Sydney Hobart - drama - 8 day to go

18 Dec 2009                                                                If you have trouble reading this email CLICK HERE

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Read our Sail-World 2009 Sydney Hobart Fleet Notes being updated by skippers  here

The Real Race – for overall handicap honours

With the 2009 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Line Honours fleet locked in a speed battle, ignoring IRC ratings, just throwing up more ‘canvas' the 70 footers are the new big boats in Tattersalls Cup IRC terms.

Will be at the CYCA for much of the next week, as it's certainly where the action is. We will explore the IRC fleet in detail next week.

While the weather is a little way off yet, there is lots of interest this year in the EAC current for the 2009 race. The Tidetech team seem to be right on the pace with Grib file current and sea temperature data. Much more on this below.
Tidetech's CSIRO Current GRIB - latest conditions at Green Cape   Tidetech

Will Oxley makes a good point about Routing Software having No Fear. 4-5 knots of current from the north and 30 knots of southerly could be boat breaking in Bass Strait.

Decisions, decisions

Looming large is Skype co-founder, Niklas Zennstrom's Ran, a Judel/Vroljik 72 from the UK, new to the southern hemisphere, but with a strong track record.

She is the winner of the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race overall and Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in the Mini Maxi division. She has plenty of rockstar talent and lots of offshore experience with America's Cup and Volvo Ocean Race veterans, tactician Adrian Stead, Steve Hayles, Tim Powell, Andy Hemmings, and Richard Bouzaid.

CYCA Commodore Matt Allen with the IRC modified Volvo 70 Ichi Ban has the runs on the board and is certain to be amongst the contenders if the weather window suits the 70 footers.

The two Reichel Pugh 62-3; s Stephen Ainsworth's Loki and Allen Brierty's Limit represent their speed band well. They will be both love a two cold front Hobart

Geoff Ross' Reichel Pugh 55 Yendys is gradually being tuned. She has a 500mm deeper new keel and its 420kg heaver, so she will be looking for some upwind action too.

Michael Hiatt's Living Doll, a one-year old Farr 55 has been fast around the cans all year. Now we shall find out how she will go with cracked sheets.
Onboard Bass and Flinders catamaran  Bass & Flinders

By the way, if you are looking how best to watch the Sydney Hobart start... you have three extra serious options with the Bass & Flinders fast catamaran ferries. Doing 25 knots they can pretty much stay with the big boys. Its a spectacular way to watch the early action. Is that YOUR Christmas present?

Tickets can be purchased by phone on (02) 9583 1199 or email your request to bassflinders(at) Tickets are just $195 for adults. There are still some left but they are selling fast. More details below

For now we wish Grant Wharington and his Etihad Stadium crew the best, as they battle towards the Hobart start, with their mast still in Europe.

More news soon..

Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team

Etihad Stadium Supermaxi skipper gets some sleep at last
Jody O'Brien,
The owner and skipper of the Etihad Stadium Supermaxi got to bed before 3am for the first time in a week last night, with a transport solution for the replacement mast appearing to be settled.... [more]
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Sydney Hobart - East Coast Coast Current - It's Ripping....
Penny Haire,
Strong currents of up to 4.5kts could bring boat breaking conditions for Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart - Follow the action with Bass & Flinders Cruises
When the whale season finishes in early December, Bass & Flinders turn their attention to boat watching. 'If the forecast are right this year, it will be a spectacular sight as the fleets sets spinnakers as they come out of the heads. Last year we ran to Kurnell with the leaders came back through the fleet to the middle group,stayed with them and then came up to the tail enders'... [more]
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Pictures from onboard Wild Oats XI,
Some people have great jobs, as these pictures from photographer Andrea Francolini show. Yesterday, Andrea was onboard Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI.... [more]
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Sydney-Hobart Spectator fleet - no place for inexperienced skippers
Bob Wonders,
To join the recreational flotilla watching the start of the blue water classic demands a considerate helmsman. Commonsense is something we're all supposed to have, but it is often, too often, lacking among many recreational boat owners, be they skippering ‘tinnies' or megayachts.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart - Can Alfa Romeo spoil the party for Wild Oats XI?
Susan Maffei Plowden,
Race record-holder Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI, chasing her fifth consecutive line honours win, faces strongest competition from Neville Crichton's near sister Reichel/Pugh designed Alfa Romeo, and Mike Slade's Rolex Fastnet Race record holder ICAP Leopard, a Farr design from the UK.... [more]
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Rolex Trophy Rating Series pictures Team,
The Rolex Trophy Rating Series sailed today off Many Circle, was not without drama and Andrea Francolini was ther to capture it all... [more]
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Rolex Trophy Rating Series drama on day one
Di Pearson,
The Rolex Trophy Rating Series opened in dramatic fashion with progressive IRC Division 1 leader, Alan Brierty's Reichel Pugh 62 Limit, cutting away one spinnaker and tearing another, with Rolex Trophy and Rolex Sydney Hobart handicap favourites Living Doll and Loki pulling out of race two.... [more]
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Ethiad Stadium replacement mast gets loaded
Jody O'Brien,
There has been movement overnight in the race to get the replacement mast out of Europe for the Etihad Stadium Supermaxi.... [more]
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The McConaghy Prelude
John Curnow,
McConaghy built boats took out the top three positions in yesterday's SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour. This was on the very same day that ICAP Leopard III, the third of the McConaghy built titans coming in for the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart showdown, arrived back in the country, on the deck of a containership. So then, which other of the many McConaghy builds also occupied the podium?... [more]
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Tidetech Sydney to Hobart currents now downloadable through Expedition
Penny Haire,
Fans of Expedition tactical and navigation software are used to it doing very clever things - and now they have something new to play with for this year's Hobart.... [more]
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Queensland yachts have sights set on Sydney Hobart honours
Ian Grant,
Queensland yachts have their sights set on the Rolex Sydney Hobart. A rather parochial New South Wales journalist remains embarrassed following his rum fuelled statement that a Queenslander has never won the Sydney Hobart Race.... [more]
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YuuZoo, Big Boat Racing Team & Tourism Tasmania enter partnership
Tasmanian Government Communications Unit,
The Tasmanian Minister for Tourism and the Arts, Michelle O'Byrne, today announced an exciting partnership with the high-profile Big Boat Racing Team for the 2009 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. The partnership will give Tasmania a valuable digital presence and association with some of the biggest names in the online world.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart - Never over ‘til it's over
Jim Gale,
This year's 2009 SOLAS Big Boat Challenge served as a timely reminder for every skipper that no yacht race is ever won, or lost for that matter, until the finish line is receding astern.... [more]
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Classy entry for Rolex Trophy Rating and Passage Series
Di Pearson, CYCA media,
A classy field of 15 yachts, most of them entries in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, will front the start line of the Rolex Trophy Rating Series starting tomorrow, Thursday December 17.... [more]
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Etihad Stadium supermaxi mast on its way
Etihad Stadium Media,
The replacement mast for Grant Wharington's Etihad Stadium Supermaxi has been secured and paid for, then cut in half for ease of transport, and 50% of the cargo plane puzzle has been solved ... now it's just a case of hurry up but wait, until the mast arrives in Australia... [more]
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SOLAS Big Boat Challenge; Crichton Takes Two Wins in One Race
Crosbie Lorimer,
Tenacity and patience are clearly characteristics on which Neville Crichton, owner and skipper of the 100 foot supermaxi Alfa Romeo , places great value Alfa Romeo shadowed Wild Oats XI for most of the race, staying close enough to pounce should the Wild Oats crew make even the smallest mistake. Crichton and crew were duly rewarded at the last top mark when the Wild Oats spinnaker formed a w... [more]
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SOLAS Big Boat Challenge - Alfa Romeo puts the brakes on Wild Oats
Lisa Ratcliff,
Neville Crichton's 100 foot Alfa Romeo has sounded the warning bell for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart, capitalising on a costly mistake aboard Wild Oats XI to take a resounding victory in the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge.... [more]
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Sydney Hobart Alfa Romeo speeds to victory, Wild Oats XI hits the wine,
In the traditional Sydney Harbour hit-out today before the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart, Neville Crichton's supermaxi Alfa Romeo accelerated away from her rival, vigneron Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI, when Wild Oats XI fluffed their spinnaker hoist.... [more]
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Etihad Stadium faces its own challenge on SOLAS Big Boat Day
Jody O'Brien,
Whilst their competitors line up for the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge on Sydney Harbour today, the Etihad Stadium Supermaxi crew have got their own action happening on both sides of the ditch to get their boat to the start line on Boxing Day.... [more]
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ICAP Leopard's attempt at prestigious treble
Henry Foster,
ICAP Leopard, the 100ft super-maxi racing yacht owned by Helical Bar PLC chief executive Mike Slade, is about to land in Australia. Whilst ICAP Leopard will be hoping for more moderate conditions than those of the '98 race, Slade and his crew will still be eyeing the forecasts and praying for a stiff breeze.... [more]
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McConaghy built Alfa Romeo, Wild Oats & ICAP Leopard to battle it out
John Curnow,
Rolex Sydney Hobart Showdown - With at least six 100 foot Super Maxi's competing for Line Honours, the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race is likely to become one of the most historic ever. However the real race and the one everyone is talking about, is the battle between the three 'winningest' Supermaxis the world has ever seen - Alfa Romeo II, ICAP Leopard III and Wild Oats XI.... [more]
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Little Boat Challenge: From Maxis to Minis
Lisa Ratcliff, Rolex Sydney Hobart Media team,
This morning representatives from seven of the eight maxis lining up for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart became mini boat skippers, racing two feet long model boats in the inaugural Little Boat Challenge. Neville Crichton's Alfa Romeo, represented by helmsman Erle Williams, won the best of three series with two wins while Wild Oats XI's skipper Mark Richards picked up one victory.... [more]
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All hands to the liferaft for Wild Oats XI Sydney Hobart race crew
Rob Mundle,
It was all hands to the liferaft for the crew of Bob Oatley's supermaxi yacht, Wild Oats XI, today when they participated in a simulated ‘abandon ship' emergency exercise in preparation for the Rolex Sydney Hobart race, starting on Boxing Day... [more]
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Updating Rolex Sydney Hobart Fleet Notes
Rob Kothe & Trevor Walkley,
Sail-World's Fleet Notes for the 64th annual Rolex Sydney to Hobart race are on-line now. If you are racing south, check if the skipper has spelled your name right and has detailed correctly the number of Hobart's you've done. That is if he's not even put you on the list yet. If you see any errors, please ask your skipper to correct the boat notes now.... [more]
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