Ironically it wasn’t Perpetual Loyal’s righting moment or hull shape that launched her into the lead of the Sydney-Hobart; it was Stan Honey and his incredible ability to avoid the kind of hole that swallowed Wild Oats XI for a couple of hours about 100 NM south of Sydney. Giacomo (ex-Groupama 70) is hanging OK with the big-assed Loyal, while WOXI and Black Jack (ex Telefonica 70) are only now making their way offshore in the moderate downwind conditions, and they’ll cross Loyal’s wake about 12 NM astern. It’s a bitter pill to swallow after so much work on the aging R/P 100 to keep her competitive, but there’s still a long way to go. Just two boats have pulled out thus far; the TP52 Dodo blew her mainsail up (listen to navigator David Chapman’s explanation here), while the Audi Sunshine Coast – one of the most immaculately prepared in the race – blew up a headsail sheave, letting some lovely 6mm Dux zipper the rig open for a meter and a half.
We’d direct you to the starting video as broadcast by Yahoo!7 but apparently it doesn’t actually exist, and if it does, it’s some kind of state secret. Even the 3-minute clip on the event website is a secret – unsinkable and unembeddable…but hey – at least the tracker works again! Fortunately, you’ve got the full start sequence above from the lens of Mr. Clean’s little Canon, and it ain’t as bad as you might think. For the good stuff – a full gallery of 100+ photos from the CYCA docks and the starting line, get on over here to the McConaghy Boats Facebook Page and take a gander. Clean and the team are headed down to Hobart in the morning with the goal of filming, still shooting, and interviewing just about everyone that comes into the finish line – a first for the race – so keep an eye on that page, and hit the thread for a more stream-of-consciousness style. And if you want to be eligible to win a Gill laptop bag or one of about a dozen SA hats, be sure to like that McConaghy page – only Facebook fans of both Sailing Anarchy and McConaghy can win.