Our Biggest Losers

One of the last official duties for competitors in Melbourne and one of the first on arrival in Osaka, was the weigh in for The Biggest Loser competition. Ocean racers are often asked about provisioning for long distance races and the focus on food differs significantly from boat to boat.

Both from a human interest perspective and to highlight the importance of looking after yourself on this gruelling 10,000 km race, the results are also of interest to Dr Rosie Colahan and the medical team who supported the competitors, before, during and after the event.

Rod prepares for the weigh-in

As competitor weights ranged from under 60kg to over 120kg, the results were calculated by percentage of body weight. The biggest individual loser and the biggest combined (boat) loser were presented with shokuhin sampuru prizes at the race presentation party.


  • The biggest individual loser was Chris Wilson from Elektra 13.38% (12.2kg), followed by John Bankart 11.92% (Surfdude), Peter Brooks 11.31% (Morning Star) and Rod Smallman 10.29% (Maverick).
  • The biggest boat loss, combining Skipper and co-skipper results, was Morning Star 10.29% (15.8kg).
  • Four competitors lost more than 10% of their body weight: Rod Smallman (Maverick), Peter Brooks (Morning Star), John Bankart (Surfdude) and Chris Wilson.
  • The biggest difference in weight loss between the skipper and co-skipper was on Elektra (13.4%/4.8%) and Maverick (10.3%/3.91%). Does this mean one crew member had greater access to the food supplies?
  • Three competitors put on a small amount of weight.
  • The gourmand boats, ie those whose combined weight loss was less than 5%, were Allegro, Blue Water Tracks, Kraken and Spirit of Downunder.

Past races have recorded individual weight losses in excess of 20kg which is not recommended. The availability of a greater variety of shelf stable foods and an increase in sports nutrition awareness has made provisioning easier. Also,  information sharing, mentoring support and the increased involvement of shore support teams has been a valuable.

George and Robyn have organised this part of our race activities as they have done in the past. This has meant that they needed to have all the records in order prior to the race start and then be on hand soon after the boats arrive, to make sure that an accurate weight was recorded prior to crews indulging in the famous OHYC hospitality. A big thanks to them both for their energy and enthusiasm.

Jo & Pete from Morning Star