sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2013 - Of Gates, Pools and Level Crossings
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race 2013 - Of Gates, Pools and Level Crossings


'Perpetual Loyal'    Crosbie Lorimer

Who’d want to be a tactician and navigator in the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race?

Talk about pressure!

With everyone saying two days before the race start that we would have to wait until race day to determine the weather strategy, you’d think that more than 36 hours after the fleet left Sydney that we might have a clearer idea about how this year’s race was going to play out.


Not a bit of it. The race might as well be starting again at Gabo Island, which for the front runners it actually is.

And it’s not simply one gate that’s needing to be negotiated, it’s at least three….first at Gabo Island, setting up for the Bass Strait crossing, then off southern Bass Strait for the run down the Tasmanian Coast and finally the hard right hander at Tasman Light. The race can be easily won or lost on the call made at each of those, much less handling the complicated transitions around the listless High that is affecting much of the fleet off the NSW south coast as we write.

So, no pressure there for the trusty navigators, then.

The leading six boats in the fleet (in rough order, Wild Oats XI, Perpetual Loyal, Ragamuffin, Wild Thing, Beau Geste, Giacomo and Black Jack) are in the northern end of Bass Strait and were pottering along for much of yesterday in that frustrating ‘lazy high’ that Lindsay May spoke of on Christmas Eve, all of them some miles east of the rhumbline (Wild Thing and Beau Geste have opted to go very wide in that direction).

An upbeat Anthony Bell was talking by Skype to the media centre here in Hobart this afternoon and was making light of the almost complete absence of breeze experienced by Perpetual Loyal for much of the day in the north of Bass Strait. Having been 13 miles ahead of Wild Oats XI overnight, Wild Oats XI had clawed that deficit back by early this morning and now leads; both boats remain in sight of each other and Bell anticipates that the stronger north easterlies predicted for the next phase of the race will not play out until later tomorrow (Saturday).

Anthony Bell, owner and skipper of Perpetual Loyal -  Crosbie Lorimer  

'We’re just bobbing around out here actually; right now its four knots' said Bell, 'I’ve seen it windier in my two year old daughter’s indoor swimming pool!' he added.

He also made an interesting observation about why running second, but staying in touch can sometimes be helpful,

'I don’t know that you’d want to be the front running boat going in to Tasman Light in this race. It might do as it did in 2011 and leave some track lines for the guys coming in second or third to make some decisions around (in 2011, Loyal sailed around Wild Oats XI while she was in parked in a large windless ‘hole’ in the breeze north of Tasman Light). So, the pressure may be back on the leading boat, particularly as they navigate their way into the finality of the race.'

Meantime, behind the leading pack, the majority of the fleet is desperately trying to get south of the Bass Strait ‘level crossing’ before the barriers come down and the freight train of a pending westerly gale roars through – timetabled for late tomorrow – probably bringing to an end the hopes for an overall handicap win for the more aspirational amongst them, if caught north of the crossing when the ‘train’ blasts through.

So, how does this scenario compare with what some of the crew from boats of all sizes had to say about what lay ahead, as they prepared to depart Sydney Harbour yesterday?

Quite accurately, it would seem. From the largest boats to the smallest, this is what their crews had to say, when I spoke to them prior to departure:

Michael Coxon, watching the race start from aboard Neville Crichton’s Cigarette power boat. -  Crosbie Lorimer  

Michael Coxon (originally sailing master on Perpetual Loyal [100 ft], but rendered a spectator by illness):
'It’s going to be a tricky race for sure. I’d say on paper it’s playing into Wild Oats’ best conditions. If you had to write a forecast for Loyal it couldn’t be worse for her than this one. Loyal is fantastic when she’s loaded up (healing and powered up), but when she’s not loaded, all that beam gives you wetted surface and when wetted surface sits in water, you’re stuck to the water.'

'But the other boat that people have been underestimating is Ragamuffin; because we won in that boat two years ago and while we weren’t as quick as Wild Oats XI, we could hang in there with her. Syd Fischer’s done a lot of the right things to that boat. She’s got new dagger boards to the latest design, water ballast and an extended prod (bowsprit). All those things make her a better boat.'

Gavin Brady of Team Beau Geste -  Crosbie Lorimer  

Gavin Brady (Helmsman and tactician aboard Beau Geste, 80 ft):
'Everyone is going to have a waypoint off Gabo, because of the wind and current. The gate at that point will probably be only two to three miles wide; once the first lot are through, I’ll guarantee that everyone else will shoot through exactly the same gate. You’re not worried about Hobart at this point, you’re racing to a point off Gabo. Then we’re into Bass Strait and we can let these things loose and see what happens in northerlies in the running phase. For most of the fleet there will be a big right hand turn before the SW hits, scurrying inshore as fast as you can (on the approaches to the Tasmanian Coast) and then set yourself up for the trip down the coast.'

Brady again on sail handling and seamanship:
'The sailors on deck are going to have a huge part to play towards the end of the race. Sail handling in the changes will be key. One of our jibs is bigger than our mainsail, so dropping our jib is harder than dropping our mainsail. You can lose two miles on a poor sail change like that.'

Adrienne Cahalan (navigator on Wedgetail, 55ft)
'It’s one of those races where you’ve got to get south, that’s where the better breeze is. Whoever gets to Tasman Light with the minimum upwind sailing will probably do the best at the moment. It’s a very tactical race; there’s so much uncertainty in this forecast, which is great because everybody’s got a chance; there won’t be much sleeping!'

Daryl Hodgkinson, skipper of Victoire -  Crosbie Lorimer  

Daryl Hodgkinson (skipper of Victoire, 50 ft)
'Most people will be trying to get offshore for the first night, but if it turns you’ve got to know that you can get back to the coast. We’ll be waiting for that NE to give us a bit of a punch down into the Strait. Hopefully we’ll beat a bit of the worst of the SW before it really comes in.' (Daryl confirms that they do indeed have their third reef moused, and hopes they won’t have to use it.)

Paul Clitheroe, skipper of Balance -  Crosbie Lorimer  

Paul Clitheroe (skipper of Balance, 45ft)
'We know we’re going to be in a gale and we know we have some light air running on the first afternoon, but everything else between Wollongong and the bottom of Tasmania is a complete unknown. Worse still there are three different weather models for the middle of the race and one of them is going to be right. My problem is I don’t know which one it’s going to be! I suspect it’s the toss of a coin.'

Bruce Taylor (skipper of Chutzpah, 40 ft)
'I don’t think this forecast suits anyone; it’s very unpredictable and very unstable. There are only two sure things, firstly that everyone is going to get hammered off Hobart and secondly
there will be change in Bass Strait late on Saturday, so getting as far south as quickly as possible before then is the goal.'

James Cameron (right) and the crew of Luna Sea. -  Crosbie Lorimer  

James Cameron (skipper of Luna Sea, 35 ft)
'It’s going to be quite fickle; getting across Bass Strait is going to be interesting. We might be able to sneak across before the worst of the westerly and south/westerly come through. Either way we’re going to getting a fair bit of it going around Tasman Light. But the boat’s definitely up for it and we’ve had plenty of recent heavy weather experience, getting a third on IRC in the Lord Howe Island Race.

Travis Read, skipper of Illusion -  Crosbie Lorimer  

Travis Read (skipper of Illusion, 34 ft, equal smallest boat in the fleet along with Wilparina)
'We’ll probably be getting a hiding off Tasman Island, but we just put some small sails up and hang on tight. It will probably take us four and half days to get there; we’ll see how we go.'

So, got that everyone? The key message is 'get as far south as quickly as you can!'.

You’d be forgiven for thinking that’s a no brainer, but the general thesis that underpins that seemingly simplistic axiom is, that every hour spent not running the rhumb line in the first part of the race when the wind and sea conditions are more favourable, translates into many hours of boat bashing in an attritional south westerly gale, with accompanying large seas in the race Part 2.

Not a prospect to relish.

So, when you head to your comfortable bed tonight, spare a thought for those navigators and tacticians holed up in their tiny, airless nav stations, trying desperately to make a science out of what, with this mercurial forecast, might as well be guesswork.

As much by good luck as good management, these over-burdened souls will end up in Hobart (to borrow Jimmy Spithill’s idiom) as either roosters or feather dusters!

It's a tough job alright.


by Crosbie Lorimer

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=117922

1:03 PM Fri 27 Dec 2013GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Newsletter Editorial Australia
2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Related News Stories:

29 Dec 2013  Roelx Sydney Hobart: Images from Tasman Island - Carlo Borlenghi
29 Dec 2013  Roelx Sydney Hobart: Images from Tasman Island - Carlo Borlenghi
29 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart: Images of Tasman island - Daniel Forster
29 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart: Youth America's Cup winners just metres apart
29 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart 2013 - Victoire has a sniff of victory
29 Dec 2013  Sydney to Hobart images by Carlo Borlenghi: Arrival in Tasmania Part 2
29 Dec 2013  Sydney to Hobart images by Carlo Borlenghi: Arrival in Tasmania Part 1
29 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – Crew injured as winds take their toll
29 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart: Images as supermaxis approach finish at Hobart
29 Dec 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart -Wedgetail dismasted – two with rudder problems
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank will kick off with 173 boats traveling to Coconut Grove to compete in the 88th Bacardi Cup ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 finishes at night after a tense day *Feature by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
The finish was more like that of a short 100nm race around the Hauraki Gulf. Instead, the first three boats to cross the finish line at the end of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race arrived mid-evening. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race – After the limits of the southern oceans imposed by the combination of the weather systems and the safety barrier of the Antarctic Exclusion Zone, the Atlantic is opening up for the top trio. ... [more]  

Images from Auckland of the media conference on Sunday and prizegivings for Leg 4 ... [more]  

At the media conference held the morning after the finish of leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, Mapfre skipper Xabi Fernandez announced that regular skipper Iker Martinez will be back on board for the next leg and most of the remainder of the race. Fernandez had taken over the role, skippering Mapfre to a 4th place on Leg 3 and a win on Leg 4. ... [more]  

Farr 40 International Circuit - Alex Roepers doesn't like to dwell in the past. However, when prompted, the New York businessman will talk about the magical run he and the crew aboard Plenty enjoyed during the 2014 Farr 40 International Circuit. To the contrary, the thrill of victory only made Roepers and the Plenty team hungry for more. ... [more]  

Coast Guard crews continue the search Monday for Richard Byhre, the 76-year-old sailor who did not return from his sailing trip as expected. ... [more]  

The International Sonar Class is pleased to announce that Shumway Marine, with the cooperation of designer Bruce Kirby has made arrangements to have the Sonar built by Rondar Race Boats in the U.K., with plans eventually to have the boat built on both sides of the ocean. The American Rondar facility is in Peabody, MA. Rondar, expects to launch its first Sonar in April. ... [more]  

Rio de Janeiro's state environmental agency says it is investigating a fish die-off that has left thousands of carcasses floating in waters where sailing events are to be held when Brazil hosts next year's Olympics. ... [more]  

This year's 35th edition of the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is nothing less than an island-wide effort. Besides the sponsors, countless volunteers and the numerous local organizations that offer their excellent services, the Regatta Organizers would like to say special thanks to the hotels which are so generous to donate complimentary hotel rooms for the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4 by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water and ashore for the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean Race, and provided this gallery of images after the first three boats had docked. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4 by Richard Gladwell, Sail-World.com NZL
Sail-World's NZ Editor, Richard Gladwell, was on the water for the finish of Leg 4 of the Volvo Ocean race, and captured these images from the final few miles of the race, and on the dock. ... [more]  

O MAPFRE conquistou de maneira emocionante a quarta etapa da Volvo Ocean Race, disputada entre a China e a Nova Zelândia. Na manhã deste sábado (28), o barco espanhol cruzou a linha de chegada em primeiro após quase 21 dias de navegação. ... [more]  

RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition by Rob Kothe and Jedda Murphy
Our favourite boat show in the whole world is the RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show. It is like no other, with a large percentage of eight to 15-year olds, with many young siblings often dragging their parents down the aisles. Its a dull overcast day in Lonon with rain showers, but inside the heated halls of the Alexandra Palace, the fabled 'Ally Pally' , around 5,000 visitors will gaze at touch and feel ... [more]  

MAPFRE (Xabi Fernández/ESP) emerged victorious despite a pair of major setbacks in Leg 4 following one of the tightest-fought finishes in Volvo Ocean Race history on Saturday night. The victory gives the 2014-15 edition its fourth winner in four legs following successes for Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing (Ian Walker/GBR), Team Brunel (Bouwe Bekking/NED), and Dongfeng Race Team (Charles Caudrelier/FRA). ... [more]  

Mapfre took the gun, Abu Dhabi Ocean Racing was second and Dongfeng third. Photographer Ainhoa Sanchez was in the air over Auckland for 2014 – 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and provided these images. ... [more]  

Photographer Ainhoa Sanchez was in the air as the fleet approached Auckland for the end of leg 4 for the 2014 – 2015 Volvo Ocean Race, and provided this gallery of images. ... [more]  

The wind has switched half turn and boats are now beating upwind to the finish, MAPFRE has held their lead and with the change in direction look quite safe. Team Alvimedica who was catching up at speed has slowed right up, caught in light winds behind Tiritiri Matangi island. With less than 10nm to go to finish and a fair 10kt wind holding, the slow patch looks to have been removed from equation ... [more]  

2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Hap Fauth's American JV72, Bella Mente has been declared the overall winner. Whilst several yachts are still racing, by the morning of Friday 27th February none of the remaining teams had the ability to better Bella Mente's corrected time under IRC. It was third time lucky for Bella Mente as the Maxi 72 has finished second overall for the past two years. ... [more]  

Catch the live coverage of the Leg 4 Finish in Auckland. Check the video timer for a countdown to the start of coverage and the expected race finish time. Sail-World is updating the on the water action and weather - which has compressed the lead four boats ... [more]  

Racing in second place in the Barcelona World Race, the Barcelona sailor Guillermo Altadill and Chilean José Muñoz passed Cape Horn (67° 17' 35 W) this morning at 2h12 UTC (3h12 am in Barcelona, 11h12 pm of the 27th of February in Chile), after 58 days, 14 hours and 12 minutes of racing since their start from the Catalan capital on 31 December 2014. ... [more]  

On Sunday March 8th 2015, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta will close out the final night of music with one of the most distinctive performances to date. DJ Natty Rico will be the final act to grace the regatta stage during the 'Legendary Party' following Kool and the Gang. His unique blend of saxophone playing and DJ skills will have your jaw dropping in amazement. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - Cape Horn beckons for second and third placed Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos. While the two IMOCA 60s are expected to pass at speed with around six hours of separation, in what might be considered favourable conditions for one of the most inhospitable and complicated corners of the Barcelona World Race, amidst the long hours of stress and fatigue ... [more]  

SCYA Manning Regatta – The youth-heavy event is the fourth and last stop of the Shadden Series for teenagers under 19 not yet in college and is also a move-up regatta under the advancement guidelines of the International Naples Sabot Association. ... [more]  

US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards 2015 ceremony celebrated the sailing accomplishments of Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.) and Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.) as it returned to the iconic Model Room at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan after having moved to the west coast for the past three years. ... [more]  

For the Finn World Masters in Kavala, Greece pre-registration is open. So far 130 Masters have entered. 2015 will be the first time the Worlds Masters have been held in Greece. ... [more]  

The website for the 2015 Finn Open and Junior Europeans in Split, Croatia, is now live, with online entry open. The last time the Finns had an event there the wind did not cooperate and the fleet ended up sailing some races as the sun set. ... [more]  

RORC Caribbean 600 – Four Figaro II teams, all from the Guadeloupe Grand Large sailing academy, are racing in this year's event. 18 sailors from the offshore racing academy are racing on four identical yachts and have high aspirations for the future; the Solitaire du Figaro, Route du Rhum or the Everest of offshore solo-sailing, the Vendée Globe. ... [more]  

After having moved to the west coast for the past three years, US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards ceremony returned to the iconic Model Room at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan to celebrate the sailing accomplishments of Terry Hutchinson (Annapolis, Md.) and Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.). ... [more]  

If, in the end, the Pacific gave up race leaders Cheminées Poujoulat without too much of a fight and since Wednesday morning the Atlantic, in turn, has opened its fastest toll-free lane north east to Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam, the Pacific seems rather more keen to hold on to second and third placed Neutrogena and GAES Centros Auditivos. ... [more]  

America's Cup Defender Oracle Team USA and Challenger, Artemis Racing lined up for a series of try-outs on San Francisco Bay. Videographer John Navas was shoreside with a new high resolution video camera and provided these videos of the training sessions and hook-ups. ... [more]  

The HPYD conference is jointly organised by The Royal Institution of Naval Architects (NZ) and The University of Auckland and will be held at the Marine Event Centre in Auckland to coincide with the Volvo Ocean Race stopover. It attracts some of the world’s most preeminent yacht designers and is recognised as one of the top three conferences in this area internationally. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Ryan Houston is a watch captain aboard Team Alvimedica. He sailed in two previous editions of the Volvo Ocean Race – in 2008-09 aboard Delta Lloyd and 2011-12 on the incident plagued Volvo 70, Sanya. With the switch to the one design, ruggedly constructed Volvo 65 for this race many of the issues that bedevilled the competitors and organisers in the previous races appear to have been resolved. ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Dave Swete - Alvimedica's race so far *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – No sleep until Auckland
Etchells NA Midwinter East Series - Schoonmaker Cup preview
RORC Caribbean 600 day 4 – Close competition – 43 yachts still racing
Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica hopes to use Coastal Classic tricks *Feature
AC45 Turbo Training - Oracle Team USA images by pressure-drop + Video
America's Cup: Emirates Team New Zealand gears up on less money *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race – The race tightens as New Zealand looms
AWT Goya Pro Cabo Verde kicks off in style!
Barcelona World Race - Two different worlds separated by Cape Horn
America's Cup: Barker offered non-sailing role by Emirates team NZ
2015 CYC Midwinters Race – Pictures by pressure-drop.us
CYC Midwinters Racing – Bring On The Breeze! – Overall
Laser World Championship – Over 2000 sailors to race in Kingston
Volvo Ocean Race: Barkow and Lush - from the Olympics to the Volvo *Feature
Volvo Ocean Race 2015 – Its anyone's race - Leg 4 to Auckland
Barcelona World Race - A time for extra care and caution
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Phaedo3 breaks record
Barcelona World Race - Cheminées Poujoulat pass Cape Horn
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Records predicted to tumble + Video
2015 ISAF Women’s Match Racing World Championship - NOR released   
Asher Otto and Itchy Feet to open up the Caribbean Jam night   
RS Sailing and BIC Sport North America team up for sailing programs   
RORC Caribbean 600 – Record pace on Day 2   
Port of Los Angeles Harbor Cup - About to begin   
10 tips from BoatUS for owners and renters   
Aquece Rio International Sailing Regatta – Notice of Race online   
2015 CYC Mid Winters images by h20shots   
Adventures of a Sailor Girl: News and interviews from February 23 show   
Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston looking forward to his Kiwi home   
Volvo Ocean Race: Wislang expected to lead Kiwis home after fast ride   
Volvo Ocean Race – Now the race to Auckland is truly on   
America's Cup: Spooner fails in attempt to have Oracle AC45 arrested   
2015 505 Midwinter Championship - Final race   
Barcelona World Race – Renault Captur resume, Spirit of Hungary stuck   
2015 ISAF Youth Sailing World – Emerging Nations Programme announced   
Barcelona World Race - Spirit of Hungary to make surprise pit-stop   
US Sailing Match Racing Committee launches The Dial Up Newsletter   
JJ Giltinan Trophy: Michael Chittenden's images from Race 7   
Volvo Ocean Race – The Doldrums outside the Doldrums   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL VIR US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT