ROLEX SYDNEY HOBART YACHT RACE
In Australia on Boxing Day, the ‘Everest’ of yacht races commences in my home city of Sydney in our glorious harbour. The days leading up to 26 December, local and incoming yachts prepare for the race in some of the tranquil bays like Rushcutters, before being able to sail down the coastline and across the Bass Strait to Hobart. This year we decided to be amongst the boats for the yacht start. It’s not everyday there is an invite to see an event like the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on a super yacht in Sydney Harbour.
Along with two of our close friends we boarded a VIP Water taxi from the Man O’War Steps to be whisked over to the alluring 120 foot Quantum by Warren Yachts to share race day with around 35 other guests. Moored at Farm Cove next to Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, with shoes off, the crew extended a hand to help make the small step across to the yacht before climbing a few stairs to be offered a Welcome drink. The Champagne flowed and boutique drinks continued to be served throughout the stay on board.
Quantum is incredible, with a sleek dark hull contrasted by a pristine white main deck with timber underneath our feet. While most of the guests got comfy on the deck and cosy seating on the bow of the yacht, we relaxed in the sophisticated main saloon and occupied the grand timber dining table with views across the classically styled lounge through to the deck.
Cruising out to the Sydney Heads was super smooth even on one of the busiest harbour days, where the smaller boats tended to follow in Quantum’s wake. Helicopters were plentiful, keeping a watchful eye on the harbour motions. Wandering past guests for hours whilst out on the water were gourmet canapés of fresh oysters on ice, mini tartlets, spicy samosas and mini kebabs.
There was an experienced yacht racer tactician onboard who enlightened us about the demanding nature of actually racing. He shared what was to be expected for the beginning of the race and was socialising with guests to answer any novice questions.
Race start was at 1pm. Leaning on the side of the yacht was the ultimate view, as the supermaxi yachts stormed out in front and sailed right past us all. As the maxis made their way out of the harbour to the ocean, the water was a flurry of spectator boats and yachts criss-crossing past each other.
Once the majority of the yachts had passed, Quantum turned around to make its way back through the harbour, travelling inwards to Lavender Bay before turning around again to go back under the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Even living in the city, it’s not often you get to cruise under a bridge like ours.
We arrived at Farm Cove again to sit and soak in the experience on the bow of the yacht whilst nibbling on more canapés before the weather turned quickly. Quantum then docked at Man O’War Steps to allow us to disembark safely across the yacht’s private bridge, leaving us in front of the iconic Sydney Opera House.
IN SUMMARY | What you need to know….
– LOCATION – Sydney Harbour, Australia
– DETAILS – Invites to tickets to this American Express event is for American Express Centurion and Platinum members and their chosen guests
Tickets included cruising on Quantum super yacht in Sydney Harbour, VIP Water taxi transfer, canapés, barista coffee, Champagne, premium wine, beer and soft drinks throughout the day, racing tacticians providing racing commentary and American Express gift bag
– BOOK SEPARATELY – Quantum Charters – available for hourly, daily, overnight and weekly charters
Photos by Mel McLeod ©