Sails : Sails 29 December January 2015
rolexsydneyhobartyachtrace2014 two to three days and 628 nautical miles later, the leading yachts finish off at hobart’s historic Battery point, marking the start of the most hospitable and widely publicised race finish of any annual long ocean race in the world. the huge public welcome begins as the leading yachts sail up the River Derwent to hobart, capital city of the island state of tasmania, and the crews dock their yachts in the city’s historic sullivans Cove and Constitution Dock, just five minutes walk from the CBD. the warm welcome by hobartians to the arriving yachts, even in the middle of the night (and often a cold night, too, in these southern climes) goes back to the very first sydney hobart in 1945 when British naval officer Captain John illingworth steered Rani up the river in the early hours of the morning to take line and, subsequently, overall handicap honours. A local boat owner handed over a bottle of scotch whisky as Rani sailed up the river. hobartians and visitors will continue to cheer even as the last yacht berths in historic Constitution Dock, sometimes six days after the line honours winner crosses the line. the logistics of finishing the fleet of nine yachts back in 1945 were relatively basic, but over the following 69 years the role of the RYCt has increased commensurately with the growth of the fleet, reaching its peak with the 371 starters and 307 finishers in the 50th race. that year, 1994, yachts were packed gunwale to gunwale in Constitution Dock and alongside every wharf space in hobart’s sullivans Cove, all bedecked with ‘battle’ flags. RYCt life member Mick hocking oversaw the successful berthing of 307 yachts that finished the 50th sydney hobart. hocking heads the team tasked with organising the berths and then making sure that every boat goes into its allocated berth, a marathon task that requires boat crews from the club on the water 24 hours a day until the last yachts have finished the race. the berthing of this year’s big fleet has been well planned by the RYCt’s Rolex sydney hobart Committee under the chairmanship of Race finish Co- ordinator Robert ‘Biddy” Badenach. the final entry list this year, 118 boats, certainly caused a few sharp intakes of breath for its size at early meetings of the RYCt committee that organises all facets of the finish of the race in hobart, from timing the yachts as they cross the finish line to organising the prestigious prize giving at the Club’s headquarters on the shores of sandy Bay. there is also the public presentation dockside of the J h illingworth trophy and Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece to the Line honours winner and Crew Medallions, usually within minutes of the yacht berthing outside Constitution Dock. once the overall results are determined on iRC ratings, the george Adams tattersalls Cup and another Rolex watch is presented dockside to the winning yacht. Where possible, the winners of each iRC, oRCi and phs division are also announced, receiving their pennant to fly proudly from their forestay. the RYCt is confident that, with co-operation from the state government, tasports and the hobart City Council, it should cope with the big fleet this year. the international status of the Rolex sydney hobart Yacht Race among yachties and its worldwide high media and public profile developed over the past 69 years is primarily due to two significant aspects of this blue water classic. • the spectacular start from beautiful sydney harbour each year on a public holiday, Boxing Day, 26 December, with the harbour a natural amphitheatre for viewing from the headlands and the ample room on the water for spectator craft to follow the fleet to sea. several hundred thousand people always turn out for the start. • the huge public welcome as the leading yachts sail up the River Derwent to hobart, capital city of the island state of tasmania, and when the crews dock their yachts in the city’s historic sullivans Cove and Constitution Dock. rolex/carloborlenghi the finish 117 PARtY tiMe Fireworks celebrate the great race’s finishing point on the Hobart waterfront. Hobart’s welcome to the arriving yachts, even in the middle of the night, goes back to the very first Sydney Hobart in 1945. t he finish of the Rolex sydney hobart Yacht Race on hobart’s River Derwent is unique, as is the start from sydney harbour. the spectacular start attracts thousands of spectators afloat and ashore, and millions of viewers on national and international television.
Sails 28 October November 2014
Sails 30 February March 2015