sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : Sydney Hobart: Will it be Supermaxi or Sunfish?
Sydney Hobart: Will it be Supermaxi or Sunfish?


'Sunfish on surface'       Click Here to view large photo

Over the years sailors have stood and looked at the half model board of the handicap winners of the Sydney Hobart race, going back some 68 races.

The very noticeable thing is that rudders and keels continue to shrink in width and depth, while getting longer and thinner.


While the appendages we are assured, are stronger than ever and the keel bulbs are made of unobtainium or at very least depleted uranium, its hardly a wonder that the biggest and fastest boats in the fleet are becoming more and more concerned about colliding with soft marine objects.

Bob Oatley’s super maxi Wild Oats XI is once again leading the field as Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours favourite. She is expected to win another Hobart line honours race in a row, but to win that crown she has to get to Hobart.

And an ever growing threat to this achievement is the gentle giant of the sea, the sunfish or mola mola, the word’s largest bony fish, which grows up to 2,500kg in weight.

The giant ocean sunfish basks on its side on the surface of the sea and there are lots and lots of them according to Hobart veterans.

'The track to Hobart is littered with sunfish,' said Grant Wharington the skipper of the chainsaw modified 30 metre supermaxi Wild Thing 'You see them every 10 to 15 minutes out there.

'It's not a matter of if you are going to hit one, it's how hard.'

There have been plenty of hard hits. In the 2003 race Wharington's boat came to a dead stop from 13 knots in Bass Strait. At the time Navigator Will Oxley reported, ‘It was a shuddering stop. We stopped dead in the water and we slid sideways, we were preparing to drop sails when what-ever was on our keel came loose and suddenly we were away again.'

In 2004 the same yacht hit a giant sunfish and in 2005 she hit two sunfish during her delivery from Melbourne to Sydney before the race.

In 2005 Skandia was third across the line behind Wild Oats XI and Alfa Romeo. In 2006 she was again third behind Wild Oats XI and Ichi Ban, after breaking her forward canard when she hit a sunfish.

Wild Oats, which went on to win the 2005 Sydney to Hobart, also had a run-in with the giant sea creatures in her lead-up to the race with the impact damaging the rudder on the yacht and then again during the race. Skipper Mark Richards said 'We had three direct hits with sunfish. It wasn't pretty. There was blood everywhere behind the boat after one collision.'

Pacific Sunfish -     Click Here to view large photo

Wharington says 'Sunfish have been a big problem in recent times. I think we’ve all hit them. Ricko (Mark Richards- Wild Oats XI) hit a couple last year I think, and the year before. They’re a pretty easy target, that’s for sure. Unfortunately when you’ve got a canting keel you’ve got three foils in the water and you’ve got plenty of chance of hitting them.'

With 20-30 knot nor'easterlies possibly powering the fleet south at some stages Wild Oats XI, Ragamuffin-Loyal, Lahana and Wild Thing will be sailing at similar 20-30 knot speeds.

'The big issue at these speeds is hitting a sunfish or a shark’ Richards says. 'We’ve hit sunfish at 25 knots and cut it in half. It can stop you dead.'

Richards is sure Wild Oats XI is strong enough to survive such an impact, but her two rudders are very much at risk.

'We'll all be keeping a sharp lookout' said Ricko.

And they all will be… looking for a basking sunfish, about the size and weight of a Vee Dub innocently lolling about, ready to spoil the super maxi party.


by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World team

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=64679

12:00 AM Wed 26 Dec 2012GMT


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

Click for further information on
2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Related News Stories:

30 Jan 2013  Sydney-Hobart Race 2012 - How the other half lives
16 Jan 2013  Wild Oats XI completes mission after historic treble
06 Jan 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart dominated by Reichel/Pugh designed yachts
02 Jan 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – the better mousetrap
02 Jan 2013  Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race video selection
01 Jan 2013  Blue Water Point Score 2012 - Ainsworth, Loki part ways on high note
01 Jan 2013  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Quartet of honorary gentlemen
01 Jan 2013  Sydney Hobart 2012 – Maluka of Kermandie's arrival formally ends race
31 Dec 2012  Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2012 – Prizegiving on New Year’s Day
31 Dec 2012  Sydney Hobart 2012 – Dump Truckers vow return
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World

OTUSA AC45 Turbo workout images by pressure-drop.us ... [more]  

Rolex Swan Cup Caribbean – A fleet of 21 Swan yachts, comprising an array of different models from seven different countries and territories will contest an eagerly anticipated week of action in the Virgin Gorda archipelago, the British Virgin Islands tomorrow, Wednesday 4 March. ... [more]  

Photographer Tim Wright captured some of these stunning shots at the start of the RORC Caribbean 600 and along the course at St Barths, Barbuda and Redonda. ... [more]  

Gill Commodore's Cup - Entries on the increase by St. Maarten Heineken Regatta
The Gill Commodore's Cup consists of one day of racing as a stand alone event, immediately prior to the St.Maarten Heineken Regatta and is open to all boat categories taking part in the main event (excluding the Lottery Class). This year there is a record entry with over 70 yachts expected to be taking part. Several tight windward leeward races are planned for the fast performance yachts ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Ryan Houston from Team Alvimedica. He talks about wanting to sail on a Kiwi boat in the next race - how this race compares with the others in which he has sailed - how small gains seem to be paying well - the vexed issue of AIS on tactics, and more ... [more]  

After the Volvo Ocean Race finished on Saturday night, Sail-World.com's NZ editor, Richard Gladwell caught up with Dave Swete from Team Alvimedica. A product of the RNZYS Youth Program, Swete is on his second Volvo Ocean Race. He touches on the differences between the two programs, the impact that AIS is having on the racing and plenty more ... [more]  

Sail-World.com's New Zealand Editor caught up with Race Director, Jack Lloyd on the floor of the sail-loft in the Volvo Ocean Race Boatyard. In this 15 minute interview, Lloyd gives his view of the progress made as a result of adopting the Volvo 65 One Design - with all boats having finished every leg (with one exception - Vestas Wind). ... [more]  

Volvo Ocean Race: Image gallery - Tour of the Boatyard by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com NZL
Yesterday Volvo Ocean Race threw open the barriers and let the media have an inside view of the Boatyard at the Viaduct Events Centre The area is open to the public (stay behind the safety barriers) where you can see the boats on the hard, and look inside the Events Centre which has been converted into a massive sail and rigging loft. ... [more]  

Artemis Racing took their development AC45 out on San Francisco Bay, yesterday. Videographer, John Navas was there to catch all the action on high resolution video. ... [more]  

The countdown to the 46th edition of the Trofeo Princesa Sofia Iberostar has begun in the bay of Palma from 28th March to 4th April. With less than a month to go until the start of the event, the regatta has already around 700 teams (667) from 59 nations representing the five continents. ... [more]  

2015 RC44 Championship Tour - With less than a month to go, eleven teams are eagerly anticipating the season-opener set to take place in Malta's renowned capital of Valletta, the historic 'City of Knights', from 25-29 March. ... [more]  

The 2015 US Grand Slam Series will take place within the month of August, beginning a couple weeks earlier and in a different order than previous editions. The Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Bayview Yacht Club, Chicago Match Race Center, and Oakcliff Sailing organizers are pleased to announce that Requests for Invitation are being accepted now and all venues anticipate high demand. ... [more]  

A beautiful sunny Miami welcomed Star sailors to the first day of the 88th Bacardi Cup. One race is scheduled for each day of the 6-day event as part of the Bacardi Miami Sailing Week (BMSW) presented by EFG Bank. With winds around 10 knots from the East, the racing area was set about 1 ¾ miles south of Dinner Key Channel. The course is set at 95 degrees with two-mile legs, which will test sailors ... [more]  

It’s been a month since the International Paralympic Committee publicized its decision to drop sailing from the slate of sports at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games. Since then ISAF has stepped up to lead the appeal for reinstatement. At US Sailing, we believe ISAF leadership is critical to our chances of overturning this decision, and we are pleased to see President Carlo Croce take this on himself ... [more]  

Top international photographer, Chris Cameron is working out of the Volvo Ocean Race Village in Auckland. ... [more]  

The first WWA Pro Card Qualifier presented by Malibu boats is set for March 22, 2015, hosted once again by Freedom Wake Park in Orlando, Florida. The WWA Pro Card events have been created to separate the top riders in the world and recognize them as elite. ... [more]  

NZ Rigging Supplied the Mast and Rigging package for Adrian Walters new Shaw 11 mtr 'Little Nico'. The mast is a High Modulus mast with internal locks on all halyards, internal mast jack, one piece Nomex cored box section boom, and composite rigging.cored box section boom, and composite rigging. ... [more]  

Barcelona World Race - As Cheminées Poujoulat climbed north out of the latitudes of the Roaring 40s and into a regime change on the east side of the South Atlantic high pressure system, leaders Bernard Stamm and Jean Le Cam are into relatively stable, quick downwind conditions which will allow them to make good miles north, ultimately to connect with the trade winds. ... [more]  

2015 Hobie 16 North American Championships September 20 to 25 at Pensacola Yacht Club. ... [more]  

Hobie Mid-Winter East - Ocean Springs Yacht Club April 10-12 2015. The regatta is open to all Hobie Cat classes ... [more]  

Choosing the northern route turned out to be a brilliant tactical decision. But not all decisions went so well. Because of one wrong gybe and changed weather patterns, Team Brunel lost its lead in less than a day. With only the Volvo Ocean Race tracker as a guide, it’s difficult for fans to understand how the Dutch team lost more than 80 nautical miles. Skipper Bouwe Bekking looks explains ... [more]  

RORC Caribbean 600 – Arguably the best fleet of offshore racing yachts that has ever gathered in the Caribbean, took part in the seventh edition of the event. 66 yachts started the 600 mile race around 11 Caribbean islands, with numerous world champions, America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race sailors taking part with passionate Corinthian amateurs, many of whom are members of the Royal Ocean Racing Cl ... [more]  

This summer’s ‘must have’ tickets for The America’s Cup World Series, Portsmouth (ACWSUK) are officially available from Monday 2nd March. Fans and spectators are encouraged to book their place now to avoid disappointment with event organisers already receiving a large number of ticket and hospitality enquires. ... [more]  

SCYA's E.E. Manning Regatta 2015 – They had never sailed together until six months earlier when they stepped onto a boat that neither had ever sailed, but skipper Joseph Hou, 15, and crew Skylar Jacobsen, 14, squeezed out a remarkable victory Sunday in the Southern California Youth Yacht Racing Association's Shadden Series ... [more]  

Shawn Bennett of Tiburon, Calif. won the Long Beach Stop of the 2015 California Dreamin’ Series Sunday in this International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade three match racing regatta hosted by Long Beach Yacht Club and raced on the Long Beach Sailing Foundation’s fleet of Catalina 37s. ... [more]  

Sitting here in Antigua airport waiting for my flight back to London, life is good having just blasted across the Atlantic in just under nine and a half days on board the new Phaedo3 MOD 70, one of the fastest sailing boats 'in the world'... ... [more]  

In November of 1994 Yachting Magazine consultant Gary Jobson asked Peter Craig, 'how hard can it be? Just raise some flags and blow off some guns.' And so began Craig's involvement in what was then a 112 boat - single division regatta that would soon evolve into an iconic annual international keelboat event. Yachting Magazine founded Key West Race Week in 1987. ... [more]  

Serious Fun! That's what participants, sponsors and onlookers are expected to have during the 35th St. Maarten Heineken Regatta which will be held in St. Maarten during March 05 - 08, 2015. The Regatta is considered to be the biggest in the Caribbean and offers a great combination of challenging races and fantastic gatherings under the banner of 'Serious Fun'! ... [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]  

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]  

Farr 40 International Circuit - Plenty team hungry for more
Coast Guard continues search for San Diego sailor
Sonar Class has a new builder for Sonar
Rio officials probe source of fish die-off in Olympic waters
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - An island-wide effort
Volvo Ocean Race: Images ashore after Leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race: Images from the finish of Leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race-Brasileiro ajuda barco espanhol a vencer quarta etapa
RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show - a British tradition
Eight minutes between Podium players as Spanish win VOR leg 4
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - fleet arrives in Auckland and the winner is
Volvo Ocean Race - Leg 4 - the fleet approaches Auckland
Volvo Ocean Race - Less than 10 miles to Auckland finish
2015 RORC Caribbean 600 - Third time lucky for happy Hap
Volvo Ocean Race: Leg 4 Finish - Auckland - Live Video and Updates
Barcelona World Race - Neutrogena crosses Cape Horn with 40 knots wind
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta - Natty Rico will close the final night
Barcelona World Race - At Cape Horn memories are made. and recalled
Big winds for SCYA Manning Regatta at ABY Club
Hutchinson and Roble honored at US Sailing’s Rolex Awards ceremony
Finn World Masters Championships 2015 - Pre registration open   
Registration for the 2015 Finn European Championship is live!   
RORC Caribbean 600, day 4 – Classic Focus and Four Figaro II teams   
Hutchinson, Roble honored in New York as Best of 2014   
Barcelona World Race - Pedestrian Pacific, Atlantic highway to home   
America's Cup: Artemis Racing lines up against Oracle Team USA - Video   
High Performance Yacht Design conference during Volvo OR stopover   
Volvo Ocean Race: Ryan Houston - How Alvimedica's chemistry works *Feature   
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   


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 NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT