Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius AUS Smooth 728x90

Leo Rodriguez to contest Rolex Sydney Hobart Race

by Ian Grant on 10 Dec 2012
Merit and Optimus Prime meet off Tasman Island - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011 © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
The warm tropical waters of Pioneer Bay will become a distant memory for Whitsunday Sailing Club skipper Leo Rodriguez when he contests his fifth consecutive Rolex Sydney Hobart Race starting on Boxing Day.

It’s a long journey just to get to Sydney and her crew are aware that they face an even more demanding test of character when the former Volvo Globe race sloop Merit sets sail in what is already regarded as the toughest 628 n/ml race on the international ocean racing calendar.

Merit which was unanimously awarded first place in Performance Handicap in 2008 when her crew exercised outstanding seamanship to save the crew off the sinking yacht Georgia would welcome a moderate to fresh spinnaker sailing or two sail reaching wind forecast to blow in on Boxing Day morning.

Her crew suffered some personal torment from the weather forecast last year finishing 11th in line honours and 13th overall in the Performance Handicap class.

Naturally her joint owners Leo Rodriguez and Ian Bishop would appreciate the chance for Merit to show her class with the sails particularly her spinnaker emblazoned with –I would rather to sailing in the Whitsundays- being stretched at the seams with a brute speed sailing breeze.

Unfortunately they apart from some speculation have no idea what the weather conditions will be when they tension the sails and head south on another challenge against the wind tormented Tasman Sea.

They will also face a formidable challenge to be the first Volvo 60 to fasten their mooring lines to Hobart’s historical Constitution Dock.

Merit is one of three former Around the World race yachts entered for the Rolex Sydney Hobart along with the Simonas Steponavicius skippered Lithuanian sloop Ambersail and the Andrew Wenham helmed New South Wales Volvo 60 Southern Excellence.

All three have the potential to stage their own private match race while the Bob Oatley owned and Mark Richards helmed Wild Oats X1, the Syd Fischer skippered Ragamuffin Loyal, the recently modified Grant Wharington helmed Wild Thing, Peter Millard’s aging maxi Lahana, Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban and Peter Harburg’s super fast maxi chaser Black Jack skippered by Mark Bradford remain favoured to do battle for the line honours trophy.
Musto AUS 2017 660x82 1Jeanneau Sunfast 660x82Ensign Bavaria C57 April 2017

Related Articles

New faces in town with RC44 Sotogrande Cup set to begin
This event follows from last season's RC44 World Championship also held off this magnificent development Of the eight teams competing off Sotogrande, favourite is Igor Lah's Team CEEREF. Not only is the cockpit on the Slovenian RC44 adorned with the overall championship leader's 'golden wheels', but Lah's team also won the World Championship here in 2016.
Posted today at 6:06 pm
Sailing World Cup Hyères –Day 2– Zegers and van Veen show how its done
Afrodite Zegers and Anneloes van Veen were unstoppable on day two, winning both Women's 470 races in convincing style Out of the 534 competitors from 52 nations racing across ten Olympic events, Open Kiteboarding and 2.4 Norlin OD, the Dutch team were the standout performers.
Posted today at 5:55 pm
GC32 Racing Tour Owner-Driver Championship heats up
Unique aspect of GC32 is that compared to other foiling catamarans, it is simpler to sail and logistically easier to run Team Argo is sailing with the same crew as it had for February’s GC32 Championship in Oman, including leading American Moth and big boat sailor Anthony Kotoun and British former Olympic and America’s Cup sailor Alister Richardson.
Posted today at 2:58 pm
RORC Season's Points Championship and Cervantes Trophy Race preview
Over 5000 sailors from all over the world will race in the biggest offshore sailing competition in the world. Over 5000 sailors from all over the world will race in the biggest offshore sailing competition in the world. While this year the 2017 Rolex Fastnet Race is the showcase event, there are fourteen testing races that make up the championship, and every race has its own coveted prize for the overall winner and for class honours.
Posted today at 11:35 am
Biggest Round the World Ocean Race returns to Liverpool
The biggest round-the-world ocean race is to return to Liverpool with start and finish of this unique global challenge The biggest round-the-world ocean race is to return to Liverpool with the start and finish of this unique global challenge moving from the capital back to the River Mersey on the tenth anniversary of its last partnership with the region.
Posted today at 6:52 am
2018 BVI Spring Regatta adds new race to Sailing Festival
On the heels of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, preparations have already begun for 2018. On the heels of the 2017 BVI Spring Regatta and Sailing Festival, preparations have already begun for 2018. The week of March 27 - April 1 will offer the unique opportunity to race under a full moon. With that illumination, we will run the inaugural 'Full Moon Race, 64 Islands ~One Brilliant Night'.
Posted today at 6:32 am
Giant international gathering for Rolex Fastnet Race
August's Rolex Fastnet Race remains on track for a record-sized fleet. Currently 390 boats are entered August's Rolex Fastnet Race remains on track for a record-sized fleet. Currently 390 boats are entered: 338 competing for the main IRC handicap prize; the remainder racing for their own trophies in the Class40, IMOCA 60, Volvo Ocean 65 and Multihull grand prix classes.
Posted today at 5:25 am
Sailing World Cup Hyères – Laying down a marker
Over 500 sailors from 52 nations opened their quest for World Cup honours, personal best performances and bragging right In the 38 strong Women's Windsurfer fleet, Israel's Noga Geller came out flying with superb starts and speed. Feeling comfortable in the conditions, she snapped up the first two race wins.
Posted on 25 Apr
Debbie says the 8thP with Insurance is Patience (Pt.II)
We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance We’re back to keep exploring the nature of TC Debbie and how she came to tell us about the eighth P of insurance. We looked at what it was like to come into a disaster zone and now we see the evidence of those that did the right thing, and how the area is already on the road to recovery.
Posted on 25 Apr
World Cup Series in Hyères – Racing needs to be fast, not the food
Spanish sisters, Carla and Marta Munté Carrasco, sail together in the 49erFX and know they have a problem. Many sailors will be brimming with confidence after browsing the weather forecast and will be striving for gold in Hyères. But it is a team small in stature that know exactly where they stand in terms of performance that intrigues.
Posted on 24 Apr