LOCAL SAILOR SET FOR DEBUT SYDNEY TO HOBART CHALLENGE
Rebecca Connor has been busily preparing to set sail on the world famous Boxing Day ocean sailing event, the Sydney to Hobart. In its 75th year, Rebecca will sail her 47.3ft Beneteau Clipper Oceanis, “Wonderland” for her first attempt at this gruelling challenge. Wonderland was commissioned in 2006 and has since done a lap of the globe so is perfectly set up for both cruising and racing, and is considered to be one of the best designs to come out of Beneteau.
At home at the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club, Wonderland is a regular competitor on Newcastle Harbour, sailing in both mid-week twilight races and Sunday ocean races. Rebecca takes to the seas on Boxing Day as skipper of the 8 strong crew comprising 4 women and 4 men. Six of whom are local Novocastrians.
Mindful of the physical effort that this 630 nautical mile requires over 4-5 days depending on the weather, Rebecca has been training at Balance Mayfield to ensure she achieves a level of fitness that she feels confident with in taking to the seas.
When we spoke to Rebecca about her preparedness for this challenge, the 49 year old was super confident that she was ready to tackle the Pacific Ocean.
“I have been swimming 50 laps in a 50m pool three times a week for the last year however when I seriously began preparing for the race I realised pretty quickly that at 49 I didn’t have the core strength needed to grind winches and hold the helm in 40+knt winds so I signed up with Wests and engaged the services of Casey Warwick as my Personal Trainer.
I have been meeting with Casey three times a week and she has been putting me through my paces. Casey joined us on Wonderland on a Sunday race to understand what physical strength would be required and tailored a training program to suit. I feel that work has paid off and have little apprehension now about undertaking such a big challenge! That, and a crew I can rely on will get us to the finish line!”
Balance Collective is a proud supporter of Rebecca’s plight and viewers may spot the Balance logo which will take pride of place on Wonderland’s boom and transom, so keep your eyes peeled! You can also follow ‘Wonderland Yacht' on Facebook page and see her progress.
We’re looking forward to chatting with Rebecca about her achievement once she enters the calm waters of the River Derwent. Good luck!