Stand Aside (1998)

Yacht: Stand Aside

Race: Sydney Hobart

Year: 1998

See more from this race

As our aircraft approached Stand Aside, an orange flare shot up into the sky.

This is shot through Perspex from 1000 feet. Can you imagine how big that breaking wave is? We held station above her waiting for the rescue helicopter to arrive. When it did, I could hear the conversation in the helicopter about keeping a lookout behind them to avoid being swamped by a breaking sea. The helicopter, using a radar altimeter, measured one of the waves at 146 feet.

The crew couldn’t be lifted off from the boat and so had to get into a life raft which they could be winched from. I watched them inflate a raft which broke loose, cartwheeled away and appeared to disappear into the sky. Fortunately, they had another which they were able to get into and be winched to safety.

This image was published as a double-page spread in both Time and Paris Match. It was a finalist in the Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards for Magazine Photography in New York, submitted by Life magazine.

It was the last picture I took that day.


Best of — Yacht Racing



The Sydney Hobart Across five Decades
Buy the Book
Every digital file is personally worked by Richard to produce the best image. He custom prints every fine art photograph for each individual order.
Prints are made using the finest museum-quality papers with archival inks. They are of exceptional quality and will last a lifetime.
Each print is signed and embossed with a stamp of authenticity. So you know you have an original Richard Bennett icon to hang on your wall.