December 6 I finally told my parents that I wasn’t going to be around for Christmas this year. I’ve known since spring, but it took me until September to spill it, as this will be the first time that I’m not going to be at their house for the holidays. In fact I would have waited longer, but had to start planning the logistics of where my son would be. I figured my father would be good with it, but was pretty sure I’d get an earful from my mother. So I was a weasel about the whole deal and not only waited for months, I emailed the news to my dad, asking him to tell mom on my behalf. He wrote back telling me that he printed the message I sent and handed it to her. Apparently he didn’t want to chance taking that bullet for me. Things have settled down more now that the word has been out for a couple of months. There are many “Congratulations!” followed by “Are you nuts?” I get more concern over this undertaking from my friends than my relatives, simply because most all of my friends are racers and know the reputation of the weather with the Sydney-Hobart run. My relatives, on the other hand, are in blissful ignorance. They’re excited for me that I’m going to Australia, but haven’t quite caught on to the whole concept of the race.