The Customs House leader, Wild Oats XI, is in a very strong position to take the Triple Crown as she famously did in 2005 as the most favoured contenders have to make gains against a ticking clock with an early morning passage up the Derwent. With the westerlies still blowing that is possible, but any sailor would rather be defending their time in the Customs House rather than on the water.
In the last few hours Calm the Jan der Slot, Williams and Ainley RP52, Chris Bull Cookson 50 Jazz and Bob Steel’s TP52 Quest, the 2008 handicap winner, have all run past the time they needed to finish while still in Storm Bay.
Still left in notional contention are two Beneteau First 40’s Tony Kinsman’s Blunderbuss or Ron Forster‘s Ariel to gain five hours against the clock, let alone boats further down the leader board. While we’d all like to see Roger Hickman’s Wild Rose put one out of the bag it’s not going to happen this year.
In reality this is another triple for Oatley, Ricko and the team of talented Redshirts from Wild Oats XI.
For the rest of the fleet still at sea it’s a battle for division honours and there are some very interesting ones too.
The arrival of Wild Oats XI, Ragamuffin Loyal and Lahana without the intervention of the Race Committee was welcome this year.
Not so the pre-race drama in Sydney when the Race Committee put up the Not Welcome shingle for Grant Wharington’s super maxi Wild Thing.
While the mainstream media have moved on from that incident, Sail-World has been looking closely at the background, interviewing the key players and will in due course provide much more detail on what has been a sad incident for sailing.
On a happier note, we received lots of very positive responses from our Twitter coverage of Wild Oats XI’s progress from Tasman Light yesterday. (Look on Twitter at sydneyhobart or rshyr).
As the largest sailing news source in the world, with 24x7 staff, Sail-World is able to deploy resources from around the world on such occasions. Supporting our on water journalists and photographer, Sail-world team members in Melbourne, Cartagena in Spain, Auckland NZ and Tampa Florida were all contributing to our coverage. We will continue in the same vein until the last boat is dockside in Hobart and then some.
We will be doing exactly the same thing come next September during the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco. Not only will we have Bob Fisher, the doyen of AC journalism, but Richard Gladwell and myself, supported by journalist, transcriptionists, photo editors around the Globe. Our America’s Cup newsletter series will run to 24 newsletters in all going to 140,000 readers. (The fourth in this series will be in your inboxes tomorrow BTW).
But back to the 2012 Rolex Sydney to Hobart, we will have more news, photos, video and interviews in the coming days and looking at the material we have on Wild Thing, that might be a Mini-series.
by Rob Kothe and the Sail-World Team
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4:03 PM Fri 28 Dec 2012GMT
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