This Boxing Day, you can help the world see something new: the first-ever Indigenous team to race in the 71-year history of the Sydney to Hobart.
Instead of being left behind with other spectators, the Indigenous team will be leaping ahead when the starting cannon booms, competing under the Aboriginal flag.
Already, the call to Koori communities on the easternmost points on the coast has been put out. The plan is for them to light controlled fires and conduct smoking ceremonies at these points as the Tribal Warrior team sails past.
With members hailing Redfern, La Perouse, Nowra and the NSW South Coast, this is a way for people to connect with their own mobs and many others along the coast and help gain safe passage to the finish line. For the public, it will be a whole new way to track the race.
Even the best laid plans can come undone.
It emerged that the “Kayle” was unable to start the race in safe condition, and we did not have time to make the necessary repairs. So she has been withdrawn. The timing means we have also missed the deadline to make an entry with an alternative vessel.
However, all is far from lost. While still too late to enter the race proper, another vessel, “Southern Excellence 11”, has become available. She will be permitted to sail under the Aboriginal flag, but on the outside of the first harbour marker. A Volvo 70 yacht, “Southern Excellence II” will deploy all nine of Tribal Warrior’s trained crew.
What a thrill it will be to watch her swoop along with the fleet in this iconic event. And what a boost for a community about which we too seldom hear positive news.
Our lean, mean budget including vessel hire is only $58,000 thanks to the major sponsorship of the Redfern Foundation.
Any amount, no matter how big or small, will help get the Tribal Warrior team across the line.
Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot!