John “Herman” Winning jnr goes from skydiving to skipper in yacht race

“It only goes off when the skydiver is unconscious, something is terribly wrong. You don’t want it to go off at all.

“I was late pulling my chute and when I landed the safety officer came running and looked at my digital altimeter and it read 1050 feet.

Best of all: Andoo Comanche skipper John 'Herman' wins the full speed solo skydive.

Best of all: Andoo Comanche skipper John ‘Herman’ wins the full speed solo skydive.

“I was within a second of deploying two parachutes that inevitably got entangled and hit the ground, and in that case, you’re dead.

“I finished that day, I learned my lesson and I’ve jumped a lot since then, and that was five or six years ago.”

Winning is telling the story behind another yarn spun upstairs at the Australian Cruise Yacht Club in Double Bay, beer in hand.


Andoo Comanche Mouthwatering Near collision with rival Law Connect in Sydney and Hobart, the $50 million, 60-ton accident with Winning at the helm, the captain considered the nature of the risks and rewards. Or at least questioned.

“We’re actually working with a neuroscience company that analyzes the different personalities of our crew,” Winning said.

“I’m in the high-risk category. I don’t mind those adrenaline-pumping situations, I understand that I can move on, and I’m putting myself in more danger than most.

“But then we balance that with people like [Comanche’s sailing master] Ian Murray, his image is on high alert. He is more risk-averse, more skeptical of dangerous situations, and more cautious in his approach.

“We figured out that balance and the people on board. I don’t feel comfortable with what happened,” Ian said afterward. [when the two super maxis almost collided]maybe that’s a nobler personality, but I don’t want to go out and have that happen.

All personnel on the Comanche were on deck.

All personnel on the Comanche were on deck.Credit:Andrea Francolini

“So we stopped and said, ‘Ian, you can take charge’. Helped rebuild confidence in the boat and our sailing.

“Don’t get me wrong, these things happen on yachts all the time. But on these yachts, people die in that situation. Also, these boats have egos and a lot of money on them. Any mistakes, the owners can quickly Letting someone go, it puts a lot of pressure on it.

“‘If I don’t get on the podium, I might lose my place on the team’ – a lot of people have that pressure, so boundaries can and will be pushed.”

Stories of wars from and above the water, a different view of sailing and its lovers, are compared to the linen and boat shoes that will swallow up the port’s dominance when ships set sail on Boxing Day.

For every risk Winning takes, people are reminded of the risks.

his uncle richard wining was the captain Winston Churchill Sydney to Hobart in 1998. Tragically, three of the six sailors killed that year were on board.

Matt Munting, the “dear friend” who helped Wenning found the extreme sports project Andoo X and introduced him to wingsuits – gliding through the air in a webbed jumpsuit, this year Earlier, he died after a jump error in the northern Italian Alps.

He was 35 years old at the time. Winning himself is 38 years old and has been sailing since he was 4 years old. “Before I could swim.”

Win jnr with Andoo Comanche at the helm.

Win jnr with Andoo Comanche at the helm.Credit:Fraser Edwards

He started skydiving on his 14th birthday, the first day he was legally able to skydive in Australia.

In addition to a popped knee after crashing over a hedge in Dubai, Winning has completed hundreds of jumps.

Both pursuits can turn deadly in an instant.

Over the next two weeks, Comanche crews will be taking all precautions and quadruple checking to make sure this doesn’t happen on this year’s Sydney to Hobart trip.

The line honours, as the graceful sailing stereotype was left to those ashore, followed closely in the preparations.

Andoo Comanche enters this year's Sydney to Hobart race as favorites.

Andoo Comanche enters this year’s Sydney to Hobart race as favorites.Credit:Jenny Barrett

“Of course I understand that perception, and I would say tennis can be like that, golf can be like that,” Winning said.

“But we certainly don’t open oysters and champagne at the Comanche when you’re playing at the highest level. It’s a competitive sport, and like top-level tennis or golf, you’re not there for small talk.

“You did consider; ‘How much safety do I have to push in order to win? “Obviously, everyone wants to be as safe as possible. I’ll avoid collisions all day. But you better believe I’m not giving you a ride either, everyone wants to win.

“At the same time, there are times when you are reminded that you are not invincible.

“You keep reminding yourself of that. You need to know your role because people’s lives are in your hands.”

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