Please select your home edition
Edition
Lancer Inflatables - BJ

Rolex Sydney Hobart - its all about timing

by Rob Kothe on 22 Dec 2011
Secret Mens Business 3.5 nears the finish line, winning the Tattersall’s Cup - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2010 Crosbie Lorimer http://www.crosbielorimer.com
Computer driven handicap predictions for the 628 mile Rolex Sydney to Hobart race ignore the fact that most races are won and lost in the last 40 miles from Tasman Light across Storm Bay, past the Iron Pot and up the Derwent.

As we have explained over the years, every ten minutes or so during the race, the computers spit out a new number set, with ranking. At best, these need to be taken with a tablespoon of sea salt.

In the maze of numbers, there is one more important than all the others in deciding if the figures are 'back of the boat fantasy land stuff' or not.

It’s the ETA. Turn Tasman Light at 20:00 and Huey says ‘Good that you could come and thank your mother for the fish’ or words to that effect….

The reason is the factor that has caused heartache and grief in the last 66 Hobart races - the Derwent River goes to sleep at night.

A boat arriving at the Iron Pot 11 miles from the finish line might have averaged ten knots from Eddystone Light to Storm Bay. However it may take two or three or four hours to go the last eleven miles depending just how tired the Derwent is. It seems most Hobart sailors have a story to tell and year after year, they look for sympathy from other sailors, but they don’t get it.

Many a boat has been famous at 20:00 hours, but at 03:00 is drifting up the Derwent.

You see the wind gods use the Sydney Hobart race to remind mortals that most things in life are about timing. So it's way too early to decide a handicap chance, which is most easily done when the boats are tied up in Constitution Dock.

The 2010 Tattetersalls Cup (IRC handicap ) winner Geoff Boettcher's Reichel-Pugh 49 Secret Mens Business 3.5 finished at an almost perfect time 1.42pm.

Not just a few sailors have had the Weather Gate slam in their face; just about every one of us has had a 'Derwent experience.'

(A Sail-World tip - use a lighted candle in a winch socket to find the breeze, it’s more sensitive than cigarette smoke and it winds up the smokers who have been dreaming they would get a quick few puffs on the non-smoking boat in the wee small hours on the Derwent River.)

So we are not going to spend every night during the Hobart race writing feverishly about the half hourly changes in Handicap positions, we are going to have a few Tasmanian Boags or Cascades and do what the Derwent does - go to sleep.
Sail Exchange 660x82 1Dubarry 2016 660x82 1Harken AUS HL Snatch Block 660x82

Related Articles

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Sydney Hobart Race-Dark and stormy, well because it is Dark and Stormy
Proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart Well it is now dark and the rain 'storms' have passed, but proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart, the custom Murray 37, Dark & Stormy had a wonderful exchange on the radio. Quite possibly it was co-owner and Navigator Terry Courts on the VHF in the super-frank exchange with Hobart Race Control at around 1928hrs on 29/12/16.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Wicked
ather and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery Father and Son outfit, Wicked, are Matt and Mark Welsh from Melbourne. Matt is at home on the couch after knee surgery, but Mark is out on the water, approaching Hobart. From on board he said, 'Amazing race. Barely any windward work. Just does not get better than this. Bit of gear damage cost us early, and we had to sail a little conservatively.'
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - Accepting the Challenge
When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South When you buy a boat like the late Lou Abrahma's Sydney 38, Challenge, you're almost obliged to keep taking her South at Christmas time. Luckily this has not been a problem for Chris Mrakas and his new crew, which includes Bruce Reidy
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – 67 out of 70
It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite It's a pretty awesome score in anybody’s language. When it is the number of hours you spend under kite in the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race so far, then it is more than A+++. Anto Sweetapple from on board the Jones 40, Quetzalcoatl, reports in from at sea for us.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2016 - The 60 Hour report card
60 hours into the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart race. 16 boats finished,five boats retired and 67 boats at sea. The state of play 60 hours into the 72nd running of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. At 0100hrs Australian Eastern Daylight Savings Time this morning, 16 boats had finished the 2016 race. Five boats had retired, and 67 boats were still on the water.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – the second step for CQS and 2017
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race It was a frustrating end to a frustrating race for the newest supermaxi to compete in the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. It was just her second ever race, with her first, the White Island Race in New Zealand, producing a line honours win. While Ludde Ingvall’s radical new 98-footer CQS had a very slow passage across an almost windless Storm Bay and River Derwent.
Posted on 28 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Derwent sleeping it off?
We spoke about how anyone with an interest in ensuring Perpetual Loyal got Line Honours, also a new record in the race In the article Right-turn-means-record-in-mortal-danger, we spoke about how anyone with an interest in ensuring Perpetual Loyal got Line Honours and also a new record in the race should go down and pour a rum into the River Derwent from Constitution Dock. Looks like they did. However, they may have poured the entire barrel in, because now the River is sleeping it off.
Posted on 27 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Race record smashed
On Day Three (just) of the 72nd Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Perpetual Loyal smashed the race record On Day Three (just) of the 72nd Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, in the strongest downwind conditions in recent times, certainly as good as the 1999 iteration of the blue water classic, Anthony Bell’s supermaxi, Perpetual Loyal, the former Speedboat and then Rambler 100, smashed the race record for the famous 628-nautical mile event.
Posted on 27 Dec 2016