• News
  • 2023
  • No guts no glory - 2023 TH IRC Division at Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race

No guts no glory - 2023 TH IRC Division at Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race

No guts no glory - 2023 TH IRC Division at Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race

No guts no glory - 2023 TH IRC Division at Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race

Two-handed sailing is rapidly expanding in Australia, attracting double-handed crews to coastal and ocean races from all over the country. There’s an inspiring camaraderie springing up in the tight-knit group and it’s an exciting fleet to observe in active contest.

Prior to the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast race, double-handed crews were linking up from at the CYCA, to go on overnighters, and helping each other to prepare for the races by sharing knowledge.

As the Euro bug for two-handed sailing catches on here, there are many conversations bubbling away about the virtues of this leaner, meaner approach. 

In addition to the fumes of adrenalin rising off this part of the sport - good vibes are also percolating around the mavericks of the fleet. Certain characters who are ‘leaning in’ to the challenges this two-up craft offers, and bringing decidedly old school qualities of seamanship.

This year Rupert Henry and Greg O’Shea took part in Noakes Sydney Gold Coast as previous winners of the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart two-handed IRC division. The team’s experience with two-handed sailing dates back to their Line Honours victory in the 2018 Melbourne Osaka Cup on the JV62 Chinese Whisper and has continues ever since. In 2025, Oli Bell and his father, CYCA Member Michael ‘Zappa’ Bell will take on the Melbourne Osaka Cup on Minnie.We have Australian crews going overseas to compete in the Rolex Fastnet double-handed division and performing very well. Two-handed sailors are also being attracted to our Southern climes for Cat 1 races like the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

Thirteen two-handed boats entered the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast this year, and the ever-increasing list, included Avalanche, the first two-handed boat out of the Heads, Blacksheep, the Sheppard brothers from NSW, Blue Planet sailing for the Woolcock Institute and Kraken 111 all the way from Tasmania.

Of course, they were joined by Shane Connelly and Andrew Downing on Rum Rebellion, Wine Dark Sea sailed by Peter Lowndes and Greg Lake and David Henry and Stephen Prince who were victorious finishers on Philosopher.

There is a good deal more, we could say about the skills and competence of each of these brave ‘all-rounders’ but what unites them is a fascination with a ‘no guts, no glory’ mindset.

They want a simplified, stripped back approach to the ocean racing.

From the first round of finishers for the Noakes Gold Coast Race, we took some time to reflect on the duel that played out, between father and son after chatting to David and Rupert Henry over lunch at Southport Yacht Club.

There was Zappa and Mario Ruel, taking Minnie, the calm collected duo of Rupert Henry and Greg O’Shea on Mistral, Peter Elkington and Scott Cavenough on Pacman from Queensland, Pete Franki’s Salt Shaker, James Whelan and Stacey Jackson on Lee Condell’s Sunfish, and Nigel Nattrass and Graham Biehl on Tumbleweed.