Shane Kearns found the former Shenandoah II nearly sinking in early 2014. He bought her cheaply on his credit card and spent more restoring her, including adding some modern touches like a Code Zero, “and a new staysail which has stopped us rolling like a pig,” he says. The boat was built for Ron White, Sandringham YC commodore from ‘74 to ’79, who died in 2012. White raced locally, but also contested the 50th Sydney Hobart in 1994, with the renamed Commonwealth Bank Shenandoah II, and won Division H with a faster finishing time than the winners of Divisions F and G.
Last July, Kearns went to his former skipper John Walker’s funeral, where he ran into other ‘Impeccable’ crew members, Alex Seja, Duncan McRae, Felicity Nelson and Jim Nixon, who joined him for the 2014 Hobart in Walker’s honour, and will do so again. They finished 33rd overall, seventh in Division 4, fourth in 30 Year and sixth in 20 Year Veterans in last year’s Hobart. Kearns says ‘Gentleman John’, had a hand in their 2015 Gold Coast race win, but his greatest thrill was beating Roger Hickman (Wild Rose) overall and in Division. “The only thing that could top that would be to beat Roger in the Hobart – and to wear the Rolex watch,” Kearns reckons.
|Skipper||Shane Kearns (11)|
|Crew||A Seja (13), D Thomas (14), D McRae (14), J Nixon (21), F Nelson (20)|
|Type||S & S 34|