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Pistol shot - Calibre 12’s first ocean race

Pistol shot - Calibre 12’s first ocean race

Pistol shot - Calibre 12’s first ocean race

Calibre 12, the Cookson 12 owned by Richard Williams, has  taken 2nd place in Division 1 IRC in the 2023 Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race. She was 19th over the line in a time of 3 days, 6 hours and 30 minutes just behind Tempo (Michael Smith). She was also 2nd in IRC Corinthian after Philosopher (David Henry).

We caught up with Richard Williams at Southport Yacht Club, to see how he was feeling after the race.

CYCA: Tell me more about the boat?

Richard Williams: I have owned a Sydney 38 since 2012 and we just upgraded to a Cookson 12. We literally took it to sea for the first time this race. 

CYCA: How was the race Richard? Can you describe the journey for us?

RW: Sensational, exhilarating, painful, tiring, full of adrenalin - you name it.

CYCA: The full gamut of emotions! What was your strategy? 

RW: Well, we went a hundred miles out to sea. We second-guessed ourselves a few times, and wondered, ‘should we go this far out?’  - especially when there wasn’t one other boat out there - and then, our sat phone broke, so we had no information. We didn’t know where any of the other boats were, until we came back in. We were just doing our own thing.

CYCA: At what point on the North Coast did you come back in?

RW: Around Ballina, and it was only then that we found out that we were actually doing okay.

CYCA: Did the wind die when you came back in? Or did you find some breeze to help you finish the race? 

RW: No, we were fine then. It actually died when we were out to sea. When we were about one hundred miles out to sea, we had no wind for about six hours! 

CYCA: That must have been soul destroying? 

RW: We were absolutely gutted. But, we didn’t gamble, we trusted the technology that we had at the beginning of the race, and we stuck to it. Now we find we have done pretty well, it has paid off. I think we are currently second in our division.

CYCA: So you’re feeling good about your overall time?

RW: That’s our first ocean race on the boat, so yes we are very happy.

CYCA: So you have had a great first result? 

RW: Yes we think so.

We congratulate the entire crew aboard Calibre 12 on their result.

Words by Belinda Aucott

Images: DH | CYCA