Bruce and Drew Taylor have the near perfect method to ensure their 28-race father-son relationship is able to stand the test of time in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Taylor, owner/skipper of the Caprice 40 Chutzpah, is happy to reveal the secret to the record partnership with his son Drew, who lives and works in Hong Kong.
"There is always some squaring up. He comes here to sail with me at Christmas and I go to sail with him in Hong Kong," Taylor said.
"If I give him a hard time on Chutzpah, he’ll give me a hard time on his boat, Ambush. So, we don’t give each other a hard time. We have an amicable agreement."
This year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, will be Taylor’s 41st.
For his son Drew, who first sailed in the race in 1987, it will be a 29th start.
Since they first crewed together in 1987, Taylor has loved seeing his son progress as a sailor.
"It’s one of the reasons I keep going. It’s pretty special to sail with your son," he says.
"I’ll probably stop [racing the Rolex Sydney Hobart] before he does. We get on well on the boat and he fits in well with the crew. One thing I can say, is that he steers better than I do now."
Taylor arrived in Sydney on Sunday night after sailing Chutzpah up from Melbourne to the docks of the CYCA, where she will be moored until the Rolex Sydney Hobart's Boxing Day start.
On Monday, he was back on board preparing Chutzpah for the 628 nautical mile race. Most of his race crew will arrive later this week, with Drew due to join them on Christmas Day.
"We had a good and fine trip up from Melbourne with the principal crew. We got in just before the southerly hit [on Sunday]," Taylor said of his sail to Sydney.
"We have new spinnakers, but we’re generally in the same shape as last year."
Chutzpah is a regular in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, with numerous division wins and a best of second overall in 2014, when she finished a little less than 39 minutes behind Roger Hickman’s Wild Rose. Taylor also finished second in 1990, but on a different Chutzpah.
The Victorian admits that Chutzpah "is not an all-rounder" for all conditions. He is hoping for a northerly wind for Monday's 1pm start.
"We are looking for a downhill slide if we can get it. If we can get a northerly that would be great," Taylor said.
Another father-son pairing will be that of Tim Dodds and his son Hugh on the Sydney 40 Mako, which is owned by a large Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club syndicate, headed by the Club’s CEO, Paul O’Rourke.
Dodds hopes for a better outcome for Mako than last year when she was forced to withdraw off Wollongong with a shredded mainsail, in turn ending his son Hugh’s hopes of a first finish.
The 2021 race still provided 25 year-old Hugh with vital sailing experience that until then had been based on skiff racing.
"He learned that the race was a lot more than [sailing] two laps around the cans," said Dodds, who has another son, Brad, racing on Andy Kearnan and Peter Wrigley's TP52 KOA.
"He learned a lot about management … managing clothes, managing sleep and managing eating.
"It is great sailing with him though. We get on well together [as crewmates]. We know each other’s strengths … of course, him being young, he is at the pointy end and I am at the back."
These are just two of many family combinations in the 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
The start of the race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia and live-and-on-demand on the 7Plus app, as well as on the official race website - rolexsydneyhobart.com - for viewers around the world.
For the full list of entries and more information about the race, visit rolexsydneyhobart.com.
By Rupert Guinness/RSHYR Media