Henri Lloyd is proud to welcome Gaby Carr as a new ambassador for sailing in Australia. Here is her first blog on all the blood, sweat and tears that goes into training and prep to get Hartbreaker ready for the upcoming Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Follow her journey now...
After a challenging delivery sail getting Hartbreaker from Melbourne to Sydney over the cup long weekend, it was a quick turnaround for boat & crew to be back in Sydney ready for the Cabbage Tree Island race, which would be our qualifier for the S2H.
With most crew returning to Melbourne for the days in between, it was a busy week directing the few hands left in Sydney to get the boat race-ready. Within 2 days we had the alternator replaced, the Cat 1 audit signed off, a temporary repair to the tang (a little too temporary as it turned out!), head unblocked, delivery sails replaced with race sails and the boat re-provisioned. Race weather forecast was a welcome contrast to our delivery sail, although a little too far on the light side Friday night...
This was the first Sydney Harbour outing for the boat as Hartbreaker (formerly Shamrock & Secret Mens Business 2 and well accustomed to S2H racing) and first time on the harbour for a couple of our crew. Our enthusiasm to get out & racing, unfortunately saw us OCS at the start and while penalty turns weren’t in the race plan, it resulted in a clear air start. Some hasty on the fly amendments to the vang virtually on the start line also kept things interesting! Not ideal when a large bolt drops from the boom 10 mins before crossing the start line, well it was a temporary fix I guess!
We settled in nicely and exited the heads in good company alongside Terra Firma and Frantic.
Early progress under a stunning full moon soon turned to frustration as the wind dropped out completely. Hours of boat speed of 0.00 and for those coming up on watch at 6am only to see the same part of the coastline as when they went off watch 3 hours earlier.
Thankfully the wind decided to show up & we reached Cabbage Tree just after midday. Not quite in enough time for our navigator to report our position as Sierra (South) during the sched. as he’d hoped, but not too far off.
By now the northerly had kicked in & the downwind fun begins. For hours we were flying along under kite, sun shining, and dolphins alongside us – it really doesn’t get any better than that!!
Our stunning kite run sadly came to an end during the evening. A random gust after a round up was too much for the A4, and despite a quick retrieval by the crew it will be spending time with the sail maker this week.
While the race took longer than expected due to the Friday night wind frustration, we reached the finish line around midnight and crossing the harbour under spinnaker was as spectacular as we could have hoped for.
While in reality our Hobart campaign started months ago, it never really feels like it until you’re out sailing on the harbour. Great start for the Hartbreaker crew, we’ll be back for another hit out in a few weeks!
#HenriLloydAmbassador #sailingblog #cabbagetreerace #sydneyharbour #rshyr