Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

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.
NaiadSchaefer 2016 Ratchet Block 660x82Bakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Zhik sailors win 17 sailing medals at 2016 Olympic Regatta
The 2016 Olympic games are over and what a Games they have been - Zhik sailors dominated Zhik sailors won almost 60% of the medals contested at Rio de Janeiro. It was a regatta which tested sailors and gear - with one day being the most severe conditions ever experienced at an Olympic regatta. For the Zhik team riders on the waters of Rio, four years and more of hard work and dedication have paid off for many.
Posted on 29 Aug
Etchells Europeans - Kiwis on top after Day 1 after long day in Cowes
For the first day of the 2016 Etchells Open Europeans, PRO Phil Lawrence, prophesied that it might be a long day The top Etchells team today was Feng Shui, from the Royal Akarana Yacht Club, Auckland, NZ. Helmed by Andrew Wills and owned by Anatole Masfen, Matthew Kelway completes the line up. The team has won several New Zealand National Titles and Wills was on Jud Smith's winning team for the 2006 Etchells Worlds.
Posted on 29 Aug
Hollandia wins 8 Metre World Cup
After nine race series, Netherlands' Hollandia wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions After a five day, nine race series, Hollandia of the Netherlands wins it with eight points. The racing took place in a range of conditions and Hollandia managed to win every race.
Posted on 29 Aug
Volvo Ocean Race - Enright and Towill ready to go again in 2017/18
Team Alvimedica skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put their experience to use. Team Alvimedica were the youngest team in the race last edition, and now skipper Charlie Enright and his long-time buddy Mark Towill are eager to put that experience to use. Volvo Ocean race's Jonno Turner caught up with Mark and Charlie to chat about everything from the transition back into 'real life', their reflections on the 2014-15 campaign - and the future.
Posted on 29 Aug
Noroton Yacht Club takes the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Trophy again
The yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water. Every August the biggest question for the NYYC Grandmasters Team Race Regatta is whether this will be the year that Noroton Yacht Club's winning streak ends. Yet even after the age minimums were raised by five years and the event was expanded to 10 teams and three days to stiffen the competition, the yacht club from Darien, Connecticut, still out sailed every other club on the water.
Posted on 29 Aug
The door’s been flung open – again
Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing gets sexier for Tokyo Now whether it was the Champagne or something far more ethereal, there is the chance that sailing may get sexier for Tokyo 2020. Yes, the proverbial door has been cast ajar before, often to much fanfare, and not that much has been achieved.
Posted on 28 Aug
Michael Illbruck crowned 2016 Melges 20 World Champion
Although not a simple task, Freides aimed to keep Illbruck behind him, or at minimum out of top nine ranking. Hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino, the World Championship was the most successful to date featuring four days of incredible sportboat racing.
Posted on 28 Aug
Freides defends leadership at Melges 20 World Championship
The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship was a difficult one at best 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The one and only race that was able to take place at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino was a difficult one at best, however managed to present some nice new faces at the front of the fleet.
Posted on 28 Aug
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Crew catch up - Meet Dhruv Boruah
After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations After crew members have completed their global ocean adventure, some go back to their previous lives and occupations, some decide on a future in the marine industry, some take time out to assess their next move in life and others seek their next challenge.
Posted on 27 Aug
Changing of the Guard at Melges 20 Worlds, Freides takes over
The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship featured two races under shifty conditions 2016 Melges 20 World Championship - The second day of racing at the 2016 Melges 20 World Championship hosted by Marina di Scarlino/Club Nautico Scarlino featured two races under shifty conditions, shaking up the standings and making Drew Freides' Pacific Yankee the new leader with a one point advantage over Michael Illbruck on Pinta now seated in second place.
Posted on 27 Aug