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A Portrait of the Rolex Sydney Hobart by Mark Richards
The voyage from Sydney Harbour to Tasmanias capital city Hobart is a test of courage and seamanship. Large swells and gusty winds are to be expected, as are sleepless nights. Yet many sailors dream of winning this festive-season offshore classic. On Boxing Day each year, about 1,000 professional and Corinthian crew members embark on the 628-nautical-mile challenge. Among them is local hero Mark Richards. The Australian has skippered maxi yacht Wild Oats XI to line honours victory a record eight times. It is his story and the stories of others like him that give the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race its legendary status. The commitment required of todays frontrunners remains true to John Illingworths founding idea to make a race of it, which inspired the inaugural Rolex Sydney Hobart. The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has been organizing the event since 1945, with the support of title sponsor Rolex since 2002.