A Hard Chance: The Sydney-Hobart Race Disaster

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Willow Creek Press, 1999 - Sports & Recreation - 287 pages
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When 114 sailing yachts set out from Australia's Sydney Harbor on Boxing Day, December 26, 1998, for the 43rd Annual Sydney-to-Hobart ocean classic the mood was festive.

Crowds jammed the harbor and headlands in the midsummer heat to watch the yachts tack east to the Sydney Heads, set colorful spinnakers and run with the wind, south, for the finish line 630 miles distant in Hobart, Tasmania.

None knew they were being stalked by a deadly storm.

In the next 48 hours, the monster storm would strike, destroying yachts, washing scores of sailors overboard into 80-foot seas, killing six and spurring the largest sea rescue ever mounted by Australians.

In the style of A Perfect Storm and Into Thin Air, A Hard Chance traces the fateful collision course between a violent storm at sea and the world-class sailors and racing yachts that would bear its full and deadly fury.

As the storm unleashes its power, A Hard Chance amplifies the sea of terror that individual rescuers and racers overcame through skill and raw courage to save their boats and crew and pluck 55 doomed yachtsmen from the Tasman Sea.
 

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Contents

The RunUp to the 54th Sydney to Hobart
13
A Southerly Bomb Takes Shape
25
The Start A Magnificent Day to Sail
33
Day Two A Hard Chance
63
Day Three Armageddon
153
Day Four Fear and Loathing in Hobart
207
Day Five The Finish of a Lifetime
249
A Proper Sendoff for the Dead
257
Olympic City Epilogue The Investigation
263
Chronology of Events
277
Photo Credits
287
Copyright

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About the author (1999)

Kim Leighton is a contributor for Willow Creek Press titles including Hard Chance, Seasons of the Yellowstone.

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