Never too old to sail at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week
Tuesday, 21 August 2012
An avid and very experienced sailor is taking to the high seas for his first Audi Hamilton Island Race Week at 82 years of age. It may have more than eight decades and a long trip from the Swan River in Western Australia to be part of Australia’s premiere keelboat regatta, but it’s been well worth it.
Jorgensen is aboard Condor, a famous Australian IOR maxi which took line honours in the Sydney Hobart in the 1980s, with his family for Race Week. It’s his first time at Hamilton Island and he describes it as ‘like paradise’.
Jorgensen’s daughter April said for years she has also wanted to be part of Audi Hamilton Island Race Week. She joked this week that the family’s holidays are arranged to suit her father, adding ‘this year was a prime opportunity for him to go for a sail’.
Condor is a full-time charter boat, operated by Prosail Australia. Owner/skipper David Molloy is a regular at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week and is chuffed that at 83 feet, Condor is the second largest boat behind Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI.
Molloy offered the experienced octogenarian an opportunity to make his mark at the helm steering the mighty Condor in light winds last Saturday, the opening day of Race Week.
Jorgensen usually sails once a week in his hometown on the opposite side of the country on his 63 footer so he’s used to big boat sailing, but hasn’t steered anything as sizeable as Condor. He admits it was ‘certainly a good learning experience’.
The World War II veteran sailed for years before being sent to war. After returning he took 20 years off to build a house and raise a family before making his sailing comeback.
This week he’s soaking up the atmosphere of Race Week and Hamilton Island and after a long day on the water amazingly he’s still got enough energy to enjoy some of the après racing events, including last night’s ‘Tastes of the Sea’ seafood buffet at Sails restaurant.
‘For me this week is as much about the camaraderie, and the feeling is out of this world’.
Luxury carmaker, Audi, returns as the title sponsor of Hamilton Island Race Week in 2012. The German premium brand will host a range of special events on the island for yacht owners and guests to enjoy during the week.
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By Stephanie Hobbs
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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 21 August 2012 )