Christmas in Sydney. Seems like a good idea. We’re not going back home now as we have to be back shortly for visas.
She was launched in 1969 and retired in 1999. Sadly she never had a chance to sink a ship.
Next day is Christmas, we’ve turned down 2 invitations, one in Bangkok which was tempting. But the idea of sharing someone elses family time doesn’t seem right. So Christmas eve we bought picnic supplies. We head off with a backpack full of treats through downtown
We stayed here on the pier and enjoyed the view across the water to the opera house and people watched.
People are taking selfies with these extension things that have been invented since I left home. There were none of these in Latin America or in the outback so it’s the first I’ve seen of this strange phenomena
The Sydney Hobart race! Yay!
We’re here not only to see them leave, but to see this: Comanche. The 100′ (less 2cm to be on the safe side during measurement) new toy of billionaire Jim Clark (photo stolen form the web)
Her transom is almost impossibly massive. Super fast on a reach undoubtably and built to break records. She was only launched a few months ago and this is her first race.
The talent on board is ridiculous. Ken Read on helm, Stan Honey navigating (we remember sailing against him on San Francisco Bay in ’82 when he wasn’t the highest-paid most brilliant navigator in the world, just a very fast kid in a 505) and Aussie Jimmy Spithill to out-brash even the Yanks
We have a choice where to view the race start from. Either the start line from around the corner, or here, and watch them drag to the turning mark. We pick the drag.
And moments after the start Comanche roars into view, ahead of Wild Oats. There are 8 maxis and 110 others under 60′. The crowd around me are remarkable un-partisan. They are rooting for Wild Oats but are openly awestruck by the giant beautiful Comanche and are loving watching her power across the bay
Comanche, built for breeze, sails into a high and slows to a crawl. Wild Oats, narrower and faster in light air sails past and on to her 8th Sydney Hobart win.