Head Down and Hold On is the season premiere of The Amazing Race: Unfinished Business.


Route Markers

Teams have to search through a field containing hundreds of paper airplanes with various words written on them for one matching the clue "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services", and have to figure out that this was a reference to Qantas, which are written on the correct airplanes. Once teams present a correct airplane to Phil, he will give them their first clue and tickets for one of two flights to their first destination, Sydney, Australia. The first eight teams got tickets for the first flight, and the last three teams got tickets for a flight that left 90 minutes after the first. In addition, the last team to complete the task would be penalized with a U-Turn on the Race's first Detour.

The order when teams found their paper airplane are as follows:

  1. Mel & Mike
  2. Zev & Justin
  3. Jet & Cord
  4. Kent & Vyxsin
  5. Ron & Christina
  6. Flight Time & Big Easy
  7. Margie & Luke
  8. Jaime & Cara
  9. Kisha & Jen
  10. Gary & Mallory
  11. Amanda & Kris

For coming in last place, Amanda & Kris received an automatic U-Turn at the first Detour they encounter.

Upon arrival at Sydney Airport, teams had to travel by train to Circular Quay in Sydney Harbour, they then took a ferry to Manly and made their way to Oceanworld Manly where they would search the area for a clue box containing their next clue.

The team member assigned to perform the Roadblock would have to scuba dive in the Oceanworld shark and ray tank and search the tank for a compass. The compass included a guide to decode a message hidden in series of nautical flags outside. The correctly decoded message instructed teams to go to the Manly 16 ft Skiff Sailing Club, find the Commodore, and tell him the phrase "I am Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea" to receive their next clue.

The Roadblock performers per team are underlined:

Teams have to change into wet suits, then join a sailing crew and ride a 16ft Skiff through a race course to a series of buoys that have their next clue.

Teams must walk on foot to Shelly Beach to check in.

For coming in first place, Gary & Mallory won the Express Pass.

This leg is a no-rest leg. Teams would check in as normal, but receive their clue to start the next leg from Phil. The team that comes in last place does not receive a penalty.


     First Place •      Eliminated     Last placer on a Non-Elimination Leg     Season winner •      Season 2nd place •      Season 3rd place • Used the Fast Forwardϵ Used the Express Pass User of the first Double U-Turn slot • Recipient of the first Double U-Turn slot • User of the second Double U-Turn slot • Recipient of the second Double U-Turn slot• Was penalized with an automatic U-Turn
S18 GaryMallory
 1st place 
Gary & Mallory
S18 AmandaKris
 2nd place 
Amanda & Kris
S18 KishaJen
 3rd place 
Kisha & Jen
S18 ZevJustin
 4th place 
Zev & Justin
Best Friends
S18 FlightTimeBigEasy
 5th place 
Flight Time & Big Easy
Harlem Globetrotters
S18 JaimeCara
 6th place 
Jaime & Cara
Former NFL Cheerleaders
S18 MargieLuke
 7th place 
Margie & Luke
S18 RonChristina
 8th place 
Ron & Christina
S18 MelMike
 9th place 
Mel & Mike
S18 KentVyxsin
 10th place 
Kent & Vyxsin
Dating Goths
S18 JetCord
 11th place 
Jet & Cord


  • This marks the first time a team is penalized with an automatic U-Turn at the first Detour, although the penalty would not apply until the next leg.
  • This episode's title is said by a sailing instructor to Jaime & Cara as they almost tipped overboard.
  • This leg marks the first time in which there is no rest period between two legs.
  • This marks the first time no team is eliminated in the first leg, as Eric & Lisa were eliminated at the Starting Line of The Amazing Race 15 on the first leg.


  • Michael Slezak at TV Line (02/21/2011): "Season Premiere Recap: Swimming With Sharks"


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