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Posts Tagged ‘hobart’

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It may be one of the most isolated sailing venues on Earth, but almost 60 SB20s gathered up in the River Derwent off Hobart for their Worlds this week and had some of the best sailing of their lives.  French and UK teams took the top 5 spots, with the fledgling downunder fleet mixing it up with the rest of the Italian and French internationals who made the bucket list trek.  Good photos over here.

January 12th, 2018 by admin

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Former Oracle team member and 2017 Wild Oats XI crew Matt Mason turned the trash talking volume up to 11 in a recent interview with Auckland radio leader Newstalk ZB. He told host Matiu Workman that “Jimmy’s getting a little bit desperate for a win and he’s got it. But anyway, he can take that. That’s cool.”

Mason, who has a history of…let’s say… “creative” rules interpretation and has been dinged for breaking rules before, also was ‘dumbfounded’ by the same one-hour penalty that most of the world thinks was way too small.  Dumbfounded, or just dumb?

Never one to back down from a war of words or otherwise, Spithill fired back in this 10 minute interview just before the New Year, and he had some choice words for Mason and the amateur-hour tactics aboard the mighty WOXI.  Listen to the full interview above, and if you know where the actual link is on ZB give us a shout so we can send you there.

 

January 3rd, 2018 by admin

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Clean Report

It’s been a busy day over in Hobart, even for an island with ‘mania’ in its name.  First, Race Organizer the CYCA finally managed to get Youtube to release the Sydney Harbour race start video that had been in copyright limbo since the start of the race, more than two days ago.  If you weren’t watching, that means you could only see it while it was live – after which point the feed disappeared completely until just a few hours ago.  We withdraw all the props we gave them…

…and give a whole new set of props to the Hobart Jury, who did what most competent juries would have this morning when faced with a blatant port/starboard foul and an unrepentant offender in Mark Richards: They hit the offender hard with a 1-hour penalty, taking away their overall race record time and giving the line honors win and the all-important course record to Comanche. All this despite Richards and team sailing a blinder up the Derwent, using Oats’ light air prowess to grind down Spithill and the almost all-pro Comanche crew and beat them over the line by 18 minutes. Watch Sailor Girl’s coverage of the finish here and her interview with Comanche owner Jim Cooney here.

If you’ve been on an eggnog bender for the past few days you may have missed the moment when Mark Richards and WOXI tactician Ian Murray got caught pulling the full Cat 1 move on live TV with the poorest supermaxi lee bow in history. We’ve pre-set the Yahoo7 coverage video above to the moment of the foul, and what is shocking is not necessarily Ricko’s screwup – after all, it’s been a dog’s life since he’s competed at high level match racing, and without his tatician getting him set up for the situation, he was clearly a bit overloaded before the crash tack.  The real surprise comes from that fact that such an experienced crew, anchored by the guy who developed the foiling America’s Cup penalty system –  wouldn’t just do their 720 and be on their way!  For fuck’s sake they’ve got POWERED WINCHES.  Do your turns and don’t leave the results of a 600+ mile race and an all-important legacy win and outright race record up to the freaking jury at the finish line.  WOXI won by 27 minutes – does anyone think a 720 would have taken that long?

To reiterate our opinion: It wasn’t the foul that hurt WOXI.  It was the failure to take their turns, combined with the idiotic comments of their skipper in both written and TV interviews. To wit, Ricko told ABC: “If that was a blatant infringement then obviously we would do our turn but it actually wasn’t,” 

“In our minds we were clear ahead and we’ve got video footage to prove it.”

“If you read the rule book we did the right thing and that’s all there is to it.”

Maybe not.  And maybe it’s time Ricko did a couple of Grade 3 match races to remind himself how the rules work.

As you’d expect, the Hobart thread on Ocean Racing Anarchy has gone insane, with 500 new posts (from Aussies who hate Kiwis, Kiwis who hate Aussies, and Americans who hate everyone) in just a few hours.  Check in here.

Title shout to a recently dead legend.

UPDATE: Richo and Sandy O respond to their penalty:

December 28th, 2017 by admin

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Clean Report

The story of Anthony Bell’s road to the ultimate Aussie racing prize is epic and quintessentially Australian.  Picked up for a firesale price after nearly killing her entire crew in the Fastnet, this beast of a boat would throw obstacle after obstacle at Bell and his team over the past three years, until finally, the Perpetual Loyal (nee Speedboat) got it right this past week.  Bell picks up not only the first-to-finish trophy but also the overall Hobart race record, smashing Wild Oats‘ 2012 time by more than four hours – something not even the mighty Comanche could pull off.  WOXI was knocked out for the second straight year.

We’ve enjoyed Bell and his crews’ attitude over the years, and we’re intrested to hear about the ‘different sailing challenges’ he has said he’s moving on to now that he is ready to sell the big JuanK beast – at what is probably a much higher price than she’d have fetched before the team’s excellent performance…

Always precisely where the action is, Nic “Sailor Girl” Douglass sat down with a guy that embodies the kind of sacrifice and work ethic exemplified by the campaign.  The above video features Loyal boat captain Brad Kellett – the youngest sailor to participate in 25 consecutive Hobarts and one of the most respected boat captains in the Southern Hemisphere – and he talked all kinds of pre-race prep with Nic and even let her have a sneaky look around.

She also covered the finish of Perpetual Loyal (she was right on the pin), the dock arrival, champagne, press conference and banter, and interviewed Kellett, Bell & Slingsby live on the dock.  A few hours later, when the sun had come up, Brad was still on the boat, spending time with “his girl” when everyone else was in the pub. Champion.

You can see Sailor Girl’s full coverage, including her full pre-start show with over 30 boats, her start commentary, live with the first 14 boats home, Customs House action, and be in the draw to win some free stuff here.

A quick note about media: We’ve long criticized the CYCA and Rolex for years of weak coverage and a resulting lack of international exposure for this exceptional race as well as a lack of interest in improving – or even acknowledging – the problem. We’re glad to see things are changing.  While race organizers and their media partners continue to lag other events in understanding how the internet works, their content and media outreach have improved significantly for this year.  Even where they are behind, they are lucky to have a spark plug like the Sailor Girl showing them exactly how to do it right.  Why they aren’t just paying her to run their social media, podcast, interview world…we have no idea at all.

 

December 31st, 2016 by admin

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Sydney’s sailing scene adds another sad bit of news today with the passing of a true Harbour legend.  Roger Hickman won the Hobart last year and was a long time sailing crew with recently passed yachting icon Bob Oatley, but he’ll be remembered more for the hundreds of young sailors he helped inspire and mentor to become offshore racers.  From the Daily Telegraph:

Just over two months after skipper Roger Hickman collapsed at the end of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race, one of Australia’s greatest ocean racers has passed away.  The Sydney skipper, 61, contested his 37th Sydney to Hobart on his yacht Wild Rose in December. But just hours after the finish of the race he collapsed and was rushed to hospital in Hobart where numerous brain tumours were discovered.

“He was well loved and a special man,’’ said long-time friend and sailor Matt Allen, president of Australian Sailing.

Look for more info or share your thoughts about the indomitable Hicko in here.  Video interview above from our 2013 Hobart coverage in conjunction with McConaghy Boats.

 

March 1st, 2016 by admin

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We’re still not sure if Jim Clark’s monster-maxi logo is a Comanche or Keith Richards, but with her never-say-die ingenuity overcoming major appendage damage, Kenny Read and the big indian’s crew made mincemeat of the previously all-conquering Wild Oats XI. This despite a decade of design and redesign from the Oatley’s skinny recordholder specifically for this race – and only this race – and we remain confused and slightly shocked that the all-star crew of they Sydney boat was defeated by something as pedestrian as the failure of her $200,000 3DI mainsail.  Was it a brand new sail, and if not, why wasn’t it?  Was it poor crew work?  A ‘white squall’?

We already know that Comanche

We’d tell you more, but there ain’t much – and of course the best place in the world for all the news is right here on our forums.  Sailor Girl’s live feed from Constitution Dock ain’t bad either – here’s her interview with Ken Read and the rest of the Comanche crew earlier this morning.  Thanks entirely to Nic, we know Comanche’s victory was far from easy even with the silver arrow crawling home with her tail between her legs.  Ken explained that Comanche broke her board near the hull, hanging on the uphaul and banging around threatening the hull.  They cut the board free, but it collected the rudder on its way back, and after the shunt, the steering system was broken with the rudder facing backward.  Toolboxes came out, the steering was repaired, and they decided it was safe to continue.  For the rest of the story, hit Nic’s link above.

Pretty pictures of Comanche’s domination above from Crosbie Lorimer.

 

December 28th, 2015 by admin

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In the best Aussie tradition of having the biggest, sharpest knife in the bush, the legendary machete that is Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI is going back under the knife for a massive refit before the 2015 Hobart.  And when we say massive, we mean cut in half and rebuilt from the mast forward, with a huge DSS-style fin at the beam…and that’s only part of the job.  Will the WOXI boys continue to stay just ahead of the new curves from VPLP, Verdier, and the Juank?  Apparently, all it takes is money, hard work, money, great crews, money, skilled boatbuilders, and a little more money.  Gotta do something will all that cash meant for an Aussie AC team, perhaps? (A team which, hilariously, continues to publish a website, hosted on the Americascup.com domain, that loads with a huge image of the Harbour with the words “2017 – Australia Gets Back In The Ring” as of a few minutes ago).

Check out the details over here, and WOXI’s Facebook is always good for something interesting.

 

August 7th, 2015 by admin

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SCOTW

We promised to show you what newbie sailor chick Sally Fitzgibbons had to say to our Senior Editor yesterday, and here’s your delivery.  Big thanks to Land Rover Sailing, the Extreme Sailing Series, and the M32 Series for helping us put this short shoot together.  And a huge shout out to Petey Crawford for working overtime to convert some shitty iPhone video into something pretty – Sally’s looks certainly helped that, and she’ll be our Sailor Chick of the Week at least until the Hobart!

Learn more about this awesome athlete (and check out lots of bikini pics) over here.

 

December 11th, 2014 by admin

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Silently she glides toward the Harbour City, with one aim: Beat the mighty WOXI.  Game on.

 

November 29th, 2014 by admin

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Australia’s Brad Blanchard gave us some info on the kind of charity work we love.  Check out this amazing program; if you can help them out, do it.  If not, get over to Facebook and like them.  We’ll be following this one closely right through the 2014 Hobart, and we expect a major sponsor announcement today.

Southern ExcellenceOcean racing is a long way from the landlocked and war-torn country of Afghanistan, but it’s certainly helping some of our country’s wounded veterans heal their physical and psychological wounds.  Australia’s Soldier On charity was established in April 2012 by John Bale following the death of a mate, and the program is all about the Australian community coming together to show support for our wounded and ensuring they know we will always having their backs. It’s about giving those who have served our country the dignity they deserve and the chance to do and be whatever they choose through; providing access to inspirational activities, supporting rehabilitation and providing opportunities that empower them.

As a Soldier On volunteer and Veteran of modern conflicts including Iraq and Afghanistan, I developed my interest in sailing following retirement from the military.  After returning from combat, I craved adventure, excitement, competition, and competitive sailing and ultimately participation in the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Race was just the thing to scratch that itch. Recognising that a lot of other Veterans weren’t coping well after their service in conflict areas, I leapt at the chance to get involved with the Soldier On organisation. I realised that my involvement in sailing had helped me successfully transition out of the military and I wanted to inspire those who were struggling to get back into life, particularly those who had been injured, by helping introduce them to a sport I have become so passionate about.

After the first Soldier On Sailing Program was successfully run in 2013 out of Royal Perth Yacht Club, the organisation has now scheduled courses across Australia to help our Wounded Warriors get involved in the great sport of sailing. Incredibly, plans are now well under way to take one of these Veterans from sailing virgin to Category 1 ocean racer in less than a year by taking part in the 2014 Rolex Sydney to Hobart.

woolichAny sailor worth his salt knows that the Rolex Sydney to Hobart is one of sailings’ great ocean races and 2014 should see a huge and massively competitive fleet with the running of the 70th iteration. In thinking about how we could best capture the spirit of Soldier On’s Sailing Program and the resilience of wounded Veterans, we felt the Sydney to Hobart would be the perfect platform to raise awareness for such a great cause. As a fundraising event our venture will not only help Wounded Warriors recognise that there is life after service and injury but encourage wider participation in our great sport.

For the 70th Hobart, one ‘newbie’ wounded veteran and I will be crewing along with the Volvo 70 Southern Excellence II.  If you would like to follow our Soldier On 2014 Sydney to Hobart Challenge please head over to our Facebook Page here, and share it with anyone in the world who might appreciate it. To discover more about Soldier On and how they help our wounded Veteran community please visit them at www.soldieron.org.au. The official launch for this massive undertaking is today at the Royal Perth Yacht Club, and we are still looking for sponsors for this worthy program.
 

February 19th, 2014 by admin

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