66th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2010

2010 RSHYR - AY Microsite

RSHYR - AY MicrositeNo Secret – ‘Boettch’ wins Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
RSHYR - AY Photo Gallery30 Dec 1330hrs:
On his 22nd attempt, South Australian yachtsman Geoff Boettcher has finally achieved his longheld dream, winning the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race overall. In being announced the overall winner at 12.00pm today, Boettcher’s Secret Men’s Business 3.5 becomes the second consecutive South Australian yacht to win the race, and only one of five South Australians to win since the race’s inception in 1945. Boettcher and his crew, including former America’s Cup navigator Steve “Reggie” Kemp, realised late last evening that their chances of winning the coveted Tattersall’s Cup was increasing as the night wore on. That’s when the nervous pacing began over a few well-earned drinks. “It was hard trying to sleep last night,” admitted ‘Boettch’ early this morning as he waited to hear that the NSW yacht Victoire was out of the picture and finally that Peter Moseley’s Local Hero, also from NSW, had failed to finish in time to beat Boettcher and his crew. “It was spooky last night not being sure whether we’d won or not. There was a bit of anxiety. Today’s confirmation means I can comprehend it now,” he said. The humorous 64 year-old was in good form aboard his yacht today. “It took me 22 years to win this race - so I’m glad it’s finally happened – I’m running out of runway,” he said referring to his age. Of the race itself, Boettcher told: “We had to take our foot off the peddle a bit in Bass Strait, but we pushed the boat and crew to the limit; you have to if you want to win. We experienced 50 knots, choppy seas and big waves – sometimes it was a challenge just getting on deck!” Check out the RSHYR - AY Photo Gallery and AY Microsite for the news summary in brief and links to News, Tracking, Photo Gallery and Video's.

RSHYR - AY Photo GalleryProtests against Wild Oats XI and Ran dismissed
29 Dec 1800hrs: Wild Oats XI has been confirmed as line honours winner of the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race , for the fifth time, after the Race Committee radio protest was dismissed. The protest against Ran was also dismissed. There was a dockside presentation in Hobart of the line honours trophy and Rolex Yacht-Master watch to the winning crew of Wild Oats XI. “It's a big deal, a lot of effort goes into the race, the result is a good one and we're very happy," skipper Mark Richards said. Although he had always been confident he had fully complied with the rules, Richards conceded that he was a very relieved man when the final verdict was announced “I’m very relieved,” he said after this afternoon’s trophy presentation. “Protests are never a good thing, especially from the race committee. They had reasons to do what they did but fortunately we’d done our homework, ticked off all the boxes and got out of trouble.
Juries are very good at making you sweat and they made us sweat today, but commonsense prevailed and the right result was made.” Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Commodore Garry Linacre said justice had been done. “We'll now sit down at some stage and have a good look at the rule book and see what changes need to be made to the wording in relation to the use of HF (High Frequency) radio. That's not to say safety of crews, and the ability of one yachtie to go to the aid of another yachtie in distress, will not always be paramount in the eyes of the race committee." The presentation capped a dramatic night and day that will stand out in the 66-year annals of Rolex Sydney Hobart races. Check out the RSHYR - AY Photo Gallery

RSHYR - AY Photo GalleryFleet Trickles into Hobart...
29th Dec 1130hrs: Sean Langman and Anthony Bell’s 100-foot super maxi Investec Loyal was the second yacht across the finish line of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, arriving last night just after midnight, three and a half hours behind the provisional line honours winner and race favourite Wild Oats XI. Investec Loyal’s sailing time to Hobart was two days, eleven hours and eleven minutes. The yacht was on track to finish sooner; however as is often the case when arriving at the mouth of the Derwent River after dark, the breeze typically drops right off. This was Langman’s 20th Rolex Sydney Hobart race. Once across the line he congratulated the Wild Oats XI crew on being first to Hobart, only a few hours before. Asked whether he can challenge Bob Oatley’s super maxi Wild Oats XI again and win, he responded, “definitely, there is more in this boat, more in the team.”
Later Wednesday morning, four more contenders crossed the finish line in Hobart: Lahana, Ichi Ban, Wild Thing and Rán.

RSHYR - AY Photo GalleryThe 30-meter fixed keel water ballasted Lahana, skippered by Peter Millard, completed the gruelling race in two days, fourteen hours, and nine minutes. Lahana arrived at the finish line at 3:09am 29 December. Like Investec Loyal crossing the finish line was frustrating as the winds on the Derwent River were all but gone. The story was similar for Matt Allen's Jones 70 Ichi Ban. Allen and his crew sailed an inspiring race. The whole way they had been in the breakaway pack of four leading yachts, snapping at the sterns of their much bigger rivals and ahead of the remaining super maxi Wild Thing and the 72-foot mini-maxi Rán. Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing finished 23 minutes behind Ichi Ban at 0615 Wednesday morning while Zennstrom’s Rán arrived seven minutes later at 0622. Like Wild Oats XI, Rán also faces the same protest about the use of its radio from the event Race Committee. The International Jury will hear the protest at 1300 today at the Royal Yacht Club Tasmania.

RSHYR - AY Photo GalleryAt 1030 Wednesday, saw the arrival of Alan Brierty’s Reichel/Pugh Limit and less than three minutes later, Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki. Both boats were locked in a dead heat for most of the race. According to Limit’s owner Alan Brierty, “First Loki got in front, then we got in front. It was back and forth. We finally got in front and stayed in front at Tasman Light. Speaking of the neck-and-neck battle with Loki, Brierty said, “It was a race within the race. For us, it was the race.” Nine yachts have finished, with 61 yachts still racing. Still up for grabs is the Tattersall’s Cup for the overall handicap win. Currently leading is Darryl Hodgkinson’s Beneteau 45, Victoire, which would need to finish by 0736 tomorrow (Dec 30). From the boats that have finished Geoff Boettcher's Reichel Pugh 51 SECRET MENS BUSINESS 3.5 from South Australia is leading the IRC stakes and as time goes by is rapidly rising up the rankings.

More News and Live Tracking go directly to the official CYCA - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2010 website. Check out the official Rolex RegattaNews.com - Photo Gallery and Video Coverage pages. Catch up with all the action. Replay Yahoo!7News video's. A selection of photos have been placed in the RSHYR - AY Photo Gallery and AY Microsite for the news summary in brief. Enjoy!

RSHYR - AY MicrositeWild Oats XI first boat to Hobart
28th Dec 2130hrs: Bob Oatley’s champion 100-foot supermaxi Wild Oats XI has reasserted its claim as one of Australia’s greatest ocean racing yachts by being first across the Rolex Sydney Hobart finish line. After storming to the finish at 15-19 knots of boat speed over the final miles, Wild Oats XI reached the finish line off Hobart’s historic Battery Point at 8:37pm this evening, Tuesday 28 December. Wild Oats XI has been named the provisional line honours winner pending the decision of the International Jury over a protest by the Race Committee regarding their HF radio. The jury will convene at 1:00pm on Wednesday 29 December at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania, the race finishing club. Wild Oats XI, from the Reichel Pugh design board, led the 87-strong field out of Sydney Harbour after the 1pm start on Sunday afternoon and held pole position for the entire 628 nautical mile race, finishing 30 nautical miles ahead of her nearest rival, Sean Langman and Anthony Bell’s supermaxi Investec Loyal, with Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban a further 51 nautical miles behind and currently in third place.
Wild Oats XI’s elapsed time was 2 days 7 hours 37 minutes 20 seconds with an average speed of a tad over 11 knots of boat speed over the challenging course.

RSHYR - AY Photo GalleryAfter Neville Crichton’s 100-footer Alfa Romeo blocked Wild Oats’ quest for five straight titles last year, skipper Mark Richards vowed their race preparation would change dramatically. This year the boat contested many more offshore races and spent significant time on the water ironing out the wrinkles and perfecting the teamwork of a crew comprising some of the biggest names in Australian and New Zealand ocean racing, and now with a staggering 220 Rolex Sydney Hobarts between them. A number of modifications were also made to the boat to improve her upwind performance. Richards has long resented suggestions that Wild Oats XI was just a fair wind flyer. Her dominance throughout one of the toughest Rolex Sydney Hobarts in recent years should silence the sceptics once and for all. “Winners are grinners,” declared Richards as he stepped ashore holding up the fingers of one hand. “Check it out. That’s why you have five fingers: for five Sydney Hobarts. “It was a tough race, we got into some tough situations we had to get out of, and here we are. It’s a fantastic feeling and a hell of a lot better than second.” More News and Live Tracking go directly to the official CYCA - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2010 website. Check out the official Rolex RegattaNews.com - Photo Gallery and Video Coverage pages. Catch up with all the action. Replay Yahoo!7News video's. A selection of photos have been placed in the RSHYR - AY Photo Gallery. Enjoy!

RSHYR - AY Photo GalleryA cold, miserable night as fleet regroups
28th Dec 1230hrs: Pain and pleasure are all about perspective. Even when you are cold, tired, and the boat beneath you is slamming off six metre waves, there can be plusses as well as minuses as the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet is finding out. Modern maxi yachts need very little wind to reach incredible speeds. But in big seas and gale force winds the order of business quickly shifts to boat preservation, shedding those acres of sail and trying to steer through waves rather than launching into the void off the top of them at speed. So after more than a day of this, spirits soar with the return of the sun and a moderate breeze. "We are in full race mode now," Lahana trimmer and helmsman Geoff Cropley reported late this morning as his yacht left Bass Strait to skirt wide round the north Tasmanian coast. "Everybody is pumped and we're going very hard. The sky is clear, we're in a breeze from the south west, we have a full mainsail up and a Code 2 headsail."

RSHYR - AY Photo GalleryInvestec Loyal skipper Sean Langman reported at 11am today. "We had some seasickness in the crew but everyone's up in the sun now. "The water/electronics problem on these boats is constant. We've been working round the clock to keep the systems going. “We are in reasonably good shape though we didn't realise until this morning that we had a substantial leak in the bow and took on a ton and a half of water. When we opened the watertight bulkhead the water came gushing out." Both Investec Loyal and Peter Millard and John Honan’s 98 footer Lahana are drawing heart from the expected lightening of the breeze as they chase Wild Oats XI down the final stretch. "Our strategy is to be the most easterly boat (furthest out to sea) and stay quite deep for a number of hours before we start shunting up towards the Tasman light," Cropley says. "We do not want to get sucked into the coast too early." "A lot of it (getting past Wild Oats XI) is the time of arrival. We'll arrive at Tasman Island as the breeze fades, the sun goes down and the wind shuts down (in the Derwent River)." Variable breeze on the river just might offer the tactical opportunity that has eluded Wild Oats XI's challengers so far. Not everyone is pleased that the breeze has softened. Unlike the supermaxis, Matt Allen's Volvo 70 Ichi Ban was built for round the world racing. She has relished the big southerly and has sailed a great race, lying fourth behind Wild Oats XI, Lahana and Investec Loyal and ahead of bigger rivals. "We've been really pleased with how it's been going," Allen says, "the hardest part will be when we encounter light airs. Wild Oats XI is better than us in light airs so hopefully we can keep the (wind) pressure going. Go directly to the official CYCA - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2010 website. Check out the official Rolex RegattaNews.com - Photo Gallery Enjoy!

2010 Rolex Syd-Hobart RaceSoutherly claims three overnight retirements
28th Dec 0600hrs: There was a further three retirements overnight in the 66th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race among the small to mid size boats, bringing to 15 the total number to have retired with 72 still at sea. Last night the southerly smacking off the New South Wales south coast continued to pummel those yet to pass Green Cape and enter what typically is the most notorious stretch of the 628 nautical mile course, Bass Strait. With more favourable conditions predicted later today, the race is set to enter its next phase, downwind flying and the chase for the coveted Tattersall’s Cup, the stunning silver trophy for the overall winner of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s premier race. Race leaders Wild Oats XI and Investec Loyal are 16 nautical miles apart and both well out to sea east of Eddystone Point on Tasmania’s north-east coast. They are travelling at about 10 knots having set their laylines for the next mark of the course, Tasman Island. Yacht Tracker was showing Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing as third, 9 nautical miles behind Investec Loyal and 25 behind Wild Oats XI.

RSHYR - AY Photo GalleryThe fleet is still experiencing south-westerly weather, but much gentler with conditions abating from midnight last night. The forecast for today is for winds to swing clockwise from the south-west to the west at 10 knots by about midday before the wind is due to turn north-easterly this afternoon, building to 20 knots during the day and up to 30 knots tonight. They are ideal conditions to bring the remainder of the fleet down the Tasmanian coast and forward of the computer-predicted time of the first boat, which a short time ago was 9.30am tomorrow. Leading the race on corrected time is veteran Syd Fischer’s TP52 Ragamuffin. The three overnight retirees were Nemesis (an undisclosed problem), Pirelli Celestial (mainsail damage) and Salona II (steering). Nemesis is the only one yet to make the port of Eden but is expected later today. Injured Dodo crewman Brian Moore was transferred off the 66 foot yacht at Eden at around 1am this morning to a police vessel after his broken arm was strapped up by ambulance staff. He was taken to Pambula Hospital. A selection of photos have been placed in the RSHYR - AY Photo Gallery Enjoy!

2010 Rolex Syd-Hobart RaceConditions abating as 2nd night approaches
27th Dec 1830hrs: Conditions appear to be easing at sea but not before the strong gale force south-westerly wind that built to its peak this afternoon claimed another three yachts in the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet. The people’s maxi, Jim Cooney’s Brindabella, has retired this afternoon with a torn mainsail. The Jutson 79, the 1997 line honours winner, is returning to Sydney. Two more yachts have retired this afternoon; Robert Reynolds’ DK46 Exile has pulled out of the blue water classic, navigator Julie Hodder reporting “our steering wheel was smashed by the boom when we took off our main. We are very disappointed.” Martin Power’s Victorian Peterson 44 Bacardi has also retired from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s annual classic after being dismasted 35 nautical miles east of Batemans Bay on the New South Wales south coast.

RSHYR - AY Photo GalleryThe Mark Richards skippered Wild Oats X1 still leads the fleet. The supermaxi is in the middle of Bass Strait, about 290 nautical miles from the finish, with a computer-projected finishing time of about 9pm tomorrow evening. Navigator Ian Burns said the crew had experienced 40 knots, but the yacht and crew had punched on to be in good condition and high spirits. “It was pretty arduous going, very hard to slow the boat down to keep it in one piece,’’ he said. “We had to get down to very, very small sails and really work at keeping the boat slow so we weren’t crashing off waves too much.” “We’ll just deal with each wave and each puff of breeze as they come to us. We’ll get there when we get there,” Burns added. The 100 footer is maintaining an 18-19 nautical mile lead over Sean Langman’s supermaxi Investec Loyal with the big mover today, Matt Allen’s Jones 70 Ichi Ban, lying third, eight miles further back. Then follows Peter Millard and John Honan’s 30 metre maxi Lahana, Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing and Niklas Zennstrom’s JV72 Rán, the first foreign entry, about 47 miles astern of the race leader.

Storm force conditions take out five yachts within an hour
2010 Rolex Syd-Hobart Race 27th Dec 1410hrs: Gale force headwinds have churned the waters, tossing the boats around like a bucking bronco trying to throw its rider and taking their toll on the race fleet with five retirements in less than an hour this afternoon as the fleet battles 40 to 50 knot winds off the New South Wales south coast. Nick Athineos’ modified 66-footer Dodo (The Stick) is heading to Eden, their ETA 7pm this evening, to drop off an injured crew member. They have not retired from racing and will assess the situation once they reach the coastal port. Steven Proud’s Sydney 38 Swish was the first to retire within the drama-filled hour, at 3.15 pm this afternoon, reporting that their radio wasn’t working and they were withdrawing from the 628-nautical mile ocean classic which is living up to its fearsome reputation, after having dished out a number of light and straightforward races in the past few years. At 3.25pm Ludde Ingvall’s 90-foot high profile entry YuuZoo, a former line honours winner, retired from the race, advising the race committee they had a torn headsail. They also tweeted from the boat that they had structural and rigging problems. At 3.43pm Tony Donnellan’s Victorian Reichel Pugh 47 Shamrock advised they were retiring with rudder bearing damage and heading to Sydney, giving an ETA of 8am Tuesday. At 3.52pm Andrew Wenham’s Volvo 60 Southern Excellence retired from racing, citing rig failure. At 3.55pm the Sailors with DisAbilities crew on the TP52 Wot Eva reported that diesel issues have brought their assault on Australia’s best-known blue water event to a sudden halt. The total number of retirements is now six with Dodo heading to Eden but still classed as racing. Jazz Player retired yesterday. The forecast for tonight is for winds west to south-westerly 25 to 35 knots and locally reaching 40 knots in the east then moderating to 20 to 25 knots overnight, with squalls and associated showers. Seas are expected to abate overnight, down from 3 to 4 metres to 2 to 3 metres later in the evening.

2010 Rolex Syd-Hobart RaceWild Oats XI leads fleet into Bass Strait.
27th Dec 1130hrs: Bob Oatley’s super maxi Wild Oats XI has led the 86-boat Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet into the notorious Bass Strait this morning, with Sean Langman’s Investec Loyal and Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing in hot pursuit. Langman and Wharington’s yachts are level pegging, but the two are sailing either side of the rhumbline, some 20 nautical miles behind the leader, Investec Loyal to the east and Victorian yacht Wild Thing to the west. The lead boats are sailing in a squally sou-westerly in the 30 knot range. Another battle is taking place just 10nm astern of them, as Matt Allen’s Jones 70 Ichi Ban (NSW) and Peter Millard/John Honan’s 100 footer Lahana (NSW) are within a mile of each other to the east of the rhumbline. In other news, the NSW yacht She has reported a head injury to crew member Colin Apps, who was reportedly seasick and fell, bumping his head and sustaining a head injury. She will liaise with the police launch Vanguard, which was following the fleet. Vanguard is towing an 8 metre rib, which will be used to transfer Apps off the boat. The boat will take Apps to Ulladulla where an ambulance will be waiting.

Sailing fix over Christmas / New Year - 66th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2010
2010 Rolex Syd-Hobart Race 26th Dec 1600hrs: The Mark Richards skippered 100 footer, Wild Oats XI, shrugged off a cheeky challenge from Grant Wharington’s Melbourne 98 footer, Wild Thing, to stamp its mark early on the line honours battle. Despite forecasts that this will be one of the toughest races in years, the 87 strong fleet started in remarkably mild conditions on a flat Sydney Harbour at 1pm today in an 11 knot west-nor-westerly breeze. Both start lines reported clean starts as nearly 1000 competitors began the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s, infamous Aussie blue water classic under overcast skies in light wind that produced a colourful spinnaker procession out of the Harbour before the fleet turned at the seaward mark to point south towards Hobart.
On the eastern side of the front start line, reserved for the largest boats, Grant Wharington staged a nail-biting and brilliant start with just seconds to spare at the helm of Wild Thing. The 100 footers, Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI and Sean Langman and Anthony Bell’s Investec Loyal squared off on the western side, while Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki timed things perfectly about a third of the way down the tightly congested line. Wild Thing had a wild monent when they clipped a press boat with its bow-sprit. Fortunately no one was hurt & now Grant Wharington is back chasing the leading maxi yachts down the New South Walas coast! The last boat to leisurely leave Sydney Harbour was the Italian entry Onelife, in the Cruising Division. Sometime this evening the fleet will encounter a southerly change of 15 to 20 knots accompanied by scattered thunderstorms.

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