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New Zealand yacht leads Rolex Sydney Hobart by over a mile +Video

'Alfa Romeo passes to leeward of Wild Oats and ICAP Leopard at a crucial point just after the start of the 2009 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race.'    © Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo

New Zealand supermaxi, Alfa Romeo (Neville Crichton) is leading the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race by over a mile at the latest schedule five hours into the 605 mile offshore classic.

After a sail setting error at the start, Alfa Romeo recovered well to position herself to leeward of the three leading yachts as they neared the exclusion zone, before exiting Sydney Heads.

Alfa Romeo was the first to gybe away and appeared to have sailed into a hole in the offshore breeze, however she gybed back in engage with ICAP Leopard (GBR) and Wild Oats (AUS) the Alfa Romeo had picked up better pressure, and sailed through to leeward of Wild Oats who promptly gybed, but was unable to lower her spinnaker and had a jib only half hoisted.

The error from the four times race winner was sufficient for Alfa Romeo to slide through to leeward, clear her air and round the first turning point with a clear lead.

As the yachts hardened up to head down the New South Wales coats into a 15kt breeze with passing showers, the crews settled down for a game of follow the leader.

At the latest reports Alfa Romeo and Wild Oats have sailed well east of the rhumb line with ICAP Leopard inshore.

Later updates showed Alfa Romeo retaining her lead, by just over half a mile from ICAP Leopard, with Alfa Romeo moving to be ther most inshore of this group. Race projections by Sail-World using PredictWind?nid=64781 and Expredition?nid=64781 routing software show the lead yacht may not reach Hobart until the early morning of 29 December 2009.

Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2009
As at racetime 00:05:10 - 26 December 2009, 6:10pm


1 Alfa Romeo 34° 46' S  151° 42' E  576.8   14.0   224   02:13:58:04   10.1           
Neville Crichton NZ 42nm E of Kiama   29 Dec, 2:58am  
2 Wild Oats XI 34° 45' S  151° 43' E  577.9   13.5   228   02:14:31:55   10.0           
Mark Richards (5) NSW 42nm E of Kiama   29 Dec, 3:31am  
3 ICAP Leopard 34° 45' S  151° 43' E  578.5   12.4   228   02:17:12:40   9.6           D
Mike Slade (3) UK 42nm E of Kiama   29 Dec, 6:12am  
4 Lahana 34° 39' S  151° 42' E  584.1   10.8   176   03:01:54:51   8.5           D
Peter Millard NSW 44nm SE of Botany Bay   29 Dec, 2:54pm  
5 Ran 34° 36' S  151° 36' E  584.9   11.3   168   03:02:06:03   8.5           D
Tim Powell (2) UK 40nm SE of Botany Bay   29 Dec, 3:06pm  
6 Ichi Ban 34° 36' S  151° 35' E  585.0   10.3   168   03:02:47:37   8.4           
Matt Allen (20) NSW 40nm SE of Botany Bay   29 Dec, 3:47pm  
7 YuuZoo 34° 35' S  151° 34' E  585.9   10.8   172   03:04:22:43   8.2           
Ludde Ingvall NSW 38nm SE of Botany Bay   29 Dec, 5:22pm  
8 Investec LOYAL 34° 34' S  151° 34' E  586.8   16.2   268   03:04:12:36   8.2           
Sean Langman (18) TAS 37nm SE of Botany Bay   29 Dec, 5:12pm  
9 Rapture 34° 35' S  151° 50' E  589.6   10.8   132   03:11:06:17   7.6           
Jeff Hanlon (2) USA 45nm SE of Botany Bay   30 Dec, 12:06am  
10 Loki 34° 28' S  151° 27' E  590.5   9.7   152   03:14:15:06   7.3           D
Stephen Ainsworth (12) NSW 30nm S of Botany Bay   30 Dec, 3:15am  
11 Yendys 34° 28' S  151° 37' E  592.8   9.7   236   03:21:10:05   6.7           
Geoff Ross (14) NSW 33nm SE of Botany Bay   30 Dec, 10:10am  
12 Limit 34° 29' S  151° 38' E  592.9   10.3   232   03:20:27:22   6.8           D
Alan Brierty (6) WA 34nm SE of Botany Bay   30 Dec, 9:27am  
13 Shogun 34° 27' S  151° 38' E  594.0   8.6   156   03:22:41:03   6.6           
Rob Hanna VIC 33nm SE of Botany Bay   30 Dec, 11:41am  
14 Ragamuffin 34° 27' S  151° 36' E  594.0   8.1   156   03:23:45:38   6.6           
Syd Fischer NSW 32nm SE of Botany Bay   30 Dec, 12:45pm  
15 Living Doll 34° 26' S  151° 37' E  594.6   8.6   148   04:02:36:30   6.4           D
Michael Hiatt (4) VIC 32nm SE of Botany Bay   30 Dec, 3:36pm  

by Richard Gladwell


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7:30 AM Sat 26 Dec 2009 GMT

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