Jim Delegat, owner-skipper of the race-winning V70 Giacomo, is a man who chooses his words carefully. He is both scientist and orator. He leaves nothing to chance. One understands why, on the boat, he attracts respect, he is successful.
One is reminded of the 2013 overall winner Darryl Hodgkinson, owner of Victoire. Hodgkinson is a plastic surgeon; he plotted and planned his course that year with surgical efficiency and it paid off.
Delegat, with two sons on board, and who were next to him with sailing master Steve Cotton for the photo opportunity, knew there was another to thank. His wife Kate. She couldn't be in the official hero photo, but without her overall shore management, it wouldn't have happened.
“I want you in the photos on the boat, after this,” he whispered as she waited a couple of steps out of frame, then he shuffled the three crew in the order that suited him.
Giacomo bears the name of Jim Delegat’s grandfather, while his father founded the Oyster Bay vineyard and which the family runs. The boat’s pedigree is impeccable. It won the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean race as Groupama 4.
In 2013 he brought the cream of Kiwi yachting on the crew for its first Hobart campaign, including Cotton.
He said at the time: “I am 64. I have spent 25 years on and off boats. I feel my time has come. Giacomo is the boat to do the job. She carries the spirit of my grandfather.”
They finished sixth across the line. Unfinished business.
In 2014 Giacomo was dismasted off the Tasmanian coast.
In 2015 they planned.
In 2016 they mounted their assault against the biggest guns in Australian ocean racing, and they won.
By Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR media