Rum backers for Farr 36OD

Stuart Gilbert heads for Hayman Island Race Week

Thursday August 5th 2004, Author: Rob Mundle, Location: Australasia
Only two weeks after having his Inner Circle ‘Green Dot’ Rum declared the world’s best at the prestigious 2004 International Wine and Spirit Competition in London, Australian Olympian Stuart Gilbert is now turning his attention to winning the Hayman Regatta with the yacht that carries the same name as the beverage.

The yacht Inner Circle Rum is a Farr 36 One Design, a high performance sportsboat that can achieve incredible speeds downwind under massive spinnakers set from the masthead. It is the first of the class to come to Australia from the builders, DK Yachts in Malaysia, and it recently won Division 2 in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s winter series on Sydney Harbour.

Gilbert was a member of the Australian Olympic sailing team in Los Angeles in 1984 and in the 1980’s was a world champion in sailboarding. These days he finds the Farr 36 One Design delivers a satisfaction similar to what he experienced on the high-speed sailboards.

Inner Circle Rum, the product, was a favourite with Australian sailors and the public before the brand was sold and disappeared from the market two decades ago. Now Gilbert, who lives in Sydney, is using the profile of the yacht to impress upon the sailing community that the brand is back and as good as ever. He bought the label little more than two years ago and since putting it back into production has seen it regularly recognised by international judges as the best.

The yacht’s sailing master, Stuart Broom, says he’s looking forward to Inner Circle Rum turning heads on the long downwind legs that are a feature of the distance races at the Hayman Regatta, which will be staged from August 30 to September 4.

“This is a no-nonsense sportsboat that just takes off downwind in the right conditions,” said Broom. “We’ll are looking forward to some great tradewind sailing up there. The crews on bigger boats often get sore necks looking back at us as we charge towards them. I’m hoping we cause lots of sore necks at Hayman.”

Owner Gilbert is hoping that he will be collecting the impressive crystal trophy that recognises the Champion Yacht at Hayman: “It will sit very nicely alongside the trophy we collected in London for our ‘Green Dot’ rum."

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