Geelong sailor Rob Hanna is racing south in his seventh Sydney Hobart, this time with his Judel Vrolijk designed TP52 Shogun, the former Wot Now, which he purchased in November 2009.
In 2009 she took second place in IRC Div 1 in the Rolex Sydney Hobart and in 2010 finished third overall and second in her division.
Dockside Rob Hanna told Sail-World.com ‘This race is fairly unique. You can sail the hell out of it and put yourself in a good position and still get dorked.
‘Shogun is a good offshore boat. Twice we have put ourselves in a really good position to win the Sydney Hobart race but then we have arrived at Tasman Light at the wrong time of the day and parked and watched everybody else come over the horizon and join us.
‘I try not to make predictions other than it is a tough race and anyone of 25 boats can win it, it just depends on timing.
‘Someone funny once said 'I would rather be lucky than good' and I am starting to join their camp.
‘You've also got to remember this is a navigator’s race too. You really have to have a navigator putting you in the right place.
‘I think the winner will come out as somebody who handles the transitions from the various wind directions best, like the transition from the downhill run on the Monday afternoon into the front and the transition after the front. There will be probably be a period of lightish air going across Bass Strait.
‘Whoever handles that the best, doesn’t get parked and goes slow and positions themselves in the best spot for the run down the Tassie coast will win.
‘I think the real dangers in our division would be Stephen Ainsworth's Reichel Pugh 63 Loki, which is well sailed and a good boat, Michael Hiatt’s Farr 55 Living Doll and the Jason Van der Slot skippered TP52 Calm.
‘Calm has put in a lot of effort to get their boat ready for this race and they have a good crew.
‘Living Doll could be a danger in this sort of forecast because they are a light to moderate air specialist boat and we are not looking at really heavy air, if the weather softens as now predicted.’
‘For us the question remains - will we be lucky or good?’