Denis O'Neal's Kooloomoo winning handicap honours from Boomerang VII and Ragamuffin in third place. Balandra had once again comfortably competed with the best in ocean racing, finishing fourth on handicap and across the line. The Muir-Gilliam fathers and sons partnership finished a creditable twentieth overall from the fleet of 67. There were 13 retirements. One, the New Zealand yacht Mantuka, struck a whale in the Tasman Sea and sank. Her crew drifted for five days in a rubber raft until a passing freighter spotted them.
1969 - 25th Anniversary Race
"In 1969 I crewed with owner Roger Jackman on Wathara II using the Sydney to Hobart race as her delivery trip. John Bennetto joined us as navigator." A huge fleet of 75 faced the starter's gun, in this, the twenty-fifth anniversary of the showpiece of Australian yachting. Ironically, it was the English boats which fared best, the Rt Hon. Edward Heath winning handicap honours with Morning Cloud and British newspaper magnate Sir Max Aitken's 62-foot cutter Crusade (3 days 15 hours 7 minutes and 40 seconds) taking line honours. Light weather mainly from the north-east continued for the first two days, but this changed dramatically during the third night out when a 20-knot southerly hit the fleet with heavy rain. Fifty yachts were reported sighted between Maria Island and St Helens, all reefed and battling into stiff seas. Winds of up to 40 knots were whipping up huge swells as the boats ploughed on towards the Tasman light. The Tasmanian yacht Nell Gwyn (Frank Hickman) was in line with Bandit and French yacht Cavalier Seul off the southern end of the Freycinet Peninsula, whilst Jock and Roger Jackman had taken Wathara II well out to sea south of Bicheno in company with Duet and Melite. Tacking east was Roulette II and astern of these were Weatherly and Jisuma. Fifteen miles further out to sea. The leader, Crusade, was close in to the northern end of Maria Island, 10 miles in front of her nearest rival, Alan Bond's new 57-foot cutter, Apollo, a further 40 miles ahead of Ragamuffin. Salacia was astern of her about a mile ahead and in company with Prospect of Whitby. She was sailing out of the worst of the weather but carrying a good breeze veering east. Poor visibility made it very difficult to obtain accurate position reports from the yachts. In the end, Crusade held on to her lead, even though she only sailed 15 miles on the rhumb-line in three hours. Apollo made better ground in the dying winds and finished 19 minutes behind Crusade.