2001 57th Sydney to Hobart Race

2001 57th Sydney to Hobart Race

In 1998 Tony & his crew were taken to within a hairs breath of losing their lives in the fatal Sydney to Hobart race of that year.

1 yr. and 10 months later he had rebuilt the boat and set off on his record breaking solo, nonstop and unassisted circumnavigation of the world

The horrendous life changing experience of 1998 was indelibly etched in his mind.

He looked upon it as unfinished business….

Just prior to setting off solo around the world he planted the seed with his seven crew from ’98 about the possibility of competing in the Hobart race upon his return from around the world 6 months or so hence

In late April 2001, 2 weeks after spending 181 days at sea on his own and at the completion of his solo around the world trip the 8 of them got together over a few beers and eventually unanimously agreed to go “Back to Bass Strait to finish off the unfinished business”

On 26th December 2001 at 1pm the starting signal sent the fleet on its way with Solo Globe Challenger and crew setting out to get the monkey off their backs from 3 years before

It was an incredibly emotional experience…This time…they successfully crossed the finished …Unscathed 

Here are a couple of updates Tony wrote at the time….

Thursday 27th December, 2001 (2.20pm)
Position 35 50S, 151 45E (75nm E of Bateman Bay)
20 knot SW breeze

I can’t remember a more frustrating start to a Sydney to Hobart race in my 15 race experience. Wind is blowing from all directions and at all strengths. We’ve got smoke and ash from the devastating bush fires affecting our visibility – our eyes are sore and our breathing has been affected even where we are, miles out to sea. We can only imagine the devastation caused by these dreadful fires and we are hoping that everyone is safe and the tireless efforts of the fire-fighters and other emergency service personnel are bringing the situation under control.

I sat down to write to you last night when at about 6.00pm a SW front arrived to change things dramatically. After such calm conditions at the start, 35-40 knots of wind saw us reduce sail to triple reefed main and part furled #4 headsail. Conditions were very uncomfortable last night as we sailed in a huge washing machine like sea. Five of the crew were seasick because of the atrocious sea state but like the champions they are they still did their jobs. Poor old SAL crashed off the back of some very big seas, but suffered no damage thankfully. I understand four boats lost masts and others retired with various other problems. The eerie thing was that as we bashed south we were headed into lightning just like 3 years ago only not as intense! While the breeze was “on” we just battened down and concentrated on getting through the night, remembering our primary goal this time is to finish. I can assure you that there is no “Gung Ho” on this boat.

Since this morning, conditions have improved progressively and we now have maximum sail up as we continue to bash to windward. We just ate our first decent meal (not that packets of biscuits aren’t decent) of spag bol and cannelloni compliments of Alana Snape. As usual I had seconds. We have clocked 134nm on the GPS log since the start, and whilst not shining in the handicap honours at this stage, we are happy just being here.

As I type it is only 1hr 15mins to the time our lives were changed three years ago just up ahead in Bass Strait.

This will be an emotional night for us all ….. until next time.

Tony and the crew,
Kennards Solo Globe Challenger

Monday 31st December, 2001 (4.20pm)

A very emotional time for us all – three years ago we started this and today it has been officially put to bed.

I’ll be taking the time to write in more detail after a compulsory 24 hour celebration, so for now, thanks for your support, good wishes and all the best for you and yours in 2002.

Tony and the crew,
Kennards Solo Globe Challenger
Sydney to Hobart 2001

Heading to finish line 2001 Sydney to Hobart race
Compilation 1998 & 2001 Sydney to Hobart race
Says it all pretty much
Competitor plaque 2001 Sydney to Hobart race