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Turning Right out of the Heads

Published on December 15th, 2016

Rolex Sydney to Hobart Press conference 2016 - International participants - Sydney 15/12/2016 ph. Andrea Francolini

Joe Mele
Photo © Andrea Francolini

Getting a boat ready for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is a complicated exercise for the locals, but to come from a totally different country really takes some serious forethought. Just ask American Joe Mele who has entered his Swan 44 Triple Lindy.

“We’ve been building a serious ocean racing program for 10 years. We thought we were now ready,” Mele says of competing in offshore races up and down the American east coast, including four Newport Bermuda and Marion Bermuda races, and winning class at Charleston Race Week. She will race to Hobart with an American and Canadian crew.

Shipping a 44 foot yacht half way around the world is a pretty big deal, but a relieved Mele says that, thanks to a lot of help from CYCA stalwart David Kellett, it has all ended up “logistically easier than I thought it would be. David has been our guardian angel.

“Ever since I arrived here I have been getting more apprehensive,” Mele says. “Everyone I have talked to says that no sensible person ever turns right out of the Heads.”

Following the start inside Sydney Harbor, when arriving at the Heads after completing not quite 2 nm of the 628 nm course, what could go wrong?

Source: Jim Gale, Scuttlebutt

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, organized by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia with the co-operation of Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, is the ultimate test for skippers, tacticians and crews. The 2016 race is the 72nd edition of this 628 nautical mile, time-honoured and classic offshore race.

With 91 yachts competing for the Tattersall’s Cup and coveted Rolex timepiece awarded to the overall winner, this year’s contest looks set to uphold the reputation of this renowned event. The race starts at 13:00 AEDT on December 26, 2016.

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