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18 Dec 2013

Sydney Hobart Race, VOR and Cup—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond

Wild Oats XI chases Giacomo ahead of the start if the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart in just over a week.  Andrea Francolini
Let's face it: Tuning-out the overtly commercial buzz of the holiday season and focusing on what really matters-time with the family and plenty of coverage of the Sydney to Hobart Race-can be tough to achieve. Fortunately, Sail-World has you covered on this front with the best Sydney-Hobart coverage on the planet, leading up to the Boxing Day (December 26) start and continuing as the boats plunge south along the coast and across Bass Straight and the celebratory corks start popping. In the meantime, we've done our best to pack this issue with enough offshore-sailing content to get you through the last few day's of shopping mayhem (hint: head to a chandlery-it's far safer in there right now than a mall!)

For starters, news has hit that Jim Delegat, the owner of New Zealand's Oyster Bay Winery has put together a star-studded team to try and take top honors in the Hobart. Delegat purchased the former Volvo Open 70 'Groupama 4', renamed it 'Giacomo' (after his grandfather) and aims to go big in next week's race.

Giacomo is ready to race - 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race  © Andrea Francolini / Rolex


'I assembled my management team for the job, including Rodney Keenan and Steve Cotton,' said Delegat. 'Cotton was the main helmsman and tactician on 'Living Doll'. He's done a number of Volvo races. I built the team from there. In Auckland you don't have to go far to find the talent. There are class sailors everywhere.'

Jim Delegat (Centre) with Rodney Keenan (left) and Chris Dickson (right) - Giacomo - 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race  © Andrea Francolini / Rolex


As for his motivations for investing a seven-figure sum into his Sydney Hobart venture, Delegat was honest and straightforward. 'I'm 64. I've spent 25 years on and off boats. I feel my time has come. 'Giacomo' is the boat to do the job. She carries the spirit of my grandfather, who started our vineyards. I'm skipper. I steer. I'm in the afterguard.'

More on Delegat and his 'Giacomo' campaign, inside this issue.

Wild Oats XI out of water - Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2013  Andrea Francolini


Also Sydney-Hobart related, there's plenty of great media, inside, on the rather dramatic modifications that have been made to Bob Oatley's 'Wild Oats XI' preceding this year's Boxing Day Bash. The boat has been dubbed a 'Swiss Army knife' maxi, due to its stunning number of appendages, and is considered a strong contender for line honors in this year's event. Also, it should be noted that the Oatley's are the Challenger of Record for the 35th America's Cup, so you can imagine that the pressure is on for the mighty grey Reichel/Pugh super maxi to perform in this year's Hobart.

'We started off looking at a foil in the bow to lift the bow up, but as it evolved, it moved further and further back,' said Mark Richards, 'Wild Oats XI's' skipper, about some of the new apendage packages that have been added to the now-aging maxi in order to keep her competitive against a whole hoist of new threats, both from super maxis such as 'Perpetual LOYAL' (ex-'Speedboat/Rambler 100'), as well as from well-sailed VO70s such as 'Giacomo'.

Mark Richards inspects the keel of Wild Oats XI  Andrea Francolini


'We've been together a long time-nine years-and we read each other like a book,' said Richards of the advantage that the Wild Oats team enjoys after having sailed together for nearly a decade. 'You can bring out the big names but teamwork takes time. There's no bullshit on our boat, everyone knows his job.'

Wild Oats XI out of water - Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2013  Andrea Francolini


Get the full Sydney-Hobart report, inside this issue, and stay tuned for more from this classic bluewater tussle, as it unfurls.

And in Cup news, be sure to check out winning skipper Jimmy Spithill's thoughts on what team jersey he will likely be seen wearing for AC35. 'For me Oracle Team USA has been a way of life,' said Spithill. 'We won the first campaign in Valencia and defended it in San Francisco. Larry Ellison is a teammate, he is more than an owner-he is a friend of mine. Russell Coutts is someone from whom I have just learned so much and I really owe a lot to those guys. I can't see myself going anywhere but Oracle. '

Jimmy Spithill - America's Cup - Day 15  Tracy St John ©


Also inside, be sure to get the full download on the sailors that have been shortlisted for this year's prestigious Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards, don't miss the latest news from the Volvo Ocean Race and be sure to check in with the Clipper Round the World Race fleet. Enjoy!

May the four winds blow you safely home,


David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor



Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Downwind drag race for Wild Oats XI
Rob Mundle,
The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race gets underway in eight days time on Boxing Day, and while yachting meteorologist Roger Badham's crystal ball is still a little fuzzy, the crew of Bob Oatley's champion yacht, the 30-metre supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, are liking what he's telling them.... [more]
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Round the World champion, Conny van Rietschoten dies at 87
Sail-World,
Renowned Whitbread Round the World sailor Conny van Rietschoten died on Tuesday in Portugal. He was 87 years old. Long regarded as one of the hard men of world sailing, and Round the World racing in particular, van Rietschoten won the 1978 and 1982 renditions of the then four stop race.... [more]
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America's Cup: One of the greatest comebacks - book now released
Sail-World,
Millions of sailing enthusiasts and casual fans alike watched the 2013 America's Cup in awe as Oracle Team USA, trailing one point to New Zealand's eight and on the brink of losing the trophy to the Challenger, came back to win eight straight match-point races to successfully defend the America's Cup.... [more]
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Your chance to back an exciting America's Cup project for $5 or more
Richard Gladwell,
America's Cup commentator Jack Griffin has initiated a project using the Kickstarter funding model to produce an e-book on the 34th America's Cup. We are constantly receiving request from people for DVD and the like from the 34th America's Cup - now is your chance to make it happen. There are three days to go to reach the initial finding target - to read how you can help be part of this projec... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - The Dark Horse is coming
Jim Gale, RSHYR Media,
'I am definitely putting my batting average on the line,' jokes Hong Kong businessman Karl Kwok when talking about the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - true enough, too.... [more]
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Team Gilmour bounces back
Team Gilmour,
After our terrible result at our final event of the year, the entire team has been busy sailing separately and have bounced back posting some terrific results coming from Thailand and Melbourne as well as practicing for the Sydney to Coffs Harbour race.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart: Super Sevens champ swaps rugby for super maxi
Di Pearson, RSHYR Media,
English former IRB Sevens Player of the Year, Ollie Philips, has swapped his rugby jumper for sailing gear and is racing in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart aboard the 70 foot Great Britain, which arrived in Sydney on Sunday.... [more]
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Kiwi winery owner backs himself for Rolex Sydney Hobart
Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR Media,
New Zealand's Oyster Bay wine producer Jim Delegat took just one hour to decide on placing $1million on winning this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - and the form guide leading into the race shows he has made a shrewd investment. Delegat spent the money on the winner of the last Volvo Ocean Race, the Volvo 70 Groupama 4, renamed it Giacomo after his wine pioneer grandfather and installe... [more]
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Last Call - Funds available for safe and clean boating projects
BoatUS,
The BoatUS Foundation is looking to fund Grassroots Grants projects that utilize new, innovative approaches to encourage safe and clean boating among the boating public. Organizations with the best grant applications will be awarded individual grants of up to $10,000 to implement their plan.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - A lift for Wild Oats XI
Jim Gale, RSHYR Media,
The crew aboard Wild Oats XI call her the Swiss Army Knife these days - and fair enough - lately she has added so many foils and blades, thrusting out at all angles from her narrow steel-grey hull, she looks like some kid has had a great time pulling all the do-dahs out of a penknife at once.... [more]
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America's Cup: Jimmy Spithill on the 34th Match and more
Richard Gladwell,
In the second of two interviews, Radio New Zealand National spoke with the two opposing skippers in the 2013 America's Cup, Dean Barker and Jimmy Spithill. Below are some of the key points from Spithill, including the link to the full 30minute interview. Spithill explains how Oracle Team USA reacted when they were 8-1 down, and which team he will sail for in the 35tth America's Cup... [more]
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Volvo Ocean Race - Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing announce onboard reporter
Volvo Ocean Race,
The Volvo Ocean Race 2014-15 first onboard reporter position was landed by experienced multi-media broadcaster Tom Bushell on Wednesday. The sport presenter saw off a long list of challengers for one of the toughest assignments in the media.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - ‘The Swiss Army Knife'
Rob Mundle,
When Bob Oatley's Rolex Sydney Hobart Race record holder, the 30-metre long supermaxi, Wild Oats XI, was lifted from the waters of Sydney Harbour today it became very apparent why the yacht is now referred to affectionately as ‘The Swiss Army Knife'.... [more]
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America's Cup: Dean Barker reflects on the 34th America's Cup
Richard Gladwell,
In the first of two interviews, Radio New Zealand National spoke with the two opposing skippers in the 2013 America's Cup, Dean Barker and Jimmy Spithill. Below are some of the key points from Dean Barker, including the link to the full 30minute interview. Barker covers a lot of ground including the Oracle foiling mechanism, his relationship with Jimmy Spithill and more... [more]
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Rolex Sydney to Hobart - Images of Wild Oats XI out of water
Andrea Francollini,
Rolex Sydney to Hobart - Images of Wild Oats XI out of water by Andrea Francollini... [more]
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