13 Mar 2008
"Sunstone" has been Tom and Vicky Jackson's permanent home, occasional race-boat and long-term cruiser for the past 27 years. During the 1980s and 90s they were successful in many offshore events in the UK including several class wins in the Fastnet Race. In 1992 and 1996, "Sunstone" was selected for the English team in the Royal Ocean Racing Club's Comodores' Cup for three boat teams from sailing nations. In 1996, the English team won the event.
In 1997, Tom and Vicky retired from their full-time jobs in education and two weeks later sailed away on a world cruise, which has so far lasted 10 years and 80,000+ miles. They have been a far north as Alaska, south to Cape Horn and past all five of the great southern capes. On the way they have also continued to race, participating in the 1998 Bermuda Race, the 2000 Sydney-Hobart, the 2003 Swiftsure and numerous other regattas.
So you could say they have had quite a build up for the 2008 SSANZ Two Handed Round North Island Race !
Sunstone sailed consistantly on all the legs to win her division on PHRF as well as overall PHRF and IRC. As an older boat she benefitted from one of the lower handicaps in the fleet and enjoyed the benefit of the time continuing to tick away when the whole fleet parked up numerous times around the course. Possibly the key to winning the race was Sunstone's performance on Leg 3, her worst leg. This was the one leg that definately favoured the faster boats yet Sunstone managed to still score a creditable result and move into the lead overall on PHRF.
Tom and Vicky are joint skippers and always seem to be smiling, mind you with the way they both sail "Sunstone" they have every reason too ! With the success of Vicky, the only female in the race, it will be interesting to see if more girls will have a go next time round.
Congratulation's team "Sunstone" for a job well done and all the best for whatever your next adventure may be.