Wild scenes as ferocious Sydney storm rips apart sailboat

Dramatic footage from Sydney's wild storm on Saturday night shows a sailboat fall victim to the ferocious winds that tore through the city, as bystanders desperately scrambled to safety.

Saturday saw temperatures of up to 38 degrees in parts of Sydney but was hit with a thunderstorm and strong winds in the evening. Winds of 43km/h were reported in the CBD at around 7pm, with it picking up to 50km/h at Kingsford Smith Airport.

The freak storm took out a Canadian catamaran that was docked at Barangaroo following the SailGP sailing tournament. The race had ended not long before the freak storm brought on a deluge of rain and powerful winds.

Sail boat ripped apart in storm at Barangaroo, Sydney.
A sailboat at Barangaroo in Sydney was torn apart in the wild storms on Saturday. Sydney storm. Source: Twitter/MyHarshWords

Video captured at the scene shows the sail of the boat — which was attached to a crane — getting swept up in the strong gale, ripping it apart. Spectators were seen running to avoid being hit as marquees and tents were blown apart.

According to the Daily Telegraph, the area was evacuated as emergency services, including three Fire and Rescue trucks, responded. Early reports said a few people sustained minor injuries. Fire and Rescue NSW spokesman Adam Dewberry reportedly said the temporary structures set up for the race were "seriously damaged".

70,000 homes without power across NSW

Other parts of NSW were also badly hit by the storm, with almost 30,000 homes in Newcastle, Hunter Valley, the Central Coast and Sydney left without power, electricity distributor Ausgrid said. Meanwhile, Endeavour Energy said power had been restored to an additional 40,000 homes and businesses on Sunday morning following outages across Sydney’s west, the Blue Mountains and the Illawarra. Thousands still remain without power.

NSW State Emergency Service said the hardest hit areas were the Sydney Metropolitan and Hawkesbury areas including Hornsby, Ku-ring-gai, Auburn and Sutherland. NSW SES received 789 calls for help.

Sydney can expect a partly cloudy day on Sunday with temperatures of up to 27 degrees.

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