A chat with the Skipper.
Festival of Sails: What is your best memory/achievement sailing on this boat?
Kamatsu Azzurro: The boat and its story are well known in Melbourne. Until I bought it, the boat was always from Sandringham (1981 – 2014). Very successfully sailed by Ron White and his family and many local Melbourne sailors over the 80’s and 90’s, when the boat was called Shenandoah 11.If you do a google search on Shenadoah 11, Ron White, Sandringham Yacht Club, you will see his obituary written by the SYC with more detailed history. In the old days, apparently this boat won everything down there! In fact the ORCV “Ocean racer of the year” award is a model of this boat as the trophy!
My story of how I bought the boat in early 2014 is well known in Sydney and a small version of the story and our best results are on our boat bio on top yacht. I started to restore it and after 9 months, the boat, now called Azzurro just made the start of the 2014 Hobart race where we finished third in division. A good result which was really it’s first shake down sail!
FOS: What do you love most about your boat?
Komatsu Azzurro: The boat was launched in 1981 and its classic lines make it the most attractive boat in any marina. The boat is a pleasure to sail and there is no better boat when the wind gets up above 30 – 40 knots +.
FOS: How many times have you sailed in FOS?
Komatsu Azzurro: We have never entered before, though I think the boat possibly has?
FOS: Why have you chosen to compete in FOS 2017?
Komatsu Azzurro: The change of dates was the main reason we are able to take part in next years FOS. Added to that, the regatta has a big quality fleet and we are especially looking forward to the passage race. It will be good to bring the boat home and hopefully bring back a few memories for many sailors that started their sailing careers on-board Shenandoah 11!
FOS: Do you have your crew confirmed? If so, mention them here (so we can include them in the FOS blog post). If you don’t have crew yet and would like us to help you find some, let us know!
Komatsu Azzurro: Jim Nixon is my right hand man on Komatsu Azzurro. Jim is from Manly Yacht Club in Sydney and a veteran of 23 Hobart’s. We have some young guys joining us from Hobart (in their 30’s), Aaron Mckibben and Will Keyes. Another Sydney sailor, Ian Dennewald, gives us 5 and there is a spot for one more to give us our usual crew number of 6.
We wish Komatsu Azzurro and Skipper Shane Kearns the best of luck!