RSYS Members endure a gruelling Sydney to Hobart race

Black Jack arrives in Hobart

Squadron Members experienced the full gamut of outcomes in this year’s Great Race, ranging from the thrill of winning, the euphoria at reaching Hobart to the despondency of retiring part way. Win or lose, this year’s race was by all accounts a tough one, with gruelling upwind conditions and malign seastate for the first two days. Our Club applauds every Club boat owner, skipper and Member, veteran and novices alike, for undertaking the challenge.

This is Matt Allen’s third win

Congratulations to:
Matt Allen’s Botin 52 Ichi Ban came 1st on IRC

Mark Bradford skippered RP100 Black Jack to Line Honours victory.

David Chapman crew on Celestial, 1st IRC div 1

Tim Longstaff crewed on Highly Sprung, 1st IRC div 3, 1st ORCi div 2

Peter Sheldrick crewed on Love and War,1st IRC div 4, 1st ORCi div 3

Love and War                                                                           Highly Sprung

The following successfully crossed the finishing line:
David Griffith, Michael Coxon, Michael Bellingham, Whisper
Elyse Guevara-Rattray, Wings
Sara Ladd, Hartbreaker (her maiden S2H race),
David Chapman, Celestial
Richard Hudson, Pretty Woman
and a special shout out to Drew Jones, Salt Shaker in the Two Handed division.

Sara Ladd on Hartbreaker      Elyse Guevara-Rattray (front right) on Wings

Commiserations to Club boats which retired due to gear damage, including Phil Bennett’s King Billy; William Cox’s Minerva, David Henry’s Philosopher, Rupert Henry & Greg o’Shea’s Eora (TH), or injury: Gordon Ketelbey and Garth Bickford.

View the final results here

In their own words…

Tim Longstaff, ‘The first 36 hours were ‘character building’.  Strong winds, we saw one 47 knot gust, and large lumpy seas challenged competitors.  But we hung on and conditions finally eased.  Thereafter it became a technical race with variable weather (either too strong or too soft but rarely perfect) and many transitions.  Highly Sprung sailed hard including many changes of sails and tactics.  We approached Tasman Light with a beautiful north-easterly wind and, after being stuck for a while in a hole, proceeded across Storm Bay and up the Derwent under spinnaker for a champagne finish. All suffering is now forgotten.’

Sara Ladd, ‘We weathered the storm the first night with much reefing of the main, and the boat did well in the light and variable conditions over the next few days. We were really happy to finish with a spinnaker run all the way down the Derwent River after so many days of beating. I really enjoyed the challenge of the race but especially appreciated the camaraderie with my teammates – I’d do the S2H again with them in a heartbeat!’

Elyse Guevara-Rattray, ‘ We suffered the loss of our wind instruments on the first night – yes, we dinghy sailed our way to Hobart!’

Drew Jones ‘Salt Shaker had a challenging race from a conservative start into a very rough first night where we deviated from our plan to go east, so we seemed to bounce off the coast all the way. We had a great crossing, then down the Tasmanian coast, rounding Tasman Island at dusk for a punishing crossing of Storm Bay and a patchy finish in the Derwent in a building sea breeze.’

Professional photos by ROLEX/Andrea Francolini
Wings, Hartbreaker supplied.