The 630 nautical mile (1,167 km) Sydney to Hobart is one of the world’s great ocean yacht races.
The yachts and crew are world class and adding to the draw card – the race begins on one of the world’s most beautiful harbours.
The yacht that crosses the finish line first (line honours) normally attracts the headlines but the Tattersall Cup (handicap honours) is the real Holy Grail for the sailing community.
Line honours are almost always taken out by the largest vessels in the field – the maxi yachts. There are usually only 3 or 4 maxis in a race. They can be up to 100 feet long with a crew of 20 or more and, they can reach speeds up to 35 knots. Vessels competing for the Tattersall Cup average 50 feet in length and operate with just 12 crew.
As technology advances the time it takes to sail from Sydney to Hobart’s Constitution Dock decreases. When the race first began in 1945 it took six days and 14 hours for the first yacht to cross the finish line. In 2017, a technicality ruled that American maxi-yacht Comanche was the line honours winner ahead of Wild Oates XI in a staggering time of 1 day and 9 hours. Ichi Ban took home the Tattersall Cup.
Will Wild Oates XI add 2018 to its record number of wins or will Comanche grab line honours for the second year running? And can Ichi Ban bring home consecutive Tattersalls?
See all the action aboard true north
As always the TRUE NORTH Adventure Cruise will again be in prime position to watch the start of the race – the ‘race inside a race’ to be the first out of the harbour. The start is always chaotic but this year our guests will be navigated through the pandemonium by master yachtsman Skip Lissiman.
Even before the start of the race Skip will escort guests around Rushcutters Bay where the yacht crews will be making final preparations. Skip will then explain the strategic positioning of each yacht as crews vie for the confidence boost that comes with rounding into open water ahead of the rest and, Skip will also provide continuous updates on the race progress as everyone on-board the TRUE NORTH indulges in their very own Sydney Cruises.
West Australian Skip Lissiman was the port trim on Australia II during the 1983 America’s Cup – the yacht that broke the longest ever winning streak in sporting history.
The 63-foot Australia II, skippered by John Bertrand, defeated Dennis Conner’s Liberty in Rhode Island, the first such defeat in 132 years and a result that caused Australia’s then Prime Minister Bob Hawke to announce a national Public Holiday. The yacht’s controversial winged keel was kept hidden from competitors resulting in a psychological advantage and ultimately the win of all wins, the impact of which didn’t really hit home for the crew until they returned to Perth with the ‘Auld Mug’ – the first time the trophy had left the U.S! Skip and his fellow crew members were even awarded the Order of Australia for their services to sailing.
Back in Australian waters, Skip participated in the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race six times, including taking line honours in 1990 aboard Alan Bond’s Drumbeat.
He has been the Executive Officer of Swan River Sailing, Chair of the Warren Jones Regatta and competed-in and organised numerous esteemed sailing events.
Nowadays Skip has retired from professional racing but he is still lending his experience and knowledge to upcoming sailing talent. In 2016 he became Chair of Australian Sailing’s Youth Advisory Panel. Skip is also a board member of Australian Sailing – the governing body of the sport of sailing in Australia.
Sail away with skip
Click on the play button above to listen to Skip Lissiman as he wanders through Fremantle’s Maritime Museum. Hear about how a boy from the bush fell in love with sailing and about what it takes to win the Sydney to Hobart.
And then don’t miss the opportunity to join Skip on the mighty TRUE NORTH – book now for the 2018 Sydney Rocks Blue Water Classic!