Friday, 6 January 2012

Relishing summer in Hobart: the Sydney-to-Hobart finish

Greetings, sweet Planetarians! My goodness, we've been up to all sorts of activities on PB during this glorious summer fortnight between Christmas and Mr PB returning to work on Monday (boo!). It's a delicate balancing act to get some needed organisation and work carried out at home whilst also taking time out to relax, isn't it? Here are photos to give you a taste of what we've been up to lately.

The Sydney-to-Hobart Yacht Race finish

Older Planetarians will recall my post last year about how important the ocean-racing classic, the Sydney-to-Hobart Yacht Race, is to Hobart. There I mentioned that "I vividly remember the drama of the finish to the 1982 race when Condor of Bermuda defeated Apollo by only seven seconds – after a race of 630 nautical miles!" 

Well, this year there was the prospect that the finish could be equally tight between Investec Loyal and Wild Oats XI. Imagine our excitement!

Listening to the ABC radio race reports in one ear whilst scanning the official website which showed a live tracking of the positions of all the yachts, Mr PB and I deduced that it was time to pack the pixies into the chariot and zip down towards the finish line to *be there*! We zoomed down to the waterfront, catching sporadic glimpses of the two yachts battling it out up the River Derwent as we bobbed up and down Hobart's hilly streets. Would we make it? It was high drama - truly! 

Meanwhile, our fabulous friend, Geoff, was snapping away with his DSLR camera as the yachts passed by his waterfront house. He kindly agreed to let me use his photos. 
Here's a long shot so you can see how close they were at this stage. Just one change of wind direction, the wrong choice of sail or a dud tack could have made a huge difference. 
Here's a close-up of Wild Oats XI.
Investec Loyal wasn't far ahead of her.
In true Hobartian style, about 100 vessels of every description accompanied the yachts as they strove towards the finish line. Here are some golden oldies, all decked out in their finery.

As the yachts left Geoff in their wake, we found a carpark at the Muir's Slipyards in Battery Point, right on the waterfront, and raced outside. 
Here are Mr PB and the pixies at their chosen spot, surrounded by excited locals, brandishing binoculars and snapping away with their cameras.

The yachts were behind Mr PB's head at this stage!
Here we are, the pixies in their pyjamas and bundled up around me against the chilly wind. See the crowd lined up on the jetty in front of us, willing the yachts to the finish line!
Then they both disappeared around the corner, out of sight. We high-tailed it to the car and drove to the finish line, only to be told that we needed a voucher to park there. Disappointed, we turned the car around and retreated, just as we heard the finish gun fired!

This is the sight of the line honours winner, Investec Loyal, only minutes later as she pulled into Constitution Dock. Look at the well-wishers there to greet her, car horns honking and cheering ringing out!
Meanwhile, we enjoyed a little picnic in a park just 200 metres away from the finish line in the balmy weather. Squinting into the sun was a challenge but we relished our unusual end to the day.
Here's the crew the next morning (after a protest had been dismissed), brandishing the prized trophy aloft. 

And that, my friends, is a wrap. I'll be back tomorrow to show you what we got up to at the Taste Festival. Remember last year's post on it? I bet you're salivating already ☺.
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