Co-skipper change on GOR Class40 Cessna Citation
Scott Cavanough is joining Conrad Colman as co-skipper on Class40 Cessna Citation for GOR Legs 4 & 5
19 March, 2012 | by Oliver Dewar
After 22,000 miles and 104 days of racing in the double-handed, Global Ocean Race (GOR), the Kiwi skipper of Class40 Cessna Citation and overall leader of the GOR, Conrad Colman, is making his fourth co-skipper change for Legs 4 and 5 and will be racing with Australian sailor, Scott Cavanough, for the two final legs through the South and North Atlantic.
Colman sailed Leg 1 from Palma, Mallorca, to Cape Town with Spanish Mini 6.50 sailor, Hugo Ramon; for the Indian Ocean’s Leg 2, the British Figaro specialist Sam Goodchild joined Cessna Citation delivering a win in Wellington, New Zealand and South African yachtsman, Adrian Kuttel was co-skipper for Leg 3 across the Pacific and around Cape Horn taking first place in Punta del Este, Uruguay.
Colman and his new co-skipper, Scott Cavanough, met at the start of the 2009 Mini Transat and have kept in contact since. “It is fantastic having done a lot of successful blind dating with co-skippers in the GOR that I now have Scotty for two legs of the race,” says 28 year-old Colman of his double-handed partner for the leg to Charleston and the final leg of the circumnavigation across the North Atlantic to Les Sables d’Olonne. “I think Scotty has got a lot of complimentary experience,” he adds.
Cavanough has an immensely diverse sailing background from racing in the Sabot Nationals in his native Australia in the early 1990’s, to the rarefied air of the international superyacht circuit and the polar opposite of Mini 6.50 racing. As Colman was crossing the start line of GOR Leg 1 with Cessna Citation on 25 September last year in Palma, Cavanough was 500 miles to the north in La Rochelle at the start line of the Mini Transat with his Mini 6.50, Skippy. While Cessna Citation was closing in on GOR’s Leg 1 Scoring Gate at Fernando de Noronha off the coast of Brazil, Cavanough’s Mini was hit by a commercial ship 1,000 miles from the finish in Salvador de Bahia: “I lost the rig and was taking a lot of water a long way from the coast and didn’t have enough supplies to get to land safely,” explains the 30-year-old Australian who was rescued by one of the event’s support vessels. “Sailing with Conrad in the Global Ocean Race is a good opportunity after what happened in my last race to get back on the horse again,” he adds.
Cavanough has logged plenty of offshore racing miles, including three Sydney to Hobart Races, the Sydney to Mooloolaba Race, the Brisbane to Gladstone Race and he took 15th place in the 2006 ARC. He also has big-boat, inshore racing experience joining the Wally yacht, Kenora, in 2005 for the Maxi Worlds in Sardinia for three years before moving to the J Class Ranger for 2007-2010 as First Mate, competing in the Mediterranean and Caribbean circuit including the Superyacht Cup in Palma, the Maxi Worlds, Antigua Classic Week, the Newport Bucket and Les Voiles de St. Tropez and has also raced on the big-name maxis, Alfa Romeo and Leopard 3.
However, other than competing in the ArMen race last year, Cavanough’s first real taste of Class40 sailing is with Cessna Citation in the South Atlantic off Punta del Este: “All the sailing I’ve done so far was on Class40s that aren’t as new and as powerful as this boat and you really notice the difference,” he observes of Colman’s race-winning Akilaria RC2.
With a fortnight to the start of Leg 4 from Uruguay to Charleston, the New Zealand – Australian duo are cramming in as much sailing as possible while working on their Class40 in Puerto Punta del Este. “We’ve got no major work-issues on the boat,” confirmed Colman over the weekend. “Just a bit of rigging work, which is Scotty’s speciality, a little bit of electronic work and servicing the sails,” he continues. “We’ve already broken the back of the rigging work, so the job list is getting smaller,” says Colman. “We’re both competitive people and we’ve got the opportunity to prepare well for this leg with less of a rush than I’ve had in the past stopovers, so it’s a great opportunity to prepare things perfectly for the leg to Charleston.”
Throughout the six months of the GOR, Colman has been supported by Mark Blomfield, an independent agent for Cessna who has visited each of the event’s stopovers: “Scott is a very experienced young man and not dissimilar to Conrad in some ways,” says Blomfield. “With Scott doing the next two legs, Conrad will now have some continuity and I like what I see.”