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Starting gun music to SydHob sailors’ ears

Hearing the starting gun at the Sydney Hobart will be the sweetest sound for race officials and at least one prominent yachtsman, who was left devastated, shattered and hollow by the cancellation of the 2020 edition.

Maritimo skipper Michael Spies, who will compete in the race for a 44th time, is among those who will be elated to get off the start line on Boxing Day.

Spies said he had spent last Christmas moping at home after the race was cancelled for the first time in its history, which stretches back to 1945.

“When one o’clock eastern came around, I was home in Queensland and I don’t mind admitting it was quite devastating, probably even worse, shattering,” Spies told AAP.

“It’s something that’s been a massive part of your life and to lose it through no fault of your own, or just external forces.

“I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s given their all participating in the race, it was a very, very, very hollow feeling.

“The sound I want to hear is the start gun go, then we’ll believe it.”

Noel Cornish, the commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, will also be happy and relieved once the fleet heads for Hobart.

“People have often asked me over the last month or so, ‘What are you looking forward to most of all?’,” Cornish told AAP.

“In a normal year I would have definitely said the competitiveness of the fleet, watching those people go through the weather transitions, how the navigators are outsmarting each other and then watching the boats come up the Derwent.

“But for me this time it’s hearing that gun go at one o’clock and watching boats head to Hobart.”

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