Quiksilver Pro 2018. Surfing at Snapper Rocks. 2x World Champ John John Florence. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
Quiksilver Pro 2018. Surfing at Snapper Rocks. 2x World Champ John John Florence. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

Superstar surfer to set sail in Sydney to Hobart

World champion surfer John John Florence will contest the Sydney to Hobart after secretly competing in a lead-up event to the Boxing Day race.

The 2016 and 2017 world champion has been off the world surf tour this year with a high partial tear in his knee but is known for his love of all water sports, including sailing.

A chance meeting with multiple Olympian and SailGP Australia skipper Tom Slingsby resulted in Florence joining the crew on Winning Appliances for a recent 24-hour sea trial.

John John Florence will be contesting the Sydney to Hobart yacht race this year.. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT
John John Florence will be contesting the Sydney to Hobart yacht race this year.. Picture: NIGEL HALLETT

"He proved pretty handy actually,'' said John Winning jnr.

"He will be doing mid bow and the other day he was shifting spinnakers and even did a little driving.

"He loves sailing and he was great on the boat.''

Florence is now undergoing a two day safety and survival at sea course while his team completes the paperwork required for them to join him in the race.

 

John John Florence in action at Bells Beach. Picture: Alex Coppel.
John John Florence in action at Bells Beach. Picture: Alex Coppel.

 

Florence is the latest in a long list of surfers who have competed in the famous race south.

Seven-time world champion Layne Beachley raced on Loyal in 2010, world tour surfer Sally Fitzgibbons on the 100-footer Perpetual Loyal in 2014 and former world champion Mark Occhilupo raced on the American maxi Rapture in 2009.

Florence this week was awarded an injury wildcard for the 2019 word tour - a crucial decision by officials for the Hawaiian as the tour is a selection for the Tokyo Olympics where surfing will make its debut.

Winning Appliances is being raced to Hobart in memory of the six men who died in the 1998 Sydney to Hobart race.

News Corp Australia


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