A quick whip around of the crews and the skippers on the dock in the hours before departure provides a spectrum of interesting perspectives on the race, ranging from the technical to the personal. The following images taken by Crosbie Lorimer are accompanied by brief quotes from each of the individuals that he spoke to yesterday.
The Wild Oats XI team talk to Roger ’Clouds’ Badham at his annual ’seawall briefing’ for skippers and crew beside the CYCA. Left to right Adrienne Cahalan, Roger Badham, Iain Murray and Michael Jarvin. - Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2012
Meantime on the race course, yesterday's lumpy conditions have given way to some fine downwind sailing in strong northerlies that are careering the fleet down the NSW coast and for the leaders seeing them well across Bass Strait. Wild Oats XI is east of the rhumbline, sailing on 170 degrees at 23 knots almost parallel with the northern tip of mainland Tasmania and ahead of her 2005 record winning position at this stage in the race.
Steve Kemp aboard Secret Men's Business 3.5 said this afternoon by satphone ' The boat's flying, we've got a big spinnaker on and we're sailing along happily in strong northerlies'.
Jim Cooney, skipper of Brindabella was equally content with the conditions, 'This is as good as it gets; we've had boat speeds up to 22.5 knots; we're in very good shape and we're about 1.5 hours away from a gybe to close with the coast for the westerly change. We'll probably run parallel to the coast about 20-30 nm off the land'.
At the other end of the fleet Tail End Charlie (quite literally) is Charlie's Dream, whose crew are also enjoying good sailing conditions and some fine food as well. A quick call to Peter Lewis from the media centre in Hobart early this afternoon revealed that lunch aboard today will include smoked chicken, prosciutto, King Island Double Brie, tasty cheese, pickled onions and Jallapinos.
'We're washing that down with a nice Chardonnay' said a very relaxed Peter Lewis, adding the they were sailing in much better conditions today after 'wallowing around' in next to no wind during the early hours. 'Fortunately, as we're bringing up the rear of the fleet there was no-one behind us to take advantage of the hole we got stuck in!'