Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2013 - With barometric pressure dropping all day the wind at Tasman Island peaked at 5pm with winds of 40 knots from the north gusting to 50 as recently as 19:30 there were northerly gusts to 42knots then the windspeed began dropping rapidly after that.
Now it is blowing just 8 knots from the west. Further north at Mariah Island it peaked, peak gusts were 38 gusts at 6pm. It has been softening since, as predicted, now the question is will tonight's blow be as strong as expected?.
Wild Oats finished at 7:07:27pm in two days, 6 hours, 7 minutes and 27 seconds. Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal is now approaching Iron Pot from the south east some 16 nautical miles from the finish.
Behind her Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin eight nautical miles further across Storm Bay.
It is a drag race between Jim Delegat’s VOR 70 Giacoma and Karl Kwok’s Beau Geste, the 80 footer is likely to overtake her smaller Volvo 70 rival before they reached Tasman Island.
Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing is coming in at speed. She is 14 nautical miles north east of Tasman Island having sailed through the second Volvo 70 Black Jack an hour ago. These are the only boats likely to get into Storm Bay before the wind picks up from the west south west. Ichi Ban, Mat Allen’s Carkeek 60, is still some 50 nautical miles from the corner.
With a major weather system yet to be negotiated the IRC standings probably best indicate divisional leaders rather than overall winners.
Bruce Taylor’s Chutzpah, from division two, is the current overall leader. She is 100 nautical miles from Tasman Light and there is lots of sailing for her yet to do.
Similarly for Roger Hickman’s Wild Rose currently second overall and the division four leader, now 66 nm east of Flinders Island but with more than a third of the race still to sail. Chris Band’s Brand New, Beneteau First 40 the division three leader is third.
On ORCi Hickman leads division three ahead of Ron Forster and Phil Damp’s Ariel with Chutzpah third leading division two. Darryl Hodgkinson’s Victoire the division one leader, currently fifth, is the closest boat, on 60 nautical miles from Tasman Light and will probably be the best placed in the blow.
On PHS Peter Roger’s Olsen 40 She, in division two is the leader from She’s the Culprit skippered by Glen Picasso, the Inglis-Jones.
Well back down the fleet the iconic Brindabella, who still holds the unballasted Hobart record from 1999, is 21 nm north of Cape Sonnerat and should emerge enhanced from the south westerly front.
Lots of changes in the Clipper 70 fleet with Derry-Londonderry-Doire, 40 nm north east of Eddiston Light, now with a handy nine nm lead over GREAT Britain. With OneDLL third and equal distance back.
In the Sydney 38 fleet Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen continues to lead as she has done for the last two days, currently 51nm south east off Flinders Island. Her nearest rival Ray Sweeney’s Mondo is six nautical miles behind with Tony Levetts’s TSA Management a further two miles back.
From here the weather gods will decide the handicap winners of the 69th Sydney to Hobart. We can only trust that both sailors and boats remain intact in the hours ahead.
by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
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10:35 AM Sat 28 Dec 2013GMT
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2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
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