The longer Melbourne to Hobart race was cancelled earlier this year when organisers realised lockdown meant there would not be enough time to prepare but the shorter Melbourne to Devonport event will go ahead.
Nick Fahey, 26, will skipper his family’s yacht Cartouche for the first time in the Melbourne to Devonport.
He’ll set off with his father Steven – who owns the yacht – his 23-year-old brother Damon and friend Glen Merchant from Portsea on Sunday.
“It was a bit of a ‘hey son do you want to do it?’,” Nick says when asked how his first chance at skippering in a race came about.
“It’s something I have done before, taking the lead in deliveries to or from race start. [My dad] found more than anything it was taking a bit of a weight of his back, being able to delegate that responsibility.
“For me, being a skipper is something I have always wanted to do since I started racing about seven years ago. It is such a great opportunity, the boat in the family and the three of us sailing together constantly for those seven years and being able step up now is so great, I couldn’t pass it up.”
It’s been a bit of a mad dash for all the crews in preparation for the 195 nautical mile race across Bass Strait to Devonport.
Sailing was off limits in Melbourne for a lot of 2020 because of the pandemic, and the crews only recently got confirmation that the race would go ahead.
“[The need to train and prepare] really is a constant thing, with COVID it was very hard this year. Usually we’d prepare for 12 months for an end-of-year-race like this,” Nick said.
“This year it’s been so tight because the race wasn’t confirmed until about a month ago.”