SYDNEY-TO-HOBART: Border boy now man on a mission

EDITORIAL: Julian carries sailing hopes

JULIAN Clements has sailed a long way since he first joined the Albury Wodonga Yacht Club as a three-year-old.

Today he will embark on his second Sydney-to-Hobart yacht race.

He will be on board Jazz Player, one of 94 yachts competing in the race that turns a national focus to Sydney Harbour.

His boat will carry the Think Pink Foundation name and logo to raise awareness for breast cancer.

Mr Clements, 20, said he had first crewed for the race in 2011 when the boat took 98 hours for a trip that can take the big boats half that time or less.

“Hopefully, we’ll do it a bit quicker this year,” he said.

“I have no idea how long it will take — it just depends on what the weather decides to do.”

Mr Clements said the crews would be under close scrutiny at the start of the race on Sydney Harbour today and he tried to ignore the crowds and concentrate on his job.

“It would be just devastating to break something on the line because you were mucking around,” he said.

“You take it seriously but when you do stop and take it in and have a laugh, that’s partly why you want to be there.”

Mr Clements, who recently finished a boat-building apprenticeship, said it was most rewarding to pull into Hobart with its wharf flooded with people.

“Everyone is happy once you get there. You’re bought a slab of beer and everyone has fun,” he said.

“I do it for fun, the experience and the challenge.”

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