So it was not surprising that most of Hobart was there to watch when Ondine blew into town under spinnaker on a freshening breeze. Crossing the finish line a safe first, Ondine jibed and rounded into the wind. A sound swept across the water such as few sailing men have heard in their lives—a wild cacophony of honking horns and people cheering, thousands upon thousands of people, tens of thousands, it seemed, stacked along the riverbank shoulder to shoulder. "It's the most incredible finish I've ever experienced," Long said afterward.
"Pull into that dock over there," shouted a friendly official who came alongside in a launch, and Ondine, now under power, slowly made her way toward the harbor, with a fleet of small craft escorting her. As she pulled alongside, a fresh new kind of greeting awaited her, a greeting usually alien to yachtsmen. Lined between water and a cargo shed as far as the eye could see stood a crowd that did not yell, scream or stamp its feet, but instead solemnly clapped. They were not yachtsmen in Top-Siders, club ties or brassbound jackets but salesmen, housewives, a carpenter in his Sunday best and a waiter carrying his 3-month-old son to see "the winner."
The sight and sound took even Ondine's world-girdling, wisecracking crew aback. Later, as one of her hands clambered ashore through the throng, two boys, one the son of a brick mason and the other of a prison guard, stepped forward and grabbed his duffel bags. "You want a taxi, sir?" asked one. Told yes, he disappeared in search of a phone. When the taxi arrived, the crewman offered the equivalent of 25� to each boy. They politely rejected it. "You're on Ondine, you know," they explained.