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‘Don’t be superheroes’ – Sydney to Hobart skippers warning

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But the forecast for the 2021 Sydney to Hobart has Wharington thrilled about being back on the ocean as skipper of the 80-footer Stefan Racing.With many sailors already bruised and a little battered from racing into headwinds almost from the 1pm start of the Sydney to Hobart on Sunday, Wharington was relishing the “bump and grind”.“It’s a nice baptism of fire for the young guys doing the race,’’ said Wharington, whose son Ollie is doing his first Sydney to Hobart this year.“This is a pretty unusual forecast and it will be a stamina thing.“You have to make sure everyone eats and drinks and don’t be superheroes the first 24 hours.“People are going to be out for three nights on this forecast. You don’t want to break things. And its nasty enough to break things.’’Back in 2004, Wharington and his team on the supermaxi Skandia were forced into life rafts when the keel fell off the yacht and it capsized in the Tasman Sea in huge seas.All crew managed to escape unscathed and the yacht was later salvaged “This is probably the most similar weather since then,’’ he said.This year Wharington has already overcoem one hurdle, managing to avoid a major issue with his crew not having their Covid test results back before the race start by sending them to the airport.“We had people there at 10pm (on Christmas night) and 6am (on Boxing Day),’’ he said.After months of planning – and replanning due to Covid issues – the 76th Sydney to Hobart started with a burst of colour with 88 yachts making it to the start line.For the first time two-handed boats are part of the race with 17 in the fleet following the withdrawal of one on Boxing Day with a crew injury.



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