Southport to Sydney

Leaving the beautiful coastline during sunset, a bit of ominous clouds

As a preparation for Sydney to Hobart 2022, I came to Southport to sail with Silver Fern to Sydney. Because of the pandemic, I hadn't been able to sail on Silver Fern after it was purchased, despite attempts (I was turned back by the authorities, who would not even look at the papers issued by the Ministry of Health of the receiving country). So this was my chance to get familiar with the boat before the race.

Christmas spirit already in the airport!

I've been looking forward to seeing Silver Fern in real life. I've entered the project as one of the investors already as the boat was being purchased, and I have followed all the work closely. The owner David Hows has done an incredible amount of work to have it ready for expeditions and racing in record time, and jumping through all the bureacracy hoops to make it commercially endorsed.

Silver Fern - detail

The boat looked excellent, with a lot of clever solutions, and modern technology on board. The safety was a primary focus. The comfort was very high, and the aesthetics amazing.

The boat interiour. Walking through the weather report before calling it a night

And sailing with David as skipper was awesome as always. We were greeted with dolphins as we were leaving the Seaway. Now, we headed to Sydney!

David turning off the engine after passing the Heads. Let's go sailing! 

The last calm waters before we enter the wind... and the waves

The sea state soon got choppy, as we were receiving southerly winds that blew against the current. There was a bit of sea sickness on board. The velocity made good was painfully low, and we spend quite a few days beating against the wind. A few more days than planned, to be honest - most of us had to reschedule tickets, as we were arriving much later than planned.

A bit of a "washing machine" out there

The waves washing over the boat caused one of the hatches to leak, and the flailing sheet in a block hit a glass hatch right open. We tried to make a temporary fix for everything as we went, to have it properly fixed at the destination.

Me at the helm, sitting down for a bit so only sailing by the instruments

Reefed main

The green faces were balanced up by incredible sunsets and sunrises, dolphins and rainbows. The boat held up extremely well. There was another sailing boat heading for Sydney at the same time, and the sheer forces caused it to break and retire from the race.

Familiar waters! Arriving in Sydney

Sydney skyline completed by Black Jack's black sails. During the coming race, they would come third to the finish line, less than an hour away from Andoo Comanche and LawConnect who got first and second Line Honours

It was a great feeling to enter Sydney harbour. In there, we met Black Jack who were out for a sail. Then, we headed for the marina. These few days were to be spent resting up, doing some jobs on the boat, and celebrating Christmas. Very soon, we would be back on board to get to the start line of Sydney-Hobart 2022!

Competitor's badge for Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Ready to go!