A first-timer's view of the Rolex Sydney Hobart

Enigma is a Beneteau First 47.7 owned by Jason Bond, the current Commodore of the Manly Yacht Club. This yacht was one of the last Beneteau 47.7s to leave the factory, making her the youngest and heaviest in the class.

Formerly named ‘Just Do It 3’, she sailed from Glasgow, Scotland, via Antigua, to Australia. Under Ian Darby’s ownership, she finished 50th overall in the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart. Enigma last pointed south in 2017 and finished 42nd overall for eighth in Division 3.

Crewing this year in her first Sydney Hobart, Isabel Rawlence spoke with the RSH media team about her experiences:

We’re in the upper BS [Bass Strait], 100 miles off Tasmania. Last night (27th) and this morning (28th) we had 30 knots and 3 metre waves. This is my first Hobart and I wasn’t expecting Bass Strait to be much fun. It isn’t.

The sea mist around us makes for beautiful pictures and sunset.

Muir and I enjoying fresh brewed coffee – the cappuccino machine is an essential item in Enigma’s racing wardrobe!

Good morning from Enigma. Fresh coffee & hot chocolate, bacon and eggs rolls to celebrate sunshine and calm seas. Crew were demanding a second hot shower, so skipper has fired up the water maker.

Incredibly, we came within several metres of two sunfish on Thursday.

Yesterday we were caught between warm and cool fronts, heavy fog banks and clear patches, in which we saw hundreds of jellyfish, some chunky orange ones and some smaller wispy ones. The sea birds closer to Tasman Island are enormous, possible 2.5m wingspan. Makes us think of albatross – so I’ve pulled out my copy of Coleridge’s Rimes of the Ancient Mariner. As you do.

Delightful conditions: blue sky, sunshine, 10-13 knots, flat seas.

We take our racing nutrition very seriously (wink face). Home cooked meals eg lamb biriyani, chicken tagine, red thai curry, are all vacuum sealed into individual pouches and frozen in batches of 12. On board, popped into the pressure cooker and served in an aluminium tray, for a delicious, hot, no mess dinner. 


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Race Yachts