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  • 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - 'Advantage'

2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - 'Advantage'

2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - 'Advantage'

2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - 'Advantage'

'Advantedge' of a Tasmanian family affair.

For the crew of the Advantedge, this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is poised to become a memorable family affair with six of the crew related to another member. 

The Tasmanian entry’s crew includes three father-and-son pairings: owner and skipper Andrew and Josh Jones (23-years-old), Ross and Bailey Edmunds and Michael and Nick Smart. Their union has not been by chance though. They have all been sailing together for years, even since the three sons – Josh, Bailey and Nick – were racing in Sabots and Lasers.

In those formative years of the boys’ sailing careers, Andrew Jones and his wife Michelle forgot that in their possession, but stored away under cover, was a “50-footer.” Then it dawned on them: why not take the yacht out, then give it a new lease of life and in turn the boys the chance to develop their sailing to the challenge of offshore racing.

“So, we did. One New Year’s Eve, we got her out of the cocoon we had her in and refurbished it and sailed it with the other kids, who were all the same age, and their fathers,” Jones said. “Here we are today. It’s not something that has just come together over a year, but years.” 

Advantedge’s re-build was complete in 2020 and this year he entered the boat’s third Sydney Hobart. The Inglis 47 is also one of seven Tasmanian entries from the 103 still in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race.  

Usually moored in Hobart, Advantedge is registered with the Port Dalrymple Yacht Club in the north of Tasmania. “We are pretty much a 50-50 set-up, 50 in the south, 50 on the north,” said Jones.

Advantedge is not alone when it comes to showcasing strong family ties within the crew. Defending Line Honours champion boat Andoo Comanche, from NSW, has a crew rich in family connections, starting with skipper John ‘Herman’ Winning Jr. 

His sister Jamie will be racing on the maxi yacht in her first Sydney Hobart. Also on board will be their father John. Brothers Nathan and Peter Dean are also in the crew; it is 25 years since they lost their father, John, who was aboard Winston Churchill in the 1998 Sydney Hobart. 


Andoo Comanche at the 2023 SOLAS Big Boat Challenge | Andrea Francolini/CYCA


On another maxi, Wild Thing 100 (Qld), owner/skipper Grant Wharington has his son Oli and daughter Georgia (her maiden Hobart) as crew; and the father-daughter pairing of Adrian and Lisa Seiffert. Anthony Johnston, owner of URM Group, has three of his brothers as crew, David, Nick, Andrew. 

On Helsal 3, skipper Rob Fisher will be joined his wife Kerrie, their daughter Elizabeth and son Brandon, the last three for their debuts. And there are two sets of identical twins, with Louis and Marc Ryckmans racing their Volstar Yeah Baby, while Louis and Antony Gango are aboard Michael Martin’s Frantic from Newcastle. 

On Mako from Newcastle, there are two father-son pairs with Greg and Marcus Busch and Tim and Hugh Dodds, whereas Tim’s oldest son Brad will be on Smuggler. 

There are many other families sailing together on the same and different vessels, such as Brad Kellett on Antipodes, while his father David is the Chief Radio Operator on the Radio Relay Vessel, JBW. And Rupert Henry, owner of Mistral, last year’s Two-Handed overall winner, will sail against his father, David on Philosopher.


Written by Rupert Guinness | RSHYR Media