Sailing is my sport. Yesterday reminded me that I am truly very lucky to be so involved in such a great sport. In my fathers role as MHYC PRO we each year head out on Boxing Day to volunteer our time on a Start boat for the biggest yacht race of the year. The Sydney to Hobart is such an iconic event and yesterday it reminded us why. We have done this for a number of years now with my Father in charge and a few friends supporting. This year we got to see off the middle line with all the Clipper boats which are known for sailing around the world!
Onboard the start boat were a number of close friends, many of them regular volunteers known around the Harbour and beyond for donating their time to our sport. They included well known race official / judge / umpire Jeremey Atkinson and Umpire / Judge Erica Kirby. It is a little way that we see we can thank them for what they do for our sport. Yes we are there to start a race and as normal that is fairly time consuming. However the atmosphere of the Sydney to Hobart is such an enjoyable experience and one to share. Onboard to help add to the atmosphere was good friend Liesl Tesch well known for winning a few Paralympic medals over the years as well as being the most enthusiastic person we know. Liesl has done the race in the past and loved having the chance to see what else happens to make the race possible.
We couldn’t do it without a great team onboard and it is nice to know that everyone also enjoyed it. With Erica bringing yummy cup cakes and Liesl purchasing some bubbles to drink afterwards. The team all came back to our place for a BBQ and to watch the TV version of the coverage to see what we missed! I am sure many people probably think we have it easy and a prime location but many of us didn’t get to see the start due to flag duties, penciling etc etc. Then there was the fact that many of us didn’t really have much of a chance to eat the sandwiches we had brought onboard either! You have to love the Christmas Day leftovers!!!
This years race was always going to be epic. With so many Maxi Boats entered I called it early that helicopters would reach double figures and they did! Standing on top of the MHYC Start Boat with Liesl the two of us had massive grins and remembered why we are so proud to be sailors. The Harbour was packed and looked fantastic with a spectator fleet out in full force thanks to the rain clearing early in the day. The yachts looked fantastic as they lined up at our pin end boat to check in and show they were ready to race with their storm gear up! The race was always going to be big this year despite next year being an anniversary year. As I type this there are some AWESOME battles going on in the fleet both up the front for line honors and further back as well. It is great to see such good close racing!
Aussie Sailors Rock, we are so lucky to have such a great country to sail in. Boxing Day, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else but Sydney Harbour!