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Azzurro Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Crew Sets Sail to Raise Awareness for Stroke Foundation

A youthful star crew takes on the Everest of Ocean Racing, with the tools needed to win.

The crew of the Azzurro yacht is embarking on a journey beyond the open seas as they set sail in the prestigious Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. However, their mission extends beyond the pursuit of victory on the water; the crew is dedicated to promoting awareness for the Stroke Foundation and making waves in the fight against stroke.

Stroke is a leading cause of disability and death globally, affecting millions of lives each year. The Azzurro crew is sailing this year to help promote the importance of raising awareness about this critical health issue, and they have chosen the grand stage of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race to amplify their message.

The youthful star crew, composed of owner/skipper Jack Kliner, Jessica Watson OAM, Xavier Doerr, Sam Duncan, Annie Eastgate and Steve Quiros share over 50,000 offshore miles, forming an impressive team despite their youthful presence. The crew is looking forward to competing in a boat with a rich history and the ability to win – Azzurro is an impressive IOR-era S&S 34 that has almost tasted victory in the RSHYR several times with previous owner Shane Kearns. Much in the fashion of the boat’s previous owner, the Azzurro crew has kept the boat in immaculate condition, making key upgrades to remain competitive with newer generation yachts during a refit period at Gold Coast City Marina thanks to the campaign’s incredibly supportive sponsors. The Azzurro crew is hoping to build upon their result of first ORC and 3rd IRC overall in the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race.

The Azzurro crew is supported by sponsors Netflix, Zhik, Alana Maria, Gold Coast City Marina, Dimension Polyant, Wrap It Marine, Hobart Whisky, Marine Medical Solutions, Club Marine and Southern Seas Marine, enabling the team to tackle the Hobart with a boat ready to take on a talented fleet.

Stroke attacks the brain, the human control center, changing lives in an instant. It can happen to anyone, at any age and affects everyone differently. Few people will think about stroke until it touches their life. It’s estimated more than 27,400 people will have a stroke in Australia for the first time in 2022, equating to one stroke every nineteen minutes. Today, there are over 445,000 people in our community whose lives have been changed by stroke and their number is growing. High blood pressure is the biggest modifiable risk factor of stroke and affects one in three Australian adults.

Stroke Foundation’s report, No Postcode Untouched, found that if high blood pressure alone was eliminated, the number of strokes would almost be cut in half (48 per cent). Stroke Foundation is a national charity that partners with the community to prevent stroke, save lives and enhance recovery. It is statistics such as these that drive the Azzurro crew to spread awareness to help identify and prevent causes of strokes.

As the crew sets sail for the 2023 RSHYR, they invite individuals, businesses, and communities to join them in supporting the Stroke Foundation. Contributions and pledges can be made directly to the foundation at