IMG_0013 - Constitution Dock, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia - Finish for the Sydney-Hobart Blue Water Yacht Race Classic - mid 1970s
I am not sure of the exact date of this picture. Probably it is the mid-1970s and taken, on Kodak Slide Film. This was before the super maxis joined this elite blue water classic, which leaves Sydney on Boxing Day and the first yacht to Hobart is declared the outright winner. There are many different sections within this race, there are different divisions racing, and there is also corrected time too so it is possible for a yacht to take out overall 1st place AND 1st on handicap, although this does not happen very often. Many yachts will have favourable winds running down the East Coast of Australia, across Bass Strait, and down the East Coast of Tasmania, only to be becalmed coming across Storm Bay, and finally rounding the Iron Pot Lighthouse for the final run up the Derwent River into Hobart with the finish off Castray Esplanade and sometimes fickle winds here will make or break the lead boats. To witness the spectacle of a finish of this great race is one of the joys of life for me, so many spectator craft on the water and many people lining the finish line, and when the canon fires to signify the end of this race, car horns begin blaring, people cheering, flags waving. This race can finish either day or night time, depending on how fast the lead boats are moving.
The beautiful sandstone building in the background is the old Customs House. My younger brother was a Customs Officer and part of his time was spent in this beautiful building. His career with the Customs spanned 40 years. He is now enjoying retirement as I am enjoying retirement too.
The yachts tie up here for a few days' respite after their run down the coast. New Year's Eve is always a big celebration on the waterfront and often crews are invited into the homes of the locals during this time and many wonderful friendships are forged between Hobartians and Tasmanians and visiting yachties.
Nowadays, it is the super maxis which fight out this race. Some are over 100ft in length, have all the latest gadgetry on board, including sat-nav, electric winches, swinging keels. It is a far cry from the first race that was held as a challenge between friends in Sydney to be the first to Hobart in around 1945. It has now developed into this wonderful blue water classic!!!!
In 1998 a horrendous storm overtook the fleet off the New South Wales/Victorian Coast. 6 sailors died, 55 were rescued mostly by helicopter. Still it remains the premier race in Australia and the thrill of this great blue water classic will continue to mesmerise as each year comes around and each race begins!!
Some further reading:-