know, Christmas is a time for relaxing, catching up with family
and friends, and generally taking stock of the year almost over.
And it’s also a time to wonder what the New Year
In my opinion, Boxing Day is certainly the most
enjoyable day; well it should be anyway! While most people are
sleeping off the excesses of Christmas dinners, or kicking back
to watch the start of the Boxing Day test match, I’m usually glued to the television
with a list of race entrants in one hand and a pen in the other
watching the start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. I then spend
the next four to five days ticking off the various yachts as they
progressively cross the finish line in Hobart.
Every hourly news bulletin on the radio, and every
evening news telecast finds me shushing noisy kids and demanding
silence as I’m glued to what ever appliance is available in an attempt
to track the progress of competing yachts.
And boy, didn’t the 2004 race
give all of us at Club Marine a few sleepless nights!
But despite the graphic images and extreme weather
conditions that most of the fleet had to contend with, I am pleased
to advise that, in actual fact, the bulk of the Club Marine-insured
fleet suffered very little damage.
A total of 116 yachts started the race on Boxing
Day and Club Marine insured 95 of them. Fifty seven
yachts withdrew from the race. The majority of the withdrawals
were as a direct result of sound seamanship, which saw skippers
and crew considering the conditions they were either facing or
about to face, and deciding that it just wasn’t worth taking
the risk to push on.
And I must applaud the decisions taken in this regard.
It is, after all, only a race!
There will always be comparisons made between one
race and another – and
I’m certainly not about to compare races now – but
suffice it to say that if this is the attitude skippers and crews
are now going to take in regards to the safe guarding of life as
well as their yacht, then I can see a long future for the Sydney
to Hobart yacht race. After all, it is, without doubt, the pre-eminent
ocean yacht race in the world.
A photographic report on the race by new correspondent,
Crosbie Lorimer, starts on page 20 with supporting photos from
master photographer, Ian Mainsbridge. I hope you enjoy it.
Also in this magazine we’ve got coverage of the Strathfield
Pittwater to Coffs Harbour race, a photographic essay on historic
Bruny Island by Bill Bachman and Barry White, a fascinating travel
piece on New Caledonia’s Isle of Pines by Rob Mundle, Warren
Steptoe stalks barramundi in Arnhem Land, Stephen Morgan wraps
up the second year of the Australian Fishing Championships, we
offer advice on how to commission a marine survey and we’ve
got a special technical piece on Volvo Penta’s ground-breaking
new IPS propulsion system. For potential boat owners, Warren Steptoe
takes a look at Haines Hunter’s new Breeze 520, while Mark
Rothfield tests Arvor’s new 250AS.
Enjoy the magazine and remember that your safety
is our top priority!