Meet Hobart LawConnect participant Payal Pattanaik from Sydney who is afraid of the ocean

Meet the participant from Sydney to Hobart who didn’t even know where the city of Tasmania was and is afraid of the ocean: “What did I sign up for?”

  • Payal Pattanaik won his job from Sydney to Hobart in a fluke at the office
  • The Sydney-based sailing rookie didn’t know where Hobart was until recently
  • Pattanaik, born in India, had a fear of the ocean which she has now overcome

Two years after arriving from India, Payal Pattanaik has overcome his fear of the ocean and will be aboard the supermaxi LawConnect in the Sydney-Hobart race.

She didn’t know where Hobart was until recently, but Indian rookie Payal Pattanaik overcame her fear of the ocean and took on the challenge of tackling the Sydney-Hobart race on a supermaxi.

Two years after arriving from India, Payal Pattanaik (pictured) has overcome his fear of the ocean and will be aboard the supermaxi LawConnect in the Sydney-Hobart race

She didn't know where Hobart was until recently, but Indian-born sailing rookie Payal Pattanaik (pictured) overcame her fear of the ocean and took on the challenge of tackling the Sydney-Hobart race on a supermaxi

She didn’t know where Hobart was until recently, but Indian-born sailing rookie Payal Pattanaik (pictured) overcame her fear of the ocean and took on the challenge of tackling the Sydney-Hobart race on a supermaxi

Pattanaik works for one of the companies owned by the owner of LawConnect, Christian Beck, who, thanks to a lottery each year, reserves some places on the boat for some of his employees.

Software engineer Pattanaik has only been in Australia for two years and has never returned to India.

“I didn’t read the whole description of what exactly the race is, so I just signed up (for the lottery) and put my hat in the ring,” Pattanaik told AAP.

“Then my name came up, I thought I would win some prize or something and do some sort of sailing, then I read it was Sydney to Hobart.

Pattanaik will join 19 other crew members aboard the supermaxi LawConnect (pictured) for the race from Sydney to Hobart

Pattanaik will join 19 other crew members aboard the supermaxi LawConnect (pictured) for the race from Sydney to Hobart

“Because I didn’t know exactly where Hobart was, I googled it and saw it was in Tasmania and I was like ‘oh why did I sign’.

“All of a sudden I thought ‘OK, why not, let’s do this and challenge yourself’.

“I had the ocean scare for sure and when you have a free opportunity I think no one should miss that and have the advantage of being in an iconic race.”

She was part of the LawConnect crew for this month’s Cabbage Tree Island race, spending more than 13 hours on the water.

Pattanaik has been assigned as sail handler and is also part of the team handling live stream content from LawConnect (pictured)

Pattanaik has been assigned as sail handler and is also part of the team handling live stream content from LawConnect (pictured)

Pattanaik has been appointed sail handler and is also part of the team handling live content from LawConnect, the first Sydney-Hobart boat to provide this service throughout the race.

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