Short blurb: Stan is one of theocean racing’s most famous navigators plus a highly accomplished engineer. Since 1992 he has set 22 sailing records as navigator. Special report in Yachting World on Stan.
Background: I grew up in California, USA, where I started sailing at 6 or 7. I raced Lasers and then offshore, then, unusually, I developed an interest in navigation. Even as a teenager I was navigating offshore races; it was different in those days – that was celestial navigation with a sextant!
Been part of the Wild Oats program since: This will be my first race on the boat. I’ve done 7 Hobarts.
Toughest part of the race: The Rolex Sydney Hobart is interesting in that it takes place in variable westerlies, so you are on a north-south course that is transiting through a part of the weather system where there are rapidly moving systems. This is what makes it fascinating for the navigator. Plus, you have the East Australian Current, which is strong enough to be important for a fast boat.
One item you always pack: I pair it down to an absolute minimum, but I always pack warm socks.
Being on the start line on Boxing Day: Is hectic with all the helicopters and the noise. It’s really hard to keep your head focused on the stuff that matters and to communicate. It is critically important to focus on what is important. Ricko does a great job at starting.