Sydney to Hobart winner Jim Cooney confident in catching up to the supermaxis as COVID-19 fears surrounding race linger

The Sydney to Hobart’s most recent winner Jim Cooney is confident he can keep up with super maxis as he prepares to sail in his first Boxing Day campaign after selling winning vessel Comanche.

Cooney sailed the famous super yacht, worth approximately $100 million, to two successful Sydney to Hobart campaigns in 2017 and 2019 to establish a fierce rivalry with Wild Oats XI.

This year, Cooney will instead skipper Willow, a 70-foot boat compared to the 100-foot super maxis, after selling Comanche to Russian interests but said he was confident in being able to catch up to the bigger boats.

The Willow, formerly known as Maserati, finished sixth across the line and seventh overall the last time Cooney captained the boat in 2016.

“It’s a great boat. We can press on it hard when other boats are worrying about survival, so we will keep our foot on the gas and try and stay as close to the 100-footers as we can,” he said.

“We will be chasing them down as best as we can. We hope to not be far behind.”

Cooney knows anything can happen in Sydney to Hobart. Many of Cooney’s crew have been flown into Sydney international with a star-studded team coming together to race the boat to Hobart.

While the supermaxis are the obvious favourite to take line honours, Cooney says you can never say never when it comes to the famous Boxing Day race.

The crew of the Willow training earlier this month.

The crew of the Willow training earlier this month.Credit:Getty

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