The 2014 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
After all the Christmas food and festive moments on Boxing Day together with hundred thousand of sailing enthusiast I was heading out to the Sydney Harbour to find a spot with a good view and participate at the start of the 70 anniversary world famous offshore Yacht race from Sydney to Hobart.
A race known for its difficulties due to bad weather and rough sea. This year there where 117 sailing yacht at the start and just 24 hours later, as I am writing this there are 109 left. The "leader of the pack" is the famous and most talked about "Comanche" a 100 footer build in Maine which goes into the race with not a lot of testing, the boat was first sailed on October 13, but till now the performance of this high tech boat is astonishing.
I was on a good spot at the North Head at 1 pm when the race started and I couldn't believe the speed and the time these boats needed to race thru the Sydney Harbour and pass the Heads to reach the open sea. It took them minutes, I just try to compare it to the ferry which takes half an hour to go across the Harbour, it is unbelievable. An amazing moment and as expected Comanche had a perfect start and was leading from the first moment.
Enjoy this wonderful shot taken by professional photographer Gino Nalini while the 100ft Comanche is blasting thru the Harbour on its way out into the Tasman Sea followed by all the others.
The media coverage on television and the newspaper is amazing, 17 helicopters in the air and hundreds of small and big boats on the water joined the huge crowd during the start of the event. It's so wonderful to see a whole city passionate about this sailing event.
The boats will sail down south to Tasmania, along the east coast of Australia. A route of 630 nautical miles. This race is still a real adventure it is very demanding for the boats and the crew and it is very dangerous to. High sea and wind gust up to 100 knots and more make this one of the most dangerous yacht races on earth, we just need to remember the year 1998. Of the 115 boats 71 retired, many boats rolled 180 degrees some even more than once in the more then 20m high sea. 56 crew members were rescued, seven boats were abandoned and 5 sank and sadly 6 crew members died at sea in the worst tragedy of the Sydney to Hobart race. You can read more about the history, the boats and the race itself here
Have a a look at a short video you can see the yachts leaving Sydney Harbour under full sails.
A really interesting video about Comanche with Skipper Ken Read. The race is finished and Wild Oats is the winner again.