Words by: JPS
If the top prize in Rolex's rollicking Sydney to Hobart race were given to the coolest yacht to cross the finish line, Chinese Whisper would have won hands-down.
The blacked-out 62-footer designed by Judel Vrolijk and built by the UK's Green Marine was actually fifth over the line behind Maseratis yacht and the unstoppable Comanche owned by tech billionaire Jim Clarke and helmed by his supermodel wife (but that's another story). But it not only won first place in its division but made all the others look like cheap childrens' toys. Renowned skipper Rupert Henry of New South Wales, Australia captained the ultra-light carbon fiber hulled fully optimized yacht, which he bought last year.
And there is perhaps no better example of if you buy cheap, you buy twice. Despite its razor sharp looks and state-of-the-art rig, the yacht was in fact built way back in 2009, and was originally christened Jethou. As Jethou it won the Maxi division at Palma Vela in 2012 and scored victories at Copa del Rey, Les Voiles de St. Tropez, the Maxi Rolex World Championship and the Giraglia Rolex Cup. Not half bad. At last year's Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race sponsored by Land Rover, her first race as Chinese Whisper, she finished second on line and second overall. Right before Sydney to Hobart she took both line and overall honors in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Bird Island Race. So we'd say Rupert's pretty chuffed with his hand-me-down right now.
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