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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Oldies return
by Di Pearson - seen on

Mike Strong's Landfall - CYCA archives

2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - When the cannon fires sending the 118 entries on their way in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 70th Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on December 26, two yachts will stand out, because they first competed back in the early days of the race.

There is plenty of nostalgia to this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart, abetted by Southern Myth and Landfall, who sailed the race in the 1950's and 1960's. Peter Riddell's Southern Myth is a 12.5 metre Bermudan sloop designed by Laurent Giles and built by R. T. Searles of Adelaide in 1953.

She was commissioned by Norm Howard from Adelaide, who contested the Hobart race from 1954-1965, only missing the 1964 race. She finished fifth in her maiden race and scored a best result of third overall in 1958. Not only was the race difficult, it was a big effort by Howard and crew to sail the boat to Sydney. In those days, it took a minimum six weeks for the round trip from Adelaide to Sydney, Hobart and back home.

Considering the time and effort required, it is amazing they made it to the start, let alone finish all races, but they were made of stern stuff in those days.

Sir James Hardy recollected his first Hobart aboard Southern Myth – and his first delivery from South Australia to contest the race: 'The thing that stands out is we used to toss a coin or cigarette pack and the loser had to climb to the transom to read the Walker log – it wasn't fun.

We used to do that every half hour – it was the hardest job, but Norm Howard insisted. 'The Walker log was connected to a cord with a thing that looked like a torpedo on the end – I guess most offshore boats had it in those days. Norm used to navigate. read the whole article>

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