Blue Robinson gets access-all-areas onboard Ian Oatley's ground-breaking 42ft Reichel-Pugh 'rotivator' Q on Sydney harbour

Ian Oatley called me on Friday and invited me to race on his 42ft all-carbon flying-keeler Q at the weekend. That was the good news. The bad news was that the forecast was woeful: less than 10kt forecast for the CYC race on Sunday. In this wide brown land people have been known to pray for rain. I was praying for breeze...

At noon on Sunday Sydney harbour was a sheet of glass. Winter racing here is either frustrating or frightening – with light zephyrs or roaring westerlies. We motored among the fleet and waved to friends. Every crewmember on every boat stared at us. The Q is beautifully built by McConaghy, entirely of carbon with just a clear coat on the hull and no antifoul to spoil the shine – so it is certainly a good looker, but everyone wanted to see the keel. After a short postponement a light northerly shuffled down the harbour and we were off.

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