Melbourne storms play havoc with Rolex Sydney Hobart entries

  • Racing
  • NEWS
  • By Jennifer Crooks
  • 26 Dec 2011 08:02:00
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Storms that lashed Victoria last night may cost some of the highly fancied yachts in the Rolex Sydney Hobart their chance of victory.

Storms that lashed Victoria last night may cost some of the highly fancied yachts in the Rolex Sydney Hobart their chance of victory.

Many of the crews are stranded at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport having spent Christmas at home with their families and are now dependent on airlines getting off the ground to get them to the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in time to jump aboard their yachts for the 628 nautical mile race.

Michael Hiatt’s Farr 55, Living Doll, Rob Date’s Reichel/Pugh 52 Scarlet Runner, Jason Van Der Slot’s TP52 Calm and Bruce Taylor’s Caprice 40, Chutzpah are all affected and the latter two include crew stranded who are coming up for their important 25th Hobart races.

Taylor was madly running around the CYCA, host to the race this morning, trying to organise food, wet weather and equipment for his yacht that have not arrived, stuck with crew at Melbourne's Tullamarine airport.  The Victorian, who is setting off on his 31st race south, with his son Drew sailing his 20th, is still hopeful that his missing crew will arrive in time to start the famous race.

“Gavin Gourley, one of my 25er’s is still to fly in, we’re keeping our fingers crossed both guys will make it. If not, I will sail the boat with the eight I have,” Taylor said at the CYCA this morning.

“I’ve got someone chasing food – it’s hard to find a supermarket open at this hour (6.40am Boxing Day morning) and we’re short wet weather and thermal gear and other stuff,” commented Taylor who added: “I feel lucky to be here, I think I was on the last plane in last night, we touched down just before 11.00pm.”

There are (perhaps superstitiously) 13 Victorian yachts in the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart and so far, only the yacht Shogun, Rob Hanna’s TP52 is the only one with a full complement of crew, but even he is affected, as some wet weather gear is still on its way here.

Most of the interstate crews in the race head home for Christmas to spend precious time with their families and return to the CYCA on Christmas night or Boxing Day morning.

The CYCA’s commodore, Garry Linacre, said the Club would do all it could to help those affected to chase down food, wet weather gear etc. in time for the 1.00pm start.

The CYCA’s clothing supplier, MUSTO, very kindly offered to provide those crew missing wet weather gear and thermals with what they require, driving to the factory and delivering it to the Club this morning. Both Taylor and Hanna were very touched by the gesture as they continued working to organise fresh food for the trip.

By Di Pearson, Rolex Sydney Hobart media team

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