The crew of the Esperance-based Salona 44, Anger Management have celebrated the completion of an amazing journey, with sailors seriously considering competing in next year’s Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
Skipper Tim Stewart and fellow-crew members Russell Bridge, Chris Ratcliff, Dylan Pinchin, Robbie Johnston, Stuart McIntyre, Collin Maloney, Mark Quinlivan, Geoff Bishop and Mark Wheeler began the 74th annual event on December 26.
The crew placed a respectable 36th and became the second vessel from Esperance to compete.
Mr Stewart said the overwhelming feeling among the crew when they docked in Hobart on December 30 was relief.
“For all the time, effort and money that we spent, that we actually made it to the finish. That was probably the biggest relief,” he said.
“The first couple of days were a bit easier than the last few days when the weather kicked right up and the waves started rolling in.”
The crew not only battled heavy winds, rainy weather and turbulent waves but also the opposite extreme.
“We got stuck in about three of four different holes when we had no wind for an extended period of time,” Mr Stewart said.
“Obviously we had some pretty warm days, so it was stinking hot sitting out there on deck.”
Mr Stewart said the crew also experienced a few technical issues leading into the race, but luckily, all was sorted prior to departure.
At the end of their journey, about 20 or 30 family were gathered to cheer for the crew in Hobart.
“After we got off the jetty, we went to the pub till about 6:30 in the morning, we finally rolled into our hotel for a shower and a clean up,” Mr Stewart said.
“We got up at about lunchtime and went back to the pub. The next couple of days we spent sightseeing.”
Mr Stewart said he and other crew members were seriously considering doing the race again next year.
“The preparation for this year’s event took about seven to eight months,” he said.
“The preparation we’ve already done doesn't need to be redone for next year. To take this boat and similar crew would be quite easy.
“Half the money is already spent, the crew are all trained up, so if we got the nucleus of those guys and the same boat we could do it quite easily.”
Mr Stewart said he was also keen to sail again in the Sydney to Hobart in 2019 because it will be the 75th race.
“They’re expecting to get 175 to 200 boats for that, so that is a bigger event in a way,” he said.