A giant day at all levels, started with the confirmation of the story bubbling for the last 24 hours, that Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing was not able to produce the documents the 2012 Race Committee required and would not be racing.
The fleet head down harbour - Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2012
It was not altogether a transparent announcement, Commodore Howard Piggott delivered the organisers version and Wharington was not welcome.
Wharington told a different story.
Some of t.he crew including Peter Cosman on the left await Grant Wharington's return from the CYCA Sailing Office - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
A complex situation with the original designer now retired, without insurance cover, an owner builder project and an ABS declaration by a well respected Naval architect that the Race Committee apparently did not find acceptable.
As always we imagine the truth lies somewhere in the middle. If Wharington was told his ABS declaration was in order as he claims mid-week and then that decision was later reversed, then there are more questions to be answered.
We trust Commodore Piggott and Race Committee Chairman Tim Cox will detail the sequence of events in the morning, so this issue does not drag on through the race.
Sadly the Race Committee has been the story now for three Sydney Hobart’s in a row; surely our sport is not gaining from this.
We hope that the rest of the race passes without event and the International Jury does not have to rule on another high profile Race Committee protest in Hobart. With the Race Committee going into a hearing 0-2 so far, that would not be a good look for the sport...
Wild Oats going through the heads first - Rolex Sydney to Hobart
But then the action shifted to the water. Was Wild Oats XI blast off the line the fastest ever run to the Heads? Around the heads, there was plenty of bumps and the photographers had a wonderful time. Now the fleet is streaming south, with Wild Oats XI building a lead and the handicap battle is looking ever more interesting.
The Sail-World team is working 24x7 so there will be plenty more stories on line for you to see when you next visit us.