'With first light our frustration became painful when we saw two other boats close inshore and favoured by a land breeze. They turned into Storm Bay and close hauled for the finishing line before we gained steerage way for the 30 mile chase that lay ahead. Both of these boats, Margaret Rintoul and Trade Winds were ordinarily faster than Matilda and all of Jock Muir's skill and local knowledge plus a large measure of luck would be called upon if we were to regain our lead. "It was going to be a long cold day and I donned oilskins, sou-wester and seaboots. A weather report indicated that we could expect a wind change later in the day. So, while the other boats tacked directly for the finishing line, we held on to the starboard tack for the Bruny Island shore where we hoped to be first to experience a favourable wind change. This was the way it happened: in a rush our crew broke out our biggest light spinnaker. Doug [Job] passed me the halyard. Before I could take a turn a gust streamed the sail out ahead of the boat and I was taken aloft, sou-wester, sea-boots and all. Iooking down I saw surprise then amusement on the upturned faces: but out of consideration for my embarrassment and for the job on hand no one laughed as they hauled me down to the deck. "When we passed the Iron Pot, about l0 miles from the finish, we were still astern of the other boats but their lead had been reduced from about a mile to less than 300 yards.
Waltzing Matilda berths in Constitution Dock after winning the 1949 Sydney - Hobart race. She was placed second on handicap behind Trade Winds. Photo courtesy The Mercury