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  1. #1
    Mid
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    Sydney to Hobart countdown

    Sydney to Hobart countdown - smh.com.au

    As the start of the greatest yacht race in the world, the Sydney to Hobart draws near, Herald photographer Dallas Kilponen, captures the highlights, joys and sorrows of previous races.

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    disturbance in the Turnip baldrick's Avatar
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    bah - let loose the cats

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mid
    As the start of the greatest yacht race in the world, the Sydney to Hobart draws near,
    Have you ever done the Sydney to Hobart Mate ?

    Was talking to a bloke that has done so and he said when it gets rough it is worse than the North Sea on a bad day.

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    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loy Toy
    it is worse than the North Sea on a bad day.
    North Sea, Cape Wrath, is a different kind of fear.

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    Mid
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    only the reverse delivering yachts back ,

    in my mind sensible people go to the cricket on boxing day and turn left the day after

    ( Syd - Coffs )

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    Thailand Expat jandajoy's Avatar
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    Amen to that.

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    Mid
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    It's pretty tight for the three leaders.

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    interesting overnight conditions predicted.

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    Alfa Romeo gets head start in Sydney to Hobart
    (AFP) – 5 hours ago
    SYDNEY — New Zealand super-maxi Alfa Romeo led the fleet out of the harbour at the start of the 65th annual Sydney to Hobart yacht race Saturday ahead of defending champion Wild Oats XI.
    Skipper Neville Crichton made the most of early spinnaker problems on board the Australian super-maxi to take Alfa Romeo to the head of the 100-yacht fleet as it began the 628-nautical mile race.
    It was the first time in five years that Wild Oats, which is aiming for a record fifth straight line honours win, failed to lead the pack out of Sydney Harbour.
    "It's going to be a tricky race, nowhere near as windy as what everyone thought, which is going to be a good thing for the fleet I think," Wild Oats skipper Mark Richards said prior to the start.
    "It will be a very tactical race it's going to be a real mindbender," he told national newswire AAP.
    Heavier British sloop ICAP Leopard was a close third through Sydney Heads and into the open ocean, with southerly headwinds forecast for the first leg of the race likely to favour its progress.
    The wind was expected to swing around to the east on Sunday before on Monday shifting west and intensifying to possible gale force into Tuesday.
    Strong northerlies predicted earlier in the week were no longer expected to materialise, scuttling hopes that Wild Oats' 2005 race record of one day and 18 hours would fall.
    Giant Australian maxi Etihad Stadium was forced to bow out less than an hour into the race due to rigging problems with its new mast, which skipper Grant Wharington had raced against time to fit before Saturday.
    "Obviously (I'm) just disappointed to miss out on the last one or two percent that meant the difference between being able to compete and not," a downcast Wharington said.
    Smaller Tasmanian yacht She's The Culprit also retired early after sustaining damage at the first rounding mark, while overall 2008 winner Quest did a penalty rotation after hitting Lion New Zealand at the same spot.
    The fleet, apart from competing for line honours, is also vying for handicap honours, with Australia's Loki tipped as favourite.
    The first boat across the line is rarely the overall winner, and for the vast majority of the fleet, the race proper is for handicap position based on the boat's dimensions.
    Six sailors perished in 1998 Sydney to Hobart, when a powerful storm sank five yachts and forced 66 of the 115-strong fleet to retire.
    Copyright 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. More

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    NZ's Alfa Romeo leading Sydney to Hobart yacht race
    (AFP) – 12 hours ago
    SYDNEY — New Zealand super maxi Alfa Romeo was the clear leader in the second day of the Sydney to Hobart yacht race Sunday, stretching its lead over Britain's ICAP Leopard and favourite Wild Oats XI.
    Australia's Wild Oats XI, which has taken line honours for the last four years, was beaten out of Sydney Heads by Alfa at the start of the race and by Sunday had slipped further behind to be about 15 nautical miles off the lead.
    ICAP Leopard was in second place, about 11 nautical miles behind Alfa, as the race slowed amid light winds, making the possibility of a record time virtually impossible.
    With little wind to push the 96-strong fleet and weather conditions expected to be patchy, officials said it would become a tactical test to see which skippers could find the quickest way down Australia's east coast.
    "Bass Strait looks like it's going to be very tricky later today and there won't be many passing lanes," Wild Oats XI navigator Adrienne Cahalan said.
    "That means it's extremely important for us to stay in touch with the two other yachts.
    "Now is not the time for anyone to take a flyer because there's still a long way to go."
    The 65th annual Sydney to Hobart began Saturday in what had been expected to be fast conditions for the 628-nautical mile race down the east coast of Australia to the southern city of Hobart.
    But milder weather dashed hopes that Wild Oats XI's 2005 race record of one day and 18 hours will fall and is instead set to produce a more tactical race. The first boats are now expected to reach Hobart early Tuesday.
    "Bass Strait looks like a minefield, so a very long race ahead with lots of snakes and ladders I'd say," said navigator Will Oxley on Yendys, which was in 10th position Sunday afternoon.
    However, stronger winds may be on the way with the Bureau of Meteorology forecasting the leading half of the fleet can expect an east/north-easterly at 10-15 knots on a slight swell for the rest of Sunday.
    ICAP Leopard owner and skipper Mike Slade was not counting on better sailing weather, saying the 2009 Sydney to Hobart could prove one of the lightest and longest ever.
    "Every Met forecast is proving completely wrong and being corrected by the minute," he said.
    "I can only hope that as the Met have been outfoxed so royally to date that the current prognosis for the next two days of light winds will equally prove false."
    Four entries have so far dropped out of the 100-strong fleet in a race where final rankings are determined by a handicap system based on the boat's dimensions.
    By late Sunday, Australian entry Ichi Ban was in fourth place for line honours, followed by British yacht Ran and Australia's Investec Loyal.
    The Sydney to Hobart can be a dangerous race, with six sailors perishing in the 1998 contest when a powerful storm sank five yachts and forced 66 of the 115-strong fleet to retire.
    Copyright 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. More

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    NZ's Alfa Romeo leading Sydney to Hobart yacht race
    (AFP) – 4 hours ago
    SYDNEY — New Zealand super maxi Alfa Romeo held a strong lead in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race on Monday, as fickle winds slowed and stretched the race as the fleet sailed down Australia's southeast coast.
    Officials said the frustrating conditions meant that some yachts were sailing under a good breeze while others struggled, depending on their position on the third day of the contest.
    In parts of the often perilous Bass Strait between mainland Australia and the southern island of Tasmania, winds had practically disappeared.
    "We are in a parking lot," said Michael Bellingham, navigator for Australian boat Loki. "It's time to break out the cards."
    The bigger yachts in the 96-strong fleet were able to make some speed Monday, with Alfa Romeo about 12 nautical miles ahead of favourite and four-time line honours winner Wild Oats XI and Britain's ICAP Leopard.
    "It has been a little frustrating watching the big boats pass through unscathed," said Will Oxley, navigator on Yendys, which was in tenth position.
    Skippers used to 10-metre waves pounding their decks said the gentle conditions were a surprise in a race which claimed six lives in 1998 when a fierce storm sank five yachts and forced 66 of the 115-strong fleet to retire.
    "It's like a millpond, but we're happy with our four-and-a-half knot boat speed, given the conditions," said David Pescud onboard Sailors with Disabilities.
    "If it wasn't a race it would be beautiful sailing. It's become a very tactical race, but it's so slow. It's given us a lot of time to think, it's like a giant game of chess."
    The fact that the race has taken a day longer than expected has also prompted some sailors to ration their provisions.
    On the Yendys, water is being limited, with no tea or coffee for the overnight crew.
    The 65th annual Sydney to Hobart began Saturday in what had originally been expected to be fast conditions for the 628-nautical mile race down the east coast of Australia to the southern city of Hobart.
    But milder weather dashed hopes that Wild Oats XI's 2005 race record of one day and 18 hours would fall.
    The first boats are expected to reach Hobart late Monday evening for line honours while the final rankings will be determined later using a handicap system based on the boat's dimensions.
    Copyright 2009 AFP. All rights reserved. More

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