Monitor: All the News of the World Australian comment on the Sydney- Hobart yacht race tragedy

THE HAZARDOUS conditions during the Sydney-Hobart race have extracted a terrible toll in terms of lives lost, sailors injured, and boats crippled, some of them probably beyond repair. Civilian and military rescue personnel were mobilised in the biggest rescue operation at sea in a long time. So, more lives were put at risk in order to save those whose yachts had been disabled and who therefore could not save themselves. And through all this the Cruising Yacht Club in Sydney would say only that, as the race rules stand, "the final decision to continue racing rests with the individual skippers to ensure the safety of their vessel and crew".

The starts of the Melbourne to Hobart and Melbourne to Devonport yacht races were sensibly delayed because of the weather. The Sydney to Hobart yacht race should have been delayed also. If the rules don't allow for this, then the Cruising Yacht Club should change the rules.

The Age

EVEN FOR those thousands of landlubbers left standing and staring from the Sydney Heads, listening to the radio for the latest fleet positions, vicariously sharing the pleasures and perils of the race through the crews, it is plain that sailing is special. Despite the introduction of sophisticated gadgetry it remains fascinatingly, frighteningly elemental. Wind. Water. Human strength and skill. And, yes, courage.

Whatever happens - worse, whoever may die - almost all those who survive will resume the perennial struggle between sailor and sea. As those involved in the race explain, lives are not unnecessarily endangered, but there will always be risks. And, for so long as there are waves and winds, there will always be men and women willing to run those risks.

Sydney Morning Herald

THE IMAGE of Bruce Guy's abandoned yacht will haunt this race forever. The two who died (the skipper, whose heart gave out; Phil Skeggs, drowned after the boat capsized) had to be left on board as their crewmates were rescued.

The Australian

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