Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

Rolex Sydney Hobart- Operation Close the Gap - the lead changes

by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team on 27 Dec 2013
Wild Oats XI, playing catchup heads south to Hobart - Day 2 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
Last night Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI, the six times line honours race winner was 14 nautical miles behind Anthony Bell's Perpetual Loyal but today little by little she clawed back the deficit as the pair broke away from the pack to lead the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet into Bass Strait.

Sailing in a light and variable north-easterly, fifty seven nautical miles south of Gabo Island, at 1340 local time Wild Oats XI, regained the race lead. The Wild Oats XI crew tweeted ‘Have completed Operation Close the Gap’

Since regaining the lead Wild Oats XI has sailed another 27 nautical miles and extended her lead by six miles nautical miles in the soft conditions.

The Bureau of Meteorology’s Andrew Treloar says the front-runners will continue to suffer light conditions today, but they do have a choice in an east meets west Bass Strait twist.

'They’ve had to use a lot of tactics to get through these conditions,’’ he said.

'Now they’re moving through a weak trough system and out to the eastern side of the trough there’s a north-easterly breeze. Out to the western-side they can pick up a south-westerly breeze.

'The boats now have to decide whether they can get better speed out of the eastern or western side of that trough.'

To show the contrast between Wild Oats race record 2012 run, at this same stage of the race she was abeam St. Helens, almost 120 nm closer to Hobart doing 24 knots.

About 1640 local time Loyal gybed further seawards looking for more pressure and 15 minutes later Wild Oats XI covered her rival and is also now heading south east.



Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100, is now in third place, some 10 miles behind Loyal.

The big mover today has been Grant Wharington's Hart 100 Wild Thing. The most easterly boat, in the fleet, she has been sailing in northerly four knots faster than the race leaders but is still 36 miles from the race leader. Close behind her is Karl Kwok’s Botin 80 Beau Geste.

Suffering are the two Volvo 70's Jim Delegat's Giacomo (previously Groupama) and Peter Harburg's Black Jack (the former Telefonica) both these boats are in light and variable conditions doing respectively 4 and 2.7 knots.

Thirty miles in arrears is Matt Allen's brand new Carkeek 60 Ichi ban

Navigator Will Oxley said the recently launched 60-footer is getting back on track after an unplanned hold-up.

'Just hanging on the coattails of some of the big boats,’’ he said.

'Looks like a tricky day ahead and we are hoping to hold onto favourable north-east wind as long as possible.

'All going to game plan except for thunderstorms inshore last night which slowed the fleet a bit.'



In 10th place on the water, Bill Wild’s Reichel Pugh 55 Wedgetail is 20 nautical miles behind Ichi Ban near Green Cape

Wedgetail navigator Adrienne Cahalan says the smart yachts set themselves up for that decision last night.

'The wind is so light out here now that if you did not position yourself last night for today it is probably too late now,’’ she said.

'Having said that, the fleet is close together today near us and appears to be following the same strategy.

'The wind won't fill in from the north until later today for us so we are patiently waiting.'

On IRC Overall Ragamuffin 100 leads Wild oats XI with Phil Molony's Archambault 40RC Papillion now east of Montague Island third. Perpetual Loyal is fourth.

On ORCi, its Rags again ahead of Roger Hickman's Farr 43 Wild Rose and Ron Forster and Phil Damp's Beneteau First 40 Ariel.

On PHS, Peter Rodgers Olsen 40 She leads from the Corinne Feldmann and Rob Francis Murray Burns Dovell The Banshee and Murray Owen and Jenny Kings Sydney 46 Art Equity Mahligai.

Within the Clipper 70 fleet Old Pulteney is six miles ahead of Jamaica Get All Right, with Henri Lloyd another six miles back.

In the Sydney 38 fleet positions are unchanged with Gordon Ketelbey's Zen still two miles ahead of Stephane Howarth`s Mille Sabords, three miles back in third place is Glen Clinnick's Audacious.

The tail gunner in the 2013 fleet is James Clayton's Black Adder just off Jervis Bay, 223 miles behind the leader.

Black Adder’s Hobart ETA is now the morning of January 3rd 2014.
Southern Spars - 100Bakewell-White Yacht DesignInSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

Rolex Sydney Hobart- Raw footage from the ABC helicopter
Cruising Yacht Club of Australia presents a series of five videos taken from a helicopter in the last Rolex Sydney Hobar Cruising Yacht Club of Australia presents a series of five videos taken from a helicopter in the last Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. The race begand in light to moderate air, on the second day the breeze filled in giving fast downwind sailing conditions and on the third day the southerly gale hit, along with big swells and breaking seas.
Posted on 10 Mar 2014
Rolex Sydney Hobart - One of the most exciting editions on record
The 69th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race shaped up early to be one of the most amazing editions on record. The 69th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race shaped up early to be one of the most amazing editions on record. The 94-boat fleet featured five 100 foot maxis, three Volvo 70s, seven former race winners and a seriously competitive lineup across the fleet.
Posted on 7 Jan 2014
Rolex Sydney Hobart- America’s Cup heroes take on Sydney-Hobart
Iain Murray and Ian ‘Fresh’ Burns bested Tom Slingsby and Stan Honey for line honors in the Sydney-Hobart race. Iain Murray and Ian ‘Fresh’ Burns bested Tom Slingsby and Stan Honey for line honors in the Sydney-Hobart race. Murray and Burns, aboard Wild Oats X!, were first across the finishing line in Hobart, coming from behind to beat rookie Slingsby and Honey on Perpetual Loyal.
Posted on 4 Jan 2014
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - The final four
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Sailors’ loved-ones may need to block their ears as stories of survival come flooding in Rolex Sydney Hobart - Sailors’ loved-ones may need to block their ears as stories of survival come flooding in with the smallest yachts bringing up the rear of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet.
Posted on 1 Jan 2014
Rolex Sydney Hobart; Rounding Tasman Island -Got a Few Hours To Spare?
It’s hard to imagine how Hobart was ever discovered by sea, really. It’s hard to imagine how Hobart was ever discovered by sea, really. There are two dimensions of the city’s sea defences – neither has anything to do with the military - that have seemed to make Hobart an elusive chimera to many a seafarer over the decades and centuries.
Posted on 1 Jan 2014
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Bacardi to return for 70th edition
Rolex Sydney Hobart - The old and slow Bacardi already has sponsors clamoring to have their name on her heavy frame Rolex Sydney Hobart - She’s not your typical sailing billboard, yet the old and slow Bacardi already has sponsors clamoring to have their name on her heavy frame for next year’s 70th anniversary Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Posted on 31 Dec 2013
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Making tracks to the finish line
With New Year’s Eve looming tonight, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet made tracks to the finish line in Hobart. With New Year’s Eve looming tonight, the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet made tracks to the finish line in Hobart. By midday on December 31, only two yachts were still at sea. From a total of 94 race starters, 82 yachts have now finished in Hobart, and ten yachts had retired.
Posted on 31 Dec 2013
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race wrap up video
The 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race wrap up with Overall and Divisional winners confirmed. The 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race wrap up with Overall and Divisional winners confirmed.
Posted on 31 Dec 2013
Rolex Sydney Hobart 2013 - Television coverage of the start
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Here in two parts is the Channel 7 coverage of the 69th race, courtesy of France's Daily Motion Rolex Sydney Hobart 2013 - Here in two parts is the Channel 7 coverage of the 69th race, courtesy of France's Daily Motion video network.
Posted on 31 Dec 2013
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - And then there were four
In the CYCA’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, at 8.00am this morning, four yachts were left at sea. In the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, at 8.00am this morning, four yachts were left at sea and all four were expected to make it across the finish line and into Constitution Dock in time to ring in the New Year.
Posted on 31 Dec 2013