Wild Oats XI took line honours for the 8th time when it crossed the finish line on the Derwent River

I bussed into Hobart seeking a spectacle and I wasn’t disappointed. I looked seaward when the bus crossed the Derwent River on the Tasman Bridge.  Hundreds of boats of all shapes and sizes were out on the water  welcoming the racing yachts into and up the River. Picture postcard imagery.  Perfect.

Once in the city and amidst thousands of people, I wandered down to the wharf. I loved the festive atmosphere and the sense of great achievements.

The tallness of the supermaxi masts always surprises me, and seeing the mast on the glossy Wild Oats XI was no exception. Gasp. So tall I had to move my head to see from the bottom to the top; simple eye movements were not enough.

The yacht was tied up and people, whether on or off the boat, were hugging and shaking hands, their tanned faces full of smiles. The crew had not slept but were exhilarated. Publically broadcast speeches followed. The sun beat down and it seemed the air reverberated with good will.  Today was definitely full of joy for those who have arrived safely in port at Hobart.  ABC Online was the first to transmit a story of the win.  Have a look at http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-28/2014-sydney-to-hobart-yacht-race-winner/5990156 for colourful action photos, and a video.

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