The 2004 60th anniversary Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht race was the toughest for several years and for an amateur crew to even finish is an achievement in itself. But Team Lexar, sponsored by Lexar, leading manufacturer of flash memory cards for digital cameras, not only held their own with some of the world's top sailors, they also won the Jane Taite Memorial Award as the highest placed boat skippered by a woman.
Skippered by Jakki Moores, Team Lexar is a group of friends who wanted to compete in the race together so badly, they chartered their own boat and secured Lexar's support. Although this was Jakki's third Hobart, it was the first time she had skippered a boat in the race.
"We are very proud to have sponsored Team Lexar," said Steve Marriott, Lexar Senior Marketing Manager EMEA. "It's a remarkable achievement for an amateur crew especially considering the conditions and how many of the top boats had to retire. I'm just relieved that they arrived in Hobart in one piece.
" I can't wait to see the images – they should be really dramatic. Jakki, Nikon UK's Head of Professional Services, was also the official photographer for the team and used Lexar 80X Professional CompactFlash memory cards to capture images on her Nikon D70.
"Lexar CompactFlash cards have an excellent reputation with professional photographers for their reliability and performance in hostile environments, and they don't come harsher than this."
"The 80X cards survived a real Hobart," says Jakki "And believe me, that takes some surviving. For taking pictures in any conditions you can rely on them 100%."
With 55 of the fleet retired after three days at sea, including some of the top boats, there can be little doubt that the 2004, 60th anniversary Sydney to Hobart yacht race has been the toughest since 1998. Jakki is understandably proud of every one of her crew who she says just took the conditions in their stride and just got on with their jobs.
"Everyone played a part in our success," she says. "it was a real slog at times, but with an outstanding crew and the support from our sponsor, Lexar, we made our dream a reality."
As if there wasn't enough excitement on board, Jakki's partner, Team Lexar's navigator Henry Ayres, proposed to her.
"I was going to wait until we had finished the race," said Ayres from Witney in Oxfordshire, "but when I realised that we needed to reduce sail and hoist just our storm gear to cope with the conditions, I thought I'd better get on with it! Thankfully she said yes."
Jakki collected the Jane Tate Memorial Award at the awards ceremony on New Year's Day and received a resounding reception from some of the world's most seasoned sailors.
The best reward though is probably the reaction of her crew who said they'd be back again next year so long as Jakki is at the helm.