Remembering the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race

I noted Solandra is currently listed for sale on

Solandra is one of four S&S34’s that took part in the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. This race was the 54th Sydney to Hobart and its most treacherous. Of the 115 boats which started on 26 December, 71 retired and 44 yachts completed the race.

On the second day of the race, an unusually intense low pressure depression developed which resulted in un-seasonal mid-summer snow across parts of south-eastern Australia. The weather system built into an exceptionally strong storm with winds in excess of 65 knots and gusts to 80 knots. The rising storm caused the sinking of five boats; seven were abandoned and 55 sailors had to be rescued from their yachts by ships and helicopters. Six sailors died.

Solandra was dis-masted during a knock down and retired, sailing back to Eden, N.S.W. The S&S34’s in the race were.

  • T42 Solandra          Craig Vescott          S&S 34 1982      Retired Eden lost mast
  • Misty                   Brian Clague               S&S 34 1975      FINISHED last boat in fleet of 44
  • Morning Tide            A Fenwick / J Davern     S&S 34 1974      RETIRED prudent seamanship
  • Boomaroo Morse Fans   J. McIntosh              S&S 34 1971      RETIRED prudent seamanship

Misty was the only S&S34 to finish and was first in IMS division F. All these yachts are still around today.

The Coroners report report on the event contain interviews with Solandra’s skipper & crew and Misty’s skipper. They are worth a read.

VC Offshore Stand Aside (YC4882) – 1998 SHYR, 1st Mayday Photo Richard Bennett

One thought on “Remembering the 1998 Sydney to Hobart Race

  1. I bought Boomaroo from John McIntosh and he told my they were leading their division and planning to shelter behind Gabo Island when a radio schedule was due.
    John’s son was racing on another boat that year and there was no radio reply from them which rather shook him so they retired to Eden to await further news.
    His son was OK.

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