HMAS Adelaide Midshipman Angus Ekberg will step off one of Navy’s largest warships to join something much smaller when he teams up with the Navy sailing crew to prepare for this year’s Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Midshipman Ekberg is undertaking his Maritime Warfare Officer Phase 2 training in Adelaide and has hopes of specialising as a Navigator. However, in the lead up to the world-famous ocean race he is aiming to get in as much training on Navy One as possible.
Navy One, a Beneteau First 40 racing cruiser, is taking part in the race for the second year, with some of her crew from last year joined by newcomers to the team such as Midshipman Ekberg.
While he may be new to the team, the 25-year-old is an old hand at sailing, getting his first boat at age nine and spending a lot of his youth at the Black Rock Yacht club and the Mordialloc Sailing club in Victoria.
“I got into sailing at a very young age as my family has been heavily invested in the sport for decades,” Midshipman Ekberg said.
“The Sydney to Hobart is one of the biggest events in the world calendar for ocean racing and it has been on my list as something that I would like to compete in for as long as I can remember.
“It is more of a tradition for our family to watch the start of the race than it is to watch the Boxing Day cricket test.”
Midshipman Ekberg’s sailing resume includes several high-performance development programs, a stint with Moth-class hydro-foiling boats and the Australian lightweight “Sharpie”, which was originally designed for the 1956 Melbourne Olympics.
He said he pursued ocean racing throughout university and is now looking for further opportunities as he continues his Navy training in Sydney.
“As this is my first year living in Sydney, I thought what better way to try and compete in the great race than watch it from behind a grinder looking at the trim of the sails,” he said.
Navy One crew will conduct daily training sessions in the lead-up to the race start of the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race on Boxing Day.