Scallywag skipper David Witt: We want to be first Asian Supermaxi to win the Sydney to Hobart

Scallywag skipper David Witt reflects on finishing third in the Sydney to Hobart race, and looks to the future of Lee Seng-huang’s Supermaxi

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 19 January, 2017, 3:20pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 21 January, 2017, 8:49pm

I’ve sailed in over 20 Hobarts, and around the world a few times, so it was disappointing to break a record but not win the race.

The weather proved good for my boss’s first Hobart. SH [Lee Seng-huang] certainly shows plenty of spirit. We were galloping the whole way. I’ve never before gone to Hobart and not had to sail upwind.

Our goal is to be the first Asian team to win Hobart line honours. This will be a year of development to make it happen.

We have kept a number of our [previous Ragamuffin 100] professional crew who fly up for the various regattas when we need them.

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They have specialist roles that can’t always be filled in all parts of the world. Despite this, we want to widen the pool and introduce some new young blood from the region to our team.

Campaigning for a Hobart takes at least a full year. Our preparation for this year’s race has already started.

We’ve had a much bigger head start this year, after the purchase completion last July.

We had a go at the Sydney to Southport Race, the Hong Kong China Coast Regatta, the Hong Kong to Hainan Race and Hamilton Island Race Week.

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We made some refit and modifications to the boat. This year, we will sail in Japan, to Vietnam and the San Fernando race to the Philippines, among others.

Storage of boats is an issue in Hong Kong. When she’s not racing or on delivery, Scallywag is kept in Subic Bay as there is not a suitable facility.

Yachting is set for massive growth, particularly in the region, and I hope to see this change in Hong Kong to attract international teams and events.

The growth in yachting in the region was witnessed by two entries in the Sydney to Hobart from China this year,(a TP 52 called Ark 323 and a Cookson 50 called UBOX ), an entry from Japan and for the first time, one from Korea. It’s Asia’s century and we are set to be the first Asian Supermaxi to win the Sydney to Hobart.