Customs House – the place of tall stories and cold rums

After sailing 628nm into big seas and strong southerlies there is one place the majority of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet heads to when they arrive in Hobart. The Customs House hotel. 

On the 27th it is a peaceful bar and restaurant with some accommodation. But when the sailors start to arrive on the 28th it becomes a place of tall stories as battered sailors soothe their sore hands with a cold glass of rum and coke and tell the tales of battling the stormy seas. 
 
Before the fleet arrives I got the chance to chat to the manager of the bar, Robert, about how much rum the sailors really do drink. “We open on the 28th and don't close till the 31st,” he explained. 
 
And in that four day period there are a lot of empty rum bottles. When I asked how many bottles they go through he explained, “About 28-30 dozen. But that is just Mount Gay and Bundy.” 
 
“Now that they are drinking Sailor Jerry it would be about 35 dozen.” That is 420 bottles of rum. Plus there are all the other beverages consumed over that time period. 
 
While this, along with the restaurant and accommodation, is a huge boost for their annual turnover it is all about keeping the sailors happy. “We are more concerned about the environment and making sure everyone is happy and had a safe trip.” 
 
Note: Please remember to drink responsibly. 
 
– Kimberley Wilmot/ Editor Australian Sailing 
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