DBSC members contributed two (2) owned and skippered in this year's edition of the S2H. In addition to Wild Rose, we had Breakthrough, owned by members Mat Vadas and our Patron Jonathan Stone.
24 Hours into the race DBSC had 100% of its boats in the top 3 on corrected time! DBSC was about to be recognised as Australia's leading Blue water yacht club ( in addition to being the best club in the world for Lasers).
By the end, Breakthrough lost a little ground, but still ended up 12th overall from 118 starters. This is a great result, and follows 27th and 26th in the previous two S2H races. JS penned the following report after Breakthrough finished:
Dear colleagues, friends
I just had a brief call from Mat. Breakthrough crossed the finish line early yester evening, with the crew in good shape and spirits, and little damage.
One of the four lines (ropes) which control the corners (clews) of the spinnaker shredded - these lines have a superstrong core and woven sheath; 'shredding' is when the sheath splits around the core and slides uncontrollably around it.
Given that the boat was surfing under spinnaker for the best part of two days, the damage is minimal. No broaches (Editor: Wild Rose might want to note this!), no tears in the sail; well handled.
In Division 3, Breakthrough slipped back to 7th; 10 minutes 'covered' the 4 or 5 placings ahead. And 12th overall out of 118 starters. A big 'personal best' for the boat and crew.
Were there any setbacks? I asked Mat. 'We should have gybed out to sea, off Flinders Island'. Instead Breakthrough had persisted on a starboard tack close the islands (Flinders, Cape Barren, Clarke). When she finally gybed on to port to go out to sea, competitors following her who had gybed an hour or two earlier crossed well ahead. There was better wind and current out 10 miles out to sea. Worth maybe an hour. With the advantage of hindsight, it seems clear; it is never so clear at the time, from the deck of the boat.
Hobart puts on a festival of food and dining at this time, in venues around Constitution Dock. It creates a welcoming atmosphere for the S2H sailors, and for sailors from the two Melbourne - Hobart races, who arrive at the same time (why two races from Melbourne? - one goes via the west coast of Tasmania, the other 'threads the needle' through the Bass Strait islands and comes down the eastern coast).
No doubt Breakthrough's crew have found a hot meal somewhere, perhaps a drink or two. Typically a crew member loses several kilograms over the long race; they have ground to make up.
So, all over for this year, with the crash of that photography plane making a tragic footnote.
My thanks to all have written with good wishes for the boat.