'Looks like survival on the first night,' said Team Australia skipper Sean Langman on the eve of their Sydney to Auckland record run.
Sean Langman’s ORMA60 Team Australia
Tomorrow’s departure time is creeping forward for the giant ORMA 60 trimaran so the six man crew can stack the weight aft and get a head start on the seaway due to build to 3-5m with the fresh north-west winds. An early afternoon exit from Sydney Heads is now being discussed.
'If they keep good pace Team Australia will hopefully be ahead of the biggest waves and should only have 2-3m waves to contend with,' said Roger ‘Clouds’ Badham who is routing the attempt. 'Slower and they will have more waves, faster and there will be less.'
An earlier than planned departure from the harbour eases another concern for the crew, striking a whale or other large submerged sea creature or object at speed.
'If we get going in daylight we can get across the whale migration path off the east Australian coast,' says Langman, who has come a cropper in ocean races with other boats.
It will be a record run of contrasts with the maximum breeze of NW winds 30-35 knots and gusts to 40 due midnight the first night, Wednesday 16th October. The nor’wester is forecast to ease back to the low 20's the next morning and to the mid-teens in the eastern part of the Tasman Sea, and unfortunately down to 7-10 kts on the east coast of New Zealand.
Langman says an ETA of three days is still realistic.
There is no sanctioned world mark for the 1,260nm stretch of ocean. Team Australia only has to complete its planned route and be verified by the World Sailing Speed Record Council’s black box and attending commissioners of record to be added to the register of course records.
The 60-foot trimaran already holds the Sydney to Hobart passage record and other Northern Hemisphere records from its days as the French-owned Banque Populaire V.
Australian WSSRC commissioner of record Brian Hayden will oversee tomorrow’s start from a set of bearings between North and South Head, Sydney Harbour.
Team Australia is heading to NZ as one of the headline entries for the PIC Insurance Brokers Coastal Classic, the traditional spring icebreaker starting Friday 25th October off Auckland’s Devonport Wharf.
As a warm-up to the Coastal Classic, Langman and Simon Hull (TeamVodafone) have agreed to a separate promotional race on Wednesday 23rd in Auckland Harbour. The two ORMA 60 trimarans have been recently refashioned and this will be the one and only opportunity for the crews to scope each other prior to the start of the country’s biggest coastal race.
Brisbane-based Ben Kelly has been announced as Team Australia’s sixth and final crew member. Kelly is a multihull specialist and no stranger to setting records, having sailed on the Crowther 50 catamaran Raw Nerve, who brings plenty of trimming, helming and sail making talent and experience to the Trans-Tasman record attempt.
Final preparations are being made today including stocking the boat with drinking water and lots of high energy foods, carbohydrates and snacks plus lollies, chocolates and plenty of coffee.
Team Australia’s sprint to Auckland can be tracked via a new dedicated website
Updates will be posted regularly on the official Facebook page