World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Roller Coaster Stop & Go For Sydney Hobart Fleet


A roller coaster stop and start for the Rolex Sydney Hobart race fleet

December 27, 2007 - The pace slowed at the head of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race as the three leading maxis sailed into southerly headwinds crossing Bass Strait on the approach to the northeast coast of Tasmania.

At 8pm Thursday (Dec 27) Wild Oats XI was still leading City Index Leopard by approximately 19 nautical miles with another 13nm to Skandia.

This morning's moderate to fresh sou'wester which put the three 98ft canting-keeled maxis on a fast and wet "firehose" close reach under large specialist reaching headsails eased and slowly headed them. The speeds of 12-15 knots they were hitting in the morning eased back to 8.5-12 by lunch time.

The close reaching in a moderate wave pattern suited the beamy Farr-designed Leopard. She has a chine in the aft third of her topsides when the boat is two-sail power reaching.

Owner/skipper Mike Slade from the UK explains: "If the boat is balanced properly she will heel a little bit and sit on the chine which gives you a much cleaner wake on the leeward side. It makes the boat think that it is longer than it actually is."

However throughout the morning Leopard was unable to make any gain on the 11nm lead that Wild Oats established in the straight downwind VMG running conditions overnight after the Boxing Day start.

But Leopard did hang in with Wild Oats, sailing a similar track and within distance and could be a real threat tonight in the light winds expected along the Tasmanian coast. During the day Leopard steadily stretched her lead over Grant Wharington's four-year-old Don Jones-designed Skandia to 11nm. By evening, with winds lightening and shifting southeast, Wild Oats drew away again.

While Bob Oatley's Reichel/Pugh designed Wild Oats XI, skippered by Mark Richards, is well-positioned to be first to finish for the third year in a row, her chance of breaking the race record she set in 2005 looks to have slipped away with the heading winds.

To beat the record time of one day 18 hours 40 minutes and ten seconds she would have to finish before 0740 tomorrow morning (Dec 28). Throughout today Wild Oat's estimated finish time blew out from two hours outside the record to five hours.

Forecasts and weather observations from Tasmanian coastal stations were not promising for the leaders closing in on Tasmania in the last critical miles of the 628nm course. Variable 5-15 knot winds were forecast for the waters east of Flinders Island in Bass Strait and the upper east coast of Tasmania.

Eddystone Point at the northeastern tip of Tasmania reported 15-19 knots from the southeast and St Helens, a third of the way down the east coast, had a south-sou'easter of 9-14 knots. A light southeaster is blowing in Hobart this evening.

IRC handicap overall leader was reckoned to be Huckleberry, a 25-year-old S&S 34 owned by Steve Humphries of Perth and one of the smallest boats in the race, followed by the maxis Wild Oats XI, Skandia, Leopard and then Rosebud, American Roger Sturgeon's Farr-designed STP 65.

Alan Whiteley's TP52 Cougar II retired from the race with chain plate damage and headed to Eden on the New South Wales south coast, bringing the total number of retirements to three in this unusually benign Hobart race. Seventy-nine boats are still racing.

ENDS

Latest World News | Top World News | World Digest | Archives | RSS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

ALSO:

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC