The Sydney to Hobart race started with very challenging conditions. Racing out of Sydney harbour under spinnaker ended with a very quick change to deeply reefed main and storm sails as the wind increased to over 50 knots. Some competitors were not so lucky and some, not the Clipper yachts, sustained ripped main sails, dis-masting and other damage which had them retiring on the first day. Andrew’s blog of the events leading up to the start and the sailing under the Sydney harbour bridge gives a telling account how high profile the Rolext Syndey – Hobart Yacht Race is in the sailing world.
The week started with a brilliantly sixth place for Unicef. They were more than 30 miles behind Visit Seatlle when they decided to stay further out to sea than the rest of the fleet. They got better wind possibly less current in deeper waters and kept going at 8 knots while Visit Seattle dropped to 3 to 4 knots. They quickly overtook Visit Seattle and finished in Sydney five hours ahead and under spinaker to a raptious welcome. There were even boats coming out into the harbour to welcome them over the finishing not line. The final positions have been announced after the remainder of the fleet were becalmed and are motor sailing to Sydney.
This weekend I am packing my things at home, making the last arrangements for being away for 6 months. A month travelling from south Australia to Airlie Beach in the north east, 4 months sailing the oceans and another month working at my company offices in Iowa.
Earlier this week all boats cleared the Ocean Sprint challenge in which they can earn additional points for being the fastest between two lines. The results were 37 hours 47 minutes for LMAX Exchange, 37 hours 54 minutes for Garmin and 38 hours 19 minutes for GREAT Britain. Unicef’s time was 48 hours 57 minutes which was not a bad afford as the conditions were different for them. Continue reading
Unicef has arrived in Albany at 04:11 UTC ( 12:11 Local time) this morning. The article about their journey tells of their challenges including the skipper being not well, laid up for a few days with pains and the watch leaders having to step in to keep the boat going. They were eleventh in and getting two points for the leader board.
All the teams have arrived safely in Cape town this week and are enjoying the hospitality of South Africa and our sponsor Stormhoek supplying their fine wines.