Family values

Its a rare occasion that father and son ever get to do a Sydney Hobart together. This year, the Taylors will be lining up for an unprecedented 27 Hobarts with each other.

Written by Jack O'Rourke
Photography by Kurt Arrigo / Carlo Borlenghi

20 December 2019


Bruce Taylor has done 38 Hobarts, sailing his first Hobart on Sunburst in 1980, then sailed with Peter Rowsthorn on Challenge II in 1984. Since 1986, he has owned six Chutzpahs, taking them all to Hobarts and scoring multiple divisional placings along the way.

For the 75th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht, Bruce Taylor will race his Reichel Pugh-designed Caprice 40 Chutzpah, launched in 2007.

He will be joined on board Chutzpah by his son Drew. From age 12, Drew was sailing offshore, doing yacht deliveries and races up and down the east coast of Australia.

Drew did his first Sydney Hobart at age 16, back before age restrictions, and has since done every run to Hobart with his father. Drew now lives in Hong Kong, but returns every year to do the Sydney Hobart.

“We have a very special bond. It’s a great opportunity for us to reconnect during the year, and spend time together doing something we both love to do,” says Drew.

It’s a privilege to sail with your son. I’m getting older now, so it’s been terrific to see him develop into a terrific sailor,” says skipper Bruce Taylor.



Make no mistake, Drew is very well credential ahead of his 28th Sydney Hobart race.

“Drew fits into our crew very well, he is a fantastic helmsman. Although, the crew likes to have us on opposite watches to keep the family peace,” jokes Bruce.

“The rapport between the team is remarkable. That’s why I keep sailing – if I wasn’t enjoy the company of the blokes I sail with, I would pack it in. We are all pretty competitive, but we have a great camaraderie.”

Bruce is still pursuing his first Sydney Hobart win as an owner.

“The boat was ahead of its time in terms of design. The brief to Reichel/Pugh was to design the boat for hard running and reaching. If we get the right conditions, we could do very well,” he says.

“if we get a decent downwind blow for a good chuck of the race, were in with a shot,” elaborates Drew. “It will all come down to when we get around the corner and up the Derwent.”

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