This Australia day 26th of January 2014 Hewsonracing.com and Richard Hewson are proud to announce AUS 816 Mini Transat Campaign for 2015. Richard will be sailing the RG650 AUS 816 nicknamed “Taz” after the Tasmanian Devil, the only carnivorous marsupial remaining in Tasmania, more commonly known for its appearance in the Warner Bros luny tunes cartoon Taz! This campaign will focus on winning the 2015 Mini Transat, but will also involve numerous international races including the famous New Zealand to Australia race the “Trans Tasman”, and races in the Mediterranean and Atlantic in “Taz” where Richard will race against the worlds best solo sailors in some of the toughest races in the world!
Even while faced with incredibly rough weather, Richard overcame constant setbacks as his desire to firstly win and then finish the race and was so obsessed he was willing to put everything on the line. Richard was able to repair his keel after it was nearly ripped out of the boat from a passing fishing trawlers illegal long line, only to be back in the water racing again less than 12 hours later to break his rudder and witness first hand one of the most spectacular wipeouts in Mini history after the forces of the 21 foot yacht surfing down waves at over 18 kts became too extreme for the prototype series class. Not giving up Richard replaced his rudder and continued racing, however the wipeout that occurred during the rudder breakage continued to rear its ugly head and continuous rig problems and the loss of wind instruments from the top of the mast forced Richard into Lanzarote for repairs. Richard attempted to repair the boat within the allocated 72 hours maximum port stopover, however when he put to sea within the 72 hours to continue repairs and keep racing he realised that the boat was not fit to continue racing across the Atlantic and prudence overcame honour and pride, forcing him back into Lanzarote.
Richards dedication and obsession to win the Mini Transat was noticed by press world wide and numerous articles were published around the world attracting unprecedented and invaluable press. The lessons learnt in the 2013 edition of the Mini Transat have only made Richard better, smarter and more determined to win the next edition of the Mini Transat. “The AUS 816 “Taz” is one of the first RG650’s and we have used her as a test bed to improve all the RG650’s in the future. When I started the 2013 Mini Transat AUS 816 Zhik was in fine form and we had made some awesome modifications to enhance the boats speed and performance. As we raced in conditions I have never faced in the RG650 I continued to fine tune the boat and record data from the experience, and If I was not forced to abandon the race, or we re-started from Lanzarote as planned I think I would have won the Mini Transat… If I can start my next campaign where I left off in 2013 I have an brilliant chance of winning the 2015 edition of the Mini Transat”.
To race and win the 2015 edition of the Mini Transat Richard needs to raise over 80,000 euro in sponsorship and donations. Richard has vowed to work flat out to raise as much of this money as possible working in the Offshore industry and as yacht captain and navigator of various racing yachts in his spare time. “The financial milestone is my biggest challenge, to raise 80,000 euro in twelve months in todays economic climate will be hard, however for anybody who can invest in this campaign they are guaranteed to be well rewarded with publicity around the globe!”