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The Wrap!! Sail-World's last newsletter about the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, which finished on New Year's eve. We will start you coverage of next years race in mid 2013.  If you don't want to receive this news,     A single click here and you won't  (this will not affect other news you receive from us)

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – the better mousetrap

Grant Wharington's (Maxi Wild Thing) - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2011  © Rolex/Daniel Forster
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - The grand classic ocean race is remembered for many things from records and personal achievements, to tribulations and unfortunately, disasters too. 2012 will be no different in that department.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 Race Committee's decision to not allow Grant Wharington's Wild Thing from racing made headline news world-wide.


However, rising out of the turmoil with a plan and path forward is the Supermaxi, Wild Thing and her enigmatic Skipper, Grant Wharington.

More than enough material has been published on the Boxing Day dilemma and the Wild Thing camp's devastation at being scratched, so it was terrific to see Wharington on a path forward today.

He told Sail-World, ‘We have engaged Fred Barrett to do a bumper to bumper study to ensure everything is 100%, for the record and also provide us with optimisation options for moving forward. In this way, we'll be able to ensure we can race whenever we want and be competitive, which is what we have always strived for and shown in the past.'

‘Wild Thing is currently at Birkenhead Point so that we can do the Sydney Harbour Regatta on March 9 and 10, then the Property Industry Foundation Regatta on March 15. From there we'll go back up to Brisbane and very much get set for Brisbane to Gladstone at the end of March.'

Respected and experienced Naval Architect, Fred Barrett said, ‘We are going to start from the ground up for 2013 with the full review. In terms of options, it will be up to Wild Thing Yachting to determine how much they want to go for, but of course, it is very exciting, as we get to look and work with the boat holistically. It's a review of the whole thing for Wild Thing, if you will.'

‘Certainly the aim is to look to the future to get this yacht out racing and realise its full potential. Ultimately, what we are talking about is a full audit to ensure all of the required documents are not only covered off, but also ticked off by any relevant party. There will be no issues left to uncover later and no areas left open to scrutiny that can hurt the project.'

Barrett then added, ‘Quite possibly we will need to do some core samples and other testing to completely ensure full compliance, which is certainly part of starting afresh and demonstrating that Wild Thing meets the current rules. From there, we can sort out any issues that may arise.'

‘We need to allow these machines (Supermaxis) to use technology to not only advance the sport, but keep it exciting and interesting, much the same as F1 plays a significant role in the development of the motor car. Naturally, this is all about ensuring reliability and validity of the craft.'

So it is great to see such motivation and dedication being applied to a solid and clear solution, but what of the underlying issues to the race itself?

In this scribe's first job, the command ‘Avoid Verbal Orders' was absolutely and specifically drummed in to me. It even appeared on the top of the inter-departmental order pad, where it was clearly aiming to remind everyone of how things can go awry when you just ask for something to be done.

Dockside, the question is being asked – Is there a theme that has appeared in the last three races, especially in terms of the Race Committee and the Supermaxis. Namely, is there an issue with communication?

It is a matter of record that in 2010 Wild Oats' XI declaration at Green Cape was received, taped and passed on from Hobart Race Control. Yet apparently unaware of this the Race Committee protested Wild Oats XI for not making a declaration. The International Jury dismissed the protest.

In 2011, the Line Honours winner Loyal was sensationally protested by the Race Committee which an anxious sailmaker, asked the ABC chopper crew at then end of his interview with them, whether one of his clients was still carrying the expensive mainsail he had built for her. That Race Committee protest was also dismissed. The consenus dockside was that the information received was no more advantageous than one could determine from a quick glance of the tracker on the Internet and that Race Committee could have asked for an explanation before pulling the Protest trigger.

In 2012, the conflicting recollections of the parties involved does suggest that more written communications between the Race Committee and Wharington could have made a significant difference. At the very least it would have allowed for a trail that could be better and more comprehensively audited.

Wild Oats XI on the final approach to Hobart  © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi

A key question in the future for any maxi boat owner is, what happens if a designer is no longer able to provide the appropriate documentations for a Race Committee.

The American Bureau of Shipping Guidelines for Building and Classing Offshore Racing Yachts, 1994, are just that. Guides. They are often substantiated by masses of case law that clarifies certain aspects of design. They are not a set of instructions, per se, on how to design and build something, as you would get with say a large Meccano set.

Additionally, it needs to be noted that the ABS was effectively rendered obsolete in 1989 and nothing has since arrived to replace it. ISO Cat A is a requirement for vessels under 24m now, but the rest is of interest to us, in that where would one go to seek clarification?

Sadly yacht designers, like all humans, aren't immune to death, as the late Joe Adams would remind us.

Without a stringent set of procedures, an owner could potentially find themselves not able to race their yacht if it has been modified, as it would seem has happened in this case.

Quite possibly, Yachting Australia need to now be involved in setting up the exact words and procedures that are acceptable if a designer is retired and hence not insured, has a falling out with the owner/builder or has passed away, so that consultant naval architects can be able to use them to review and make an appropriate statement on a vessel.

Finally then, one of the most intriguing and puzzling aspects of the Wild Thing matter is the notion of the Race Committee allegedly inviting Wild Thing to go to Hobart, cruising in company with an operational tracker and participating in the skeds, as well.

Note here that Wild Thing was told it not allowed to start at the same time as the others and excluded from being in the preparatory area until the fleet had left the harbour, so would always be playing catch up, yet obviously would have sailed through all but the top three boats.

Is this a matter of duty of care? If the Race Committee had deemed the vessel unsafe for racing, how was it then appropriate to invite it to cover the same course, on the same patch of ocean, at virtually the same time?

Is this what it did? We have been unable to find any evidence of this offer in writing. Wharington said on Boxing Day morning at his Press Conference it was so made and there has been no denial from the Race organisers at the time of writing.

Certainly all ocean racing event organisers need to understand the appropriate course of action in such circumstances. And it's clear that there is a significant division of opinion already.

When it is all said and done, the entire situation does seem to raise issues that need to be addressed, in spite of suggestions this subject is closed.

We wonder if the Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2013 will be the one in which the Race Committee is not part of the night's television news? Not just within Australia, but also worldwide.

The weather gods intervened to make the 2012 race all about the big boat.s The domination of the overall handicap results certainly robbed the race of much of its drama, but there were some fascinating elements regardless.

The race was a very tough one for most of the fleet. The IRC division 2 win by Warwick Sherman and his Occasional Course Language Too was a highlight for sure.

Occasional Coarse Language Too - Warwick Sherman - Jason Ker designed Sydney GTS43 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race  © Rolex/Carlo Borlenghi


Finally congratulations and Commiserations to everyone involved with the 2012 Race.



In 2013 we will be very pleased if the pre-race conversations are about what a wonderful weather forecast it is for Sean Langman's 30 feet (9 metre) Maluka of Kermandie.

Happy New Year to you all!!


The weather gods intervened to make the 2012 race all about the big boats.That certainly robbed the race of much of its drama, but there were some fascinating elements regardless. The IRC division 2 win by Warwick Sherman and his Occassional Course Language Too was a highlight for sure.

Finally congratulations and Commiserations to everyone involved with the 2012 Race.

In 2013 we will be very pleased if the pre-race conversations are about what a wonderful weather forecast it is for Sean Langman's 30 feet (9.1 metre) Maluka of Kermandie.

Happy New Year to you all!!


John Curnow



Sydney Hobart 2012 – Maluka of Kermandie's arrival formally ends race
Di Pearson,
he Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 officially closed its curtain after Sean Langman-skippered Maluka of Kermandie crossed the finish line at 9.40.12pm, ending up last on line in the 628-nautical mile ocean race for the second consecutive year.... [more]
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Sydney Hobart 2012 – Loki, Black Jack complete top-three finishers
Di Pearson,
Stephen Ainsworth's Loki and Peter Harburg's Black Jack rounded out the top-three finishers in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2012 with record-breaking Wild Oats XI lording on top of the podium of the 628-nautical mile race classic.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart - Occasional Coarse Language Too across the line
Bruce Montgomery,
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was not a mountain that Sydney yachtsman Warwick Sherman ever felt he had to climb, but destiny stepped in last year, when at the age of 57, he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and put the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's race on his bucket list.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – the better mousetrap
John Curnow,
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - The grand classic ocean race is remembered for many things from records and personal achievements, to tribulations and unfortunately, disasters too. 2012 will be no different in that department. However, rising out of the turmoil with a plan and path forward is the Supermaxi, Wild Thing and her enigmatic Skipper, Grant Wharington.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race video selection
www.sail-world.com,
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2012 - A selection of videos including pre-race drama, 50 Golden Years three part documentary and more footage of the race.... [more]
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Blue Water Point Score 2012 - Ainsworth, Loki part ways on high note
Di Pearson,
Veteran sailor Stephen Ainsworth capped his four-year partnership with his Reichel/Pugh 63 Loki on a winning note, bagging the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Blue Water Point Score (BWPS) after landing second overall in the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Quartet of honorary gentlemen
Bruce Montgomery,
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 presented its highest award to John Kirkjian, Peter Campbell, Rowan Johnston and John Honeysett for their individual contributions to the Boxing Day spectacle throughout the years.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Prizegiving on New Year's Day
Jennifer Crooks,
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 is scheduled to formally award the trophies to the overall and divisional winners of this year's Boxing Day Race classic at 11:00am on Tuesday 1 January 2013 at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania.... [more]
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Sydney Hobart 2012 – Dump Truckers vow return
Danielle McKay,
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 had been a testing journey for 2012 Ocean Racing Rookie of the Year Justin Wells and the crew of Dump Truck, who vowed to make their return in the Boxing Day classic after retiring from this year's race with the finish line just roughly 100 nautical miles away.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - The match races within the race
Danielle McKay,
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has been billed as the match races within the race – long-time foes battling for glory across several divisions, with just seconds separating winner from loser, while many had nervous waits for final results.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - Boats flood into Hobart with tales to tell
KPMS,
Day five of the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart has seen a flood of boats arriving in Hobart, each with tales to tell. This has been a difficult race for the smaller boats; they have experienced a range of weather from good to bad. Few would deny theirs has been a true Rolex Sydney Hobart.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race video selection
www.sail-world.com,
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2012 - A selection of videos including an interview with Wild Thing owner Grant Wharington, clips from the race start and Wild Oats XI crew celebrating their victory.... [more]
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Sydney Hobart 2012 – Tony Cable successful in 47th Boxing Day race
Danielle McKay,
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 was a turnaround for Tony Cable from last year's short-lived journey as the 47-time Boxing Day race participant skippered Duende to the finish line after three days, 22 hours and nine minutes.... [more]
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Sydney Hobart 2012 – Gold medalist looks for more sailing challenges
Danielle McKay,
The fast and furious nature of their latest Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race adventure makes Australian Paralympian great Liesl Tesch and the DisABILITIES crew craving for more 628-nautical mile voyage in the future.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 – Blair Tuke relishes first Boxing Day race
Bruce Montgomery,
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 has been an enjoyable experience for New Zealand's Olympic silver medalist Blair Tuke, who had his first taste offshore ocean racing aboard Ray Haslar's Rikki.... [more]
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Sydney Hobart Race 2012 – Bruce Taylor still not meant to be
Bruce Montgomery,
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 has seen another familiar picture with Chutzpah's Bruce Taylor missing again the opportunity of finally winning line honours and Tattersall's Cup hardware for the 32nd time.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - 23 cross the line, 48 still at sea
Bruce Montgomery,
In the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, there were no further retirements overnight. Of the original fleet of 76, 23 have now finished, 48 are at sea and five have retired. A further 33 boats are expected to cross the line in Hobart today. They are mustering around Maria and Tasman.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012: Occasional Coarse Language Too Wins Div 2
Crosbie Lorimer,
If you were looking for a good news story out of this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Race it would be hard to go past that of Warwick Sherman, owner and skipper of the Occasional Coarse Language Too. This time last year Warwick was having to relinquish his goal of racing to Hobart on his brand new Sydney GTS43 while he underwent chemotherapy treatment for non-Hodgkins lymphoma.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 – Storm Bay on Red Bull - IRC Division 2
Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team,
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - Whilst the Weather Gods shut the gate quite early on this year's race for overall handicap honours for any boat under 60 feet there are some very tight battles in the IRC divisional list. Divisions Zero and One have been ashore for a long time, it's now money time for the Division Two fleet.... [more]
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Sydney Hobart Race 2012 - Wild Oats XI's treble sweeter than last time
KPMS,
Robert Oatley's Wild Oats XI was announced this morning as the Overall Winner of the 68th Rolex Sydney Hobart. It had become clear overnight that none of the yachts still at sea could better the corrected time established by the 30.48m (100 foot) maxi skippered by Mark Richard... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart 2012 - Heavy weather delivers more retirements
Danielle McKay,
In strong wind conditions 30 nautical miles off Tasmania's east coast this afternoon, rigging damage forced the crew aboard the Tasmanian 11-metre yacht Dump Truck (the Ker 11.3 formerly sailed as Tow Truck) to retire from the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race and to run for shelter between Schouten Island and Freycinet Peninsula... [more]
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Wild Oats XI sets new records at Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012
Rob Mundle,
Bob Oatley's supermaxi Wild Oats XI sets multiple records following its historic treble at the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012... [more]
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Sydney Hobart Race 2012 – Ambersail, KLC Bengal cross finish line
Jim Gale,
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2012 finally saw its only non-Australasian yachts crossing the finish line on Saturday with only six minutes separating Lithuanian Volvo 60 Ambersail and Japanese KLC Bengal at the end of their 628-nautical mile voyage... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2012 - Wild Oats XI books second treble
Danielle McKay,
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 capped a historic staging with Bob Oatley's supermaxi Wild Oats XI winning the line honours, first overall and breaking the race record for its second treble. ... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2012 – Up-hill battle for remaining fleets
Di Pearson,
The final stretch of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 proves to be an up-hill battle for the remaining fleets of the 628-nautical mile ocean race as gusty 30-knot southerly breeze along with heavy downpour and poor visibility make sailing for the participating skippers and crew a bit grueling on their way to Hobart.... [more]
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