Insights

John Murkowski Interview Sydney Hobart

Before the start of the Sydney Hobart Race, which is now underway, Pensar’s John Murkowski was interviewed by Sail-World about Joy Ride and their preparations for the race. An excerpt is below and you can read the full article here.

“When one thinks of serious Corinthian-level offshore ocean racing, four signature events come to mind, namely the Newport Bermuda Race, the Fastnet Race, the Transpac Race and the Sydney Hobart. While these races vary in length from roughly 600 to 2,000-plus nautical miles, they are all time-honored contests that test skippers’ and crews’ abilities to prepare, train and execute as a team, usually in the face of challenging offshore conditions. And while all four of these races have delivered their share of nasty weather over the years, the Sydney Hobart Race unfurls on the historically roughest patch of water and-as a result-has developed a bit of a matching reputation.

That said, it’s tough to beat “The Hobart” when it comes to dramatic racecourses, beginning with the race’s iconic Boxing Day (read: December 26) start in Sydney Harbor, followed by the long run south along the coast and the crossing of Bass Straight, a place where the seafloor rises much closer to ocean surface, often creating big waves.

Once across Bass Straight, racers pass the iconic organ pipes at Tasmania’s Cape Raoul and then make a final push up the Derwent River to the finishing line and-depending on when one finishes racing-the start of some well-deserved New Year’s celebrations.

While all participating sailors must negotiate these same conditions and racecourse challenges, North American sailors have a significantly higher hill to climb, given their antipodean position relative to the starting line. This in turn requires a significantly higher level of planning, boat preparation and crew commitment, as well as the confidence to take on an entirely new course and challenge the Aussies at a game that they invented, and which they play at an incredibly high level.

Enter John Murkowski, the owner and skipper of the well-sailed, Seattle-based J/122E Joy Ride, and the lone American-flagged entry in the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. While Murkowski and Joy Ride are no strangers on Puget Sound’s sailing scene, they first made international news by winning the Vic-Maui 2018 race on corrected time. Impressive, yes, but even more so given that this was Murkowski’s and Joy Ride’s first Vic-Maui race.

Sound like a familiar challenge?

I checked in with Murkowski, via email, to learn more about his team’s preparations and ambitions for their first Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.” Read more…