sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Santa, Rudolph, the Sydney Hobart Race and American holiday traditions
Santa, Rudolph, the Sydney Hobart Race and American holiday traditions


'Surfing to Hobart: Wild Oats XI reached more than 30 knots off Tasmania’s east coast during the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2013'    Brett Costello/News Ltd ©

Some ocean races are easier to watch from afar than others. While a lot of this has to do with the physical size of the race, much also has to do with the race’s position and prestige within its greater society. As dedicated as American sailors may be, the simple (and sad) truth remains that it took a thundering 8-1 comeback for my fellow countrymen to get even marginally excited about the 34th America’s Cup, which was hosted in San Francisco, so you can understand why races like the Newport to Bermuda, the Marblehead to Halifax or even Transpac are largely ignored by mainstream media.

Fortunately, this isn’t the case in all nations. Take Australia, for example. Few populations per capita on earth are as sailing-obsessed as Oz (with the possible exception of New Zealand), and regattas and races are regularly covered by the news, especially the fabled Sydney to Hobart Race, which is in the process of concluding as the smaller boats make their way to the Derwent River and up to Hobart. For many Australians, this race is a critical part of their Christmas/Boxing Day/New Years celebrations, so the coverage is solid, both on the race’s progression and on the personalities and ambitions behind the campaigns.

VENTURE 2 buries the bow as she blasts south on Day 4 - Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2013 -  © Rolex - Carlo Borlenghi  


For geographically challenged American spectators and sailors such as myself, the antipodean obsession with 'the Hobart' only makes my holiday season the sweeter. For example, spouse-enforced last-minute holiday shopping was made all the more entertaining by reading up on the pre-start rivalries, as well as reports on the new and/or modified sleds that veteran owners assembled in hopes of nabbing a class win, or-in the case of the really big dogs-line honors.

But the real genius about 'the Hobart' for us Americans (especially those who are more enamored with sailing than with Christmas’ overtly commercial underside) involves the time difference with Australia. Given that the fleet starts racing at 1300 hours, Sydney time, on Boxing Day, live coverage could start anywhere between the time that Great Aunt Mildred busts out her fruitcake (always a good time to exit stage left!) to when your nieces and nephews decide to sea trial the siren and speaker functions on their new holiday toys.

PRETTY FLY III encounters big sea on morning of Day 4 - Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2013 -  © Rolex-Daniel Forster  


If you’re anything like me, your smartphone constantly tracked the race, while your web-browser was locked onto Sail-World.com. Thanks to my counterparts DownUnder and in Europe, I was able to (repeatedly) enjoy the race’s start, which was streamed onto Yahoo and showed on Sail-World, while also catching up-to-the-minute details from the fleet as they plunged south. Top international photographers such as Carlo Borlenghi, Daniel Forster, Crosbie Lorimer and Andrea Francolini were on hand to document the race, both at the start, along their southbound racetrack-delivering eye-popping imagery as boats large and small bashed and battled their way through growing seas-and of course at the finish, where 'Wild Oats XI' made race history (again).

Then there was the written word. Top international scribes such as Rob Mundle, Richard Gladwell and Bruce Montgomery-not to mention the whole Sail-World team-contributed great articles and accounts of the race and the challenges that each crew overcame as they battled their way to Hobart.

SYHO13cb 55034 - 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Day 4 -  © Rolex - Carlo Borlenghi   Click Here to view large photo


For over-sated sailors living in North America, this media coverage is a rare treat, especially given the race’s timing. I’ll admit that studying the 'S2H' media has saved me from more than one awkward cocktail-party conversation (although you could make the strong argument that there’s nothing more awkward than a lone sailor fervently tapping an iPhone at an otherwise crowded room), and it’s possible that it has also provided a lifeline during some otherwise-dull holiday moments.

The real trick, however, involves creating plausible reasons to get up and check the race tracker and Sail-World at all hours, especially if your spouse detests smartphones in bed as much as my wife. Fortunately, you can always blame the eggnog and the fruitcake (I did).

So while I’m always happy to be rid of Christmas music clogging up the airwaves, as well as my neighbor’s 'lovely' holiday lights (taste is always subjective, but frolicking reindeer?), I always get hit with a small wall of post-holiday withdrawal. Despite any efforts to hold onto the 'Hobart glow', the sad fact remains that we simply won’t get to enjoy ocean-racing coverage on this scale again until the sight of mistletoe again becomes common (always too soon, in my humble opinion). Fortunately, however, there’s still tons of post-racing Sydney-Hobart media to look forward to, as well as mind-blowing imagery and first-person accounts as the sailors reach Hobart.

BRINDABELLA with dolphins off Tasman Island - Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2013 -  © Rolex - Carlo Borlenghi  


As for dealing with holiday gift-returns, however, my best suggestion is to do this chore quickly, while there’s still plenty of great Sydney-Hobart coverage to distract you from the long lines, or worse, the looming threat of Valentine’s Day.

May the four winds blow you safely home,


by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=117995

4:51 PM Sun 29 Dec 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Newsletter Editorial US

Related News Stories:

01 Jul 2013  AC34, BIRW and Clagett reports—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
24 May 2013  Coast to coast sailing reports—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
01 Apr 2013  AMA delivery and BVI and OD news—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
28 Mar 2013  Dancing bears, AC and OD news—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
17 Dec 2012  The other kind of airfoil—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
22 Aug 2012  ACWS delivers thrills and spills—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
04 Jul 2012  VOR: Groupama wins!—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
20 Jun 2012  Cupdate- Fifth Team antes up—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
01 Jun 2012  VOR: Walker wins Leg Seven—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
23 May 2012  ECCS announced—Sailing News from the U.S. and Beyond
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World



























Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam day 5 by American Windsurfing Tour,


















470 Men and Women Worlds - Champions decided in Santander by International 470 Class Association,






















Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - No racing on penultimate day
Belcher takes record fifth 470 World Championship
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 8 video highlights
2014 Great Lakes Team Racing Championship about to set off
2014 Etchells North American Championship - Day 1
2014 U.S. Multihull Championship - Day 1
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Repechage top four determined in final flight
J/24 World Championship - 35th anniversary preview
470 Men and Women Worlds - Santander medal race line-up confirmed
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sail-World.com
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing stumbles in coastal race
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Americans ready for 470 medal races
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander: Action ramps up with end zone in sight
Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length
ISAF Sailing World Championships Santander - Double French RS:X gold
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 8 images by Sailing Energy
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Finn leaders emerge from shifty Santander breeze
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - RS:X winner images by Barbara Sanchez
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 470 spots awarded
52 Super Series 2015 - Outlook looks hot for the 52 Super Series
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - Another early start on day 4   
ISAF Sailing World - First entry leaves sailor's reputation in tatters   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Four go through to quarter finals   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard   
ISAF Sailing World Champ - Buckingham finishes with career-best result   
America's Cup: Oracle's Larry Ellison to step down as CEO   
Classic Yacht Regatta - Sonny takes top classic prize   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham finishes with career best   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Rio 2016 RS:X spots claimed   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Leaderboards shaping up in Santander + Video   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Giles Scott continues to extend lead   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Day 7 images by Sailing Energy   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Laser and Radial winner images by Jesus Renedo   
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Medal Race images by Sail-World.com   
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Dutch dominate Laser and Radial in Santander   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing more than doubles overall lead   
J/24 World Championship - Excitement builds for Newport racing   
Volvo Ocean Race - Seb Marsset joins Team Alvimedica   
Fall Seamanship training opportunities at New York Yacht Club   
Rolex Big Boat Series: More images from San Francisco - Final Day   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT