Please select your home edition
Edition
Barz Optics - Floaters

Rolex Sydney Hobart- Sailing teaches you patience

by Jim Gale & Bruce Montgomery - RSHYR media on 27 Dec 2013
Perpetual Loyal hangs onto her early morning lead - Day 2, Rolex Sydney Hobart Race © Rolex/Daniel Forster http://www.regattanews.com
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Parking lots, light winds, in many places no wind at all, it has been a day of frustration for the 92 remaining yachts in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet. There just isn’t a lot of wind, especially out in Bass Strait.

A frustrated Anthony Bell, skipper of Perpetual Loyal summed it up dryly: 'We’re just bobbing around here. We have four knots across the deck. I’ve seen it windier in my two-year-old daughter’s indoor swimming lessons.'

The super maxi had been in front of six-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI for the best part of the morning despite the light conditions being more suited to the race favourite.

However, as the two 100 footers led a tightly-knit group of seven into Bass Strait – the others being Ragamuffin 100, Wild Thing, Giacomo, Beau Geste and Black Jack – the narrow beam of Wild Oats XI and her enforced pre-race diet to drop weight from the standing rigging began to bear fruit this afternoon.

At 5.00pm Wild Oats XI had opened up a five-nautical mile lead on Perpetual Loyal halfway across the Strait in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race.

'The wind started to peter out before dawn,' Bell complained, 'and it’s been astonishing. We just have to keep the boat going and stay in contact for when the wind does come up.'

Perpetual Loyal has two problems at the moment: the boat in front and the lightweight Ragamuffin 100, Beau Geste and Giacomo behind.

'This uncharacteristic Hobart suits anything that is light,' Bell says. 'On paper we should be behind the light boats, so we’re pleasantly surprised to be coming second.'

What Perpetual Loyal needs, Bell says, is 12 to 14 knots of wind to come into her own, but he has little expectation of more wind until late tomorrow.

'It’ll be pretty light until midday. Maybe we’ll get something tomorrow, at the back end of the day.'


The Bureau of Meteorology is a little more optimistic, predicting the leading seven should have favourable winds tomorrow morning. The Bureau expects strengthening north-easterlies will push them down the Tasmanian north-east coast, and a possible race finish tomorrow evening.

The Bureau is also forecasting a weather change late tomorrow evening in Bass Strait and off the Tasmanian south-east coast. It is forecasting west to south-westerly winds of 30 to 40 knots. So in contrast to the frontrunners today, on Saturday night and throughout Sunday the smaller boats will have a traditional Rolex Sydney Hobart slog across Bass Strait.

Bell dearly wishes it were the other way round. - 'We wish the race had started two days later so that we could actually get into that weather,' Bell says.

He is hoping that the front will come sooner than forecast, before the frontrunners reach Tasman Island.

'Our best chance is just to be there, to stay in contact. Anything more than 12 to 14 knots we will make profit on. We just need more than four.'

Retired: Wilaprina, the race's smallest competitor has retired. Heading to Jervis Bay. Fleet stands at Website

InSunSport - NZNaiad/Oracle SupplierT Clewring Cruising

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr