St Jude in action during the Sydney to Hobart yacht race.
St Jude in action during the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. DANIEL FORSTER

Emma May told to 'hold on tight' for Sydney to Hobart

SAILING: Wendy Tuck's advice to the youngest competitor in the Sydney to Hobart Emma May will be to "hang on tight" with forecasts of 20-25 knot winds lashing competitors as they head out of the Sydney Heads on Boxing Day.

May, all of 18, will be making her debut on board St Jude and Tuck's advice to the teenager on race eve was to wear warm clothes, hang on tight and grab some sleep when she could.

More likely she could spend some time being sick if the conditions are as rough as expected, but that is all part of the race and the character test.

"Obviously a bumpy ride means no sleep and it might induce a bit of sea sickness but it's all part of the deal when you sign up to do Hobart," said May, one of many women crew members this year.

"I was prepared for that and it might make it more exciting."

Tuck is delighted with the latest forecast of heavy going with a southerly change forecast soon after the 117-strong fleet heads out pf Sydney Heads on the 600-plus nautical mile race to Hobart.

"The first 24 hours are going to be quite hard and on the nose (bow)," said Tuck as she and her crew put the finishing touches to Last Tango.

"That's absolutely fantastic for us, this boat loves the upwind sailing.

"It's going to be wet, cold and uncomfortable. Those are conditions this boat thrives on and I am looking forward to the start."

"Obviously a bumpy ride means no sleep and it might induce a bit of sea sickness but it's all part of the deal when you sign up to do Hobart," she said.

"I was prepared for that and it might make it more exciting."

This year's race will feature five super maxis headed by last year's line honours winner Wild Oats XI and American first starter Comanche owned by Netscape founder and American entrepreneur Jim Clark who is married to former Brisbane supermodel Kristy Hinze.


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