What a race

The Pittwater Bays were well represented in the crew that set sail for Hobart in the 2022 Rolex Sydney/Hobart Race. Paddy Broughton, skipper of Kialoa II takes BaysNews along for the ride.

What a race. Not finishing the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race gave extra zest to our final run up the Derwent to the Hobart finish of the 2022 version. Look closely at the footage (link) of that last mile, the broad grins are unmistakable.

Stepping back to the beginning of the race, residents of the bays, Aero, Malle, Ek, Cuts, Paddy and Kialoa 2 and fellow crew mates had worked hard to prepare for the great race, hoping to make up for the disappointment of the last two years (Covid and then a race-ending breakage).

The Lovett Bay Crew

A fabulous start, and a clean exit from the harbour, Kialoa 2 started her run down the NSW coast in 12-14 knots of breeze from the NE, perfect conditions for the old girl, 5 sails up, rollicking along at 10 knots.

Through the first night, into the 27th and on to the 28th the breeze kept building and building. Steadily we reduced the number of sails flying – first dropping the staysails, then the mizzen, and finally dropping the big white spinnaker, poling out the jib and even reefing the main. By the time we’d reduced sail to the poled out jib and reefed main it was windy – gusting over 40 knots from the northeast, with huge rolling seas. A handful to steer in those conditions, nevertheless Kialoa broke her old speed record, hitting 23kts down a huge wave, actually more through a huge wave than down it – the faster she goes, the deeper she sits in the water.

Approaching the coast of Tasmania at about the level of Maria Island, we knew there was a big wind change coming, from heavy Nor-Easter’s to a blast from the South. A difficult change to negotiate, we got stuck in almost no breeze as the two air masses fought it out. Eventually the southerly won through, pasting us with 30-40 knots on the nose forcing us to battle mightily to get ourselves down to Tasman Island where we could turn the corner and head across Storm Bay.

In the end, a classic Rolex Sydney Hobart Race: strong running down the NSW Coast, a battle across the Bass Straight, no wind and then lots of wind approaching Tassie, a light air chess game following the breeze lines to get ourselves across Storm Bay to the Iron Pot (the entrance to the Derwent), and finally the weather relenting to give us that fabulous ear to ear grinning run up the Derwent to the finish.

A job well done. Kialoa 2 broke her own race record, a fitting end to her 5 Rolex Sydney Hobart campaigns and prequel to the next adventure: sailing to the UK to take part in the 50th Fastnet Race.

The whole crew celebrate – job well done

Article by Paddy Broughton – Skipper Kialoa II

Feature Image – Kialoa II passing the finish line