Friday, December 26, 2008

Sydney to Hobart yacht race

The 26th of December is Boxing Day in Australia. Future travelers might like to keep in mind two very important sporting events that commence on this day each year. The first is the traditional Boxing Day cricket match at the MCG, Melbourne Cricket Ground. Secondly, and of interest to me, is the annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race.

My father participated twice in the race in the past for a Gosford yacht owner and Australian tall poppy, Peter Rysdyk on a his boat called Onya. I remember how two years in a row, we drove him to the train station at the end of Christmas Day, and then he sat up all night on the train down from Brisbane to Sydney. He went with two mates and all three of them crewed for Peter.

Australian maxi Wild Oats XI won it last year in an amazing 21 hours and 24 minutes. They had good conditions last year. Not like 1998 when a 115-strong fleet set sail from Sydney into the worst storm in the race's history. Five boats sank, six sailors died and just 44 yachts survived the horrendous conditions.


MoMo said...

Yay, we are fans of the Sydney/Hobart race, not so much the cricket though. We love your blog. We thought you might like to visit
It belongs to Charlie's mom and she writes very sensitively and well.
MoMo and SS

Lilly's Life said...

Thats really interesting Leslie - the Sydney to Hobart is no easy race either. Thats the thing I dislike about Boxing Day, the cricket. Itseems no matter which family members we visit the cricket will always be on. Part of the Aussie culture now. I guess you will be watching the boat race with interest. Imagine your father racing after having no sleep on the train - great post Leslie. Hope you had a lovely Christmas Day. I did. Ate too much as usual but it was really great and will still continue on over the next few days.

girasoli said...

I really enjoyed this post. How exciting that your dad was a part of the Sydney/Hobart race! Happy Boxing day!!

Anonymous said...

my great grandfather and my grandmas dad was peter rysdyk but he is dead now.
small world hey.
he was an amzing man who do u know that was on the onya yacht with him????

Leslie said...

Very small world!

My uncle, Bob Tilley, might have been one of the ones who went with my dad. And maybe the next door neighbour, Brian Kerr.

Anonymous said...

hi leslie
my dad was peter rysdyk, of the yacht onya.
my name is tosca brand i live on the central coast, would love to get a copy of the photo on your blog, of onya as dad has now passed away and it is a really good photo. hope to hear from you, what was the name of your father who sailed with my dad?
regards tosca.

Leslie said...

Hi Tosca, that's just a generic Sydney to Hobart yacht pic, not actually of Onya. I don't have any pics of the races from back in the 60s. My dad was James Smiers.