Posts Tagged ‘Sydney-Hobart’
Wild Oats XI may have added yet another Line Honors victory to her long and illustrious career, knocking back the nastiest fleet of challengers to her throne yet in the SOLAS Big Boat Series. It’s hard to take the results too seriously of what is essentially a practice start for the Hobart, but there’s no doubt at all that Loyal (a/k/a Speedboat) had WOXI’s number in around 20 knots of breeze, sailing away from the 100 foot maxi upwind and down. That is, until a late douse of a headsail that owner Anthony Bell called a “North R-1″ that turned rapidly into $150 grand worth of North-branded tarpaulin. Here’s the best video of the sail implosion, while here’s some from a different angle, and here’s some more. Note the Black Jack (ex-Telefonica) flying down the track ahead of both maxis; when you remember that Volvo 70s own pretty much every offshore monohull speed record, you find it harder and harder to dismiss them regardless of the length advantage for the 100 footers.
Bell said they already had another big reaching sail being sourced from the US; either way, it was a great outing for the big JuanK boat that perhaps will presage what we’ll see in the race: The Speedboat hauling the mail until she blows a gasket, when either WOXI, Beau Geste, or one of the Volvos will sail on by. As much as we dig the thing’s beastly nature and raw look, we have to remember that Speedboat/Rambler/Loyal has broken in more races than she’s finished. Like a Volvo 70 only more so, you spend most of the time slowing the boat down rather than speeding her up.
Even the bookies agree; betting odds for Loyal have decreased to just over 2$, while WOXI is up to 1.80. Place your bets and post your thoughts on everything Hobart in the all-encompassing thread, and note that Sailing Anarchy is finally doing something about the canned coverage of the Hobart we all suffer through every year: We’re sending The Cleans down to bring you interviews, photos, and live (or near-live) video of the dock and start for the 2013 race, making it the most comprehensively covered Hobart Race in recent memory. With the support of McConaghy Boats (and using their Facebook Page to bring you rich reports from the Harbor and beyond) and with embedded reporters throughout the fleet, our coverage begins on Christmas day and runs right through New Year’s.
Photo thanks to “Brit down under”, with a full gallery of his pics here.
December 11th, 2013 by admin
Occasionally we’ll relax Sailing Anarchy’s “No Press Release” policy, but only if (a) something awesome is involved, (b) it’s for a good cause, or (c) hot chicks are involved. The following meets two out of three criteria, and more importantly, shows some of the constantly good work that CYCA does with the month-long circus around Australia’s biggest sailing event. The only qualifier: You need to get to Sydney…by next weekend. Check it out, and of course use the community for more info about everything Sydney-Hobart.
The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia has once again launched its eBay auction that provides an exclusive opportunity to bid for places onboard one of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race favourites, when they compete in the CYCA’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge – the spectacular maxi yacht race around Sydney Harbour on Tuesday 10 December.
Seven Rolex Sydney Hobart entrants have offered places onboard for the auction and they include: Wild Oats XI, Perpetual LOYAL, Wild Thing, Brindabella, Southern Excellence II and Giacomo, all providing two places available for auction, with Black Jack making one guest spot available. Other yachts to also offer places are Terra Firma and Ginger.
In a much anticipated event, this will be the first time Bob Oatley’s super maxi Wild Oats XI will line up against Anthony Bell’s new Perpetual LOYAL, the former Rambler, and the rivalry between the two will be fierce. However, the two will also have to deal with Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing.
This will be the seventh year that the fleet will race to raise awareness and money for the CYCA’s Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) Trusts, which have donated just on $900,000 to search and rescue organisations Australia-wide and provide assistance (financial and other) to immediate families of those lost at sea during Yachting Australia sanctioned races.
Bid today for your chance to sail on board one of these yachts!
Wild Oats XI
Wild Oats XI secured her sixth line honours victory under the guidance of Mark Richards in last year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, broke her own race record, which now stands at 1 day, 18 hours, 23 minutes 12 seconds and won the race overall. It was the second time the super maxi had achieved this historic treble and the only boat to do so twice in the race’s history. As it does each year, Bob Oatley’s super maxi has undergone further modifications that include having a radical, retractable, hydrofoil-type wing fitted in a bid to make her even faster when sailing downwind. Two places are on offer on one of Australia’s most recognized super maxis.
Anthony Bell returns to the blue water classic with the former Rambler 100. Since acquiring the boat earlier this year, Bell has embarked on a mammoth project to re-build the yacht since her keel snapped off, causing her capsize in the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race, after taking line honours in numerous races. She was originally and aptly christened Speedboat – for good reason – and took line honours in her maiden outing, the Newport Bermuda Race.
Reputedly the fastest racing 100 footer in the world, buckle up for a white knuckle ride. The SOLAS Big Boat Challenge will be the first time Perpetual LOYAL and Wild Oats XI will sail against each other before the Rolex Sydney Hobart. Two places are on offer on this slick super maxi.
Two places on Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing were also posted on eBay today. The Rolex Sydney Hobart 2003 line honours winner has been a process of evolution over the last ten years. Modifications were made to the yacht last year, which included extending her to 100ft and making improvements to her original hull shape. Earlier this year, Wharington secured a line honours win in the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race which she followed up by taking line honours in the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in July
Australia’s most famous maxi Brindabella, a former line honours winner of the Rolex Sydney Hobart and holder of the record for a conventionally ballasted boat (1d, 20h, 46m, 33s set in 1999). Designed by Scott Jutson, Brindabella still turns heads today with her sleek lines and elegant sail plan and still holds many Australian east coast race records including the Sydney Mooloolaba Yacht Race, Sydney Noumea Race, and the Sydney Wollongong Race.
Southern Excellence II
Andrew Wenham purchased the former Ichi Ban in March this year and won line honours in the protracted Gosford Lord Howe Island race in a time of 63hrs, 45mins 22secs; one of the longest in the race’s recent history after being marred by light and fluky winds. In similar conditions in this year’s Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, Southern Excellence II finished fifth on line and fifth in IRC Division 0 and then took line honours in the Blue Water Pointscore’s Bird Island Race in October. Wenham has upgraded a number of systems on the boat to improve her IRC rating and to suit his requirements.
New Zealander Jim Delegat, Managing Director of Delegat Wine Estate (distributor of Oyster Bay wines), purchased the 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race winner, Groupama earlier this year. Renamed Giacomo, she has a canting keel, dagger boards and the latest in rigging. Was built for fresh off the wind conditions and will be impossible to stop in the right conditions in the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
One guest spot is available on Black Jack, the former 2011-2012 Volvo Ocean Race entrant Telefonica, which Spaniard Iker Martinez won the first three legs of the race with, but ultimately finished the VOR fourth overall. Peter Harburg shipped his new Black Jack to Australia earlier this year and ordered modifications to bring the yacht up to Australian standards. She made her Australian ocean racing debut in the Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race in July and finished third on line and in IRC Division 0 following a tight tussle with the top two, Wild Thing and Lahana.
The name Terra Firma lives on again – Nicholas Bartels stepped up from his successful Sydney 47 to the Cookson 50 formerly known as Shogun in 2010. In the 2011 Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race, Terra Firma finished ninth overall, and third in IRC Division 1 and ORCi Division 1. With some talented sailors onboard and a strong crew, Terra Firma will be out to do well in this year’s SOLAS Big Boat Challenge
This 60 foot Swan is a well-tuned ocean racer owned by Leslie Green. In 2011 Ginger took the line and IRC double win in a foggy Ocean Pointscore race to Port Hacking and is a regular CYCA competitor. She also won the Rolex Trophy Series Passage race in 2008.
Bidding for all ten items will close on 6th December 2013. Terms and conditions apply, see the individual URL’s for details.
The highly charged SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, is a big attraction to spectators both on and off the water, and starts at 12.30pm on Tuesday December 10. It takes the yachts on a tight 14 nautical mile course starting off Steele Point at Vaucluse, down the Harbour to Manly for two and a half laps. The yachts will pass many of Sydney’s famous landmarks along the way, including Fort Denison, Mrs Macquarie’s Chair and the Sydney Opera House, which provides the picturesque finish line.
December 5th, 2013 by admin
With the first real competition for line honors in years, excitement continues to build over the 2013 Sydney-Hobart fleet. We showed you the new Carkeek 60 landing in Australia a couple of weeks ago, and here’s something sexy from Carkeek’s old partner; it’s the new Botin 80 Beau Geste hitting the harbor after a balls-to-the-wall build sched at Cookson’s.
The canting mini-maxi replaces the almost new Farr 80 that famously and terrifyingly cracked in half during last year’s Auckland to Noumea Race, and she has some new thinking and quite a bit more structure than the ill-fated boat; given the right conditions, this thing is going to be a rocket, even capable of line honors if everything went her way.
In the meantime, Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI looks to have suffered a mast failure during testing/practice of her new rig. Eyewitnesses said the rig compressed at the gooseneck; no big deal for the Southern Spars techs on hand to fix it.
In other news, Loyal (ex Speedboat) got some good facetime on the 18 Footers broadcast last week; this link will take you right to it. Stick by the Hobart thread for a stream of news that will continue to get better and better as Boxing Day approaches!
Cheers to Rockstar Yachting for the shot (via FB).
November 20th, 2013 by admin
Matt Allen’s new Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban has barely more than a month before the Hobart Race; here’s hoping the team can get this monster ready in time to get some solid practice in. Looking quite a bit like her smaller 40-foot stablemate, this thing might even be faster than the canting VO70 she replaces.
For everything Sydney-Hobart, check the thread, and thanks to SA’er ‘chouff’ for finding the photo. And if you don’t like beautiful French women posing as teenage lesbians, don’t go here to find out about the controversial, Cannes-winning film that gave us the title for this piece.
November 13th, 2013 by admin
Post Of The Week
The annual Sydney-Hobart ‘Let Multihulls Race’ thread is raging nicely in the forums, and the rambling discussion turned to the reasons behind the Hobart fleet’s shrinking trend, both in fleet size and worldwide stature. Compared to the record fleets of recent Fastnets, Caribbean 600s, and Middle Sea races the Hobart is stagnant, even with one of the best Maxi/Canter/Mini Maxi fleets in recent memory on the line.
Longtime SA’er and master debater ‘Chris 249′ got deep into the reasons for the Hobart’s decline, and his opinion is our Post Of The Week. Continue the debate in the thread.
The Hobart is very much a big-boat fest these days, whereas when it was more popular the fleet was mainly composed of much smaller boats. That means that very few people can now afford to run a “competitive” boat, as in one that will finish close enough to the bulk of the fleet and among a group of similar boats.
The change can be seen by looking at the Hobart itself over time, and in comparison with the Fastnet both now and then. The fleets used to look quite similar in terms of the proportion of big boats to small boats; now the Fastnet has a vastly stronger small-boat and medium-size boat fleet.
Looking at the last races (and throwing Hobart PHS boats and Fastnet 2H IRC boats in their respective divisions) we see that there is a striking similarity in the number of boats of TP52 size and speed and more in each race. The Fastnet had 24 starters in the Canting and Zero classes (One 100′ supermaxi, TP52s, fixed keel mini maxis, Volvo 60, Swan 60, Farr 52 OD etc) whereas the corresponding classes in the Hobart attracted 23 boats, including three 100′ canters and a 100′ fixed keeler.
But in the next size down (39-46′ IRC racers like Rogers and Kers and big cruisers) the Fastnet had 52 boats, the Hobart just 17. The class after that (Beneteau 45s and 40s, etc) had 89 boats in the Fastnet and 19 in the Hobart.
In the smallest boats the disparity is even more marked; once you get under IRC 1.05-ish, (10m IRC racers, J/109s, Beneteau 36.7, Sydney 36, J/35, old IOR boats of 47′ or less) there’s a staggering 184 boats in the Fastnet compared to 17 in the Hobart!
If you add in the Class 40s and Figaro IIs (one designs I left out of the above calcs as there is no comparable scene in Oz) the proportion of ‘small’ boats in the Fastnet increases even more.
It’s also interesting to look at long-term trends. I found the ’79 Fastnet and ’77 Hobart fleets to compare their composition with the current fleets. At the time, the Hobart fleet (132 boats) was much healthier (compared to today and to populations) compared to the record Fastnet fleet (303 boats).
The Hobart fleet’s composition was also strikingly similar to that of the Fastnet, in terms of boat size and design apart from the fact that Class I (50 to 43 foot racing boats and big old cruisers) was miles bigger in the Fastnet, partly because of the 50-ish boats that did it because of the Admiral’s Cup*. For example if we look at (roughly) IOR 34-30 footers we see 116 boats in the Fastnet and 53 in the Hobart; pretty close to the ratio between overall fleet sizes.
Over time, though, the races have diverged to the Hobart’s cost. In the Fastnet it looks as if the number of “raceboats” over 38′ has actually declined as the fleet has grown and people move to cruiser/racers. The number of boats of 36′-ish and less has stayed static. The growth has been in the 40 foot cruiser/racers like Benny 40s….the sort of boat so many slag off but which keep so much of the sport going.
In contrast the Hobart has a larger number of big race machines, but a vastly smaller number of small boats and a much smaller overall fleet. If the Hobart had maintained the same sort of fleet composition as it used to have, and the same sort of composition the Fastnet still has, we’d see dozens of boats like J/109s, Archie A 31s etc bouncing down to Hobart.
And why have the small boats stopped? Not sure. The Cat 1+ safety requirements have hurt. The accent is also all about the big boats, and there’s no real stepping stone from small boats and small races like there used to be. I think in the last days of the “small boats to Hobart” scene there was a strong (and often expressed) feeling that anything under 36 feet just was not welcome. As another example the CYCA, which used to have a JOG division (= MORC, for boats under 31′) AND a separate half ton class, now bans any boat under 30′ from even doing day races offshore. We have nothing like the Euro/UK quarter ton and half ton scenes or UK JOG, or the smallish OODs of the USA; there’s no replacement for the JOG and half/quarter scenes of yore. No owner-measured IRC certs are allowed so almost no small boat owners spend the extra bucks for full measurement and there’s no PHRF, so for the small-boat owner there’s only golf handicap and therefore no reason to try hard or sail well.
I sold an investment property a few months back and thought of chucking the cash into a boat for the Hobart etc, but decided there was no point when the small-boat numbers have dwindled so much that there’s no one to play with. It’s a vicious circle, especially when no one seems to give a fuck about stopping the spiral. So I race dinghies and boards and will do some local racing; ironically now I’ve moved away from Sydney’s big boat oriented scene I can race my 4kt “SB” again. CBF crewing on big boats as I don’t want to specialise in doing just one thing.
What the Hobart and Fastnet analysis does show, IMHO, is that increasing the proportion of big fast boats, and the emphasis on them, really does nothing to increase the race’s status, viability, fleet size or competitiveness. The idea that putting in big multis will increase interest and therefore numbers falls down, IMHO, when we see that putting in big canters has done nothing to increase fleet sizes and may have reduced them. People are not getting into the race because the fast boats are getting faster….. in fact they are no longer turning up like they used to. It’s no fun getting to Hobart to find that the party is over.
As is so often the case, it’s the much-abused practical boats like Beneteaus that are keeping the sport strong and healthy, and the scene that concentrates on spectacular boats is the one that is sick.
And the Fastnet shows that people WILL still sail offshore in fairly small and cheap boats if they are encouraged, rather than bagged out for sailing 5 knot shitboxes. But there seems to be a big cultural difference between the RORC and CYCA these days.
All just my 2¢ worth, it’d be interesting to hear from Fastnet and Bermuda racers and guys who still do the Hobart.
* 57 boats did the AC but at least 9 or 10 of them were chartered UK boats or boats from France, Holland, Ireland etc which would have done the Fastnet even if there had been no AC.
November 1st, 2013 by admin
It’s better late than never for the new Carkeek 60 Ichi Ban, which arrived in Oz a couple of weeks ago from Dubai just in time for fitout and launch before the 2013 Hobart Race.
With a fleet including a couple of late model Volvo 70s, five 100-footers including the Loyal (ex-Speedboat), and a couple of badass mini-maxi downwind monsters — Ichi and the sparkly new Botin 80 Beau Geste – and even the full fleet of Clipper/Winnebago 70s, 2013 is looking like the best Hobart big-boat fleet in a decade.
Got news? Got goss? Got questions for the more-than-50,000 Sydney-area sailors who make Steak-and-Kidney the biggest Sailing Anarchy audience in the world? Hit the Hobart thread.
October 24th, 2013 by admin
NZ wine magnate Jim Delegat has to be the unluckiest Kiwi racer of the past few years. First, the poor bloke gets anally raped by a subsidiary of Salthouse Marine, which allegedly and quite creatively moved around the million-plus dollars he paid as a deposit for a 68-foot custom job before going bankrupt. After licking his financial wounds, Delegat then caught a ride with Gavin Brady on the sexy Beau Geste for the tropical Auckland to Noumea race. A sweet yacht, a great race, and a great big fucking crack in the hull famously ended that bid, with all crew rescued.
Delegat seems to have learned his lesson, and for the 2013 Sydney-Hobart Race (and let’s all get used to not using “Rolex” anymore) he stopped screwing around, with inside reports linking him to the outright purchase of Franck Cammas’ Groupama 4 for the all-important December classic. Now it looks like Cammas is leading the crew as part of the deal, with sponsorship coming from a big French multi-national with a strong Aussie presence.
This puts an exclamation point on what’s likely to be the biggest and most exciting Hobart in years: Speedboat, the newly chopped and modded Wild Scissorhands, and a mini-fleet of Volvo 70s makes line honors an actual battle for the first time in a while, while the addition of the entire Clipper 70 fleet means more big boats in the race than in ages.
Keep an eye on the thread for more breaking news on one of the world’s baddest races. Yvan Zedda photo.
UPDATE/CORRECTION: Cammas ain’t coming, and the French sponsorship ain’t happening. It’s not as if Delegat needs it. Meanwhile we are told that Whitbread vet Steve Cotton will be running the boat, while our old pal Rodney Keenan is managing the project. ”The nice thing about Auckland is you can find a dozen Volvo and Whitbread guys without getting in the car,” Rodney said, sort of. The new boat is named Giacomo after Delgat’s grandpappy and the founder of much of New Zealand’s wine industry, and the boat’s first race will be the Coastal Classic.
August 21st, 2013 by admin
With the Speedboat and a pile of Volvo 70s grinding and scraping their way to readiness for the 2013 Sydney-Hobart Race, Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI is looking both long in the tooth and a bit iffy for that all-important first-to-finish trophy. What’s a billionaire to do when his 100′ Super Maxi starts to look old and tired? There ain’t enough time to build a wider, more powerful boat, and you’ve already added yet another steering appendage up front to go with the canting keel, rudder, and two daggerboards. Maybe you just need a little more cowbell.
That’s apparently what WOXI skipper Mark Richards thought, and the result is a nearly 3-meter DSS horizontal stability fin. We’ve seen them before, and they’re performing with varied results, and the consensus is that, for the right boat, the DSS system is pretty damned sweet. WOXI will test out the new foils next month at Hamilton Island Race Week.
We think this is the biggest DSS deployment yet, and you can bet your sweet ass that, if the Aussie “Swiss Army Knife” works, you’ll see a lot of retrofitting very soon; with the worldwide economy less stable than even Rolex’s sailing future, it’s a lot cheaper to cut a new hole in your boat than it is to build a new one.
There’s one massive problem we can see here: One big fish or one waterlogged timber is going to tear a hell of a hole in a boat that averages 20 knots and touches 40 regularly. Do they really need another point of failure?
August 14th, 2013 by admin