ready, ready, go? – Sail XS

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After the massive disappointment of the cancellation of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race last year, the 77th edition of the race appears to be unfolding, albeit against the backdrop of the demands imposed by Covid, which has affected its turn the preparation of the 100 yachts in the lead. until the Great Course.

Unfortunately, the year-long Covid uncertainty once again delayed the long-awaited debut of the Hobart Race from our illustrious editor who was to join the team on the Schumacher 54 Maritimo (ex Swiftsure II). Hopefully next year will see this “great moment in the history of sport” come true.

Maritimo’s yearlong build was probably less impacted than our Sydney-based rivals due to very limited blockages at our Gold Coast base. Our lead has been solid with essentially a clean sweep of all events in Queensland this year, including the Line Honors in the Brisbane-Gladstone race, thanks to the 100ft Black Jack dropping his rig. The bar is certainly set higher here.

The majority of the crew sailed the boat at 400nm to Sydney last weekend. Traditionally, Dock Prep Week at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is all about catching up and having a few drinks with friends you haven’t seen all year, briefings and final race preparation. This year we are either on the boat or in the hotel rooms, mostly isolated with all meals delivered. Home detention without ankle bracelet.

All crews must be fully vaccinated and provide a negative Covid PCR test within 72 hours of the start of the race. This window opened at 1:00 p.m. yesterday. The Omicron variant saw Sydney’s public testing resources completely stretched, with results in some cases taking more than 72 hours. Hope this will not affect our competition too much. That said, it will be a miracle if there isn’t a last minute Covid impact on fleet numbers. Despite the criticism and negativity from some, I think CYCA has done an absolutely fantastic and totally professional job under very difficult and changing conditions…

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