Start of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2009

The start of Australia’s Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is one of the world’s great ocean yacht racing events.

Wild Oats XI 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Start
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These are photos of the start of one of the world’s great ocean racing events, the 2009 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in Sydney Harbour, Sydney, Australia. Hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia and starting every year on Boxing Day (26 December), the 2009 race was the 65th running of the event. The race starts in Sydney Harbour before heading out Sydney Heads for a 630 nautical mile run south long the coast and then across Bass Strait, where conditions can become notoriously difficult.

The New Zealand supermaxi Alfa Romeo, skippered by Neville Crichton, won overall line honors for the first time, beating out previous 4-time winner Wild Oats XI, skippered by Mark Richards. ICAP Leopard cam in 3rd, followed by Investec Loyal (4th) and Ran (5th).

Rain and drizzle on start day kept the spectator fleet smaller than usual, but winds from the southeast made for a rare spinnaker start, and a brazen move by Alfa Romeo to charge full speed back towards the oncoming fleet in the final few seconds before the gun kept things tense for a few moments.

Photos of the Start of the Sydney to Hobart

2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Yendys at the start of the 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Alfa Romeo 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Start

2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Loyal 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Ran at the start of the 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Alfa Romeo 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Start

2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Wild Oats XI 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Start

Alfa Romeo 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Start

Alfa Romeo 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Start

Loyal 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

Quest 2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

2009 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

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David Coleman / Photographer
by David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my gear reviews and tips here. More »