For many of us the anticipation builds at this time as the most important family day of the year approaches. Yes it is only just over a week now as we prepare to gather our friends and loved ones around us and sit down together to enjoy this most important of events.

The start of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. And what a race it will be. After last year’s incredible battle between the Super maxis Wild Oats 11 and Comanche, this year’s edition is shaping up to be even more exciting. Both of these monsters have spent the year preparing, both having completed cross ocean campaigns in the past 12 months and the Bob Oatley owned WO11 has been in the shed having more surgery than the entire Kardashian family. She has emerged looking more powerful than ever with new secret weapon foils that won’t be unveiled until the big day. If her performance in the Big Boat challenge this week is anything to go by she will be hard to beat. The Jim Clarke (founder of Netscape) owned Comanche is a formidable opponent for the 8 times winner of the race. They come from opposite ends of the design spectrum with WO11 being pencil thin and ‘The Big Indian’ Comanche being as wide as co-owner Kirsty Hinze-Clarke’s late grandpa, Russ Hinze. Add to this mix fellow squillionaire Sid Fisher’s Ragamuffin 100, Anthony Bells Perpetual Loyal (with a crew of sporting and media superstars) and George David’s new Rambler 88, this will be edge of the seat stuff on Boxing Day.

So as these mega rich owners are out on the harbour enjoying practicing this week, spare a thought for their poor families. I mean what do you get someone for Christmas that already has everything?  All these guys have more money than most small countries so they are likely to be equally as unimpressed by a new Ferrari as they would be by socks and hankies. Like the rest of us sailors the families are probably thinking maybe something for the boat? But what? A new code zero sail? At about a thousand square meters and nearly 100 foot on the luff measurement they are a little hard to get under the tree. Perhaps a new wet weather jacket? No, along with the rest of the 20 odd crew, they would have just got one with this year’s logo. What about one of those tea towels with all the knots illustrated on them? Just the thing to add a touch of colour to those stark carbon fibre galleys. What about a new Rolex watch? No that won’t work as the winner gets one anyway and they might think they are putting the mocker on them. And some people say being filthy rich is easy?

Luckily you won’t have to grapple with such first world problems for the sailor in your life as we have all your Christmas shopping covered with a gift voucher from Southern Cross Yachting!

Yes your sailor can enjoy watching the race start dreaming of their own yachting adventure awaiting them. Vouchers can be for any amount (yes Kristy if you are reading this we can do them for a couple of million if Jim wants to sharpen up his skills for next year) or for a specific course or charter. Just call or email us to talk about how you can be the most popular member of the family the day before the start.

That’s all for this edition, until next week, keep your keels canting!

Cheers Mike

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