Ingham: Iconic race was a learning curve
“A humbling experience”. That is how Mustafa Ingham summed up his offshore racing debut in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.
The Bermudian was among the crew on board the yacht Infotrack that finished fourth with an elapsed time of one day 19hr 49min 31sec in the closest battle for line honours in the 73-year history of the iconic race.
“It was a humbling experience and the highs were in the first half of the race when we were doing 27 knots,” Ingham said.
Ingham and his team-mates remained in contention for overall line honours heading down the final stretch of the 628 nautical-mile race with only five miles separating the four remaining super maxis in the fleet.
However, the light air conditions ultimately took its toll.
“The boat was just a little too heavy to keep up with all the others in the light wind,” said Ingham, who represented Team BDA in the Red Bull Youth America's Cup in the Great Sound last year.
“It was a pretty easy race because of the conditions. I did five to seven watches and my primary role was mid bow/bow; just sorting head sails, moving them forward and aft, setting up for hoists and drops.”
The 22-year-old obtained offshore yachtmaster status after completing an apprenticeship at the Volvo Ocean Race Academy last summer during which he met one of his mentors who was influential in getting him involved in the Sydney Hobart Race.
“Many thanks to Mitch White, Tony Mutter and Joe Akacich [the kipper],” Ingham said. “I enjoyed it and look forward to more.
“I still have heaps to learn but I would love to do another Sydney Hobart Race.”
Infotrack is owned by Australian entrepreneur Christian Beck and is a former Sydney Hobart Race winner and course record holder, as well as a two-times Newport Bermuda Race winner.
Wild Oats XI claimed line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race for a record ninth time after covering the distance in an elapsed time of one day 19hr 7min 21sec.
Comanche, who holds course record, finished third in an elapsed time of one day 19hr 36min 9sec.
The super maxi is also a past Newport Bermuda Race winner and holder of the race record. which stands at 34:42:53.