Just a week to Boxing Day and for the fleet in 64th annual Rolex Sydney Hobart race, Christmas Day is just the day before Hobart.
by Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team
However Santa may have a special present for the blue water classic fleet.
Marine weather guru Roger 'Clouds’ Badham in his latest analysis has a provisional weather forecast that 'most sailors would die for,' with downwind conditions from late on the 26th until December 31st.
If the winds comes in early enough Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI, pushing for its fourth line-honours victory in a row, could break her 2005 race record of 1 day, 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds.
While the Rolex Trophy series continues over the next three days, the weekend Rolex Series Passage Races are going to be popular.
As Sydney big boat sailor Andrew Short, who has two boats racing south, the 80 footer Andrew Short Marine Shockwave (the former Alfa Romeo) and the 79 footer Andrew Short Marine Brindabella (the iconic maxi that still holds the Sydney to Southport race record) commented ‘this week is all about the Sydney to Hobart race and the passage races over the weekend are much more valuable to us that wind-ward leewards.'
The fleet has again been reduced, now to 104, as Victorian Michael Hiatt has officially advised the Race Committee that his new Living Doll will not be sailing south.
The Sail-World coverage of the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart race is more intensive than ever, so check back daily to read the latest news and interviews.
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6:03 PM Thu 18 Dec 2008 GMT
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