‘Oli’, the most unique sailor in history on the Sydney Hobart

In the 78th edition of the Sydney Hobartin which they compete something more than a hundred boats and a thousand sailors, there is a special character: a cat called Oli. It is the first time that an animal goes aboard a competing boat.

Until today There is no record of the presence of any feline in the very tough regatta. Carrier pigeons did exist, as they were once used to send messages to the coast.

Oli’s owner, Navigator Bob Williams stated that he did not set out to be a pioneer of anything. “Oli is simply part of the furniture of the ‘Sylph VI’ and Grounding him on the boat trip south was out of the question. “I’ve done a lot of crazy things, but this isn’t one of them,” Williams explained.

There are no race rules prohibiting animals and cats have a long history in maritime travels, said the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, organizer of the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

He Sylph VI’ is a 12-meter (40-foot) ship launched in 1960.. Returns for its first offshore race since his last Sydney Hobart in 1972.

‘Oli’ used to get dizzy and at first he was a little stressed, but now he’s fine; enjoy browsing

Bob Williams

Since then, andOwner Bob Williams, a retired naval officer and debutant, has sailed around the world two and a half times.and the most recent successfully completed a non-stop solo circumnavigation through all the Great Capes in 193 days… and with Oils on board.

For this year’s race, Williams has a simple goal: complete the course, preferably before New Year’s. He competes in the Dos division (two crew), alongside Chris Warren, who is sailing for the tenth time in the race.

Oli, who is about 10, joined five years ago and quickly gained his experience at sea. “He used to get seasick and at first he was a little stressed, but he’s fine now. He really enjoys sailing,” Williams said.

In general, The cat can be found on deck or napping in the ship’s cabin. “He’s very sensible. When the going gets tough, he disappears downstairs to find a nice, safe place to curl up,” Williams said.

Oli doesn’t have a life jacket because he simply wouldn’t wear it: ““They are Houdinis, they will escape from anything they don’t like.”dice Williams.

While cats hate water, he knows for a fact that Oli knows how to swim, because he once went into the ocean to avoid an overly aggressive dog.


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