Peach....I agree 100% on the planned NEL/TBC in Sydney for the Australia part of the race. I think it was planned to be either a 2 hour premier or as we saw it......two one hour episodes a week apart, depending on how CBS wanted to do it. I think they decided it would be more suspenseful to split it between Kent/Vyxen and the Cowboys, than between Gary/Mallory and Amanda/Kris as it was most likely planned, as it had been in past TBCs.
When they decided to do that, then production had to put more stuff in the first episode than they orginally planned and somehow add stuff to the second episode than orginally planned. I think that Bertram was quick to see that on the day of filming and got extra stuff of the Cowboys wandering around to make up the difference. Once they got in the studio, they could do it both ways and see which was best to televise.
Other than calling the midway point a "Pit Stop" this time, it pretty much followed the format of a lot of other TAR premiers....ie......fly someplace, do several route tasks (in this case one of them was a RB), go to someplace and either take a number or sign up for flights the next day.
I also agree about Amanda and Kris. Had they not taken so much time to get to Town Hall, they would have or should have been on the first charter and undoubtably would have been safe. Since we saw no clue to go to the Maritime Museum, it looks like several teams got advice to go there to find out where the "To Sail to Stop" was located.