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Ragamuffin team change plans to focus only on Sydney Hobart Race

by Tracey Johnstone on 8 Nov 2013
RHKYC Hong Kong to Vietnam Race 2013, Ragamuffin 90. © RHKYC/Guy Nowell http://www.guynowell.com/
The Ragamuffin 90 team have changed their Asian racing program, withdrawing from the Phuket King’s Cup to allow them to focus their energies on this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

'We won’t be doing it because we are getting our 100 footer ready for Hobart and it’s running a little bit behind time. We’d like to, but can’t,' Syd Fischer said today.

'We are doing some more modifications to it and fixing some of things that weren’t fixed properly before. The modifications are dagger boards and general maintenance. It takes a fair while to put dagger boards in.'

Fischer and his Ragamuffin 90 team were due to compete in the highly regarded Phuket King’s Cup regatta which starts early next month in Thailand. With the withdrawal of the super maxi, perennial King’s Cup regatta entrant, Hong Kong’s Frank Pong, will surely be relieved to not have to pit his 75-foot Jelik against Fischer’s 90-foot Ragamuffin.

With the team now fully focused on the preparations for the 630 mile race to Hobart, Fischer is not interested in spending time chasing other super maxis around the buoys. 'These big maxis, they’re dangerous weapons. The other thing is you don’t want to get your boat knocked around. Some of those blokes out there are cowboys.'

Joining Fischer for the Hobart race will be key crew members David Witt, Ian Humphries, Geoff Hill and Ian Walker. Also there will be stalwarts from many past small and big boat Ragamuffin campaigns – Larry Jamieson, Campbell Knox and Tony Ellis.

There is still plenty of work to be done on the Ragamuffin 100 before it can go out sailing, which he hopes to see happen by early December.

While some of the other super maxis - Wild Oats, Perpetual Loyal and Wild Thing - eye off the inshore big-boat trophies, Fischer will be hanging back, watching.

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