This week the Clipper yachts left Hobart to race to Airlie Beach. Two days later I left Sydney to also “race” to Airlie Beach. We are all due to arrive early next week. The Clipper fleet on Monday and I will be there on Wednesday 13th January, follow this race, one powered by petrol and the other by wind.
Race 6 is called the Henri Lloyd Hobart to Whitsundays Race and will see the fleet race more than 1,600 nautical miles from the Tasmanian port of Hobart to Abell Point Marina in Airlie Beach. Shortly after the start the fleet spread out wide with Unicef in the middle sailing in second and third position. At the time of writing they have dropped to eight place sailing north of the Sunshine Coast north of Brisbane, while I am visiting a long not seen friend in Brisbane.
Mission Performance was asked to assist a yacht which had a crew member stuck up the mast for hours. A Clipper crew member climbed the mast to help release the person and they then continued to claim bonus points for the fastest Ocean Sprint. The yacht they helped continued its journey but then ran aground and its crew were rescued from the beach. The race continues to be exiting and eventful.
Deputy Race Director, Mark Light says: “The fleet is still flying along and will have favourable winds as they get closer to the finish. This one is going right down to the wire and could prove to be one of the closest finishes so far!! The lead has changed hands many times and I feel that there yet could be some more twists and turns before this Race has run its course.”
The next five days I will be travelling along the Sunshine Coast to Fraser Island, Rockhampton, Mackay and then Airlie Beach a 700 mile campervan trip along the coast.
The arrival of the yachts is not the only thing that is going right down to the wire. My baggage, which was shipped in September, has still not been delivered. It has passed customs and quarantine but needs to be delivered to an address in Sydney and then send to Airlie Beach. A lot of extra expense but the important bit is to have it before I sail a week on Monday.
This trip also continues to be exiting and eventful for me.