90+ boats, a seriously sexy 69th fleet a strong supermaxi battle, a big international fleet, new boats and old. The sharks and sunfish are poised.
Matt Allen is hoping his latest Ichi Ban will deliver an overall win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart
2012 Newport Bermuda Race Copyright 2012 Daniel Forster/PPL
The Newport to Bermuda Race, the Fastnet and the Sydney Hobart are the world’s best known blue water classics but timing is everything and the Sydney Hobart has little sporting competition. The media coverage of the Hobart race is significantly more intense, by many orders of magnitude
An iconic race, with its start gloriously programmed during the Boxing Day Australia-England Test luncheon break.
2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet at South Head before exiting Sydney Harbour
It will be another noisy start with helicopters throbbing overhead and it seems a short upwind sprint to the Heads before the fleet heads south under spinnaker.
In the meanwhile those ashore will discover via the Television coverage of the race that while they thought there were 90 boats in the fleet, there are actually just half a dozen.
Once again we will hope like hell that a canoe does not get torn in half in the washing machine off Zulu mark as the fleet head south.
We at Sail-World will be on our 17th startline, we have a bigger team than ever, with sailors reporting from the water by Skype and Satellite, meanwhile the HF will be crackling , here in SW HQ as we too will be on a 4/4 watch system.
While the early forecasts favour the big boats we hope that the more likely outcome will be deliver chances for everyone and that the Race Committee does not become a story of the race as it has in recent years.
But maybe that is like believing there will be wind in the Derwent after mid-night.