Rolex Sydney Hobart- Wild Oats closes in on Loyal
by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team on 27 Dec 2013
Perpetual Loyal at sunrise - Day 2 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
Anthony Bell's Perpetual Loyal, the former Speedboat continues to lead the 69th blue water classic this afternoon. She has just entered Bass Strait and is now 47 nautical miles south east of Gabo Island.
But in the soft conditions Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI has been steadily closing on the line honours leader. and is now less than two miles behind, sailing between half a knot and a knot and a half faster at the moment. Amazingly Wild Oats XI is now the IRC handicap leader. (An hour later the lead has shrunk to 1.2 nautical miles)
Anthony Bell commented earlier 'We are sailing as well as we can in really light winds that don't suit our boat and holding a narrow lead..'
Ian Fresh Burns just commented from Wild Oats XI 'We are sailing in light and challenging conditions, which are favouring us a bit but its a moveable feast '
Closest to the rhumbline in the lead group is Syd Fischer's Ragamuffin 100, now off the NSW Victorian border, more than 20 miles behind Loyal.
In fourth place, four miles behind is Jim Delegat's Giacomo, now second placed on the IRC overall handicap now 24 nautical miles south east of Green Cape. Perpetual Loyal is third on handicap.
On ORCi Ragamuffin 100 leads from Andrew Lawrence's Jazz Player with Ron Forster and Phil Damps Ariel third, both of these boats 30 miles south east of Bateman Bay.
In the Performance Racing fleet, Corinne Feldmann and Rob Francis The Banshee leads from Murray Owens and Jenny King's Art Equity Mahligai, ahead of the RSL Queensland entry Spirit of Mateship.
In the Clipper fleet, Old Pultney leads Jamaica Get All Right with Team Garmin third.
In the Sydney 38 divsion Gordon Ketelby's Zen continues to lead from Stephane Howarth's Mille Sabords with Glen Clinnick's Audacious third.