It has been an exciting month of sailing onboard team Wicked from Sandringham Yacht Club. Firstly I need to thank Mike & Mark Welsh for letting their boat make the journey & also the amount of work they did in preparing her for the race.
The preparation required to finish a Sydney to Hobart (S2H) is incredible. It’s more like a roller coast ride on the way to the start line then in the race. We started in early December with the boats delivery to Sydney from Melbourne- it was a fun trip around the far Eastern corner of Victoria where we were hit with a fun 40knots & hit a new boat speed record for a Beneteau 40 going 21knots!! We then motored 18hours straight directly North! During this time we found out that the HF Radio wasn’t working. We pulled the entire unit apart trying to fix it but to no solution.
We then arrived at CYC Yacht Club – the team working bee began in 30+ degree heat, to get the boat ready to race. Everybody jumped onboard flights back to Melbourne for work & family commitments. I stayed on to help solve the HF Radio issue & to get us through Safety measurement. Simon to the rescue helped us to find & fit a new HF. I then sailed the boat 5NM off the heads with Disco to get the Radio check done 4/5 on all channels. YAY in business!!!
Everyone jumped onboard their flights up to Sydney late on Xmas day …well some missed their flights and ended up on the later flight with the girls! …no surprises to find them sitting at the airport bar in need of a de-stress beverage.
On Race day morning- it was all on!!! The Zoo of CYC was in full flight! We were down the very end of the dock- which took some weaving to get through the streams of people.
Start TIME! after initial safety checks hoisting up the safety Orange sails & a big sail past by Scallywag 100footer. It was time to start!
We had a very exciting first beat through the harbour with lots of ducking and weaving. Wicked was on the southern most start line- so we had full spectator privileges to see how insanely busy the harbour was.
Once we turned the corner- it was spinnaker up & “glammer” sailing down the coast. The team was so pumped it took us all a while to settle down into the watch system.
The race it self was tricky with a big low pressure system forcing the middle sized boat to park in front of us (Yay for Wicked) We just stayed in the Eastern Australian Current line as long as possible & this seamed to work best for us. On night two we broke both mast head spinnaker halyards which forced our hand into being more conservative with our race plan. Unfortunately this dropped us back from 1st overall in div 3 to 4th overall at the finish.
The welcoming to the finish was incredible with the Taste of Tassie big cheers!! We all had our token Witches hats on & were welcome by partners on the dock! The next few days are a blur— lots of sailing chat, some beverages & just plain mucking around on boats.
Our Race Team – Mark, Molly, Fordy, Mark R(Skid), Andy, Kate, Krystal, Mick, Nico, Diso
Shore Team- Mike, Cheesy, Michael R, GA, Lex, Freya & the Simple Fun Crew support plus very importantly all the partners & family.
Big Thank you goes to Nautilus Marine for suppling insurance for the team to upgrade us for the Hobart & great uniforms. Telstra for the lend of their Sat Phone, Zhik for supply team hats, sailor sunscreen for supply sunscreen to the boat. Simon for fixing our Radio up in Sydney & Disco for helping me to do the radio check.
Personal Thank you to Lex for doing an express course on Navigation skills, my family for being so supportive on disappearing on xmas day, Kate Goss for convincing me that a S2H was a good idea, BA for mentoring me through the keel boat world, Warrick Pearson my boss for letting me do this, Matt Lawrence for endless support xx & for getting me to think about attention to detail. Mark Welsh for taking me under his wing for my first Sydney to Hobart.