1945 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race

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1st Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
Date 26 December 1945 – 3 January 1946
Defender Inaugural Race
Number of Yachts 9
Coordinates 33°51.35′S 151°12.40′E / 33.85583°S 151.20667°E / -33.85583; 151.20667Coordinates: 33°51.35′S 151°12.40′E / 33.85583°S 151.20667°E / -33.85583; 151.20667-
42°52.7′S 147°19.58′E / 42.8783°S 147.32633°E / -42.8783; 147.32633
Winner Rani

The 1945 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race was the inaugural running of the annual "blue water classic", the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It was hosted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia based in Sydney, New South Wales. The race was initially planned to be a cruise planned by Peter Luke and some friends who had formed a club for those who enjoyed cruising as opposed to racing. The plan was changed, however, when a visiting British Royal Navy Officer, Captain John Illingworth, famously suggested, "Why don’t we make a race of it?"[1][2]

The inaugural race,[3] like all those that have followed, began on Sydney Harbour, at noon on Boxing Day (26 December), before heading south for 630 nautical miles (1,170 km) through the Tasman Sea, past Bass Strait, into Storm Bay and up the Derwent River, to cross the finish line in Hobart, Tasmania.

The 1945 fleet comprised 9 starters.[4] Of the 9 starters, 8 yachts completed the race. Illingworth's own vessel, Rani, won the inaugural race in a time of 6 days, 14 hours and 22 minutes.[5]

Peter Luke's record for longest-ever time to finish the course stands to this day: 11 days, 6hours, and 20 minutes.[6]

1945 Fleet[edit]

9 yachts registered to begin the 1945 Sydney to Hobart Yacht race. They are:

Yacht Nation Skipper Previous
LH (Elapsed) Time
HW (Corrected) Time
Ambermerle Australia(NSW) J Colquhoun, C Kiel NA
Archina Australia (NSW) P Goldstein NA RETIRED RETIRED
Horizon Australia (NSW) J R Bartlett NA
Kathleen Australia Jack Earl NA
Mistral II Australia (NSW) Robert Evans NA
Rani United Kingdom Captain John Illingworth, RN NA 6:14:22:00 4:9:38:00
Saltair Australia A E and R M Walker NA
Wayfairer Australia (NSW) Peter Luke NA
Winston Churchill Australia P Coverdale NA


Line Honours LH (Elapsed) Time
Handicap Winner HW (Corrected) Time
United Kingdom Rani 6:14:22:00 United Kingdom Rani 4:9:38:00

See also[edit]


  1. ^ http://www.cyca.com.au/sysfile/downloads/RSH_began_Luke.pdf
  2. ^ Richmond, J. R.W; Naval Historical Society of Australia (1997), The Sydney to Hobart yacht race 1945, Naval Historical Society of Australia, retrieved 26 December 2013
  3. ^ "SYDNEY TO HOBART YACHT RACE". The West Australian. Perth: National Library of Australia. 29 December 1945. p. 10. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  4. ^ "SYDNEY-HOBART YACHT RACE". The Examiner. Launceston, Tas.: National Library of Australia. 18 December 1945. p. 4. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  5. ^ "YACHT RACE TO HOBART". The Canberra Times. National Library of Australia. 29 December 1945. p. 3. Retrieved 26 December 2013.
  6. ^ http://www.cyca.com.au/sysfile/downloads/RSH_began_Luke.pdf