Welcome to the Maunie of Ardwall blog

This is the blog of Maunie of Ardwall. After a six-year adventure sailing from Dartmouth to Australia, we are now back in Britain.

Monday, 26 December 2016

Watching the Sydney Hobart race start

Our lovely, if quiet, Christmas Day finished with a late Christmas Dinner - fillet of beef cooked in red wine, mushrooms and garlic, with sweet potato mash and broccoli. Yum, especially with a bottle of Grand Barossa Shiraz!

Boxing day needed a reasonably early start to get through the Spit Bridge at its 08.30 opening and we followed Eve, single-handing her lovely ketch Auntie, through. We met Eve in NZ, so this is typical of the 'small world' moments we keep getting on the boat (two days ago we passed Brian and Sue on Darramy, whom we first met 3 years ago in Tonga).

We were followed by one of the Clipper round-the-world yachts
The reason for the early start was to sail across to Watson's Bay near the entrance of Sydney Harbour to anchor in a good spot to watch the 13.00 start of the Sydney Hobart Race. The bay quickly filled up with other boats with the same idea but we got a pretty decent view of the 88 boats setting off on the 630 mile race, without risking the boat by joining in the huge moving flotilla of spectator boats.

Looking back down towards the Harbour Bridge and the start line
The Maxi yachts head towards us - the commercial cruise boats make a fortune from this event

Wild Oats, the record-holder for the race, made a poor start, hoping to get across the fleet on port tack but the wind didn't favour them and they had to duck behind the starboard-tack boats, costing them several places. All ab it irrelevant in a race of this length but still psychologically important for the crew

The smaller boats heading towards Sydney Heads

It's a HUGE spectator even, both on land and sea

Conditions were perfect for a fast race
Channel 7 does a brilliant job of covering the start of the race, even putting camera crew onto a few of the bigger boats to get superb live footage. As the boat leave the harbour they put their equipment into waterproof bags and jump off the back of the boats, to be picked up by chasing launches. This link is the coverage from yesterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=degq33I-H8o

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