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Sydney Hobart – Dog's Day Afternoon

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 25 Dec 2021 17:55 PST
Leg 3, Cape Town to Melbourne, day 09, on board Brunel, Peter Burling stearing, Water on deck Mode: ON (24 / 7) © Ugo Fonolla / Volvo Ocean Race

Pondering. Dog’s love to put their head out the window of a car doing 80kph, but blow in their face, let alone bring out the drier, and they run a mile. Riddle me that, Batman. So ocean racers buy expensive gear, and select the smock over the far easier to work with jacket to handle the greenies, but rain has us all cowering in the corner of the cockpit begging to be the one to go down below to make the coffee, or toast the sandwiches. What is with that?

The 2021 Sydney Hobart fleet looks set to have some showers to add to the equation, certainly for the first afternoon and night. Yummy. Not many they say, but you can bet they’ll find the fleet. They always do…

What is also interesting is for those without huge pace, the inshore option looks favourable, until Nowra roughly, when a dig out would seem wise, as you will be coming in close to Flinders Island after the jaunt across the paddock. Better angle.

Also seems like good old Got A Bit On Island (aka Gabo Is) may be living up to it’s name. Not so much for uprange wind, but possible more for confluence of seaway, and tide, with quite a Westerly approach favoured for making Flinders Island – say 40 degrees South to 42.

Of course, you might consider that to be the next place for another start, just like the Heads, Tasman Island and the Iron Pot always are. Reason being the high that will dominate Tasmania is going to be hard to play with. This could allow smaller craft to do some catching up. We’ll see. Waiting for catabatic’s or trying to find something offshore will be crucial, but you won’t want to be too far away for it will be Sou’West the further South you go, so you’ll have to work for every mile, mostly bang on the nose.

Given that the second half is still effectively a work in progress, and changeability is the key to understanding weather in Australia during Summer, we might yet see several restarts, so it is possible there will be a lot of covering of your opposition, unless you’re dead sure you have it right. You’d hate to be in the carpark when they are scooting away…

Stay safe, thanks for tuning into, and all the best for 2022.

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