One of the easy guides to a boats preparedness going into the Hobart is Middle Harbours Short Ocean Racing Championship (SSORC), the traditional short and sharp offshore series at the end of November.
Boats that are on site and sorted a month before Boxing Day have to be a better bet than those that are still bolting on chain plates two or three sleeps before the start of this blue water classic.
In the handicap fleet, Stephen Ainsworth's Reichel Pugh 63 Loki, Geoff Ross Reichel Pugh 55 Yendys and Bob Steel's 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart overall winner Quest, the top three IRC Racers at the SSORC are well sorted, while for others the tyranny of distance delivers issues.
Major spinnaker issues on the Kiwi built and Sean Langman chartered Investec Loyal and an ordinary start by Ran in Saturday's Rolex Passage Race were not positives this close to the big race. However, at least they were on a start line a week before the main event.
Right now its safe to assume the work to be done' list on Grant Wharington's Etihad Stadium, the former Skandia Wild Thing, is a bit longer than most.
Dismasted off the Victorian coast just nine days ago, most pundits had written the 30 metre (98 foot) supermaxi off for 2009.
However Wharington is a fighter; in theory the two parts of the 45 metre Alfa Romeo mast that has to modified for his supermaxi Etihad Stadium, will touch down on a Qantas flight from Singapore at 1400 on (Monday) and will arrive by truck at the Sydney City Marina in Rozelle Sydney at 1700 Monday. Then the work begins.
While Wharington remains his 'ever positive' self, we wonder what he actually thinks his chances of getting past Eden with the unexpected interruption to his preparation, really are? Right now there are a lot of boats that might be a better Hobart arrival bet. Earlier in the week the Melbourne sailor was saying the odds were 1000-1 against.
Today he was much more upbeat. 'We're taking everything one hour and one day at a time and we're quietly confident that we will make it to the start line on Boxing Day for the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart.'
Given the complexity of the task and the time available, if Wharro and his supermaxi Etihad Stadium race up the Derwent into fourth place or better on line honours in the 2009 Rolex Sydney to Hobart, it will be the stuff of dreams...
Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team
Team Jolly Aussie 2009 Update: Sail Sydney and Sail Melbourne Team Jolly Media, New 470 Womens crew, Jo Aleh and Polly Powrie reflect on the recently completed Sail Melbourne Open 470 event on Port Philip Bay, Melbourne: Time for the last update of 2009! It has been a rather busy year for us, and we have just finished competing in the Australian Sail Down Under series, which for us consisted of the Sail Sydney Regatta (SIRS) in the first week of December, and last week, the S... [more] Onsend this story
IODA Asian Championship Langkawi, Malaysia, IODA Asian Championship full event reports. The event ran from December 12 to 20 in Langkawi, Malaysia. Apart from an OCS in race 10, Noppakao Poompat sailed flawlessly to continue her dominace of the fleet. After discards, she had an incredible 18 point lead over her closest rival.... [more] Onsend this story
Launceston to Hobart - Secret Weapon in duel for line honours Peter Campbell, Hobart yacht owners Gary Smith and Geoff White will have a 'secret weapon' aboard their 45-footer, re-named The Fork in the Road in a bid to outsail rival owner Andrew Hunn in his 40-footer Mr Kite. The two yachts are again expected to duel for line honours in the L2H, with The Fork in the Road defending her line honours win last year.... [more] Onsend this story
2009 UIM-WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship final standings Class 1, The WPPA has issued the final points and classifications for the 2009 UIM-WPPA Class 1 World Powerboat Championship.... [more] Onsend this story
Rolex Trophy Rating Series: Limit wins series – Living Doll the race Di Pearson CYCA Media, They judged the Shark Island start perfectly, were the third yacht heading out of Sydney Harbour and then Alan Brierty and his Limit crew mowed down the JV 72 RÁN, gybing inside her under spinnaker, with the finish line in sight, catching a nice puff to beat RÁN, and more importantly, Loki, their main adversary for the series.... [more] Onsend this story
Rolex Sydney Hobart - Follow the action with Bass & Flinders Cruises Sail-World, On Boxing Day Bass & Flinders vessels Ocean Dreaming I, Ocean Dreaming 2 and Sun Cat will follow the Sydney to Hobart fleet right from the start. ‘We take our boat out with 200 passengers and we are able to follow them down the leading boats because our vessels do travel at about 28 knots, so we can keep up with them out on the ocean.... [more] Onsend this story
Christmas Book Ideas for your favourite sailor Lisa Mylchreest, There's nothing like a good nautical book as a Christmas present for the sailor in your life - or even for the would-be sailor in your life. Sail-World has selected a few suggestions to take the pain out of at least some of your Christmas shopping:... [more] Onsend this story
More Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas announced Louis Vuitton media, The World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA) and Louis Vuitton today announced more Louis Vuitton Trophy for 2010 and early 2011.... [more] Onsend this story
Rolex Trophy Rating Series - Loki throws a spanner in the works Di Pearson, Rolex Trophy Rating Series - Stephen Ainsworth's Loki has thrown a spanner in the works of near-sistership Limit, owned by Alan Brierty, today taking control of the Rolex Trophy Rating Series. It was Loki's turn in the Passage Race. 'Conditions were changeable, but it was basically a reach in and a reach out for the first few boats.' - Stephen Ainsworth.... [more] Onsend this story
Movable feast - Louis Vuitton Trophy Hong Kong moves to January 2011 All4One Media, The World Sailing Teams Association (WSTA) and Louis Vuitton today announced more Louis Vuitton Trophy regattas for 2010 and early 2011, the new international events to follow the successful regatta held in Nice, France, last month.... [more] Onsend this story
UK maxi ICAP Leopard ready for ashes style battle with aussie defender Rolex Sydney Hobart Media, UK maxi ICAP Leopard will arrive in Sydney on Saturday 19 December, ready to race and hungry to beat the rest of the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet to Hobart.... [more] Onsend this story
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