"The start of the second Sydney Hobart race, December 26, 1946."

The painting depicts the start of the second Sydney Hobart race, at 11am,
December 26, 1946. For the second race the start was changed from near
the Sydney Harbour heads to a location between Shark and Clark islands.
A total of 19 yachts started, 10 from New South Wales, 5 from Tasmania, 3
from Victoria and 1 from New Zealand, the 1905 Logan designed "Ilex".
Thousands of people watched the start from many spectator boats and vantage points around Sydney Harbour.

Of the 19 yachts that started 7 yachts retired due to heavy weather and
55knot winds in Bass Strait. Of the 12 yachts to finish "Unis J" was not credited with finishing as she finished on the 6th January 1947, when the finishing committee had already left.

In the painting, on the left hand side, is the start boat a Royal Australian Airforce launch with the airforce "roundel" painted on the bows. The launch has committee members of The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia aboard as well as many spectators. The gun for the start has just been fired and the "Saga", sailed by Magnus and Trygve Halvorsen( the Halvorsen team that
won many future Sydney Hobart races in their own designed yachts) is the first
yacht across the line, closely followed by "Morna", the largest yacht in the
race. "Morna's" crew are busy up at the bow hoisting, in "stops", a jib topsail. Both "Saga" and "Morna" have got the first slight wind gusts and are leaning over further than the rest of the fleet, shown here, that are blanketed by the "Morna's" larger sails. Just astern of "Morna" is the "Merlin", with crewman on the bow to advise his skipper how close "Merlin" is to "Morna".
Just to leeward of "Merlin" is the small gaff rigged ketch "Connella". To windward of "Merlin", just with the top of the mainsail visible, is the cutter "Active". To leeward of "Connella" is the schooner "Osirius" and astern of her is the gaff rigged "8 metre" cutter "Defiance". In the background is Rose Bay. Cloud shadows can be seen crossing the land.
"Saga" was well on her way to win the race on handicap, but was becalmed for 11 hours in the Derwent River, leading up to Hobart and
finished second whilst "Christina", the smallest yacht in the race, won. The 19.8 metre cutter "Morna" took line honours, setting a new course
record of 5 days, 2 hours, 53 minutes. She subsequently won line honours in the Sydney Hobart race a further 6 times.
The "Defiance" finished 3rd on handicap and "Active" finished 8th on handicap. "Merlin"and Osirius" retired from the race. The "Osirius" was
built for Harold Nossiter in 1935 and he spent 2 years sailing around the world with his two sons,
arriving back to Sydney in 1937. She was renamed "Osirius" for this race.

Jenny Tait, the first woman to finish a Sydney Hobart race, was sailing with her husband on board their yacht "Active". Dagmar O'Brien sailed with her husband on board "Connella", but they had to retire from the race. They later had the famous "Wraith of Odin" built and raced her in the 1952, 53 and 1954 races.
Dimensions600mm x 900mm
MediaOil on linen canvas


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