The novice crew crew aboard Aint Misbehavin are preparing for their big race

Among the 57 boats expected to line up on Boxing Day to kick off this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Aint Misbehavin presents an out of the ordinary contender. Although stationed at the CYCA (Cruising Yacht Club of Australia) just 40 yards from the line honour titans Scandia (Wildthing) and Zana, most of the crew on Aint Misbehavin are hardly rivals to these elite. The majority of this team are not experts in sailing or in boats but they are determined men who share a dream.

Over a year ago, three friends, James ‘Jock’ Walker, Justin Ricketts, and Rob Alexander decided to take a break from the London rat race and sail around the world, racing in as many events as they can along the way. They found and purchased Aint Misbehavin, an exciting boat that balanced being both racer and cruiser. She is now owned and operated through an offshore company sponsored by these three primary owners as well as a syndicate of five other shareholders who will become more heavily involved once she is in the Mediterranean for the 2005 European racing season.

Aint Misbehavin earned respect among these veteran racers by sailing over 15,000 nautical miles to Sydney. The friends and shareholders involved have worked for their place at the start line by believing in themselves and meeting all of the stringent race and safety requirements. There was increase in safety requirements after the storm of 98, when six lives were lost. This reduced the field of boats from over 350 to less than 100 boats; this year only 57 will be at the starting line.

Now, after all of their hard work, the owners have their racing Yacht ready for the upcoming race. The final crew line-up is set, and they are assembling for intensive training.

Getting to the start line for Aint Misbehavin has been half the race, but one thing they’ve got going for them is legendary South African single-handed sailor and 1994-95 BOC ‘Around Alone’ Challenge veteran, JJ Provoyeur. He will serve as her skipper in this year’s Sydney Hobart. As Aint Misbehavin’s previous owner, he took her to win Antigua Race Week twice and the Around Hawaii Race. JJ agreed to come on this year as her Captain. “I like to race her because she is a challenge,” he says. “She can go fast, but it is challenging to make her go fast.”

The accompanying international mix of crew are of all different age and skill levels. They will all be looking to JJ for guidance to get them to the finish line. Racing on Aint Misbehavin, are with JJ Provoyeur are as follows:

The three British owners will be along. Justin is at the helm, James ‘Jock’ Walker is a trimmer, and Rob will control the bow during this 627-nautical mile classic.

Two of her racing syndicate shareholders, British Richard Petty (helmsman) and Irishman Tony Mooney (trim) have flown into Sydney to compete as part of the Aint Misbehavin crew in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart.

An old friend and business associate, William Frewen (trimmer), has also flown in from Britain to compete alongside his mates.

English expatriate, Peter Tarimo, was added to the crew as helmsman and tactician. He brings with him a wealth of sailing experience and it was a great turn of events for Aint Misbehavin, when the yacht he was supposed to race on, dropped out last minute.

Also among the crew is American David Christian on trim. David sailed his own vessel to Sydney from the US, some 10,000 miles, meeting the crew from Aint Misbehavin along the way. Sebastian Pot (camera man and galley), from the UK, joins the team to help down below, while concentrating on filming a documentary on Aint Misbehavin’s story in this epic event.

Aint Misbehavin picked up these last two crewmembers in Australia because of their sailing experience and compatibility with the crew. British Army Officer, Giles McCallum and Aussie native Matt Stoekel will be on the bow.