Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Portraits: Andrew Buckland and Freddy Barrett
Blue Water Classics: Portraits of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Andrew Buckland and Freddy Barrett
A: G’day. Bucko. Real name – Andrew Buckland.
F: I’m Freddy Barrett. I’m a Naval Architect, Yacht Designer, and put projects together. Used to work for McConaghy boats, a bit of Volvo stuff and Sparkman & Stephens a long time ago.
A: Can I interrupt on Freddy’s behalf? Probably one of the most experienced NA’s in Australia – if not the most – in respect of ocean racing yachts.
A: My first race was on a British boat called Knockout in a Southern Cross Cup team, owned by Sir Max Aitken. That was my first race, we had three cold fronts, in the era where we had to have reefing headsails. What could possibly go wrong there, Fred? Anything?
F: No, it all goes wrong.
A: All goes perfectly wrong. And I was a sailmaker then, so… I had to sew the 3 foot 5 jib back together in 1977. After the breaking wave got into the rig part. How could that happen, you think?
F: Bad management… unlucky…
A: No, bad luck.
“We’re about to build a foiling 46-footer, probably, for next year’s Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.”
A: We’re about to build a foiling 46-footer, probably, for next year’s race. Subject to a bit of cash.
F: We’re putting together a package, a bit like what we call a Imoca 60 so that the guys can sail around the world…
A: Like a shrunken Hugo Boss, plus a bit more foil and a bit more all-round, so it actually goes upwind properly. And it goes OK in light air, you know…
F: We just want it to break into the next scene, I guess, which will be foiling yachts, knowing full well the limitations and the technical issues that come with it. But Bucko’s the sort of guy who puts together things that gets people involved, and I’m just the guy that tries to solve his problems and find a solution, and make something work, and if it gets on the start line for next year’s Hobart race, which is what we hope to do…
A: Yeah, we’ll have a hard-on.
F: And then we’ll have a—yeah, we’ll have a hard-on, won’t we? We’ll call it Hard-On 45!
Read the full story in my forthcoming publication, Blue Water Classics – due for general release at Christmas 2019!