott explained.

“Farr Yacht Design have designed a new bulb for her keel, giving her an extra 250kg ballast for ocean racing, we’ve added a bowsprit and have cut down her mainsail to reduce the large roach allowed in Farr 40 one-design racing….we hope to make in time for next month’s Maria Island Race…and with a competitive IRC rating, ” he added.

Words:  Peter Campbell

Photos:  Peter Campbell, Rolex

29 October 2018

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