2012-26206 0 2 photo SYHO12df 0378

RIKKI, Ray Haslar
08, RIKKI, Sail No: NZL 8008, Owner: Ray Haslar, Design: Reichel Pugh 42, LOA (m): 13.0, State: New Zealand Start of the 68th Rolex Sydney Hobart

Photo By: Rolex / Daniel Forster

Day 5 of the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart has seen a flood of boats arriving in Hobart. All have tales to tell. This has been a harsh race for the smaller boats; they have experienced all manner of weather from good to bad. Few would deny theirs has been a true Rolex Sydney Hobart.

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By 19:15 AEDT on 30 December, 60 boats had reached the Tasmanian capital, the crews intent on joining the holiday atmosphere that pervades the city. With the wind conditions gradually improving, some of today’s finishers have been able to enjoy the last section of the race.

Just before sunrise this morning Sydney yachtsman Warwick Sherman’s Occasional Coarse Language Too crossed the line. If anyone has climbed a mountain this year it is Sherman. Diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma last year, he decided to set himself a challenge. A man who recognizes a fight when he is one, Sherman considers this one of the hardest: ““It was tough. God, it was tough. The first 36 hours were good, but the race to Hobart just keeps changing. You think you’re almost there; then you realize you are nowhere near. The last 24 hours we were hammered.”

2012 Olympic sailing silver medallist Blair Tuke, racing on Rikki, reached the finish shortly after 09:00. It has proved quite a baptism for the New Zealander: “It was pretty tough, especially off Tasman (Island), where we had 45 knots of wind, but the reception here in Hobart was awesome.”

By contrast to Tuke, Australian Tony Cable was on his 47th Rolex Sydney Hobart. The 70-year-old was on board Duende arriving just after 11:00 after almost four days at sea: “It wasn’t one of the easiest ones, but it wasn’t one of the hardest by far. We were working very hard – the conditions were over 30 knots.” Reaching Hobart is what has kept Cable returning to the race since he first competed as a 19-year-old. Would he be back? “There’s a year to go, so who know what will happen. It will be hard to give up Hobart.”

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