In the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2013 after yesterday’s brutal conditions off the Tasmanian coast, the remaining boats at sea at last got some respite overnight as the strong gusty wind fell away.
Indeed, by 4.00am, the problem for the boats approaching Tasman Island had become not too much wind, but too little, as the breeze shifted this way and that from the south-west to the west and finally to the north-west.
As the sun rose, the breeze finally made up its mind, and the boats again picked up speed under a 10 knot nor’ wester.
In the Derwent River though, the breeze remains pretty light, and of course now that it has settled from the north west, the boats will need to tack all the way up to the finishing line.
All this toing and frowing has most hurt Roger Hickman aboard his beloved 28 year old Wild Rose.
Wild Rose had entered the evening as the only threat to the dockside race leader Victoire, but she had to arrive in Hobart by 4.00am. It was always a big ask, and as the overnight wind died, the prospects of a last minute victory evaporated. At 8.00am, Wild Rose is still at sea.
The Race Committee must now carefully work its way through all the handicap numbers, a painstaking task, and it is likely an official result will be announced shortly.
Victoire is a Cookson 50 raced by Darryl Hodgkinson out of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. This is Hodgkinson’s third Rolex Sydney Hobart, and his first in this boat.
Victoire has previously raced as Jazz under then owner Chris Bulll. In 2010 she came second overall and first under ORCi, following that up in 2011 to win her division and place fourth overall. Ironically, last year Jazz found herself in the same position as Wild Rose this year, when light winds robbed her of first place in the final miles of the race. Sher had to settle for fourth again.