Please select your home edition
Edition
Newport Boat Show 728x90

Rolex Sydney Hobart Blue Water Classic - A feast of entertainment

by Ian Grant on 14 Dec 2011
Lahana © Andrea Francolini Photography http://www.afrancolini.com/
Sport loving Queenslanders will have a feast of entertainment to watch after they celebrate the traditional Boxing Day lunch with family and friends.

The colourful spectacle of the Rolex Sydney Hobart blue water classic start will be broadcast live on channel 7 while the Boxing Day test between Australia and India on channel 9 will no doubt provide the ‘arm chair admirals’ with the perfect excuse to leave the noisy lawn mower motionless in the garden shed.

There is an interesting challenge for the aquatic punters to make a choice on the first yacht to finish with the Hamilton Island Yacht Club super maxi Wild Oats X1 rated as the favourite to win the line honours title ahead of Investec Loyal, Wild Thing, Lahana, and Ichi Ban.

However even this possible prediction stands to be challenged by a number of important factors including the prevailing weather which again is expected to be controlled by the savage ‘Southerly Busters’ that roll over the horizon from The Great Southern Ocean.

As expected even the most experienced weather forecasters are not prepared to provide a long range forecast.

But they have retained an interest in the vigorous 992 low pressure system which gain turned the storm tormented Tasman Sea into a no go zone earlier this week.

Hopefully there will not be a repeat of the horrendous conditions of thirteen years ago when the Hobart classic was dramatically turned into a test of survival.

Naturally the media attention will be focused on the big boat battle where the Bob Oatley owned and Mark Richards skippered Wild Oats X1 the current race record holder is favoured to record her sixth line honours from seven races.

Her crew were particularly impressive in winning the Gun Boat of the series during the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week in August.

The Wild Oats Xl crew revelled in the challenge to cleverly master the moderate to fresh and frightening winds claiming a perfect score by winning all short course races with comfortable margins over Investec Loyal and Lahana however the warm water racing around the Whitsunday Islands has little comparison to racing on the cold waters of the Tasman Sea and Bass Strait when they are in a stormy mood.

Almost every minute of the 628 nautical mile blue water classic presents a challenge and while Wild Oats Xl remains as the line honours super star there are a number of equally impressive smaller yachts who have both the crew and the hard core Hobart race experience to win the race outright.

Among the top choices is the new sloop AFR Midnight Rambler co owned by experienced Sydney skipper Ed Psaltis and Mackay navigator Bob Thomas winners of the toughest Hobart in history in 1998.

Local Sunshine Coast skipper Bob Robertson and his talented crew have the potential to rate Lunchtime Legend as a major challenger along with Loki, Ragamuffin, Dump Truck, Victorie and the 2009 champion the Andrew Saies helmed Two True.
upffront 660x82Wildwind 2016 660x82InSunSport - NZ

Related Articles

PA Consulting and Allen RS Feva Worlds 2016 – Day 2
Heavy metal day. Gold, Silver or Bronze. It was going to going to be tight at the cut off points. Heavy metal day. Gold, Silver or Bronze. It was going to going to be tight at the cut off points. A number of boats went into the day in much lower positions than expected for a variety of reasons. Could they make it up?
Posted today at 7:34 am
Chile’s Clemente Seguel wins Youth North American Championship
Chile's Clemente Seguel on top with four bullets in four races. The wind didn't come in on Tuesday, leaving the results as they were after Monday: Chile's Clemente Seguel on top with four bullets in four races.
Posted today at 4:58 am
Kinetic V wins 2016 Vic-Maui Yacht Race
Kinetic V Wins Vic-Maui 2016, Valkyrie wins Line Honours and second overall, Longboard takes third overall. 2016 Vic-Maui Yacht Race - Kinetic V Wins Vic-Maui 2016, Valkyrie wins Line Honours and second overall, Longboard takes third overall.
Posted today at 4:08 am
TowBoatUS Bay St. Louis now offers 24/7 on-water assistance to boaters
Capt. Conrad Morris, knows what it is like to get stuck on a sandbar in Mississippi Sound. Capt. Conrad Morris, the new owner of TowBoatUS Bay St. Louis, a 24-hour on-water towing and assistance service for recreational boaters, knows what it is like to get stuck on a sandbar in Mississippi Sound. “It happened to me countless times when I was a kid,” he said. “Sometimes we had to spend the night waiting for the tide to come in – there weren’t any towing services around back then.”
Posted today at 3:23 am
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Azzurra strikes back
Azzurra delivered their best day of the season so far on the Bay of Palma waters where they won the World Champion title The team of the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda scored two second places from the pair of windward-leeward races which were sailed in relatively steady sea breeze conditions. Super sharp starting was the launch pad for race victories today. Prime position on the pin mark of the start line at the gun was key to the wins of Bronenosec and Provezza.
Posted on 26 Jul
Registration open for Rally to the Cup 2017
It will provide dock space at the St. Georges Sports and Dinghy Club for the first 20 to 25 boats to sign up. It will provide dock space at the St. Georges Sports and Dinghy Club for the first 20 to 25 boats to sign up and a designated anchorage area (with launch service) or a berth along the wall in St. Georges for all others.
Posted on 26 Jul
New French leader on Day 3 of Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Breakfast time today saw some furious adding up to resolve the winning team in the high scoring offshore race Initially France Blue, overall leaders after day one, looked strong with their two big boats, Eric de Turkheim's A13, Teasing Machine, and the Prietz family's JND 39, GOA, in front. As boats started finishing the Flanders North Sea team edged ahead.
Posted on 26 Jul
52 Super Series – Puerto Portals Sailing Week – Races 3 and 4 images
Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races three and four Photographer Max Ranchi has provided this gallery of images from races three and four
Posted on 26 Jul
Gstaad Yacht Club's Racing Team trio for Rio 2016
Pre-Olympic Brunch at the GYC clubhouse – members, guests and friends gave a Brazilian farewell to the GYC Racing Team. The Gstaad Yacht Clubs sport members are: the Nacra 17 team with Matías Bühler and Nathalie Brugger who qualified for Switzerland, the 470 sailor Will Ryan, who starts with his helmsman Matthew Belcher for Australia and Billy Besson, who starts in the Nacra 17 class too, together with his crew Marie Riou for France.
Posted on 26 Jul
Countdown to the Rio Olympics—Sailing news from the U.S. and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 26 Jul