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Helsal Herald – Special Souvenir Gundagai Edition






















The cruise up from Hobart set off just after a front had come through from the South and after tacking down the Derwent we reached across the bay of Storms and rounded Tasman Island as the sun set. Now the wind was almost dead behind and we sped along but with the ever present risk of a jibe.


With 2 reefs in the main and the number 4 Genoa we reached 21 kts boat speed . As we entered Bass strait the swells from the strait and the southern Ocean met the sea became unpredictably lumpy and one wave sent Judith flying across the cabin resulting in 4 broken ribs. This was not the only damage the number 2 reeling line parted, the Bull horn holding the reefed sail at the mast (22 mm steel) broke and the main filled hard against the rig.



Dropping the main in the dark in a big sea in 40 kts of wind has never been my favourite task but we achieved it in a few painful minutes and then sailed on with just the number 4 still regularly hitting 13 kts.


Doctor Paul immobilised the patient and the casualty berth we had built in Hobart was put to use, but we still had at least 12 hrs to Eden our nearest port of refuge so the morphine was used. After a few hours the winds dropped and with the coast of Australia giving us shelter we again hoisted the main to make the best speed we could for the berth arranged for us by the volunteer rescue service.


We arrived at high tide and the deck of Helsal was level with the wharf so we lost no time in unloading Judith before evacuating her to Gundagai hospital for treatment. Showers and some re-provisioning cost us a few hours and the wind continued to drop. We sailed north again and hoisted the code Zero which provided an exciting ride until the wind dropped and then turned to the north.


We motor sailed for 24 hours as the wind built against us before turning into Jervis Bay for the night where a local, Frank Taylor lent us his new mooring. At 0500 the next day we were off and motoring north in almost no wind. As the day went on the wind grew and by the time we reached Sydney Heads we had over 30 kts from the wrong direction.

C 55 berth at the CYCA is normally used by a 40 footer so parking a 66 footer there was interesting but we were soon met by relatives and Aussie Bruce organised the beer. The CYC restaurant stayed open just for us thanks to Alison and after getting the mainsail off and packed ready for the sail maker we relaxed.


The Main Sail is being replaced and Hood Sails are using the same material as is used for the new Volvo 70’s. Quite a few other bits are being done and whilst we didn't pass the safety audit first time the outstanding list is very modest.


Judith is recovering but will not be able to fly back as planned so you may well see her again, she is currently on Bruce's sheep farm sleeping and resting. Our travel insurance covers her but wouldn't do the race itself. Most of the treatment is covered by reciprocal arrangements with UK but you might wish to just check your insurance, particularly if you are not Australian.


Friends and family evening is on 23rd. It would be useful to have some idea on numbers by 20th.





Dear All,


All crew that could haave a family trip out on Helsal 3 out into Sydney Harbour turned up around 6pm on the Monday evening. After safety brief, slipped about 6.30pm with no wind, cloudy sky with rain in the air. This is something that happens as a tradition on Sydney to Hobart Race yachts as there were lots of children and family on lots of yachts on the pontoons. We left the marina mooring of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia with no wind and had an enjoyable 90 minutes out, with crew serving dips, snack and soft and alcoholic drinks. Had the photo call of friends and family with the Sydney Bridge in background. The children decided to shout their advice to Skipper Paul if Helsal 3 could get under the bridge. Large shout of NO from the kids, but lots of room. Bridge is being prepared for New Year Firework display. Good man overboard drill done for blown of baseball cap and very well recovered. I didn't envy Paul the Skipper on the return as the wind had picked up to about 20 knots across our mooring and he had to park 67 foot by inserting inisde a Royal Yacht Squadron Yacht (white ensign-TITANIA Swan 68) and a services charity race yacht (Mates 4 Mates) with big long sticky out break offable bow sprit. A collision (at this stage) with either mucking up each other race likely. With loads of fenders from Titania Paul inserted it at four knots reversing with a tight turn with only inches to spare on a 20 knot cross wind. WELL DONE PAUL. While I write this Karoline is at the 9am (Christmas Eve) RORC Race brief to see the latest weather etc.  The new is the middle of the fleet going to get beaten up in Gale F7 SW in Bass Straights Saturday night. Helsal 3 will come into her own as a big heavy boat and crew of 16 so should take it better than some others in the Race.

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