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Rolex Sydney Hobart Race

A while ago we talked about not unprecedented conditions, but certainly ones that had not been seen for ages.

Those that did a lot of Hobarts in the 90s would scoff at the thought of using the kite sheets for the whole journey. Their memories would be why they even bothered to clip them onto the rail at all.

Preparing the carpark? Well it seems as though the River Derwent is keen for anyone to get to Hobart Town in a hurry. Tonight there is some breeze, but tomorrow not much, with most of the models showing precious little. So it might be a case of nothing to speak of at Hobart, but there is not a lot at Iron Pot either.

Three of the four models are all getting very soft in the river now, but actual observations are not so bad, so it is a bit of a harbinger. Will it mean it won’t be too stressful for anyone coming in now and all day!

Now the carpark means a good stack up. You arrive, and then everyone else squashes up behind you, so all the calculations for overall standings get thrown as well. Shame when you worked so hard to get a lead and then you hand it back. Still, that is why they always say you have the start in the Harbour, then another one at the sea mark, another at Tasman Island and then the final one at the Iron Pot.

Komatsu Azzurro © Crosbie Lorimer http://www.crosbielorimer.com

Komatsu Azzurro © Crosbie Lorimer http://www.crosbielorimer.com

Taking us into this the potential new record is Perpetual Loyal, who passed Tasman Island at 2352hrs 27/12/16 and declared an ETA of 0230 28/12/16. They will now carve across Storm bay and then hope they can get her 30tonne mass up the River Derwent as elegantly as possible. Interetingly, the model that is most closely matching the actual readings at Hobart is ECMWF, and this is the only one showing fresh wind in the River Derwent. So did someone pour a lot of rum into the river?

As we go to press, Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban, the modified GenV TP52 has regained the lead from Jim Delegat’s VO70 Giacomo, then the Cookson 50s, UBOX (Bin Wang of China) and Victoire (Brian McMaster from WA), so the 50-somethings very much return to the fray. However, in order to finish first, first you have to finish, so this is far from over, and likely to have many a calculation occur as things unfold.

In other positive news, a little while ago, Phil Turner’s canting keel, Reichel-Pugh 66, Alive, responded to the statement, Have some great hard charging and hope all the kites are in good order! They replied with, “All kites still in one piece! Only damage has been a Genoa staysail halyard, and the Internet router. All fixed now, but being blind for that little bit during the tricky light period last night has hurt us.”

Great to hear that they are still in there swinging. Also back at it are the RP46, Hartbreaker, from Melbourne. Antony Walton and Alan Breidahl bought Shamrock, which was the old Secret Men’s Business 2 and have been super-active campaigners along the East coast of Australia ever since.

All smiles for the RP46, Hartbreaker. - CYCA Trophy Passage Series © Andrea Francolini https://www.facebook.com/AndreaFrancoliniPhotography/

All smiles for the RP46, Hartbreaker. – CYCA Trophy Passage Series © Andrea Francolini https://www.facebook.com/AndreaFrancoliniPhotography/

They had an issue with their starter motor, and despite their best efforts, they had been unable to repair the damage to the old one. They headed into Eden to replace starter motor. They were first there, but not keen to hang around too long and did not retire.

Recently Hartbreaker posted, “Great news to all. Hartbreaker is back in the Sydney to Hobart race, as were able to repair the problem… Alas we now don’t win the Eden prize. We have NOT retired and are heading to Hobart ASAP. Keep tracking us, and your support is wonderful. Spread the word. Go Heartbreaker!”

Ultimately then if you are looking for smiles yourself, then do keep a weather eye here on Sail-World.com for all the latest intel on the great, inspiring, captivating and very historic, blue water classic… The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

by John Curnow

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