"We spent five hours battling in light sou-west winds to round the light, attempting about 16 tacks in a distance of only six miles. However, Kurrewa IV managed to push her bow through the calm and once clear of Cape Raoul we picked up a southerly breeze and capped on her big 2500-square foot spinnaker to head for the line. By the time Solo had rounded Cape Raoul we had made best of the wind, cruising at 10 knots, and had opened up a handy lead." Kurrewa IV crossed the line at 7.11pm, on Friday December 30, with Solo just over two hours behind. Astor came home third at 11.29pm. Prior to the race, Vic Meyer's Solo had beaten Kurrewa IV in the Montague Island race by a whisker and all the crew knew she would be the one to beat again. Kurrewa IV, the old war-horse, had finally turned the tables on Solo and she,had finished her illustrious Sydney-Hobart career on a winning note, for this was to be her final race. The British Lion class yacht, Siandra, won the race on corrected time, the second of her double. There were three Muir-built (or designed) boats in the fleet - Maris (Jack Earl) finished 15th, Lass O'Luss (John Colquhoun) 17th and Wild Wave (Jack Cockle) 19th. "It truly was a moment to behold when Kurrewa IV berthed alongside Elizabeth Street Pier. A large crowd had gathered to cheer and applaud the grand old lady, with Frank Livingston, dressed in his kilt, playing 'Road To The Isles' on his bagpipes."
1961 - Trouble at the Start
1961 saw record crowds of an estimated 300,000 witness the start of the Sydney-Hobart yacht race. Many crowded into spectator craft which impeded several of the 35 starters. Astor, one of the more fancied New South Wales yachts, apparently ran down and sank a launch on her way to the start, but this did not deter the 'glamour' schooner of the sixties from winning her first of three blue water classics. Bern Cuthbertson sailed her to the USA after her racing days had finished, where she is still located today. Muir Engineering supplied Astor with a new anchor windlass as recently as 1989. Jock was invited by owner Ernie Hales to join him on board Tahuna for the 1961 race. Also in the crew was Bob Rusk of Sydney who later commissioned Muir's boatyard to build the 4l-foot sloop Salacia from a Sparkman and Stephens design. Mick Earl also participated in her construction.