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 crew have been enjoying some free time in Sydney the boats have been lifted out of the water to be cleaned and a new anti-fouling layer to be applied. Many family have travelled here to see their loved ones and to celebrate Christmas in much hotter weather than back in the UK which is pretty weird. The Hobard race will start tomorrow and there is great exitement among the crews.
The Unicef crew has cycled 1000 kms in its bid to cycle the length of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race (628 nautical miles/723 miles/1225 kms). The crew have cycled on static bikes at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia over the last four days. Their challenge finished a few days ago in driving rain and lots of wind, akin to the conditions of the notorious Bass Strait on the famous offshore race. Crew members from the Unicef yacht were joined by crew and skippers from other teams who cycled in the Race Village at the CYCA, Rushcutters Bay, Sydney.
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
Clipper Unicef skipper Jim Prendergast has had medical treatment for kidney stones and has been temporarily replaced by Martin “Cloughy” Clough. It is sad that Jim will likely not be racing in the Hobart Race. We all wish him a speedy recovery and I hope to see him in Airlie Beach for the start of leg 5 to Da Nang and Qingdao.
The fleet left Albany on Tuesday 1st December after a Parade of Sail while an aerobatic display was performed overhead. Apparently the bars and restaurants trebled their turnover and many of the hotels were fully booked. Another successful stopover performed by the teams.