Bad PR

Bad PR

Some say there’s no such thing as bad press, but there certainly are such things as bad press releases. (Just ask Craig Leweck, he’s made a career – such as it is – out of publishing them.) When we first saw this beauty last month, we asked (to no one in particular) "What the fuck is this dude thinking?" So now that the Sydney to Hobart race is over, these statements and predictions look really brilliant, don’t they? Our comments are in parenthesis. Enjoy.

A Favourable forecast and a secret weapon has Australian sailing legend David Witt certain that his elusive Rolex Sydney to Hobart win is well within reach this year. Witt, who is co-skippering the 90ft maxi YuuZoo in his 15th Sydney-Hobart, reckons the forecast favors the maxis and his handicap sweet-heart will give the fleet a red-hot run for the Tattersall’s Cup.“It looks like it’s definitely going to be a big boat race, especially for handicap’’ Witt said. (smaller boats took the top 5 overall spots)

“There’s going to be a lot of light air reaching and running, which means we should finish around the 28th.“It’s about then that the big southerly should hit, slowing up the little boats and making it very hard for them to win on handicap. (see above)

“And it’s about time I got a win; it would be great to silence the boys, they love ripping into me about that, especially since almost half the crew have had a win before.” (make that 0 for 15)

With the small boats sorted, Witt turned his attention to the equally big competitors (they all beat him), but with YuuZoo boasting a much lower-handicap rating than her 100ft competitors Witt said there was really only one other handicap favorite to worry about.“With the big boats it depends on who can finish well on time, which leaves two favorites; us and the 70 footer Ran, because we both have extremely low ratings,’’ Witt said. (Ran corrected to 6th, YuuZoo 71st)

“The two biggest factors between us will be how quick that southerly comes in and how well each boat sails.“But I’m confident. We will probably need to beat Ran by about five to six hours and that’s very achievable.’’ (Ran beat them in by 4 hours)

The self confessed betting-man has even put his money where his mouth is, backing YuuZoo, and he revealed that several other competitors shared his faith.“There are several mates on (Grant) Warrington’s boat (Etihad Stadium) who’ve backed us for $100 bucks or so,’’ Witt said.“It’s a fair indication of how serious of a contender we really are.’’ (a fool and his money are soon parted)

Witt also revealed details of YuuZoo’s Big Boat Racing Team’s secret sail arsenal _ well not-so-secret anymore!

YuuZoo’s massive new sail, which is affectionately known as the Whomper by its 21 crew members, is a cross between a jib-top and a code zero.

But it’s not been without controversy; with several competitors questioning its place in the race. (it mattered not)

“It has caused a bit of fuss, but at the end of the day it’s legal and it will give us a real advantage,’’ Witt said. (see above)

With his unrequited Sydney-Hobart victory firmly in sight the 38-year-old, who has won three 18-ft skiff world titles, the Fastnet and Maxi worlds, is confident this is the year for his home-ground win. (71st out of 73 finisheres in IRC) There is a thread