Please select your home edition
Edition
Hall Spars Batten

Rolex Sydney Hobart; Current little help in the Great Southern Lottery

by Crosbie Lorimer on 25 Dec 2011
Wave Sweeper out practicing on Christmas Day - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011 Crosbie Lorimer http://www.crosbielorimer.com
Betting on the Melbourne Cup is at best risky, but you can at least be assured you’ll know the full race conditions before they let the horses loose; by comparison a bet on the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race outcome is almost akin to buying a lottery ticket.

And never more so than this year, with a race forecast that has even the experts guessing.

Remarkably, a major sports betting agency has one punter opting for a race finish time at one day 19 hours, while the short odds appear to favour 2 days and 2 hours at $1.65 for the line hounours win.

Unsurprisingly, Wild Oats XI has the shortest odds for a line houours win, by a long margin from Investec Loyal, with Lahana and Wild Thing trailing at distance.

But that’s about the only part of this race where any sane person would punt a few bucks and even then the race could easily disappoint.

As to the handicap win, that’s one for the dartboard; pin the fleet list to the bullseye, don a blindfold and throw your arrows; take the result and head down to the betting shop; your odds of a win will be as good as any amount of weather analysis and form checking this year it seems.

A quick discussion with a couple of skippers and crew after the Bureau of Meteorology weather briefing on Christmas Eve morning made it clear that while the first six hours of the race seem relatively assured - a work out of the harbour and set the kite for a solid afternoon of 15-20 knot downwind angles – thereafter, who gets what and where all gets a bit hazy.

Quite when the northeasterlies will die away and the southerly change gradually build is still not clear, but most forecasts today suggest that this is likely to happen somewhere off Ulladalla late afternoon of Boxing Day, so the front end of the fleet may not get quite the lengthy sleigh ride they’d hope for to get clearance from the much-fancied fifty footers.

The northeasterly appears to persist further offshore for a few hours, but with a southwesterly predicted for Bass Strait, going wide is not an option.

Renowned ocean race navigator Stan Honey is aboard Anthony Bell’s 100 foot Investec Loyal for this year’s race and yesterday he too was unclear as to how the second half of the race was going to pan out for them,

'Half way across Bass Strait there’s a lot of uncertainty' said Honey.

While the BoM and CSIRO don’t believe there are enough clear patterns to the Australian East Coast Current in the next few days to suggest a tactical gain by chasing south-going water, Honey believes there is in fact one area where the current will be helpful and that’s around Green Point.

'The reason the models are still a little inconsistent is that with this much cloud cover the thermal models can’t be tested. The altimetry models (measuring sea height, which varies with the speed of the current) suggest a favourable current off Green Point. I think you’ll find the models come into agreement on this over the next couple of days' Honey explains.

But in the pain-for-gain decision making process this one’s not much help anyway,

'With the strong south westerlies forecast for the top of Bass Strait you don’t get much advantage there' says Honey,

'Everyone’s going to want to be close to Green Point anyway at that juncture chimes in Ian ‘Fresh’ Burns, America’s Cup team design co-ordinator for BMW Oracle, possibly sixteen time Hobart racer ('I keep meaning to check that') and Wild Oats XI crew member.

A little over twenty four hours into the race and the wind directions off the East Coast of Tasmania wind clockwise through westerly to northerly, south of St Helens, before gradually swinging to all points of the compass and progressively dying out.

That scenario is going to be a challenge for the front runners who’ll want to be through ahead of that nightmare if they’re not to find the chasing TP52s hot on their heels.

When asked what he thought Wild Oats XI will do if they find themselves off the Tasmanian Coast in limited breeze, Burns confirms the tactics that any dinghy sailor would adopt when faced with the same scenario,

'first we’ve got to stay in pressure' he said 'and with these big boats eight to nine knots is enough to keep you going, but once the breeze is down to 5-6 knots they stop and the smaller ones keep rolling.'

Staying in eight to nine knots may yet prove tricky as Burns confirms 'there’s a bit of question mark over what’s going to happen with that front; it was up at 15-18 knots yesterday and today it’s down to under 10 knots. If that trend continues it will be down to zero in no time' he adds ruefully.

And all this before you even think about whether your arrival time will avoid the infamous Derwent River closedown.

There’s little doubt about it, your money will be a lot safer spent on the post-Christmas sales.
Ensign 660Barz Optics - Melanin LensesT Clewring J-class

Related Articles

Amel - Do you fit the bill?
Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 It is certainly an interesting set of criterion. Perhaps it is equally as fascinating as the many features that go into either the Amel 55 or 64 and make them a definitive part of the quintessential bluewater cruiser armada. We’ll come to all of those in due course, but firstly we’ll tackle the hero image and why in so many ways, this explains, so, so much.
Posted on 21 Sep
Knowing Harken takes years and years (Pt.I)
You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. You could imagine that being familiar with all that Harken produces and stands for is a lengthy process. So if you were going to be the person at the top in Australia, it would be best for you to have immersed yourself in sailing from an early age. When you grew up, being one of the technical service team would be more than a handy apprenticeship, as it were.
Posted on 19 Sep
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 - Day 4 Images by Crosbie Lorimer
The Mistral finally blew itself out on Day 4, permitting the Race Committee to run two coastal course The Mistral finally blew itself out on Day 4, permitting the Race Committee to run two coastal courses for the 52 participating yachts in breezes that started at 15 knots and slowly faded as the afternoon wore on. Day 5 (Friday) saw the winds lighten further bringing some changes to the podium positions of several divisions
Posted on 10 Sep
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 2016 - Day 2 Images by Crosbie Lorimer
The Mistral is in and howling at Porto Cervo! After a brief lull to permit racing on Day 2 after the Day 1 cancellation, The Mistral is in and howling at Porto Cervo! After a brief lull to permit racing on Day 2 after the Day 1 cancellation, we have a second 'Lay Day' on Wednesday with racing again cancelled due to high wind speeds and a large seaway. The conditions were near enough perfect on Day 2 however, with 17-18 knots and a short sea, the breeze dropping later in the day.
Posted on 7 Sep
Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup 20126 - DAY 2 Images & VIDEO
The fleet of 49 maxis finally hit the water in north-westerly winds of 17-18 knots and a short and sharp seaway. The S The fleet of 49 maxis finally hit the waters off Porto Cervo in north-westerly winds of 17-18 knots and a short and sharp seaway on Day 2. The Super and Mini maxis headed out for a coastal race and the Maxi 72s & Wally fleet competed in two windward/leeward races. The choppy seas made for exciting footage and images.
Posted on 7 Sep
America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ train late on the Waitemata Harbour
Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. Emirates Team NZ were out for a training session that ran into the early Thursday evening. The team were sailing their recently launched AC45 Surrogate test boat which features an articulated rudder gantry - taking the AC45 close to the geometry of the AC50 to be used in the 2017 America's Cup.
Posted on 1 Sep
The C Beetle Project
Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Every now and then something comes along your way and you just have to read it. Such is Phil Smidmore’s tale of Mick Miller and if I could be so bold as to implore you to read, then I know your life will be the better for it!
Posted on 30 Aug
Dateline Rio - Sailing Olympics review - as good as it gets?
The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The Rio Sailing Olympics was widely judged to have been the best of recent times. The weather was better than Weymouth and Qingdao, the courses more varied, but from a working media perspective, it was the people running the Rio regatta who really made the difference.
Posted on 26 Aug
Rio 2016 - Plain speaking by triple-medalist on Olympic sailing moves
Triple Olympic medalist, Santiago Lange has been on the sharp end of changes made to Olympic classes and formats Santiago Lange, a six-time Olympian and Bronze medallist in the 2004 and 2008 Olympics, won his third medal – Gold sailing in the Nacra 17 class. With that length of experience at an Olympic level, having sailed the Laser, Tornado and now Nacra 17 classes his comments on the future shape of the Olympic regatta was one of the highlights of the Medallists Media Conferences.
Posted on 25 Aug