Saturday, December 26, 2015

Your guide to the Boxing Day Sydney to Hobart 2015 yacht race

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, is the ultimate test for skippers, tacticians and crews.
The 2015 race will be the 71st edition of this time-honoured event and see 110 yachts from 28 nations race more than 600 Nautical Miles in quest of the Tattersall’s Cup and to win the coveted Rolex timepiece.

All eyes will once again be on defending Sydney to Hobart line honours champion Wild Oats XI and American challenger Comanche when the annual Boxing Day race begins on Saturday.
This year's blue water classic is shaping up as a replay of last year's epic finish, when Australia's yachting sweetheart pipped her 100-foot rival by just 55 minutes to claim an unprecedented eighth title.

Fellow supermaxis Ragamuffin 100 and the celebrity-laden Perpetual Loyal will also contend for the coveted crown, as will another US raider in Rambler 88.

The Wild Oats XI preparation includes some serious testing of a radical, retractable hydrofoil-type wing that will extend 2.75 metres out from the hull on the leeward side to improve the yacht's downwind performance.
"It assists us more in surfing downwind, off the breeze, sailing mode"

But the focus will undoubtedly be on the two powerhouses at the starter's line on Boxing Day, just as it was last year when Comanche left Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards eating dust with a spectacular start.
Richards and his crew recovered to arrive first in Hobart, however owner Bob Oatley has since gone to great lengths to stay ahead of his American counterpart and the chasing pack.
A radical $2 million nose job has been the talk of the sailing community since Wild Oats XI went under the knife mid-year, although Richards said he held no fears she had lost any of her speed.

Two weeks ago she blew her opponents — minus Comanche — out of the water in the SOLAS Big Boat challenge and showed off some serious speed.
"There's absolutely no issues there at all. These guys have been building boats and been in the boating job for a long time. So we've got a lot of confidence there," Richards said.

The Wild Oats team have enjoyed a relaxed Christmas Day in comparison to last year, when they were forced into repairing a broken boom in the lead-up.
"Last year we had a few issues with a few bits and pieces which weren't prepared until Christmas Day," Richards said.
"So we were out there checking a few things on Christmas Day. It's a bit more relaxed this year.
"Whether it's a good sign or a bad sign, I'm not quite sure. But we'll see what happens."

In the handicap battle, Hobart debutant Chinese Whisper is the leading contender to take the crown off defending champion Wild Rose, who will also get stiff competition from Rambler 88 and Ichi Ban.

A is for armada: 109 yachts will race south in the 71st Sydney to Hobart. The first race in 1945 had just nine little yachts.

B is for bowmen/women: They’re in the firing line at the front of the boats. The wettest job in the game and one of its most dangerous because it involves working on a wildly bucking and very slippery platform

C is for clipper: Round the world yachts are using the Sydney to Hobart as a leg of their world odyssesy. A fleet of 12 of these yacht, many sailed by novices, are racing south. Aussie Wendy Tuck is one of the skippers.

D is for the Derwent Ririver. It’s where the race finishes between two and six days after it starts on December 26. The fickle winds on the river, which can shut down completely overnight, can turn the race upside down — and have done so on more than one occasion.

E is for emergency tiller: A small tiller that fits into the top of the rudder post which can be used to steer the boat if main wheel steering equipment fails. Crucial if boat is damaged.

Comanche Sails!! FAST!! from Onne van der Wal

F is for freeze dried food: Activated by water and used by some crews for convenience and to save on weight. Not a favourite of sailors but does the job.
G is for gunwale. The rail that sticks up at the edge of the deck; as in walking on deck feels more secure if there is a gunwale.

H is for hot bunking: Where one crew gets up to go on watch and his/her warm bunk spot is taken by another. Usually people are so exhausted they really don’t mind.

I is for internationals and invaders. The US supermaxi Comanche is in Australia with designs on winning the line honors race. So to is the 88-footer Rambler. In all a record 27 international yachts are competing.

J is for jury. A group of appointed officials who enforce the rules of international racing during the Sydney to Hobart. They are needed most years to sort disputes and arbitrate on crashes and rule infringements.

K is for kite. Another name for a spinnaker which is used when a yacht races downwind and is the biggest sail on the boat. Provides the yacht with extra grunt.

L is for line honors winner. The boat which makes it to Hobart in the shortest time. Wild Oats has done this a record eight times — and won the race twice overall. She also owns the race record and is the defending champion.

M is for minnows. The polar opposites of the supermaxis as they are the smallest. The smallest yacht allowed in the Sydney to Hobart is 30 foot but this year the minnow is actually 34 foot.

N is for nautical mile. One minute of latitude or about 1.15 statute miles. this is how distance is measured in sailing.

O is for overall winner. This is decided under a handicapping rule which involves a complicated calculation of such things as size, age, form and results. This allows older yachts to go head to head with newer, fast and bigger boats. Wild Rose is the defending champion.

P is for personal flotation device. A devise which crews must wear. It’s also for Perpetual Loyal, the 100-foot supermaxi being raced to Hobart for charity. Onboard is a celebrity crew which includes former Australian cricketer Michael Clake, Wallaby Kurtley Beale and former Rooster Anthony Minichiello.

Q is for queue. It can be as hectic on the water as it is on the land on Boxing Day, so be patient and mind the queues.

R is for Ragamuffin. The 100 footer is owned by Syd Fischer, at 88 the oldest skipper and sailor in the race. A five-time America’s Cup campaigner he is also a past overall winner of the race.

S is for sunfish. Every sailor’s nightmare. A yacht hits one of these maritime wonders which lurk just below the surface at speed and enormous damage can be caused.

T is for Tony Cable. They say when a sailor does his 25th Sydney to Hobart he goes on the “idiots board”. Sydney sailor Tony Cable is about to embark on a record 50th.

U is for under bare poles. Not a situation you want to be in. When all sail area is taken down due to wild winds and sea conditions. This helps slow the boat down by taking the load off the yacht. A last resort

V is for VHF radio. Every boat must take one as part of extremely strict safely rules tightened in the wake of the deadly 1998 race sounds.

W is for women. This is the 70th anniversary of female participation with two women competing in the second race to Hobart in 1946. There are also a record seven female skippers.

X is for X-ray. This is used on boats to ensure it is ship worthy and safe to sail.

Y is for yacht. Some of the most hi-tech, cutting edge boats in the world contest the race. But little cruisers and slow wooden yachts are all in the wet more for the camaraderie than desire to smash he opposition.

Z is for zephyr. A whisper of breeze. Not good in a race like the Hobart where you want to get south as fast as possible.

Links :

No comments:

Post a Comment