Sunday, December 28, 2014


Boxing Day in Sydney means the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. It's a big deal. Lots of money, big boys with big toys, lots of serious yachties, small yachts and keen sailors, and lots of risk. Six sailors died in the 1998 race.

This year we were hosting a visitor from Holland and so it was back to South Head again on a spectacular summer day to watch the start and see them sail out the heads.

It was crowded but friendly.

The start line is back down the harbour with spectator craft lined up forming a channel to the first mark and ready to follow them out to sea. The crowd is peering, helicopters buzzing, then there's a ten minute gun, a five minute gun, and then they're racing.

The American supermaxi Comanche flew away. Even from where we were the speed of this boat tightly trimmed with a brisk southerly behind was quite thrilling. And the crowd gasped as it looked like she might tip right over as she came close to the first mark where they turn to head out the Heads

And in no time the leaders are through and rounding the second mark to head south.

A huge fleet of spectator follow alongside as the main field rounds the first mark.

On shore, things are a bit calmer and safer.

And then they are gone.

Like others, we lingered to let the crowds thin out and had a picnic looking at a now all but empty harbour with a southerly on its way thrrough.

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