Article on GHOST - How do Pittwater Sailing and Hanse Yachts Stack up?
28 November 2010 | Pittwater, NSW, Australia
Brad and Kat McMaster were just 30 years old when they set off from the UK to sail to Australia on board their Hanse 470 Ghost. 941 days and many adventures later they've decided Pittwater sailing is going to be perfect for them. We caught up with them to find out about their journey.
How long have you owned Ghost?
We got her brand new in March 2007 and spent a year getting to know her.
We're racing sailors and we had a fantastic season.
We were 3rd in class in the 2007 Fastnet. This was quite an achievement as the conditions were the second worst in Fastnet's history. 300 yachts started and only 51 finished!
The winds were 30-40 knots but it was the sea state which was causing all the problems. We were beating into a very confused sea with waves in many directions. To add to the drama it was pitch black - there was no moon and no stars.
How did your Hanse 470 cope with the tough conditions?
Ghost coped really well.
We looked after her and managed the sails. But the boat did the rest. She's a strong yacht so she displaced the water with relative ease.
The epoxy resin build of Hanse yachts gives the hull great stiffness and strength. The combination of her size and build strength meant she could muscle through the water.
How was your trip down to Australia?
It was great.
We spent 705 days on board working our way around the Med, across the Atlantic to the Caribbean, through the Panama Canal, into the Pacific and South Pacific and then finally to Australia.
On the trip down to Australia a real highlight was being able to access remote Pacific islands you can only get to on your own boat.
And what made you choose to settle here in Pittwater?
Well we always planned to make Australia our home and we know Pittwater from a previous yacht charter.
We loved our time on Pittwater - last time we explored America and Refuge Bays. Now we want to spend time exploring the whole area on our own boat.
We also want somewhere to race with access to offshore racing as we want to compete regularly. We've raced from Middle Harbour before and it's great, but there's a lot of commercial traffic. That's not an issue here on Pittwater.
We also like Pittwater's proximity to Sydney.
If we're working in the City in the future we will be able to escape on a Friday night and find peace and quiet pretty quickly!
In fact Pittwater sailing ticks all the boxes for us.
At the moment we're based around Bayview Anchorage Marina as it gives us all the facilities we need.
And Ghost is for sale?
Yes she is.
We don't need a yacht this big now. We're planning to downsize a little and focus on one design racing.
We're looking at all our options including boat share. Having owned our own boat the idea of yacht syndication where the boat is managed with the convenience of turning up to a fuelled, clean boat which is ready to go is very appealing to us... especially if you want to focus on work and having a young family.
Ghost is for sale through Windcraft Australia
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