Former super-model Kristy Hinze-Clark and her husband, Texan billionaire Jim Clark, are co-owners of 2015’s Sydney to Hobart yacht race winner — Comanche.
It’s a win that will go down in the sailing history, not because of its speed or its size, but because of the yacht’s owner.
Hinze-Clark is the first female co-owner of a line honours winning vessel.
She is an established sailor, and despite this being her first open-ocean race, was confident in her position on board the supermaxi.
That confidence was well-and-truly put to the test. There was no smooth sailing in this year’s race, with disastrous weather leaving Comanche more than a little battered. Hinze-Clark admitted to being terrified, but supported the team’s decision to continue the race in less-than-ideal conditions.
“I was really scared at one point,” she told The Daily Telegraph, “but I had complete confidence in Ken and the crew.” The Comanche was severely damaged at its daggerboard, which stops the vessel from tipping sideways, and at the rudder.
“They kept an eye on me and made sure I was okay every step of the way,” she said.
But don’t be fooled, “there was no babysitting involved,” said the boat’s skipper, Ken Read.
Helmsman James Spithill was equally impressed by Hinze-Clark’s efforts.”I’m sold. She is awesome,” he told The Daily Telegraph. “It is really hard to keep your energy up in something like this and she just never dropped her head. She was a pleasure to sail with.”
Those with reservations about Hinze-Clark’s yachting experience probably still think of her as “Kristy Hinze super-model”, who at the age of just 14, graced the cover of the Australian edition of one of world’s most prestigious fashion magazines, Vogue.
“I didn’t even know what Vogue was,” she told reporters, according to The Australian. “The only reason I’d go into a newsagent was to buy Horse & Hound magazine, or Hoofs And Horns.”
Hinze-Clark later guest-starred in Australia’s Next Top Model and hosted the first two seasons of Project Runway Australia, before being replaced by Megan Gale in series three.
A country-Queenslander-come-international-model and media personality, Hinze became the subject of media scrutiny when at the age of 28, she married 64-year-old Netscape founder, Jim Clark.
Accusations and predictions of a sham marriage circulated, due in large part to the couple’s age difference, but after seven years of marriage and the birth of two daughters, Dylan and Harper, the couple are continuing to fight the stereotype.
“(The Sydney to Hobart) is something I’ve wanted to do for a while, so I went out and trained with the guys and now here we are,” Hinze-Clarke told The Daily Telegraph. And it would have been something she set out to achieve earlier, were it not for the birth of her second daughter, Harper.
As for what her girls will think of her history-making achievement, “I think they’d be really proud of me in the future to know I did it.”
We’re pretty stoked for her too.