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article imagePhoto Essay: Viewing the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Special

By Val Williamson     Dec 21, 2011 in Sports
Sydney - Competitive yachting is a spectacle that is both photogenic and difficult to photograph. I took some shots around the CYCA Rushcutters Bay start venue for the world's most accessible Christmas race.
Racing yachts are intrinsically photogenic and invite the camera’s eye, whether at sea or in port.
I have put together some photographs I took of yachts that are competing again in the 2011 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race with some from other sources, to share my sense of the drama and beauty of this annual event.
Yachts and skippers from a number of countries take part in the race, but it is overwhelmingly an Australian one. Hundreds of thousands of spectators line the shores and vantage points of Sydney Harbour at start time, 1pm AES time on the 26th December. Many more crowd onto a multitude of vessels to accompany the race fleet out between the Heads at the mouth of the harbour to the Pacific Ocean, and the beginning of the race proper.
The main flotilla gives the competing yachts a great send-off
The main flotilla gives the competing yachts a great send-off
Mike Gee
Entry to the race is not limited to only one size or class of vessel, although the hundred foot supermaxi yacht Wild Oats XI has won the race five years of the last six. Boats as small as thirty feet long compete and acquit themselves well. There is much more to this event than merely dashing hell-for-leather for the finish, and smaller boats do come within the leading ten or a dozen each year.
If you are visiting Sydney at Christmas you might just like to head for Darling Point where the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia allows some visitors to the berths where yachts prepare.
Public access to the Darling Point / Rushcutter Bay jetties gives crews a good send-off
Public access to the Darling Point / Rushcutter Bay jetties gives crews a good send-off
Boats competing again in 2011 include local CYCA and New South Wales registered Ichi Ban, a maxi manned by a crew of 18 mostly seasoned veterans of this and other races.
Ichi Ban sets off for the start after Christmas wishes and raising a glass or two to good fortune
Ichi Ban sets off for the start after Christmas wishes and raising a glass or two to good fortune
Ichi Ban in action  spinnaker unfurled and billowing. The huge sails almost dwarf the yacht.
Ichi Ban in action, spinnaker unfurled and billowing. The huge sails almost dwarf the yacht.
Courtesy Rolex/Daniel Forster
Loki, a sixty three footer, has the advantage of being designed by the same designer as Wild Oats XI, Reichel Pugh.
Loki preparing for the start on Boxing Day
Loki preparing for the start on Boxing Day
Loki in action in a rare sunny moment during the 2009 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Loki in action in a rare sunny moment during the 2009 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Courtesy Rolex/Daniel Forster
Like Wild Oats XI, whose owner comes from the Hunter Valley, Knee Deep from Margaret River, Western Australia, is owned and skippered by a winemaker.
Fifty footer  Knee Deep  was built in 1999 to a design by Farr. Here the yacht awaits the start of t...
Fifty footer, Knee Deep, was built in 1999 to a design by Farr. Here the yacht awaits the start of the 2009 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Knee Deep unusually sports a large banner proclaiming her presence  standing out from the crowd.
Knee Deep unusually sports a large banner proclaiming her presence, standing out from the crowd.
My favourite yacht competing in the race is Shogun. I like its dark livery and the sense of drama that conveys.
Fifty foot yacht Shogun looks as dramatic and combative in port as when racing.
Fifty foot yacht Shogun looks as dramatic and combative in port as when racing.
Shogun  the Victoria registered Australian yacht  competing to gain honours in the Sydney to Hobart ...
Shogun, the Victoria registered Australian yacht, competing to gain honours in the Sydney to Hobart race.
Courtesy Rolex/Daniel Forster
More about Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, competitor yachts, viewing the starters
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