Maximus had its first sail out on Sydney Harbour today to have a look at the mainsail and to do some fine tuning of the rig. With only a short time on the water we sailed with only the mainsail and did a couple of short runs around the harbour. All looks well with only five days until the start of the race.
This will be my third Sydney Hobart and it was good to meet up with the crew, some of which I have sailed with before in the Hobart Race. We will have a crew of 23 and with the weight and size of the sails onboard all hands are needed just to haul the sails on deck with every sail change.
My job on the boat will once again be on the grinders but, as is the norm for a Sydney to Hobart, everyone chips in to do whatever needs to be done especially through the tough stretch of the Bass Strait.
The forecast looks good for us and only time will tell to see how hard the big boats push in the tough conditions predicted through the first 36 hours before conditions are expected to lighten. Either way it will be a great spectacle for viewers to follow the race online through SMH Online and the brilliant yacht tracker set up by the CYCA using Google Earth.
In the days leading up to the start, Maximus will be out testing and fine tuning all of the systems on the boat and we look forward to getting out there for the race south.
My aim is to update the blog twice a day using satellite phone and I will try to respond to any questions should time and conditions permit.
Between Sydney Morning Herald photographer Andrew Meares onboard Helsal IV and myself on Maximus, we hope you enjoy the coverage that aims to bring the readers onboard in this famous ocean race.
By Dallas Kilponen - Sydney Morning Herald.