Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Travel: Watching the finish of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

When I decided to travel to Hobart, one of the things I was most excited about was watching the yachts come in to cross the finishing line, at the end of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Even if you are not a sailor or a water person, it is hard to grow up in Australia without knowing about this race. It’s held annually on Boxing Day, and usually the world is in a post Christmas food coma, so somewhere there is a tv on, and it will be tuned to the cricket or the yacht race coverage.

Sydney-hobart Yacht Race Tasmania

I planned my arrival into Hobart for the 27th December, because on a “good year”, a year of fast winds and clear sailing, the first yacht could sail into Hobart. 2015 was no such year. It would become known as the most treacherous race in the history of the race. Some yachts didn’t even get out of Sydney harbour due to the wind conditions. So when I arrived into Hobart, there were no yachts to be seen. The forecast was that they would not be in before late that evening. So I explored the city instead.

Hobart Waterfront-Tasmania

The Bernacchi Tribute- Louis Bernacchi was the first Australian to winter in Antartica.

 

Hobart Waterfront-Tasmania

Louis’s expedition departed from the point of the tribute in 1898.

 

Hobart Waterfront-Tasmania

I took this one for my friend Carla Coulson who used this term in a recent photography promotion.

 

Hobart Waterfront (10 of 1)

Hobart’s historic warehouse waterfront, home of restaurants, art galleries, universities and the original site of Henry Jones’s business which made IXL Jams- a household name in Australia.

Hobart Henry James Art Hotel

The dining area of the Henry James Art Hotel

Hobart Waterfront-Tasmania

Hobart City Hall was opened in 1915, and was designed in Anglo-Dutch style.

Hobart Waterfront-Tasmania

When I woke up the next morning the yachts had still not arrived! So we continued to explore and watched social media and returned to the race area for updates on when the yachts were expected. By four in the afternoon we decided to stay put, lest we return to the hotel and miss the action. There was live music, and the sun was warm, so we settled in for the evening.

Sydney-hobart Yacht Race TasmaniaSydney-hobart Yacht Race Tasmania

After a couple of glasses of wine, I became restless, and started to stake out my position for the evening, in order to be able to photograph the yachts. The marina had been cleared, and people were starting to move in.

Sydney-hobart Yacht Race Tasmania

I watched the media carefully, and made note of where they were standing for their live broadcasts.  An official confirmed that the spot that I was standing in would be prime position, as the winner would make their way into the marina, and come to a complete stop in front of me! However, the wind was not being kind, and Comanche was barely moving.

Sydney-hobart Yacht Race Tasmania

Sydney-hobart Yacht Race Tasmania

Finally, I observed some action! The Comanche support crew were heading out on the water.

Sydney-hobart Yacht Race Tasmania

But it was to be hours…

 

Sydney-hobart Yacht Race Tasmania

It got darker and darker, and I bemoaned not having my tripod.

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2015 (23 of 1)

And then suddenly, in the darkness, the winning yacht limped into the marina.

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2015 (22 of 1)

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2015 (27 of 1)

Comanche had won, and although it was an American yacht, it’s owner was an Australian- Kristy Hinze-Clark. Not only is she an Aussie, but a Queenslander, and by this time I was like a sardine- squashed by other supporters, all who turned out to be from Queensland! This was our first real glimpse of Kirsty and her husband Jim Clark (of Netscape fame).

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2015 (16 of 1)

Sydney-hobart Yacht Race Tasmania

I can’t tell you how relieved and elated she was. It was written over her face, and her crew and the support team went wild. The feeling was contagious.

Sydney-hobart Yacht Race Tasmania

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Kirsty Hinze-Clark was elated to have won, and to be the first female owner of the yacht to win a Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

Comanche (1 of 1)  Comanche (2 of 1)

Comanche (7 of 1)

 

Comanche (3 of 1)

Comanche (4 of 1)

Sydney-hobart Yacht Race Tasmania16

Comanche (6 of 1) Comanche (7 of 1) Comanche (8 of 1) Comanche (9 of 1) Comanche (10 of 1)

This was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I highly recommend adding to your bucket list!