Canon gets third

Mike Slade's 97ft yacht finishes Rolex Sydney Hobart

Saturday December 28th 2002, Author: Peter Campbell, Location: Australasia
British property developer Mike Slade has steered his luxury 97 foot maxi Canon into third place across the line 2 hours behind line honours winner Alfa Romeo but said that he would love to bring the boat back another time.

“This is the perfect boat for the Hobart race but this year they just weren’t our conditions.”

In a frustrating race the heavier Canon was looking for heavy winds and instead found itself in one of the gentlest Hobarts ever. “We had a Caribbean cruise for the first two days, but that’s not what we wanted at all.

“The conditions were very good for Alfa Romeo.”

Despite the light conditions in those first days Canon did a remarkable job of keeping in touch with Alfa Romeo, holding second place consistently, but Friday night proved a crucial turning point for them. “The second night was very sloppy, very light air. We need grunt to get going. Grundig came through us and as the wind started came up Grundig started to surf, reaching more than 20 knots while we were still only able to reach 18.

“We were looking over our shoulder at Nicorette, Brindabella and Australian Scandia Wild Thing more than thinking we could catch Grundig in those conditions.

“Still the best part of the race was the last day. We were flying at more than 20 knots. And the scenery (down the Tasmanian coast) was fantastic. Normally you do it at night and in heavy weather and you can’t see it.”

Slade said that Canon will probably have to lifted out of the water after hitting a whale on Thursday. The whale hit the boat twice, rupturing a water tank on board, though Slade said the incident did not slow the boat down.

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