Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2013 – It’s an hour before dawn on Australia’s East Coast. With the fleet leader, Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI, is now across Bass Strait with less than a third of her race to go, 222 nm from Hobart, 83 nm east from Eddystone Light.
The supermaxi’s are strung out behind her while the bulk of the now 91 boat fleet has passed the Green Cape Gate. Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal is now 16 nm behind the leader and less than six miles ahead of Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin.
Wild Oats XI is heading south west at a little over seven knots. Behind her is Perpetual Loyal doing 4.5 knots in the light and fluky conditions. Seven miles astern in Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100.
Fourth is Jim Delegat’s Volvo 70 Giacoma. Fifteen miles in arrears inside her is Peter Harburg’s Black Jack, the Volvo 70 formerly Telefonica.
Wider and faster but 51 miles off the pace is Grant Wharington’s Hart 100 Wild Thing. In seventh on the water, a similar distance from the finish, is Karl Kwok’s Boton 80 Beau Geste.
Ichi Ban, Mat Allen’s new Carkeek, has been the link between the supermaxi’s and the following fleet for the last 24 hours.
She is 69 miles off the lead, a little less than 300 nm from the finish. Bill Wild’s Richel Pugh 55 Wedgetail is drawing away form the mob, just 15 miles behind Ichi Ban with Victoire, Daryl Hodgkinson’s Cookson 50, the former Jazz, the only boat close behind.
Handicap results are fairly meaningless at the moment because of the weather systems yet to be negotiated but for the record, on IRC handicap Phil Simpfendorfer’s Veloce leads Chris Brand’s BrandNew and John Patterson’s Rush in third place.
On ORCi Tim Cox’s DK 43 Minerva leads Paul Clitheroe’s Beneteau 45 Balance, ahead of Derek and Martin Sheppard’s Beneteau 45 Black Sheep.
On PHS David Pescud’s Lyons 54, Faceboat Sailors with DisAbilities, leads from Corren Feldmann’s and Rob Francis' MDB41, the Banshee, formerly Terra Firma. In third place is Peter Roger’s Olsen 40 She.
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In the Clipper 70 fleet Henri Lloyd has moved forward from third place to first but she is less than two miles ahead of Old Pulteney. In third place, a similar distance back, is Jamaica Get Alright.
In the Sydney 38’s Gordon Ketelbey continues to dominate with Zen still four miles ahead of Glen Clinnick’s Audacious having sailed through Stefen Howarth’s Mille Saborde today.
The tail gunner, James Clayton’s Black Adder, is now 37 nm south east of Batemans Bay, of the 91 boats still racing with 495 nm to go her current ETA is the early hours of January 2nd. She can look forward to having plenty of quality time on the water, but may run short of rations.
by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
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5:49 PM Fri 27 Dec 2013GMT
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