Glamour start for 77th Sydney Hobart
Published on December 26th, 2022
Sydney, Australia (December 26, 2022) – The 2022 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race got underway today at 1:00 pm on Sydney Harbour in north to north easterly 10-15 knot winds, under glorious sun and blue skies, belying the thick fog that blanketed Sydney at dawn.
Moments after the fleet of 109 boats began their 628 nautical mile race, the race between the four maxis was impacted by drama (watch video).
Three of the maxis took the western channel on Sydney Harbour – Andoo Comanche, Black Jack and LawConnect; while the late start by Hamilton Island Wild Oats had them clearing out for the eastern side. From there, the fleet regularly tacked up the Harbour to make their way out of the Heads.
While rounding a turning mark outside the harbour, John Winning Jr-skippered Andoo Comanche made contact, requiring the 100-footer to execute a penalty turn to clear their error.
Hamilton Island Wild Oats, skippered by Mark Richards, also undertook penalty turns from an incident on the upwind leg out the harbour, though onboard audio caught uncertainty whether it was needed.
The honour of being first out went to LawConnect, ahead of Hamilton Island Wild Oats.
Black Jack, the Botin 80 Stefan Racing, the Reichel/Pugh 72 URM Group, Andoo Comanche and the Reichel/Pugh 69 Moneypenny were next out in that order. Following close behind were the dozen TP52s, led by Celestial.
The four maxis are eager to better the elapsed time record held by LDV Comanche (then owned by Jim Cooney/Samantha Grant) of 1 day, 9 hours, 15 minutes, 24 seconds.
By 3:00 pm, the race had its first drop out as the Hick 40 Avalanche, a two-handed entry owned by James Murchison and co-skippered by James Francis, reported a broken bowsprit, reducing the fleet to 108 boats and 19 two-handed entries.
Race details – Tracker – Facebook
The 628 nm Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be the 77th edition in 2022 which had a fleet of 109 boats for the start on December 26. One hundred fifty seven teams set off in 2019, but since then the 2020 race was cancelled due to the pandemic with 88 entries in 2021.
From the start in Sydney Harbour, the fleet sails out into the Tasman Sea, down the south-east coast of mainland Australia, across Bass Strait (which divides the mainland from the island State of Tasmania), then down the east coast of Tasmania. At Tasman Island the fleet turns right into Storm Bay for the final sail up the Derwent River to the historic port city of Hobart.