Weather fronts key to 2011 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race

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Sail-World newsletter about the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, which starts on 26th December 2011  If you don't want to receive this news,     A single click here and you won't  (this will not affect other news you receive from us)

Weather fronts key to 2011 Rolex Sydney to Hobart race

When it comes to blue water classics, this is the big one! The 67th annual Rolex Sydney to Hobart race is now just three days and some hours away.

The 628 nautical mile race starts from Sydney Harbour at 1.00pm on Boxing Day, December 26 and heads south to Tasmania.

2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart start in Sydney Harbour  Daniel Forster/Rolex Carlo Borlenghi/Rolex

66 hours ahead of the race start, northerly winds are predicted for the start with a tropical cyclone generated following swell and after some hours of running, the first of the southerly fronts will hit the fleet some time on night one.

Depending on how much wind strength there is the southerly the big ocean swell rolling south and the new southerly swell, will randomly produce some interesting wave patterns for the 88 boat fleet and Bob Oatley's Wild Oats XI, the six times line honours winner, will be mostly likely be the first to be tested. It could be a drama filled first night; there have been many of these in the past.

Then the weather models diverge, some have a significant second front hitting the fleet and that weather system or the absence there of could well decide the outcome of the race.

While the mainstream media will as always follow the line honours battle, here at Sail-World we will focus on the handicap battles across the fleet.

Most Hobart races are won and lost in the last 40 miles from Tasman Light across Storm Bay, past the Iron Pot and up the Derwent River to the Hobart finish.

This has been cause of much heartache and grief in the last 66 Hobart races because the breeze up the Derwent River goes to sleep at night.

A boat arriving at the Iron Pot 11 miles from the finish line might have averaged ten knots from Eddystone Light to Storm Bay. However it may take two or three or four hours to go the last eleven miles depending just how tired the Derwent is.

Many a boat has been famous at 20:00 hours, but at 03:00 was drifting up the Derwent.

You see the wind gods use the Sydney Hobart race to remind mortals that most things in life are about timing.

We have an interesting fleet again this year from the tiny 30 footer Maluka of Kermandie, with 18 year old Peter Langman as skipper, Jessica Watson's Sydney 38 Ella Bache (one of eight in the fleet) to New York Yacht Club Rear Commodore Rives Potts 1969 built 48 footer Carina. Then there is the slew of TP52s and upwards.

Over the next three days we will bring you colour and movement, so stay with us and we will follow the race in great detail - as we do.

Right now you can catch up with some of the key pre-race stories ...

Rob Kothe & the Sail-World Team

Geoff Cropley bets on Bet Choice Lahana's upgraded super-maxi
Steven Sun,
Geoff Cropley, trimmer of Bet Choice Lahana, bets on their post facelift super-maxi at the Cruising Yacht Club Of Australia, on 23 December 2011... [more]
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Sydney 38s gear up for Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Jacqueline Levett,
Young Australian of the Year, Jessica Watson, has upped the stakes for the seasoned sailors of the Sydney 38 fleet in the Rolex Sydney to Hobart this year. Behind the fame and glory of the large maxis, last year's ocean race proved it ain't over until the smaller fleet crosses the line.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart - Race record ruled out
Jim Gale,
Early weather forecasts for the Rolex Sydney Hobart delivered to a panel of skippers this morning have ruled out a record run for the super maxis.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – Winning on handicap
Jim Gale,
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race – The race for line honours in the 628 nautical mile race is pretty straightforward. The fastest and largest boat wins. But winning the race on handicap, the ultimate prize for every ocean racer, is a much more complex business.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race record due to be broken
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011 - Over its sixty-seven year history, the race record at the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has only been broken ten times, an average of once every six and a half years. Given that the current fastest elapsed time of one day, eighteen hours, forty minutes and ten seconds was set in 2005, statistics suggest that the feat is due to be surpassed again.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart - its all about timing
Rob Kothe,
Computer driven handicap predictions for the 628 mile Rolex Sydney to Hobart race ignore the fact that most races are won and lost in the last 40 miles from Tasman Light across Storm Bay, past the Iron Pot and up the Derwent.... [more]
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Sydney to Hobart 2010 photos by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi,
Sydney to Hobart 2010 images from photographer Carlo Borlenghi... [more]
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Rolex Trophy – Rating Series: Hooligan defends title
Di Pearson,
Marcus Blackmore has successfully defended his 2010 Rolex Trophy – Rating Series title. Blackmore, from the Royal Prince Alfred Yacht Club on Pittwater, won three of the six race series, while Rob Hanna, from Royal Geelong Yacht Club in Victoria, tried valiantly to beat what is regarded as Australia's top TP52, but came away with just one win.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart - Won and lost in the dark
Jim Gale,
Ed Psaltis and Bob Thomas have always believed the exhausting marathon down the NSW coast and across eastern Bass Strait can be won and lost in the dark.... [more]
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SOLAS Big Boat Challenge - Wild Oats XI gets the gun
Lisa Ratcliff,
Wild Oats XI and Investec Loyal were well within shouting distance as they hit the line side by side for the start of the SOLAS Big Boat Challenge. With five Rolex Sydney Hobart line honours wins and now five SOLAS Big Boat Challenge bullets under their belts, Richards and the rest of the crew can feel confident.... [more]
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Rodriguez skippered Merit to contest Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Ian Grant,
Merit, the former Globe race Volvo 60 will have plenty of loyal supporters when Whitsunday SC's Leo Rodriguez contests the gruelling Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race starting on Boxing Day. Every person who has either experienced sailing on this famed 1997 vintage Volvo race yacht along with her huge fan club of international, national and Whitsunday Sailing Club members will again monitor progress.... [more]
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One for the Road prepares to take on another Sydney Hobart
Will Canty,
This weekend Newcastle Yacht Club sailor Kim Butler's One for the Road, an Archambault A40 sets sail to Port Stephens beginning their work up to the 2011 Rolex Sydney to Hobart.... [more]
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Is the Rolex Sydney Hobart in the pocket of the 50s? (Part I)
John Curnow,
Once upon a time, the term Pocket was applied to things like Battleships and Maxi racing yachts. You could even say it suited to the venerable Jumbo of the skies, the 747, with its SP derivation early on in its model cycle. The underlying principle for all of these variations on a theme is the same.... [more]
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Wharington's Wild Thing ready for Sydney Hobart line honours challenge
Tracey Johnstone,
Sneaking softly back into the maxi yacht scene with Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours its primary goal, is a sinister, powerful looking yacht. Grant Wharington's 30 metre Wild Thing, painted black from the hull to the boom and then right up to the top of the massive 41 metre mast, projects an alluring image of power.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - Ocean Affinity aims for top 20
Carolyn Lewis,
Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race 2011 starts on Boxing Day (26th December) when a mum of two and Melbourne QC are to join Brisbane sailing boat Ocean Affinity. Brisbane mum, Danielle Kendall from Hamilton, Brisbane will be joining the crew for her second Rolex Sydney Hobart yacht. This mother of two young children takes to the Ocean as the only girl in a 12 'man' crew.... [more]
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Queenslanders preparing for Rolex Sydney Hobart
Ian Grant,
Internationally respected Mooloolaba Ocean racing yachtsman Andrew Turton will take a welcome break from the cold European winter to be home for Christmas.... [more]
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Cougar II to replace Valheru for Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Peter Campbell,
Tony Lyall, who is a member of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, will campaign for the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race with his new TP52 Cougar II which is replacing his well-known Elliot 13 Valheru. The TP52 is one of the world's top performing grand prix ocean racing yachts and is also Victorian based.... [more]
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Rolex Sydney Hobart media launch images by Andrea Francolini
Andrea Francolini images,
Andrea Francolini sent these images from today's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race media launch, conducted by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.... [more]
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Cabbage Tree Island Race - Victoire firms after win
Di Pearson,
Darryl Hodgkinson's Beneteau 45, finished the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 180 nautical mile race Cabbage Tree Island Race shortly before 1.30am this morning. Second was Ed Psaltis/Bob Thomas/Michael Bencsik's new Ker 40, AFR Midnight Rambler.... [more]
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Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race - On to Rolex Sydney Hobart
Peter Campbell,
In the Hempel 38th Gosford to Lord Howe Island Yacht Race, all but one of the eight yachts that contested have been nominated for this year's Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, including the line honours winner The Stick and handicap division winners Wild Rose (IRC) and Quetzalcoatl (PHS).... [more]
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2010 Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race
The iconic blue water event, the most reported and followed annual ocean yacht race in the world....
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