Sydney Hobart blir någonting alldeles extra

I år är Sydney Hobart inte bara en av världens tuffaste race, utan också en fight mellan fem 100-fots supermaxis. Någon som vill gissa hur det går?

Wild Oats XI

Är som vanligt favorit. Specialbyggd bara för att segla det här racet så snabbt som möjligt och tråts några år på nacken så har man varje år uppdaterat för att få båten att bli snabbare. I år har man bland annat förlängt den DSS-foil som skjuts ut åt sidan för att ge rätande moment.

Följ dem på Facebook.

Comanche

Det här monstret från VPLP och Verdier Yacht Design har byggts bara för att slå rekord runt om på jordklotet. Båten är inte designad för Sydney Hobart och har inte en chans mot WOXI i vissa förhållanden. Men man kan också ha tur med vädret och då har man bra chanser att vara först i mål.

Som en korsning mellan en förvuxan VO70 och en IMOCA så kommer det att bli en utmaning att få ut all prestanda. Det är Jim Clark (Hetairos, Athena och Hanuman) som bekostar kalaset, ivrigt påhejad av Ken Read som också är skipper. Navigatör är Stan Honey.

Här ser man tydligt skillnaden mellan WOXI och Comanche:

Investec Loyal

Anthony Bell köpte resterna av Rambler 100 (ex Speedboat) efter att man tappade kölen på Fastnet. Nu sex år gammal, men har uppdaterats en del senaste året. Säkert en av världens snabbaste båtar, men den skrämmer också besättningarna som försöker tygla den. Var tvåa förra året.

Rio 100

Här är en båt som har haft många liv som Zana/Konica Minolta/Lahana. Ny ägare är Manouch Moshayedi från Kalifornien, som tidigare seglade TP52. Båten designades av Brett Bakewell-White som också har hjälpt till att förlänga båten till 100 fot och sett till att man fått en kraftfullare akter. Hon är lättare än de andra båtarna, men har fast köl. Blir det undanvind, eller lättare vindar, så kan hon hänga med – annars får hon det svårt. Det längre målet är väl att vinna Transpac.

Följ dem på Facebook.

Ragamuffin 100

Syd Fischer är 87 år och seglar till 46e Sydney Hobart. Inte illa. Han var först i mål 1988 och 1990 och vann totalt 1992. Den här gången har de återanvänt segelplan, mast, däck och en del annat men byggt ett nytt skrov. Med vattenballast, dubbla roder, 6 meters bredd och 6 meters djup så är det ingen liten pjäs. Det skall dpck mycket till för att man skall hänga med de snabbaste båtarna.

70TH EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL CLASSIC

The largest fleet in over a decade, a strong international challenge, an enthralling contest for line honours and a host of anniversary celebrations – the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race promises to be the most memorable in years.

Special edition

2014 marks the 70th edition of the race, a fitting occasion to pay tribute to an event that is an international yachting icon. Inspired by Corinthian origins, the Rolex Sydney Hobart was first held in 1945 and has run every year since. Its appeal was immediate, its popularity and reputation grew rapidly. Over the course of its history, the race has paid homage to feats of bravery, extraordinary seamanship, speed and endeavour.

Flight of the fastest

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Five 100-ft Maxis will contest the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, all harbouring ambitions of being the fastest boat to Hobart and grabbing the international headlines afforded to the line honours winner. The most talked about entry is American Jim Clark’s Comanche, the latest in Maxi yacht design, newly launched, sea-trialed, and shipped to Sydney, having selected one of the world’s greatest ocean races for its competitive debut. “Working out how we unleash the potential without breaking anything is going to be a steep learning curve for us all, and that transfers to the race itself as well. We need to be going at full throttle but we also need to work out her limits,” admits skipper Ken Read. “The other Maxis are all tried and tested in this race so we have a lot of catching up to do. But it is going to be a great first outing.”

Defending line honours winner Wild Oats XI is seeking to make history by finishing as the fastest boat for a record eighth time. “Its pretty rare a boat of this age can still be competitive at this level of racing,” explains skipper Mark Richards. “A wonderful owner like Bob Oatley continues to support us in the changes we want to make.” This includes continual improvements to the boat’s design and structure. Wild Oats XI currently holds the race record: 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes and 12 seconds. “The (race) record is an elusive thing, it can stand for 20 years as we have seen in the past. (Breaking) it comes down to conditions,” admits Richards. Wild Oats XI are fully aware of the threat a new contender like Comanche can pose. Back in 2005 Wild Oats XI won the race’s triple crown within weeks of being launched.

Syd Fischer’s Ragamuffin 100 has undergone so many structural changes that she’s arguably a new boat; the skipper’s expertise could prove a decisive factor in her assault for line honours. Anthony Bell on Perpetual Loyal, a former line honours winner (Investec Loyal, 2011) ran Wild Oats XI close last year and will seek to better last year’s performance as second fastest finisher. Perpetual Loyal has also been modified and upgraded. Manouch Moshayedi’s recently lengthened Rio 100 (USA), formerly Lahana, completes the line-up of 100-ft Maxis.

Personal challenges

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118 yachts from ten countries and from all Australian states are entered for the start of the 2014 race. This includes the defending champion Victoire that leads the charge of former race winners comprising Love & War, one of only two boats to win the race three times, and Balance (formerly Quest, winner in 2008). While the true target of all competitors is to lift the Tattersall’s Cup and receive the coveted Rolex timepiece awarded to the race’s overall winner, the event has always valued the personal achievements of its participants. Adding lustre to the occasion are some of the race’s rich array of characters seeking to extend their proud and impressive records: Duende skipper Tony Cable sails south to Hobart for a record 49th time; Martin Power’s Bacardi extends her lead as the boat to compete in the most Rolex Sydney Hobarts: 29; while Fischer becomes the race’s oldest skipper, 87 years of age and sailing the race for a 46th time.

Spectator start

Ahead of this year’s start around 30 yachts from the race’s past will participate in a Parade of Sail, part of the celebration to mark the 70th edition. A fitting Boxing Day appetiser for one of sailing’s great occasions as Australia comes to a standstill for the 13:00 race start. Over one hundred yachts will embark on the 628-nm journey south to Hobart, all seeking to add their entry into the race’s illustrious record books.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) and has been sponsored by Rolex since 2002.

5 Comments

  1. Sam V Dec 7, 2014 Reply

    Grym line-up, kan bli svårare än någonsin för WOXI att ta sin åttonde line honor. Frågan är om man ska vara vaken sent eller gå upp tidigt på annandagen för att kolla starten?

  2. Sam V Dec 9, 2014 Reply

    Första ronden till WOXI, efter korta inshoreracet SOLAS Big Boat Challenge. Förhållandena var tydligen till deras fördel med rätt svaga vindar.

    Line Honours results Start : 12:30

    Place Sail No Boat Name Skipper Fin Tim Elapsd
    1 AUS10001 WILD OATS XI Robert Oatley 13:50:34 01:20:34
    2 12358 COMANCHE Jim Clark Kristy Hin 13:51:56 01:21:56
    3 52570 BLACK JACK Peter Harburg 14:01:29 01:31:29
    4 SYD1000 PERPETUAL LOYAL Anthony Bell 14:02:32 01:32:32
    5 AUS01 ICHI BAN Matt Allen 14:08:09 01:38:09
    6 AUS03 SOUTHERNEXCELLENCEII Andrew Wenham 14:17:11 01:47:11
    7 6952 FOMO Rupert Henry 14:19:43 01:49:43
    8 AUS8899 ONESAILS RACING Ray Roberts 14:20:20 01:50:20
    9 52002 BALANCE Paul Clitheroe 14:20:22 01:50:22
    10 29 THE RED HAND Graham O’Neill 14:21:19 01:51:19
    11 10000 BRINDABELLA Jim Cooney 14:23:01 01:53:01
    12 SM24 TERRA FIRMA Nicholas Bartels 14:23:58 01:53:58
    13 SYD222 YOU’RE HIRED Geoff Morgan Andrew 14:25:17 01:55:17
    14 GBR5211L FRANTIC Michael Martin 14:25:22 01:55:22
    RET AUS280 SHOGUN V Rob Hanna

  3. Andy Dec 10, 2014 Reply

    Blir grymt. Jag kommer köra på Cookson 47an Dare Devil. Hoppas på ett bra race och topp placering ;)

    • Sam V Dec 10, 2014 Reply

      Good on ya, mate, lycka till Andy!

  4. Author
    Peter Gustafsson Dec 22, 2014 Reply

    The 117 yachts in the Rolex Sydney Hobart will face an early test this year, with the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) forecasting a sharp 20 to 25 knot southerly change on Boxing Day afternoon not long after the start.

    A southerly is expected to hold throughout the night at around 20 to 25 knots so it will be a long, wet first day for all crews.

    Andrew Treloar from the BOM says winds will get lighter the further south the boats go, and the front runners should cross a high pressure ridge around Gabo Island giving them light westerlies across Bass Strait on Saturday.

    Winds off the Tasmanian coast on Saturday night are also expected to be pretty light westerlies. They could be quite fluky.

    “The midfield and tail end boats will get a better go from the wind,” Treloar says. “They will tend to stay up around 10 to 15 knots right through as they cross Bass Strait and sail down the Tasmanian coast.”

    So this is a classic mid-sized to small boat forecast. A southerly on day one, stopping the super maxis from getting too far ahead, and a northerly after the glamour yachts are already tied up in Hobart.

    “We’re really excited by this forecast,” says Tom Barker, the navigator on the Ker 40 St George Midnight Rambler. “In terms of handicaps, the slow start means that is more time the big boats will have to take out of us.

    “If we do get some of this reaching and running northerly while the big boats have had slower stuff, it plays into our hands really well. The Ker 40 is very good upwind and very dynamic downwind.”

    Of course the very thing that so suits the smaller and heavier boats, that first day southerly, is also tough on the crews. Jenifer Wells, navigator on the 29 year-old Farr 43, Wild Rose, also likes the forecast, but concedes there will be some very seasick sailors that first night. “It is an issue we will have to manage,” she says.

    The strong southerly poses other issues for crews, especially on the lighter newer super maxis. They will have to keep their boats in one piece throughout this first day. They will be racing, but know that the race for line honours will not be won on day one. It can be lost, though, with one broken piece of gear.

    “That strong southerly down the coast will be the time to keep the boat in one piece,” says Wild Oats XI navigator Juan Villa. “Then it will start getting tricky when we approach Green Cape and this high pressure. That will be the first call we have to deal with: how to cross this. Then the lee of the Tasmanian coast is another tricky part of the race, and how to approach Tasman Island.”

    Comanche’s navigator, Stan Honey says: “Given the characteristics of Comanche we are happy with the fresh southerly, but the light air worries us, especially in the choppy seas left over from the southerly. That will suit Wild Oats XI.

    “The race will be won and lost in the two regions of light air. The first ridge as we get into the westerlies south of Green Cape, and then the light air on Saturday night. Those will be the critical times of the race.”

    With such disparate designs, there will be times when conditions favour one style of boat over another: the heavier, beamier, more powerful Comanche and Perpetual Loyal soaking up the tough stuff, the narrower Wild Oats XI finessing the lighter airs.

    “These boats are so different you can’t match race,” says Perpetual Loyal navigator Tom Addis. “You have to make the gains when you can and manage the losses.”

    Both races, one for line honours, the other, larger handicap race for the overall win, will be fascinating this year. Both are likely to be decided close to Tasman Island.

    The question all will be asking is: “Do we go out to sea on day one, with higher winds and bigger waves but a strong current? How fluky will it be off the Tasmanian coast? Go out to get beyond the Tasmanian wind shadow but add miles to the race track or stick with the rhumbline? What angle should you come into Tasman Island from”?

    Answers to these questions will decide who drinks champagne and who drinks beer in Hobart’s famous pubs a week from now.

    The start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race will be broadcast live on the Seven Network throughout Australia and webcast live to a global audience on Yahoo!7.

    A Parade of Sail will take place from 10.30am to 11.30am, before a fleet of 117 will set sail from three start lines in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on December 26 at 1.00pm AEDT.

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