Yes, you read that right.  Only two days before we set off again.  We arrived into Hobart early evening, and our feet didn’t really touch the ground.  There were so many people around congratulating us, beer and champagne on the boat, family on the boat, photographers on the boat, I didn’t really know which way was up.  As is traditional, Wendo was thrown overboard.  Good job it was only the skipper that had to go!  But, in the true spirit of the Danang crew, Knuckles and Kat went over in their underwear.  Why not?  It was truly a lovely day for a swim!

And how lovely to cheer GB and LMax in.  That won’t happen very often, I think.  The skippers seemed genuinely pleased that Wendo had taken the honours, with Posh Pete from GB leaping from his boat to ours to give her a hug.  Everyone loves Wendo!  Apparently it is also traditional to have scallop pie in Tasmania, so our dinner was a scallop pie from a bakery.  I had gone to the apartment we had rented, had a shower and a change of clothes, and rejoined the boat crew.  The rest had been drinking steadily since we had got in – they weren’t in the least bit worried about how they smelled or looked.  They had won the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.  I was teased as I had “clean pants” on – we may have won the race, but I still valued a shower as soon as possible.  Don’t think the scallop pie is going to be man enough to soak up all the alcohol some of them were consuming!  There will be sore heads in the morning!

Most people were sleeping on the boat – Hobart was booked out for the period we were here a long time ago.  Luckily I had booked our accommodation back at the beginning of the year.  No way am I going to sleep on the boat when there is a bed within spitting distance.  Consequently, I had a lovely night’s sleep – the rest couldn’t remember whether they had or not!  But, it was back to the boat for 10.30am for the deep clean.  The work doesn’t stop just because we won.  As I was walking past the Rolex Village I saw a sea of orange shirts – Wendo was being presented unofficially with the trophy for being the first female skipper past the line, and also the trophy for the win for our division.  Good job I was walking past just at that moment – although I didn’t have my orange shirt on.  Georgina did though – David’s wife had shrunk his in the wash, so it had been donated to our “mascot”.  We did a quick swap in the middle of all the dignitaries (my standards seem to be dropping by the day!) so I could take my place in the unofficial picture.

Then the deep clean began.  We were virtually all there, and it wasn’t too bad as we had only been to sea for five days, so we finished it by the end of the day.  Well, the middle of the afternoon really.  We had a late lunch at around 5pm – beautiful Tasmanian Scallops, they really are good.  Then we went back to get ready for the New Year’s Eve celebrations.
There were two firework displays – one at 9.30pm for the families and one at midnight.  They went off from a barge in the marina, and our boat had prime position for viewing.  We made our way through the throngs of people lining the marina walkways, and got to the boat.  There were already a few of us on there, champagne already flowing.  This is a New Year’s Eve that is going to be hard to beat.

The 9.30pm fireworks were lovely – Georgina had prime position laying on the deck watching them with Kat.  She then went home with Fran, before the rest of the crew and several of the other crews came on board.  Anyone would think that ours was the party boat!  Moored just two boats down from us was LMax.  Someone noticed that there was a shopping trolley half way up their mast.  Then we noticed that there were two more on their bow sprit.  Oh dear!  Wonder how that happened??   Not sure that they were totally happy about retrieving them – will the culprit ever be found??

By quarter to midnight our boat was heaving.  Ed, a lovely chap from England who was meant to be a round the worlder on our boat and who I had sailed with in training but had unfortunately had an accident before race departure and was not able to take his place, had come over from the UK as his family had already booked holidays to meet him in Australia.  He came to join us for the celebrations, which was really lovely.  He would have been a pleasure to sail with I am sure.  The clock struck midnight, and the fireworks went off all over again.  It was surreal.  I was standing on a yacht, drinking champagne, in Hobart Harbour, seeing the New Year in with so many friends that I feel will now be friends for life.  And they are Paul’s friends too.  He has become part of the crew during the stopovers, and so can be a part of everything that we do.  I think he will make friends for life too.  We left the boat at about 1am – not too sure when the rest retired, but the boat looked a little worse for wear after the deep clean we completed earlier in the day.  Looked as if it could do with another one now!

New Year’s Day started with the official presentation of the Rolex Trophies for all of the boats, not just the clippers.  We weren’t having a separate presentation, there was only the one ceremony.  It was held in the Grand Chancellor Hotel, just opposite our apartments.  We had reserved seats a few rows from the front – the hall was very full.  A table of dignitaries were handing out the trophies, and there were a lot of them.  Several divisions of winners, seconds and thirds, as well as various others that were placed differently with handicaps.  Seemed like all of the 109 entries was getting a trophy.  We went through several classes before we got to the trophy for the first female skipper to cross the line.  The polite clapping changed to rapturous applause.  Wendo brought the house down.  What a popular winner.

Then it was our turn.  We went up on stage to take the winning pennant for the race, and immediately lowered the tone of the whole thing.  The Governor of Tasmania presented Wendo with the trophy, but I don’t think was expecting to have the whole crew of us on stage.  We all went up, and the photographers were scrambling at the front to get photographs.  Michael couldn’t seem to find a place to stand, so decided to do a “Wendo” and laid in front of the rest of us.  That brought the whole house down.  Especially when he changed to a Marilyn Monroe pose.  The Governor commented that he hoped that wasn’t the position he had for the race, to which Michael replied “Of course it was”.  Not sure whether they are going to be inviting the clippers again in the future!  But there was more.  Not only did we come in first place, we also won the social award again.  Thanks to all the people that read my blog, and Paul’s call to action on his facebook page, we took the award once again.  And again, it was a popular choice for us to win.  We may be a “rag tag” bunch, but what a great bunch we are!

From there, we had an invitation to the Rolex Village for a private lunch courtesy of the Hobart Yacht Club.  The sun was shining, the food was good and plentiful, the drink flowed and even the music was good.  What a lovely way to spend New Year’s Day lunch time.  There was a photographer that had hired a helicopter to take shots of all the boats coming along the coast of Tasmania.  We looked at the shots of Danang, and they were great.  The weather was good, the sea and the sky were so blue – there was ever only going to be one decision here.  $605 later, Paul will be getting the print in February!

Unfortunately, there was still work to do.  All the fresh food still had to be bought and loaded onto the boat, so Paul and I made our way to Woolworths whilst the rest of the crew made their way to David’s house for a barbeque.  We didn’t think we would be that far behind, but didn’t actually make it until three hours later.  Took a little bit longer than anticipated.  But it is all bought and packed, and the bakery goods ordered for delivery first thing in the morning.

Tomorrow we set off for Airlie Beach – could do with a day’s sleep first, but I think pigs might fly……

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