From the yacht Adventure

From the yacht Adventure
RSHYR 2006 entrant

Skipper of Adventure, Charles Roberts, reflects on their preparation just prior to the start

By the time you read this, Adventure will have started the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.  The start will be the culmination of some intense training over the last couple of weeks as well as some deserved down time.  The last 48 hours have been hectic to say the least. 

Interest in Adventure has steadily climbed over the last couple of days and the media have been running our story on most of the major TV networks in Australia, as one of the few Pommy yachts taking part.  The Rolex Sydney to Hobart race is a huge event in Australia and the newspapers have been featuring double page spread stories on the yachts for the last couple of weeks. 

In particular Adventure has featured in an article concerning what food the crews will be eating during the race.  ABN AMRO are on 3 freeze dried meals a day, no coffee and a bar of chocolate.  Adventure on the other hand is eating a scientific blend of complex carbohydrates and protein.  In other words tonight we are having curry and rice. 

All of this interest in the yacht and the build up to the race serves to only heighten the excitement which is generated by any big sporting event, especially when you are taking part in it.  We have attended briefings on what weather to expect and various briefings on safety equipment and how to use it, so the crew were told accordingly not to get off the yacht until Tasmania! 

On the subject of weather, Adventure was hoping for strong winds, as due to our weight we stop dead in light winds and the smaller and lighter boats can make the most of it.  Big seas, would slow them down and perhaps cause a few retirements due to sea sickness or gear failure. The first forecasts predicted strong winds, the later ones show that the weather system which would produce these is likely to have moved away by the start of the race, leaving High Pressure to dominate.  All of it is on the nose and so it is looking like a long frustrating race for Adventure.  We do at least have the East Australian Current in our favour (made famous by the Turtles in Finding Nemo), this will give us a 1 or 2 knts in the right direction. 

Anyway our time in Sydney is nearly up, what a fantastic city and we have been made very welcome by everyone we have met, CYCA have looked after the yacht very well and the Australian Navy and Army have been very generous with their hospitality and resources.  Thanks very much Sydney, we had a great time!

Charles Roberts