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  • Rum Rebellion back in two-handed division for Noakes Sydney Gold Coast

Rum Rebellion back in two-handed division for Noakes Sydney Gold Coast

Rum Rebellion back in two-handed division for Noakes Sydney Gold Coast
Crosbie Lorimer

Rum Rebellion back in two-handed division for Noakes Sydney Gold Coast

Rum Rebellion is the beautiful J/99 launched by Shane Connelly in 2022. “This will be Rum Rebellion’s third Audi Centre Blue Water Pointscore and like most Racer Cruisers we have been refining her over time,” says Shane Connelly. At 9.9 metres, Rum Rebellion rates among the smaller boats in the fleet. “Rum Rebellion is not extreme in design. But the J/99 is kind to her crew, strongly built and reliable. .

She is designed as a good all-rounder. We focus on having her immaculately prepared, safe and match-ready for offshore racing conditions with subtle improvements to her rig, sail plan and interior each year,” Connelly says

Owner Shane Connelly did the 2016 and 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobarts on Pelagic Magic with Graeme Dunlop. This year, Shane brings Rum Rebellion back to contest the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore in the two-Handed division with Andrew Downing and Tony Sutton starting with Noakes Sydney-Gold Coast.

Connelly says he loves the J/99 and two handed format – as the boat is flexible in a range of conditions. “The J/99 works well for me in longer offshore races like the Noakes Sydney-Gold Coast and Rolex Sydney-Hobart because you can anticipate a variety of conditions.

“I like this race because of the interesting weather patterns you can experience as the land mass gets colder through winter. Your strategy at night, may well differ from the day, as you chase breeze. I have sailed between Sydney and the Gold Coast many times and my previous voyages and our last two Pittwater to Coffs Race have given me great insight into sailing on the north coast of NSW,” Connelly says.

This year for the Noakes Sydney-Gold Coast Connelly has chosen a good friend to sail with. “My crew for this race is Andrew Downing. Just two of us on board again. Andrew will be sharing the responsibility during the Audi Centre Blue Water Pointscore with Tony Sutton, who sailed with me last year.

“In January Andrew sailed back with me from Tasmania on Rum Rebellion. He is an experienced racer who is returning to offshore racing after a long sabbatical. Andrew is well known in the inshore scene through his many years of successful exploits in races such as the Marley Point in Victoria. We sailed together in a little J92 more than 20 years ago, so it will be great to race again together.”

Reflecting on last year’s race Connolly says he enjoyed the close racing at the end of the course the most.

“From Sydney to Hat Head I was in a tacking duel with Disko Trooper and Philosopher. The boats were about a mile apart for nearly half the race, covering each other tack to tack. Then I sailed into a rain squall, which sucked the life out of the breeze which Disko and Philosopher both avoided.

That was it for a while, as we struggled in light air there and off Nambucca Heads. Then, as it always seems to be the way in sailing, we caught great breeze and wind shift between Lennox Head and Cape Byron, and we charged home, making up lost ground.

“It was not enough I am afraid, but it was such an enjoyable race. I guess that’s what I like about the two handed scene, the boats and crews are closely matched and were are all good mates.”

We wish Shane Connelly excellent luck and great sailing for the Noakes Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race. 

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