Latest News

Get It On – Sailing a Small Boat into Big Adventures

Get It On – Sailing a Small Boat into Big Adventures

By Scott Altman

Garry Holt and his crew have never been ones to shy away from a challenge. Their most recent adventures have come along with the addition of Holt’s new sailing race boat – an Adams 10. This impressive boat has always been fast for its class. However, Holt and his team decided to push its limits in what can only be called a sailing venture that rivals the story of David and Goliath.

When discussing Holt’s goals for refitting this boat, he explained, “My whole approach was to spec this boat up to IRC standards and to win against the big boys in their two- and three million-dollar boats.” The Adams 10, named Get It On, was meant to be a sailing race boat that could take on and beat multi-million dollar boats even when sailed by some of the best. Then, in November 2021, that’s just what they did at the Queensland IRC 8 PHS Championship. Garry Holt and the crew of Get It On took first place outright for the whole regatta.

This impressive victory was the result of the skilled team that makes up Get It On’s crew. In our interview, Holt proudly stated, “We had an amazingly good crew. It’s a team effort. There are certain manoeuvres that have to be carried out. It’s no different to game fishing. If you don’t have a good crew, then you won’t get results.”

The crew for this race comprised 7 members. Steve McConaghy, a multiple world champion in sailing, acted as the sailing master and ran the crew. The crew also included Caedric Reader, co-owner of Evolution Sails and an excellent sailor. Emma Bailey also joined the team. She’s an Australian Sailing Squad member and was noted as a great addition to the crew.

Next on the roster was Fred Bestel, a legend in the entertainment industry and no stranger to competing in sailing events. He’s the owner of Auric Quest, a notable racing monohull, which won the 2002 Sydney Hobart Regatta. Michael Austin was another welcome addition. He’s a life-long sailor with outstanding ability. On the bow was Tony Harman, a long-time friend and crewmate to Hold and McConaghy, who all raced together in Thailand.

Last, but certainly not least, was expert sailor Garry Holt. He holds 55 years of experience sailing and has carved his name in the Australian and international sailing scene. It was this culmination of incredible sailors that led to such an amazing feat.

So, what’s next for Get It On? Currently, Holt has modified this boat further for the Southport Yacht Club’s Qoin Sail Paradise Regatta on January 3, 2022. Holt had this to say: “We have been spending quite a bit of money and getting a specific special carbon fibre mast and boom, new redesigned sails by local sailmaker Caedric Reader, and a different rudder. The boat’s going to be even better and a lot more competitive than what it was up to in our last race.”

However, competitive sailing this intense doesn’t come without its risk. On a few occasions, Holt has been faced with some dire situations. In the 2014 Hobart Yacht Race, he was swept overboard twice, but caught a lucky break saying, “It mustn’t have been my time to go as I was fortunate enough to be washed back onto the boat.” In another event, Holt’s crew sailed from Bass Strait to Hobart with the wind never falling below 68 knots the entirety of the race. It turned into a one-and-half day battle against massive sea conditions he compared to feeling like climbing the Swiss Alps. The aftermath left him physically drained and mentally exhausted.

The future for Get It On and its crew is certainly one that is cause for anticipation. Yet, that’s not all that Garry Holt has set his sights on. He’s also in the process of purchasing a JPK 1080 racer-cruiser sailboat to use in the 2022 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, stating, “We’re going to take on this challenge to win the Hobart outright in a two-handed boat, which is definitely going to be a challenge.” Holt promised his late son that he would win this race. While he’s come close twice, he’s more determined than ever to take home first place next year. Make sure to keep your eye on this event and Garry Holt, who will be representing the Gold Coast and Southport Yacht Club.





Published in print January-March 2022

Related Events Articles

Similar Posts From Events Category