Please select your home edition
Edition
SailX 728x90

Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - 'Boat breaking'

by Jim Gale and Danielle McKay - RSHYR media on 29 Dec 2013
Southern Excellence II in the waters off Tasman Island this morning. - Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2013 Ian Mainsbridge www.all2easy.com
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2013 - 'Boat breaking'. That’s how Andrew Wenham, skipper of the VO70 Southern Excellence II described the seas off the Tasmanian coast when he arrived at Constitution Dock this afternoon.

'The sea is coming from everywhere; the north-west swell is joining up with the new south-west swell, so it’s very shallow, very choppy,’’ he said.

'Four and five metre seas, big waves, a lot of them breaking. I would be seriously worried about the smaller boats that are still at sea tonight and tomorrow.'

Wenham said that during the last hours of the race, Southern Excellence II was seeing consistent 30 knot winds, which is pretty much what they expected, but it was the gusts that made it tricky.

'We got up to 45 knots, possibly up to 50 if you watched it that closely,’’ he said.

Like all the skippers, Wenham was faced with the dilemma of how much sail to carry to power your way through the jagged, boat-stopping waves without having too much sail aloft when a gust hit.

'That’s the problem, especially on these sized boats,' he said. 'It takes so many people and it takes so long to change down. You have to program so far ahead and think so far ahead.'

The good news for the boats still at sea is that Matthew Thomas from the Bureau of Meteorology does expect things to get a little bit better, but still from the south west.

'Over the next six to 12 hours there’ll be 15 to 25 knots,’’ he said early this afternoon.

'As the boats get closer down to Maria Island winds will increase again. Currently there are gale conditions down there, wind speeds of around 30 to 35 knots for the southeast and lower east of Tasmania.

'There’s winds of 25 to 30 knots in Storm Bay, but they’re easing back and conditions will improve later today.'

Ironically for Andrew Wenham in the big, powerful Southern Excellence II, built originally for the Volvo Ocean Race, the cold, wet, uncomfortable, bone-jarring conditions didn’t come soon enough.

'If we had the last 24-hours for the whole race, we would have done extremely well,’’ he said.

'We started well. Thought we were smart going close to the NSW coast, but fell into a hole and 30 boats passed us. But that’s racing.

'The first few days have been a bit frustrating for us, but it did become a classic Hobart in the end.

'There was something of everything in the mix. We got the light winds, the heavy winds, the reaching, hard on the nose, swell, southerlies.



'A typical Hobart,' Wenham surmised
InSunSport - NZBarz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearBakewell-White Yacht Design

Related Articles

Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 2
Yachting NZ's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is unprecedented Yachting New Zealand's refusal to nominate in three classes won in the first round of 2016 Olympic Qualification is without precedent. Subject to Appeal, the Kiwis have signaled that they will reject 30% of the positions gained in the ISAF World Sailing Championships in Santander in 2014.
Posted on 22 May
Gladwell's Line - World Sailing changes tack after IOC windshift
Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick Over the past year, we've given the International Sailing Federation (now re-badged as World Sailing) a bit of stick. Every blow well earned over issues such as the pollution at Rio, the Israeli exclusion abomination plus a few more. But now World Sailing is getting it right.
Posted on 21 May
Rio 2016 - The Qualification Games - Part 1
Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving its goals Antipodean selection shenanigans aside, the Qualification system for the Rio Olympics appears to be achieving goals set in the Olympic Commission report of 2010. Around 64 countries are expected to be represented in Rio de Janeiro in August. That is a slight increase on Qingdao and Weymouth, but more importantly a full regional qualification system is now in place
Posted on 19 May
Taming the beast-a conversation with Stuart Meurer of Parker Hannifin
While AC72 cats were fast, they difficult to control, so Oracle partnered with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way. If you watched videos of the AC72s racing in the 34th America’s Cup (2013), you’re familiar with the mind-boggling speeds that are possible when wingsail-powered catamarans switch from displacement sailing to foiling mode. While foiling is fast, there’s no disguising the platform’s inherent instability. Now, Oracle Team USA has teamed up with Parker Hannifin to innovate a better way.
Posted on 18 May
From foiling Moths to Olympic starting lines-a Q&A with Bora Gulari
Bora Gulari’s is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class, along with teammate Louisa Chafee. Bora Gulari (USA) has made a strong name for himself within high-performance sailing circles, with wins at the 2009 and 2013 Moth Worlds. In between, he broke the 30-knort barrier and was the 2009 US SAILING Rolex Yachtsman of the Year. His latest challenge is representing the USA at the Rio 2016 Olympics in the Nacra 17 class as skipper, along with his teammate Louisa Chafee.
Posted on 12 May
Concern for Zika at Rio Olympics is now deadly serious
Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, Alphabet soup is one description that has thus far not been used for either Guanabara Bay, or the Rio Olympics. Many others have, and they were apt, but things have changed. So here now we have a situation where one man, Associate Professor Amir Attaran, who does have a more than decent string of letters after his name, is bringing nearly as many facts to bear as references at the article's end
Posted on 12 May
Zhik - The brand born of a notion, not its history
here is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline is officially marketed as Made For Water There is probably every reason that ocean rhymes with notion. Zhik’s tagline has been officially marketed as Made For Water, and this is precisely what the company has done for the last eight years before the succinct and apt strapline came from out of R&D and into mainstream visibility.
Posted on 8 May
Shape of next Volvo Ocean Race revealed at Southern Spars - Part 1
Southern Spars has been confirmed as the supplier of spars for the 2017-18 Volvo Ocean Race. In mid-April, Race Director, Jack Lloyd and Stopover Manager Richard Mason outlined the changes expected for the 40,000nm Race during a tour of Southern Spars 10,000sq metre specialist spar construction facility. A total of up to seven boats is expected to enter, but time is running out for the construction of any new boats.
Posted on 3 May
Sailing in the Olympics beyond 2016 - A double Olympic medalist's view
Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. Gold and Bronze medalist and multiple world boardsailing/windsurfer champion, Bruce Kendall takes a look at what he believes Sailing needs to do to survive beyond the 2016 Olympics. A key driver is the signalled intention by the International Olympic Committee to select a basket of events that will be contested.
Posted on 29 Apr
From Olympic flag to Olympic Gold and maybe another
The Sydney Olympics was a Sailing double 470 Gold event for Australia. Having won the 420 World Championship in 2000, the feeder class to the 470, while still at school in Australia young Matt Belcher was given the honour of carrying the Olympic flag during the closing ceremony of the Sydney 2000 Olympics.
Posted on 28 Apr