Category: 2016 Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race

Training Day 2 (Tuesday)

The mast featured large in today’s session – it wasn’t straight and there were many conflicting theories concerning why. The relative tightness of the various wires (shrouds) holding it up were discussed. In the end a rigger was summoned, and the offending wire was identified as we sailed back and forth in the harbor in stiff breeze. Shortly after the junior rigger was sent aloft to do mysterious rigging things, all agreed the mast was now perfect. This did not excuse the ten sweaty sailors being late for dinner though.


Very breezy day for sailing – practice included reefing quickly; poling out the jib in high breeze; and getting very wet. Reefing quickly needs more work – again tomorrow (if done too slowly puts the mainsail at risk for damage, and you only have one mainsail).


On the media front, Joe was interviewed by the Italian sailing press, Chinese sailing press, and yesterday’s ABC interview was on the nightly TV news. The crew position of navigator is now being replaced by press secretary. It has been noted that a number of publications are not carrying news of Joe and the Lindy – these are now banished from the boat and there can be no mention of them.

Training Day 1 (Monday)

All the crew, most of the families, and some of the luggage now arrived – snow in Canada causing all sorts of issues. You’d think they’d be used to it, but it seemed to take Air Canada completely by surprise. Lots of lending of clothing, but somehow no one interested in my smalls.


After hours of boat chores, and jet lagged wandering around, we were ready to actually have a sail in the afternoon. But first ABC news dropped by to interview Joe “Holywood” Mele for the evening news. The crew in camera shot looked busy doing important things – and after the media left, we finally headed out and pulled the sails up. Tacked out to the “Heads” and the open ocean, through a very busy waterway, and warmed everyone up. Back at the dock and time to climb the mast and finish mast preparation, change the speedo to one that at least thought we were moving, and overall avoided resting by the pool with a beer.


Dinner for all at house hq (which overlooks Rushcutters bay) was a splendid affair – not sure the wine helped with jet lag though.


Day 7 1/2 – The Team Assembles

Team members and families are now on their way to their bottom of the world, to join the advance Sherpa party in tuning up for the Hobart Race. Gill insisted we rough it on the long flight out – all good preparation for the adventure ahead. We slept through the afternoon tea to toughen us up – you have to make sacrifices every now and again.
And late breaking news – snowing in Tasmania. Am now looking for fleece jackets in Dubai duty free – not having much luck. A thick burka is all I can find.

Day 7 – Pre-pre Race Preps

Well today was about getting ready to leave Wollwich Dockyard and get to the yacht club in time for the crew party. We succeeded! In the background Casey and Carla sorted out the pre-loading of food for incoming folks, Christmas turkeys and hams (not an easy find). And then Carla and Casey joing Joe and I for the delivery from Wollwich to the YC. I have sailed in a lot of places but to say Sydney Harbour is busy is a huge understatement. Ferries everywhere. Joe was driving, Casey and Carla on trim and I was full on pointing out ferry trajectories and races that we were about to sail through. We had Aussie 18s go by us like we were parked. So we gybed back and forth through the channels and past the Darling Harbour area (very cool) then the Sydney Bridge (so bummed  I can’t do it – you could see groups crawling along the tops, very neat). We could have used a few Jays to keep us safe but we managed to not get run over. We sailed out towards the heads and checked the rig and although Jason (very capable rigger) shortened the forestay successfully we think he may have gone too far. Will get sorted out next week with full crew and racing sails.


We then sailed very carefully into Rushcutters Bay where the YC is an managed to dock without incident. It is so cool to be amongst the big boys of this race and sailing history in general. After a brief cleanup we headed up the crew party. They had 4 stalls for food from different regions of the planet based on the away-participants. Carla and Casey bento-box Asian food collection while Joe had Paella then looked at my Aussie Beef Pie. I abandoned it (Joe was going to eat it anyways) and had English F & C. Some wine, lots of nice Aussie beers and great chats with several people who know us as the American boat . Super nice folks all. We got invited to sail on some Farr 40s, drive up the coats, be hosted at a Barbie, you name it. Eben met some related to Cyrus Eaton, a famous Nova Scotia of SALT Treat talks fame (I got to meet this giy in Chester back in 1976), Interesting and the weather today was gorgeous so it was fun to sit out and drink beer by the water. Heavy winds were forecast for 2100 this evening and I noticed the staff at the YC putting away the umbrellas before we left. Well our Uber home to Drumoyne was full on dodging branches, leaves, and anything else not tied down.


And here we are back at our nice AirBnB with a plan to swim after dark in the pool that now has surf waves. Just nuts, the whole condo building is vibrating. If we were in a boat offshore we would be hmmmmm. Focused perhaps!


And now various laundires are running with clothes, ruined Lindy shirt, stinky sneakers… you get the idea.


All else is good. There are various crew coming in over the next few days and snow events have been the great challenge in Canada with several delays, good luck all, hope the delays don’t dampen your spirits.



Fearless Leader checking for falling tourists before going under the Sydney Bridge

Cruise ships, ferries, private yachts, sea-planes… make Syndey a nuts place to sail. Throw in Christmas parties for a city that is all about boats and you see the problem…



Wouldn’t it be great to hear Dolly Parton sing here?

Today was a bit of a rest day after the feverish preps from earlier in the week. Fearless Leader headed off to golf at a fancy schmancy course that had a strict rule against ratty old Novi golfers so he went off alone.

The Joe got a birdie on the 12th hole, a Par 5. Bill Murray would have been proud!

Carla, Casey and I headed off for the Manly area to watch some surfing but primarily to heck out the old Quarantine Hospital that saw so many immigrants pass through on their way to becoming Aussies. Sort of like a mini-Ellis Island…

Our favorite grocery and raw bar store also sells Christmas bushes for the season.

We then headed for the famous Manly Beach area and a brew-pub for lunch. Monster burgers done medium-rare and the IPA was actually called an XPA, a hybrid cross between an IPA and a Lager.  4-Pines can be picked up locally here in Sydney so we will see this again.

Pub grub at 4-Pines in Manly. And the burgers were indeed manly, not girlie at all.

Manly men and Manly women out surfing! Fun to watch.

The late afternoon rain broke a few times and the sun peeked out but not for long. Tomorrow is supposed to be glorious once again and we move the boat to the yacht club.  The crew party is also on tomorrow night so we will do our best to represent the Lindy as best we can.

As this is being posted much of the rest of the crew are leaving home from the UK, Trono, Virginia and Noviland, all headed this way. The rest follow on shortly. Safe travels all…