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Southern Spars

Of fire hoses, weather windows, 18 footers, Farr 40´s and Lord Howe

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team on 25 Feb 2013
New Sydney Hobart passage record holder Team Australia - blasts home Jane Austin
After leaving Sydney just before 11am on Friday last Sean Langman's Orma 60 trimaran Team Australia arrived across the Sydney to Hobart passage finish line, which is the same finish line as the Hobart Race, a few minutes before five pm having taken less than 30 hours to sail the 630 nm from Sydney. An amazing feat. In optimum wind conditions.

There has been much commentary made since then that is there is no comparison between a selected weather window and racing in the weather you are served in the Sydney to Hobart Race. Of course this is absolutely true.

The 1999 Hobart was effectively sailed in an optimum weather window. That’s the year that Michael Spies sailed the Volvo 60 Nokia smashing Hasso Platnner´s Morning Glory.


Just how good the weather was that year was underlined when you recall there were in total 14 boats that broke Morning Glory’s race record time, including this writers own Sydney 40 and a raft of Farr 40s even though our group had some 40/50 knots on the nose for the last 30 nautical miles towards Tasman Light. Now guys we were good but the howling tailwinds kind of helped.

Yes weather conditions are most important but the reality is that had Wild Oats XI sailed in the 1999 Hobart conditions she may have taken four, five hours or seven hours off her 2012 race record of 42 hours 23 minutes and 12 seconds, but not 12 hours.


There is no way that a 100 foot monohull can approach anything like the speeds of an Orma 60 trimaran and we saw that at Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 2012 when it was clear that the two Orma 60s, the red hulled Team Vodafone from New Zealand skippered by Simon Hull and Sean Langman’s Team Australia were clearly much faster than the best of the monohulls sailing around.

The interesting thing now, of course, would be to see whether in fact the New Zealand Orma 60 will be tempted to have a crack at Langman’s amazing time. One of the things of course is that Sean Langman has sailed 23 Hobart’s. He has sailed fast in the Magna Data/Zena/Grundig/AAPT, a modified 60 foot boat stretched to 66 foot with small crews and slow in recent years he has sailed south on his loving restored Ranger 100, Maluka, the smallest boat in the fleet.

Sean has racked up an awful lot of sea time on the run to Hobart and that has obviously stood him in very good stead whereas the New Zealand Vodafone Sailing crew have, up to now, has not had that degree of heavy ocean weather experience but it will certainly be tempting for the Kiwi’s to see if they can take the record.

Our greatest admiration goes out to Sean Langman and his small crew of son Peter Langman, Larry Jamieson, Shaun McKnight, James Ogilvie, Aaron Hampo and Josh Alexander who arrived in Hobart absolutely exhausted, having sailed on the edge with a top speed of 39.6 knots and an average speed of 21.09 knots.

Great sailing. Great seamanship. Job well done!

JJ Giltinan 18 footers - Ya Gotta Love It

Gotta Love It 7’s Seve Jarvin, Scott Babbage and Peter Harris became the 2013 champions when they took out Race 7 of the Winning Group JJ Giltinan 18ft Skiff Championship, the defacto World titles on Sydney Harbour yesterday.

Following Saturday´s wipe out in Race 6 of the championship, because of high winds, it all came down to Sunday's final race in a strong North-East wind, gusting to 30kts with Gotta Love It 7 and Coopers-Rag & Famish Hotel level on a net eight points.

Congratulations to everyone involved with JJ Giltinan 2013. A big field, a well-run regatta and worthy winners.


At the same time on Sydney Harbour the Australian Farr 40 fleet was fighting for the John Calvert-Jones Trophy in its National 2012-2013 Championship. Keep the mast pointing upwards seemed to be one of the recipes for success. After nine races, Guido Belgiorno-Nettis’ Transfusion has been declared the winner of the John Calvert-Jones Trophy and the Aberdeen Asset Management Australian Farr 40 Champion.

The Farr 40 Class has been working hard to ensure sailors get the best possible coverage of its action. Another great video report- make sure you have a look.

An interesting field for the upcoming 2013 Gosford to Lord Howe race, congratulations to all concerned in lifting the bar again for this Blue Water Classic.

A great last week of sailing, grab your coffee and look at our coverage today.

T Clewring One DesignSchaefer 2016 Ratchet 300x250InSunSport - NZ

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