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Thread: 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart

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    2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart




    26 December, 2016

    Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Glorious Start to 72nd Epic


    TRACKER

    Sydney turned on a magic day for the start of the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, as crews and curious onlookers jostled along the narrow dock arms of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia this morning, it was clear that this was going to be one of those classic Sydney Harbour summer days.

    By the 1pm start, the sun was blazing, a sweet 12 to13 knot north-easterly sea-breeze had established itself, and god was in Her heaven – or maybe at the helm of Perpetual LOYAL.





    Whatever happens out to sea, Anthony Bell and his crew owned Sydney Harbour. A great start, neck and neck with Scallywag, Wild Oats XI and CQS in the opening minutes, it all looked very close until Oats was forced to tack first as she approached the shoreline. On port tack, first she peeled off behind Scallywag, then behind Perpetual LOYAL, and then, shock horror, behind the 80 foot Beau Geste.

    With Wild Oats XI struggling in fourth place, barely 3 minutes into the race, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart was already running against all pre-race expectations. A Hobart race is always more improvised jazz than aria, but just minutes into the race?

    So now it was an upwind fight between Scallywag and Perpetual LOYAL, racing to windward in a fresh breeze. This is what Perpetual LOYAL was built for, and slowly she steamed away from her rival.

    By the time Bell’s big black super maxi closed in on the first mark, she was 10 or 11 boat lengths ahead of Scallywag. For the second year running, she would be first out of the Harbour.









    Then, as Scallywag approached the mark, another dramatic upset. The 80 foot Beau Geste got the inside running, and passed the sea mark ahead of Seng Huang Lee’s Scallywag. Karl Kwok’s 80 footer representing New Zealand was second boat out of Sydney Harbour with three, count them, three super maxis in her wake.

    This was becoming grande opera indeed. If nothing was going to plan for Wild Oats XI so far, CQS was having her own brand of stage fright. Suddenly this highest of tech yachts was on its side.

    Owner, Ludde Ingvall, later explained that another yacht had come at them on starboard, forcing CQS to tack, but the big boat’s engine stalled, so there was no hydraulic power to swing her big canting keel across in time, tipping the giant boat over dangerously onto her side, the crew frantically scrambling to release the keel manually.

    Thank goodness this happened in the smooth waters of Sydney Harbour, but it was not the debut Ingvall had planned in front of hundreds of thousands of gawking Sydneysiders.

    Behind all this drama, the fleet was tacking toward South Head. If the frontrunners were all about sheer boat speed, down the Harbour each helmsman had to carefully thread their way through a web of other equally determined, but cautious boats, buffeting their way through the traditional Sydney Harbour washing machine as an armada of spectator boats gunned their engines and chased the big boats.

    Once around the first mark the Wild Oats XI crew decided it was time to put things to right. While Scallywag sailed straight for the sea mark Wild Oats XI lay off a few degrees. As she hardened up again at the sea mark it was nip and tuck, and again Scallywag found herself squeezed out by a rival.













    As Oats popped her big Code Zero for the run south, Scallywag lost precious minutes continuing out to sea, a flogging headsail refusing to make room for their downwind chute.

    Happily though, no damage was done and 2 hours into the race, crewman Andrew Crowe reported: “We’re happy we had an incident free start and got out cleanly. Our small furling incident has been resolved and we are neck and neck with Perpetual LOYAL and Wild Oats. We’re a little faster than LOYAL.”

    Trailing them is CQS, Ingvall. “We are somewhat underpowered at the moment,” he reports, all the others have spinnakers and we do not, but it is still early stages.”

    CQS has also lost a piece of their radical new foil, designed to lift the boat out of the water at high speed, but Ingvall says the damage is “not a major issue.”

    At the tail end of the fleet the Russian entry, Simplesail Mahligai was also having a rather more complex sail than anticipated. Their second mainsail batten had somehow slipped out and overboard.

    At first they considered heading back to the CYCA, but decided to press on. They plan to make up a replacement batten out of bits and pieces from below. A good old fashioned, seamanlike thing to do, but not conducive to modern high speed racing. The Sydney 46 crept out of Sydney in last place.

    A short time later, Freyja, Richard Lees’ 71 year old timber cruiser became the first yacht to retire, her headsail blew out just beyond the Heads, and she is back at the CYCA. Lees says everyone on board is disappointed but no-one was hurt and he is still determined to take Freyja to Hobart for the wooden boat festival in February.

    Despite a fairly benign forecast, it is likely, unfortunately, that Freyja will not be the only retirement this year. As the start showed this afternoon, no Rolex Sydney Hobart ever goes entirely to plan on every boat.

    Perpetual LOYAL, though, did sail exactly to plan in this opening stage. All the pundits have said she is the fastest of the super maxis to windward, and that is exactly what she showed. Unfortunately for Bell there isn’t a lot of windward sailing ahead of her over the next day and a half.

    In breaking news, Sibby Ilzhofer reported shortly after 5pm that her Farr/Cookson 47, Dare Devil had a broken rudder, making her the second casualty of the race. Eighty six yachts remain at sea.

    By Jim Gale, RSHYR media
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    Wild Oats Maintains Lead

    This morning Wild Oats XI continued to lead the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart, but the race is far from over, with Perpetual LOYAL, Black Jack, Scallywag and Giacomo within striking distance as they continue their quick march down the south coast of NSW – and incredibly at least 24 boats are ahead of the race record – or on record pace.

    Wild Oats XI, skippered by Mark Richards, is just 64 nautical miles south-east of Gabo Island, sailing east of the rhumbline, well ahead of the record race time she set in 2012, when she was almost abeam of Eden.

    The top nine boats are sailing in an easterly breeze, Scallywag the furthest to sea, to take advantage of the easterly, keeping plenty of room between them and the coast, all sailing at around 13 knots. The rest are in a north-easterly, still enjoying a spinnaker run.

    Conditions are perfect for the Volvo 70’s in the race, which is being proven by the positions of the three: Black Jack, Giacomo and Maserati, with the 80 foot Beau Geste squeezing between the latter two. Black Jack is only half a mile behind Perpetual LOYAL, which in turn is 7 miles behind the race leader.

    Wild Oats XI is almost into Bass Strait, where strong easterlies are expected throughout the afternoon, which will help push the front runners quickly towards their quest of breaking the record of one day 18hrs 23mins 12secs. It means Wild Oats and her contemporaries need to finish by 7.23am tomorrow morning to achieve their goal.

    Meanwhile, one of the race favorites, Robbo Robertson’s Beneteau 40, Bravo, leads the race overall. Queenslander Robertson returned to sailing at 77 years of age. Behind her is a bizarre Chinese menage, with the Chinese TP52, UBOX (carrying a mix of Chinese and well known French crew), Rupert Henry’s Chinese Whisper and Travis Read’s China Easyway, which also has some Chinese crew aboard.

    By Di Pearson, RSHYR media
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    Wild Oats XI Retires



    image © Rolex/Kurt Arrigo

    BREAKING NEWS: Wild Oats XI has confirmed their retirement from the 72nd #RolexSydneyHobart.

    They have a broken hydraulic ram, which operates its canting keel. Perpetual Loyal have taken over the lead of the race & remain on record pace.

    More details to follow.
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    Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race: Will this be the year of the V70's?

    The current race leader of the Rolex Sydney Hobart overall, the New Zealand V70 Giacomo, is confident of maintaining full speed as she closes on the Tasmanian north-east coast this afternoon with a possible ETA in Hobart of 5am.

    That would place her the outright leader, but Jim Delegat's boat would also be more than two hours inside Wild Oats XI's 2012 race record, of one day 18hrs 23mins 12secs, though right now it looks like that record will have already been swept aside by the current line honours leader, the super maxi Perpetual LOYAL.

    Anthony Bell's Perpetual LOYAL is currently around 20 nautical miles ahead of second placed Giacomo.

    "We're feeling real good. We're powering along," said Giacomo's sailing master Steve Cotton mid-afternoon.

    "We're approaching Tasmania in 20 to 24 knots of easterly wind, and the boat really likes this angle. We're pushing really hard."

    This has been a race to order for the three V70s, Giacomo, Black Jack and Maserati, yachts designed for fast reaching and running in heavy conditions, especially the 25 knot north-easterlies on the first day.

    It has been no surprise that from the get-go the V70s, as well as the 80 foot Beau Geste, have been among the super maxis. Right now Giacomo and Maserati are in between Perpetual LOYAL and fourth paced Scallywag.

    "Scallywag, Black Jack, Beau Geste and Maserati are all behind our bearing line, and we're very pleased they're there," Cotton says.

    New Zealand owner Jim Delegat has been chasing victory in the race following his 2013 and 2014 campaigns, in which he finished sixth on line and 22nd overall to Black Jack's fourth, and 36th overall - and dismasting off the Tasmanian coast in 2014.

    Delegat's sons, Nikolas (20) and James (18), are aboard for a second and first time respectively, James being the youngest competitor this year, having turned 18 on 11 December.

    If they pull it off, they will hear the celebrations all the way back in Akarana, their spending the summer racing in Sydney seemingly paying off.

    But even if everything goes to plan it will be a long wait before Giacomo will know if she has won the Tattersall's Cup, awarded to the overall winner. First she must wait for the 50 and 60-footers to get in, but the longest wait will be for the smaller boats still on the other side of Bass Strait. They still have a lot of racing ahead of them.

    "It's up to the weather gods," Cotton says, but from about 5am this morning, those smaller boats will know the time they have to beat."

    By Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR media
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    Act 1 builds to a climax in Rolex Sydney Hobart

    Less than a day and a half after the fleet left the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia in Sydney to begin the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart, excitement is building as Act 1, the race for line honors, hurtles towards resolution.

    The crack crew on Anthony Bell’s super maxi Perpetual LOYAL is storming down the Tasmanian east coast, and at this stage looks every chance of smashing her long-time rival, Wild Oats XI’s 2012 race record of one day 18hrs 23mins 12secs.

    With 130 miles to go, Perpetual LOYAL is 50 miles ahead of Wild Oats XI’s position in 2012.
    At her current 16 knots, Anthony Bell’s big black super maxi is set to arrive in Hobart between midnight and 2am. She needs to be in Hobart before 7:23am tomorrow morning to claim the record.

    The NSW 100 footer still has to round Tasman Island, cross Storm Bay and negotiate the notoriously fickle Derwent River in the dark, but the forecast is pointing towards a fresh north-easterly breeze throughout the night, even on the Derwent River, which usually shuts down at night.

    All the omens seem to be pointing towards a triumph that would wash away the bitter disappointment of Perpetual LOYAL’s failure to finish the 628 nautical mile race in the last two years.

    Second placed V70 Giacomo is trailing by 16 miles, and will be hard pressed to take much time out of that in the hours remaining. It would seem that all Bell has to do now is to keep his boat in one piece, and pray that the wind gods don’t suddenly take a fancy to surprise endings. But he does have six or seven hours to play with for that record.

    For the second year running, Perpetual LOYAL lead the fleet out of Sydney Heads, though she trailed Wild Oats XI down the NSW coast in conditions that better suited Bell’s sleek, silver grey rival.

    However, the accountant and his crew never lifted their foot off the pedal, applying as much pressure on the leader as they could, and this morning Wild Oats XI cracked, forced out with a hydraulic ram problem with their canting keel.

    New Zealander Jim Delegat’s V70 Giacomo is expected to dock an hour or so after Perpetual LOYAL, also well inside the 2012 record.

    Giacomo will become the boat to beat for overall honours as Act 2, the battle for Australian yachting’s supreme title of Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race winner begins in earnest.

    At present, Giacomo holds a big lead in the overall standings, but Delegat and his crew will have to endure a long wait at the dock, as the mid-size and smaller boats continue to race in Bass Strait and off Tasmania, before they will know if their triumph was more than fleeting.

    But all that is for tomorrow - tonight it is all line honors.

    Giacomo holds a handy 12 nautical mile lead over third place, the super maxi, Scallywag, which is followed by the Volvo Open 70 Maserati, 80 foot Beau Geste, V70 Black Jack, the Ker 56 Varuna VI and CQS.

    Incredibly, it is conceivable that all of these could finish inside the old record. That is how fast this race has been. We will know all in a few hours, but right now we know one thing for certain. Act 1 is Perpetual LOYAL’s to win or lose.

    By Jim Gale, RSHYR media
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    Perpetual LOYAL Smashes Sydney Hobart Record



    Image©ROLEX Kurt Arrigo


    8 December, 2016: 0300hrs

    Perpetual LOYAL smashes race record to take line honours in Rolex Sydney Hobart

    Anthony Bell has well and truly removed the monkey of the last two years from his back, smashing Wild Oats XI’s record of 2012 by four hours 51 minutes and 52 seconds and taking line honours for the second time in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

    Perpetual LOYAL powered to the finish line, travelling at 20 knots as she cut a swathe through the spectator fleet. Her official finish time is 02.31.20am 28 December, 2016 in the time of one day 13 hours 31 minutes and 20 seconds – well ahead of the 1 day 18hrs 23mins 12secs set by Wild Oats XI.

    Bell initially won line honours in 2011 with his first super maxi, Investec LOYAL, the first time the Sydney accountant had sailed the 628 nautical mile race. Then in 2013 he finished second to Wild Oats XI, but the last two years have been unkind.




    Bell had purchased Speedboat/Rambler, purportedly the fastest racing super maxi on the planet, but the boat has failed to deliver. In the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart she retired with hull damage after hitting an unknown object, then in 2015, another retirement, with rudder damage early on.

    This time, no such worries. Bell left behind the celebrities of previous years, replacing them with some of Comanche’s finest, along with his regular crew. And like last year, Perpetual LOYAL was first out of Sydney Heads and this time she kept going, sailing steadily in Wild Oats XI’s shadow until the leader retired when the hydraulic ram failed.

    From there, Bell and his crew sailed steadily in ideal running and reaching conditions all the way to the finish line and into the history books.

    Jim Delegat’s Volvo 70, Giacomo (New Zealand) or Seng Huang Lee’s super maxi Scallywag (HKG) are the next yachts due over the finish line at approximately 4am. Jim Cooney’s Volvo Open 70 Maserati, Karl Kwok's 80ft Beau Geste (NZL) Peter Harburg’s modified Volvo 70 Black Jack and Ludde Ingvall’s super maxi CQS are following. All these boats are currently inside of Wild Oats’ 2012 record.

    Full Perpetual LOYAL story with quotes and finish and photos to follow.

    By Di Pearson, RSHYR media
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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    Giacomo Secures 2nd


    Image©ROLEX Kurt Arrigo

    Giacomo beats Scallywag to second on line in Rolex Sydney Hobart

    You could not wipe the grin from Jim Delegat's face when he arrived at the dock in Hobart after skippering his Volvo 70, Giacomo, to second place on line in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this evening.

    Delegat was chuffed to finish 2 hours 56mins and 07secs inside Wild Oats XI's 2012 record and to beat Seng Huang Lee's 100 foot super maxi over the line by 2 minutes 10secs. All this with his two sons, Nikolas (20) and James (18) aboard to share the spoils.

    James is the youngest sailor in this year's race, having turned 18 on December 11 – and it is his first Sydney Hobart experience – while Nikolas has just completed his second on Giacomo.

    "I'm very excited and delighted," Jim Delegat said tonight. "We took every opportunity we could. It was pretty exhilarating out there, a typical Hobart, it had a bit of everything. It was a bit of a downwind race, so it suited us. It was a bit more wet than usual."

    "Still, we're pretty surprised (at the result); it's not often that a 70 footer can do this, get second over the line.

    "It's just a whole different achievement to have done it with the family, except for Kate (his wife). It adds to the excitement."

    And so it would. In the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart, Giacomo was dismasted on the Tasmanian coast, nearing the finish. So close and yet so far.

    This time the crew of the former Groupama 4 (winner of the 2011-2012 VOR) were ashore and celebrating as Jim Cooney's Volvo Open 70 Maserati and Peter Harburg's modified V70 Black Jack were gliding towards the Castray Esplanade finish line in very little breeze on the Derwent.

    Delegat, the executive chairman of Delegat Wines in New Zealand, is likely toasting with some of his own brand – maybe the increasingly popular Oyster Bay Wines.



    By Di Pearson, RSHYR media
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    [B]The Agony of a Rolex Sydney Hobart[/B]



    They say if the Rolex Sydney Hobart ended at Tasman Light the list of winners over the last seven decades would read entirely differently.
    But it doesn't. It finishes in Hobart, 11 miles up the cruel Derwent River from Storm Bay. Cruel rivers are usually known for their destructive floods or raging white waters. The Derwent's cruelty is its indifference to the hopes and morale of sailors. It just shrugs its shoulders and goes to bed.

    The river had behaved so well early on, driving Perpetual LOYAL to its record-breaking victory at 2:30 in the morning, Giacomo to club house leadership an hour later and then Scallywag, all well inside the 2012 race record.


    Down the river, or fast closing at the mouth of the river, another three boats, Black Jack, Maserati, and Beau Geste were moving along nicely, still with a chance to break the old record themselves.But the rain had arrived in Hobart with Scallywag, and the breeze bid us all good night.
    With the lights of Hobart in sight, the three spent the rest of the night drifting aimlessly.It would not be until 9 o'clock that the fourth finishing boat, Black Jack, would finally slump across the line.Her owner, Peter Harburg summed up the modified V70's night.

    "It was terrible out there. It's really frustrating for a sailor in a race to be not moving. We had the anchor down for two, two and a half hours, down in the bay, less than a mile from the line. Sandy Bay?" he was asked."No," he sighed. "We call it the Bay of Certain Death."

    Overall, though, Harburg was happy to finish fourth in a race of this status.
    The pall spread beyond the river, enveloping CQS in Storm Bay.

    "We have no wind whatsoever," CQS crewman Michael Rummel said as the morning clouds lightened, but would not lift. "We could use some breeze. We are so looking forward to getting on land and having a hot breakfast."

    Still, he says, the team is in good spirits, and despite some thrills and challenges along the way skipper Ludde Ingvall retains his faith in the philosophy behind his radical yacht. They have learned a lot about how to drive this boat, and there will be changes, but this was always the beginning of a 10 month evolutionary program.

    By Jim Gale, RSHYR media




    Sulky Derwent can't dampen a great 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart


    Four hours drifting in the Derwent River was not how Jim Cooney, the skipper of the Volvo Open 70 Maserati, planned to finish the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart - earlier this morning he had expected to cross the line around 6am, inside Wild Oats XI's 2012 record time – that was before the wind died on the river.

    Maserati finally fell past the big yellow Rolex Buoy for the finish off Kings Pier at 10:04am. But Cooney is still happy. He and his crew have had a ball for the last two days in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's annual race.

    "This race was written for the V70s," a relaxed Cooney said dockside. "Maserati behaved like a dinghy out there. We were picking the waves and throwing it around. It was an absolute joy. It's (fast reaching and running in strong north-easterly and easterlies) is what these boats were built for and what they excel at. No boat has been built, though, for the last four hours. It was a shame to end it like that after such a blistering race."

    Cooney admits that even he was surprised at how well the V70s went this year. "They were setting the pace. We were beside Scallywag until about midnight, and they couldn't even catch Giacomo."The crews on these boats know how hard you can push them. They drive them harder than you would yourself. It's like a car. Most of us are too timid to push our cars to the limit, but cornering and braking they have lots of reserves. The same is true of the V70s."One of our guys did a Volvo race on this boat. He was all over it. He knew just how hard to go push and plow through waves and still come out at 23 knots on the other side. "It is very exciting. I know now that these boats are very hard to break."

    Just as long as you don't make any mistakes, that is. Like the super maxis, the V70s are strictly the realm of professional sailors. They are dangerous beasts, putting immense strains on rig and hull. "My previous boat (the perennial maxi) Brindabella was a lot more forgiving. You make a mistake, she sort of groans and leans over, and lets you get away with it. These boats don't."
    Nevertheless, Cooney says the race was pretty much incident free on Maserati. "The worst thing was that Waratah rugby prop forward Jeremy Tilse fell out of his bunk and onto me. It had to be the biggest bloke on the boat!"

    By Jim Gale, RSHYR media



    Finally CQS crosses Rolex Sydney Hobart finish line

    Aboard Ludde Ingvall's super maxi CQS this afternoon, crew member Michael Rummel told how they were in the Derwent not too far from the Rolex Hobart finish line at 6.15am, with the crew never expecting to still be there staring at the same line late afternoon into the afternoon, but that is exactly what happened.

    "I thought we'd finish this morning," a buoyant Rummel said, despite their day long sit-in in the Derwent. "We finally finished just after 4pm," the Sydney Hobart first timer said of their 4.13.12pm finish this afternoon.

    For Ingvall's cousin and financier of the boat, Sir Michael Hintze, every minute was pure joy.
    "The start was breathtaking – even the bit where the hydraulics didn't work and we nearly capsized in Sydney Harbour. Then it was exciting sailing down the coast and frustrating sitting, not moving for hours on the river looking at the finish line," he said of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 628 nautical mile race. It was exactly what I expected from the race, even Bass Strait. And yes, I would absolutely do it again," Sir Michael finished.

    Asked would he be back for another Hobart, Ludde Ingvall, CQS's owner and Sydney Hobart line honours winner of 2000 and 2004, said: "This is the race of all races. I could say now I would never do it again, but then tell my wife tomorrow 'I'm going again'. It's a real test of one's manhood."

    This after he told how slow they were to start: "The problem with the engine stalling, the problem with the foil.
    "We learnt a lot – and this is the race to learn a lot from. We still have a long way to go. We are taking the boat to New Zealand now to do some work on her and then we will take it to the Mediterranean to race," he said as the crew relaxed over a few beers and the famous local scallop pies.

    By Di Pearson, RSHYR media


    Tales of woe in the Rolex Sydney Hobart

    The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is a cruel race: it builds you up and then it knocks you down. The doldrums are just as hard to take as the storms and the big seas.

    Three more strong fancies for overall honours in the race – Ichi Ban, Varuna VI and last year's winner Balance, dragged themselves out of the windless Storm Bay this morning after spending hours sitting around going nowhere and watching their chances of victory ebb away.

    Ichi Ban, a JV TP52 owned and skippered by Australian Sailing president Matt Allen, had been in a good position, leading on corrected time as it came to Tasman Island and while it still had wind. Then it encountered Storm Bay. The NZ yacht Giacomo was the leader in the clubhouse but Ichi Ban were still a strong chance.

    Allen said they had sailed a good race, no mishaps, no mistakes, sailing to the optimum, he had made the right decision to bring the smaller of his two Ichi Ban yachts but then the wind died within grasp of the holy grail.

    Varuna VI, a German yacht owned and skippered by Jens Kellinghusen had come to this race seeking to emulate its predecessor's win in IRC division 1 in 2013.Navigator Guillermo Altadill described what happened: "The last 11 hours were the worst. We had good win, but then when we passed Tasman Island, it changed the result of the whole race. "In these types of races you expect to arrive on time with the wind, but the wind died behind the big boats. Basically, we did 30 miles in 11 hours."
    He thinks they will be back.

    "Jens is never disappointed. He loves sailing with the guys. We thought we could be in the top three and get the same result as three years ago with the old boat. Racing is like that. Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. I think he will come back. It is difficult for us to come from the middle of Europe, but Jens loves this race and I hope he will come back to try and win."

    Last year's winner, Paul Clitheroe's Balance finished 12th across the line, immediately behind Ichi Ban and Varuna VI.
    "I was thinking to myself that it is hard to get two wins in a row," he said. "We look at our technology occasionally and see that we were in the top three in IRC and we had plenty of time on the V70 Giacomo. We rounded Tasman at what I thought was the perfect time, at 9 am, we were probably in 18-20 knots of pressure, we ran across Storm Bay at about 18 knots of boat speed, saw that Ichi Ban and a couple of others that give us a fair bit of time were stuck and we went right over to Bruny to do the 'Buffalo Girls', go around them and there was no outside. But the whole place just shut down. We sat in there for about four hours and watched time come and go, made sail changes, you know the routine."

    But he is philosophical.
    "It looks like for the three years we have had the boat we have been the leading TP52 on IRC, there are plenty that have still to turn up and so we are very pleased."

    Clitheroe says that now the double overall win had eluded him, he would not contest next year. If he had won, the "chief of staff" might have let him shoot for the triple but instead she said: "Look, sunshine, I am very happy you went again this year. How about a family holiday next year?"
    Clitheroe says he had better not become a Hobart tragic, so "I'll have a year off and start the campaign again after that".

    By Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR media




    You'd think they'd won the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart

    If the hollering and cheering, the sprayed champagne, the faces split from ear to ear with the most outrageous grins were anything to go by, you would think the Chinese members of the most international yacht in the fleet, UBOX, had beaten the world.

    Neither the leaden sky, the wintry, dismal Hobart drizzle, nor even hour upon hour of sloshing about a windless Storm Bay and Derwent River, watching their winning chances drifting away were going to rain on this parade. They had done their first Rolex Sydney Hobart, and they had acquitted themselves well.
    The French half of this Chinese/Franco campaign was pretty happy too, even if in a more restrained, Gallic way.

    "It was not a very tough race," a somewhat relieved French co-skipper, Charles Caudrelier said. "I think we were very lucky with the weather. That last day we paid a bit, but it was good for our Chinese rookies. They did a very good job."
    Communication was always going to be the make or break issue on this bi-racial boat.
    audrelier was very grateful this turned out to be a very benign Rolex Sydney Hobart.

    "That's why we were so happy with the forecast before we left the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. Communicating was not easy, especially at night when we were handing over the watches. We need to improve that. It is a very big issue. This was my first Hobart and I could come back 40 times and not get the same weather.

    "We learned a lot, and the co-operation was quite awesome," said Jiru "Wolf" Jang. "At the beginning people said it would be a lot of upwind (sailing), bam bam, but we were quite lucky. A lot of downwind reaching. It was a lot of fun. During the first night, we reached 30 knots and were sailing very fast. We all enjoyed it."

    There is a huge amount of ocean racing experience on both sides of this Chinese/French crew and it showed.
    UBOX was consistently among the top five or six boats on corrected time all the way down, and was in with a chance of winning until the winds died. When they finally tied up, their Cookson 50 was in third place overall, ahead of the leading TP52s: last year's winner, Paul Clitheroe's Balance and Matt Allan's highly fancied Ichi Ban.

    "We made a good move in the transition to the first low on day one, and we were ahead of the TP52s" Caudrelier says. "We didn't do very well last night. We could have done better."

    In the circumstances, he's probably being a bit hard on himself. There is not much you can do when there is scarcely enough wind to give you steerage. And anyway, this campaign was always about promoting and encouraging sailing in China, and it has certainly done that. The race coverage in China has been nationwide.
    So will the Chinese be back?
    "We'll be back, and we will do a better job next time," Wolf grins.

    By Jim Gale, RSHYR media
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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  9. #9
    despondent correspondent Photoboy's Avatar
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    Giacomo's Well Prepared Success


    Image ©Andrea Francolini


    In a quiet corner of the Hobart marina where the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race finishers are trickling in at the end of their trials and tribulations on the high seas, the voice of an eloquent Kiwi yachtsman provides the clue to his success.

    Jim Delegat, owner-skipper of the race-winning V70 Giacomo, is a man who chooses his words carefully. He is both scientist and orator. He leaves nothing to chance. One understands why, on the boat, he attracts respect, he is successful.

    One is reminded of the 2013 overall winner Darryl Hodgkinson, owner of Victoire. Hodgkinson is a plastic surgeon; he plotted and planned his course that year with surgical efficiency and it paid off.





    Delegat, with two sons on board, and who were next to him with sailing master Steve Cotton for the photo opportunity, knew there was another to thank. His wife Kate. She couldn't be in the official hero photo, but without her overall shore management, it wouldn't have happened.

    “I want you in the photos on the boat, after this,” he whispered as she waited a couple of steps out of frame, then he shuffled the three crew in the order that suited him.

    Giacomo bears the name of Jim Delegat’s grandfather, while his father founded the Oyster Bay vineyard and which the family runs. The boat’s pedigree is impeccable. It won the 2011/12 Volvo Ocean race as Groupama 4.

    In 2013 he brought the cream of Kiwi yachting on the crew for its first Hobart campaign, including Cotton.

    He said at the time: “I am 64. I have spent 25 years on and off boats. I feel my time has come. Giacomo is the boat to do the job. She carries the spirit of my grandfather.”

    They finished sixth across the line. Unfinished business.

    In 2014 Giacomo was dismasted off the Tasmanian coast.

    In 2015 they planned.

    In 2016 they mounted their assault against the biggest guns in Australian ocean racing, and they won.

    By Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR media

    Results
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"



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