Sydney to Hobart: 2 Days Out

It’s Christmas eve here in Australia and Santa’s Silver Sleigh, the mighty Prospector, is ready to go. We have had three good days of practice and now are enjoying a little holiday time with our families. Matt Baldwin is working his usual magic in the kitchen and the facilities at the Balmain Rowing Club, which is serving as our private dining club, have been terrific.

The start will be an epic spectacle. The Great Race is a big deal in Australia. We will be on the northern start line with all of the glamour boats, a fleet of 14 that include five 100 footers, eight 60-70 footers and one 50 footer. The coast will be lined with tens of thousands of spectators. On the water a thousand spectator boats will be vying to get as close as possible to the start and then escort the first boats, which we should be among, out of the harbor.

The start of the race will be broadcast live on national TV in Australia and can be seen via a live webcast internationally. The link for the webcast will be available on the race website at the start time ( As we are in the most competitive class, the broadcast will focus on our start, and hopefully we get a shoutout or two from the commentators! We hope you tune in to watch.

The race starts at 1:00pm in Australia on December 26th. That translates to:

Tel Aviv: 4am December 26
London: 2am December 26
US Eastern Time: 9pm December 25
US Western Time: 8pm December 25
US Mountain Time: 7pm December 25
US Pacific Time: 6pm December 25

We seem to have attracted a fair bit of betting attention. Our betting line has tightened from 41:1 at the start, to 26:1 and now we are at 8:1. The oddsmakers now have us as the fourth favorite in the race. We will do our best to hit the line as the gun goes off at full throttle and lead the fleet out through Sydney Heads.

In the meantime, Merry Christmas to all!

Sydney to Hobart

December 26, 2018 brings the next chapter in Prospector adventures when the silver canoe crosses the start for the Sydney to Hobart race.  

Australia’s Great Race is 628NM long down the southeastern coast of New South Wales, across the Bass Straight and ultimately up the Derwent River to the finish at Constitution Dock in Hobart.  The race renowned for challenging, changeable conditions across a tough patch of water.  It can be either a downwind or an upwind race, though typically it is downwind with a shift to upwind as the fleet crosses the Bass Strait and approaches Tasmania.  To cap it off, the race is often won and lost in the last 40 miles from Tasman Island up the Derwent River to the finish at Hobart as teams that had previously seen upwards of 30 knots content with light, localized breezes.

While the usual stars will all be in attendance - no doubt Australian TV’s will flicker images of Wild Oats XI, Black Jack, Scallywag and the current race record holder LDV Comanche (1 day 9 hours 15 minutes and 24 seconds), Prospector will line up against a strong fleet of 60 to 70 footers.  Whether Winning Appliances, Naval Group or the extremely skilled ladies on Wild Oats X, a strong challenge will arise somewhere, and it will take all of the Prospector crew’s talent and dedication to reach the podium.

As of writing, the weather models are still waffling through various states of disagreement, so our ETA is a bit up in the air.  Fans can follow our progress on the tracker

As usual, watch this space for updates and photos for life on board!

Prospector SailingComment