Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad/Oracle Supplier

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.
BIA 2016 Sydney Boat Show 660x82Pacific Sailing School 660x82 1Lancer Industries - Lasts Longer

Related Articles

Further arrivals as first group begin Panama Canal transit
2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - IchorCoal and Qingdao arrived in Panama on Wednesday morning (local time) 2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - IchorCoal and Qingdao arrived in Panama on Wednesday morning (local time) as ClipperTelemed+, Unicef and Derry~Londonderry~Doire begin the transit of the Panama Canal.
Posted today at 2:24 am
Designing the beast-a conversation with Paul Bieker of Oracle Team USA
While “AC35” is over a year away, these are busy times for Paul Bieker and Oracle Team USA’s design team. While the 35th America’s Cup is still over a year away, these are hectic times for the design teams that are trying to build the fastest horse for the “AC35” course. Unlike Cups of yore, however, AC35 will be contested using wingsail-powered foiling catamarans that use a largely One Design platform. I called Paul Bieker of Oracle Team USA to learn more.
Posted on 25 May
Clipper Race - First yachts arrive in Panama ahead of canal transit
LMAX Exchange and Unicef have joined ClipperTelemed+ and Derry~Londonderry~Doire in Panama today 2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - LMAX Exchange and Unicef have joined ClipperTelemed+ and Derry~Londonderry~Doire in Panama today after completing the PSP Logistics Panama Cup.
Posted on 25 May
The minutiae of the minutiae
It is exceptionally visible and loud, which is a function of both the colour of the sport (bring back coloured kites In the mighty US boat market, sailing yacht sales accounted for something like 0.32% of all waterborne vessels sold last year. Of that, racing yachts were their own fraction. Hardly huge, but here’s the thing. It is exceptionally visible and loud, which is a function of both the colour of the sport (bring back coloured kites immediately) and the deep passion held and expressed by the participants!
Posted on 25 May
2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - ETAs to Panama
Clipper Race fleet are currently heading for Panama ahead of the transit of the Panama Canal, below are the latest ETAs. The Clipper Race fleet are currently heading for Panama ahead of the transit of the Panama Canal, below are the latest ETAs.
Posted on 24 May
2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Next stop Panama
It’s full steam ahead to Panama for four of the Clipper Race fleet after a successful pit stop in Banana Bay Marina 2015 -16 Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - It’s full steam ahead to Panama for four of the Clipper Race fleet after a successful pit stop in Banana Bay Marina, Costa Rica, to refuel ahead of canal transit. Following in their wake, the next four teams are approaching the same marina in Golfito Bay for refueling and are expected to arrive there at approximately 0700 local time today (1300 UTC).
Posted on 24 May
SouthernFurl In-Boom furling systems withstand Sydney Hobart test
Southern Spars design team have developed the SouthernFurl Boom smaller budgets and yachts from 35-70 feet. Have you ever scared your family when you got stuck with too much sail up when you should be reefed? Southern Spars’ range of SouthernFurl booms are the answer – letting you reduce sail quickly and easily without leaving the safety of the cockpit.
Posted on 23 May
The minutiae of the minutiae
It is exceptionally visible and loud, which is a function of both the colour of the sport (bring back coloured kites In the mighty US boat market, sailing yacht sales accounted for something like 0.32% of all waterborne vessels sold last year. Of that, racing yachts were their own fraction. Hardly huge, but here’s the thing. It is exceptionally visible and loud, which is a function of both the colour of the sport (bring back coloured kites immediately) and the deep passion held and expressed by the participants!
Posted on 22 May
Clipper Yacht Race – Fight to finish in PSP Logistics Panama Cup
Four teams had already crossed the line and a further four have now finished after a fierce fight to maximise points. The teams that have now finished are motoring to Costa Rica to refuel, as planned, en route to the Panama Canal to make the scheduled transit window.
Posted on 20 May
Clipper Race – Tense race to secure good place as leaders tackle ITCZ
With the conditions likely to become frustrating, Race Office decides to use latest compulsory gate as the finish line. Boats will have until 1200 UTC tomorrow (20 May) to cross the ‘Remedios’ Gate. Those that haven’t crossed will have their distance from it measured to determine the remaining places, which will enable these teams to see how their current tactics play out in determining their final positions.
Posted on 19 May