News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery : Storm Bay Weather key to Hobart record

Storm Bay Weather key to Hobart record

'Wild Oats Iron Pot_Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race'    Crosbie Lorimer
With three top class 30 metre (98 feet) super maxi's in Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI, Mike Slade's heavier City Index Leopard and Grant Wharington's rejuvenated Skandia and the right weather conditions, this year's 63rd Rolex Sydney to Hobart yacht race could be a record-breaking affair.

However the moderate strength of the winds on Wednesday afternoon and the likely gentle winds on the Friday morning across Tasmania's Storm Bay may leave the record for the 628 nautical mile blue water classic untouched.

82 yachts from around Australia and overseas are expected to face the starter's gun at 1300 on Boxing Day and the first boat out Sydney Heads should be Wild Oats XI.

Oatley's crew, lead by the talented mark Richard is looking for a three 'peat having taken line honours in the last two races. If she gets the gun in the Derwent River, she will be only the second boat after Morna (1946-47-48) to take line honours in three successive years. Morna backed up again to take four line honours wins in 1954, 56, 57 and 1960.

The team aboard Australian built, British campaigned 30 metre City Index Leopard continue to talk up their chances but the heavy headwinds they need don't look all that probable.

Victorian super-maxi Skandia, the 2003 line honours winner, should also be up near the head of the fleet. Owner/skipper Grant Wharington believing his boat is best placed for a handicap win if the first afternoon north easterly strengthens fast enough to make it an optimal race for the line honours favourites.

But irrespective of the impressive technology and sailing talent on the leading boats, the record will only be broken if there are favourable winds from the early hours of Friday morning and through dawn across Storm Bay.

In a drama filled conclusion to the race in 2005 Wild Oats XI broke her mainsail batten gybing at Tasman Light and it was only the strong conditions that allowed her to finish so powerfully with her mainsail down at 7:40.10 am on the second day

The previous record set by Nokia in 1999 was one day, 19 hours, 48 minutes and two seconds and on that occasion winds on Storm Bay reached 40 knots as a south easter blasted up the coast.

Tacticians aboard Wild Oats XI and City Index Leopard believe their boats could smash the existing race record by between four and 10 hours, given favourable weather conditions.

Current forecasts suggest that the race leaders will struggle with 10-14 knots as they close on the Tasmanian coast on Thursday night, with lighter conditions on Friday morning.

It might be that if the record is to be broken it will have to have been powered by the earlier winds down the NSW coast and across Bass Strait.

However Michael Coxon from North Sails believes that Wild Oats XI giant new high tech Code Zero might be the weapon that gets her home. With this newly designed sail Oats XI has hit 14 knots in just seven knots of breeze and that could allow her to tippy toe home, well that's 14 knots in supermaxi terms.

But there is along way to go yet, there has hardly been a Hobart without a gear failure on one of the big boats.

In 2004 Skandia lost her keel in Bass Strait. Last year Maximus paid the penalty when she lost her mast in short sharp seas out wide on the first night and this time, she has not made the start line, because the twin hydraulic rams in her lifting keel malfunctioned on her delivery trip from New Zealand tearing her sliding keel apart.

In September Wild Oats XI, was dismasted in 11 knots of breeze during the Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup off Porto Cervo.

In the latest betting on Australia's largest betting agency has Wild Oats XI on $1.60, City Index Leopard $3.25 and Skandia $7.50.

Mike Slade as expected warned everyone during the week 'You've got to sail the right course, you've got to get there and you've got to cross the line first - the most important of those is getting there in one piece.'

by Rob Kothe


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

12:56 AM Sun 23 Dec 2007 GMT

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

Click for further information on
2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart

Related News Stories:

10 Dec 2010  Rolex Trophy images from Andrea Francolini
01 Feb 2008  Relive Sydney Hobart Race at post-race function
04 Jan 2008  Queensland yachts to plot careful course home
01 Jan 2008  Rolex Sydney Hobart winners collect their trophies
31 Dec 2007  Line Honours results 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart
31 Dec 2007  Divisional winners announced dockside Rolex Hobart
31 Dec 2007  Rough seas stop Rosebud’s Pittwater Bid
31 Dec 2007  Hobart pain is brief for those with no cigars
31 Dec 2007  Two wins for Bruce Foye and The Goat
31 Dec 2007  Rolex Sydney to Hobart 2007 fleet all home

News - USA and the World

International Moth Worlds: Rashley ahead as Aussies close in by Mark Jardine /,

International Moth Worlds - Mothballed on day 4 + Video by Mark Jardine /,

Gladwell's Line: A change of direction needed in the America's Cup *Feature by Richard Gladwell/,

Six Metre Class British Open Championship - Llanoria and Valhalla win
Anna Tunnicliffe set to compete at the CrossFit Games
America's Cup: Oracle Team USA holds foiling camp at Wangi SC
Volvo Ocean Race: Abu Dhabi OR completes double Atlantic crossing
Volvo Ocean Race: Team SCA has a 'pull through day' off the Canaries
No tiller sailing - how to steer using just the sails + Video
International Moth Worlds: Three bullets in a row for Greenhalgh
U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship - Sophia Reineke wins
BIC Techno 293 Worlds 2014 - Day 0 Opening
Fuerteventura World Cup - Slalom action highlights day 2
2014 Governor's Cup - Sam Gilmour of RFBYC victorious again
Farr 40 West Coast Champ - Skipper Alberto Rossi leads Enfant Terrible
Flying Dutchman World Championships - Magyars are the Masters
Final day shakes up standings at Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek
2014 -15 Volvo Ocean Race: Team Alvimedica pushing towards Southampton
NYYC Race Week - Saving the best for last
VX One North American Championship - Chris Alexander commands
2014 Cape Panwa Hotel Phuket Raceweek - Waiting game on Day 3
International Moth Worlds: Thunderstorms delay racing on Day 1
Fuerteventura World Cup - Impressive tricks on day 1
2014 Governor's Cup - Two former winners in the finals   
America's Cup: Iain Murray explains reasons for Australian withdrawal *Feature   
Wilson and Roble remain number one match racers in U.S.   
2014 ISAF Youth Match Racing World Championship - Set to start   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Moreno twins dominate home spot   
ISAF Youth Worlds - Record breaking regatta in Tavira + Video   
Melges 32 European Championship - Robertissima remains out front   
Farr 40 West Coast Championship - Italians take one-point lead   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Carlo Borlenghi   
New York Yacht Club Race Week - Marstrom 32 fleet off to anxious start   
Melges 32 European Championship - Day 3 images by Max Ranchi   
CYC Race to Mackinac - Cruising fleet sets sail in 106th edition   
Team Alvimedica getting a touchup   
PWA Pozo World Cup - Plenty of drama on day 5   
ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship - Day 5 Videos   
NYYC Race Week - High performance classes put on shoreside show   
2014 Pacific Cup - 'Invisible Hand' the first boat to finish   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - B.C.'s Eric Holden skippers wins   
America's Cup: Updates on Team Australia withdraw   
J/70 North American titles - Brian Keane moves to top of leaderboard   

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  

Switch Default Region to:

Social Media





New Zealand

United Kingdom

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World






Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text


Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery


Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery





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.
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT