While an experienced Victorian father and son combination are battling the clock to make their wish of competing in this year's race come to fruition, a Sydney yachtsman, Tony 'Glark' CABLE and his son Ross have their rides sorted out.
'Glark', as the yachting fraternity knows him, is a Cruising Yacht Club of Australia member and famous ocean racer about to take part in his 40th race to Hobart aboard the legendary Witchdoctor, and in doing so, will join only three others who have reached this magic milestone.
Those who have completed their forty are Tasmania's John 'The Fish' BENNETTO, who holds the record, going for his 43rd race this year, along with Victoria's Lou ABRAHAMS and Sydney's Richard 'Sightie' HAMMOND, who have 40 races each.
While Glark has 39 etched in his old sailing belt, his 27 year old son Ross, is sailing in his first ever race South, choosing a great boat for his first - Peter KURTS' beautiful timber Sparkman & Stephens designed Love & War - overall winner of two Hobart races.
Love & War, built in 1973, is the second oldest boat in the fleet, according to the race organisers, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. She attained her overall wins in 1974 and 1978, with a number of top placings, including winning the 20 Year Veterans division of the 1994 50th Anniversary race.
At 79, skipper Kurts has, in the past few years, included a couple of 'young strong blokes' to compliment his long-time crew, and Ross fits the role nicely. He is a Captain in the Cavalry Regiment of the Australian Army, having just been posted to Sydney from Brisbane.
"In his job, fitness is a must, so I know he will be put to good use on the grinders,"
Glark said today.
Although Ross has limited offshore experience, having only been on a delivery trip back from Hobart on Love & War and competed at the Hahn Premium Hamilton Island Race Week, he did some sailing with the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) and Glark is proud to see his son compete in the race 'I love so much.'
All jokes aside, Cable Snr. undertook his first Sydney-Hobart race on G.C. ORMISTON'S O'Tarni in 1961 - memorable in the fact that the yacht retired. He went on to compete on some of Australia's most famous maxi yachts, including Apollo, Gretel, Condor, Hammer of Queensland, Vengeance, Sovereign and the Volvo 60, Merit.
In his career, Cable has scored two line honours wins - both on yachts belonging to Bernard LEWIS. His first victory came in 1981 aboard Vengeance, in which year they also won the Maxi class, then again in 1987 aboard Sovereign - the year they also won the race overall.
"Actually, over the years, I have placed first (Sovereign), second (Gretel), third (Southerly) and fourth (Taurus) - not a bad innings,"
A bit of a lovable larrikin, Cable's last three races have been sailed on Don MICKLEBOROUGH'S Southerly and the Rum Consortium's Witchdoctor, headed by Maurie CAMERON.
"Yes, I've like being mixed up with all the yahoo's and desperado's in the past, so I want to stay there, I really enjoy them and I enjoy the race itself, I can't think of a better boat to do my 40th on"
"It's a bit of a double celebration too, because Ross celebrates his 28th birthday on December 28. I remember I didn't go to Hobart the year he was born. He was originally due on January 14 and I remember the nurse asking Ada (his wife) if I was getting ready for my son's birth. She said 'no, Matron, he's getting ready to go in the Hobart race,' I don't think the Matron appreciated that. As it turns out, I did miss he race, because he arrived early,"
Apart from his Hobart activities, Cable is a past editor of Offshore Magazine and has, for some years, raised money for the CYCA's Youth Academy each year, through the QLD 25 Hobart Inductees night.