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by Ian Grant on 27 Dec 2000
Sydney - Hobart Race reputations and expectations were again progressively dismantled on a squally and rough Tasman Sea south of Montague Island today

George Snow’s Hamilton Island sponsored maxi sloop Brindabella became a race casualty when she suffered delamination of her bow after slamming into the building seas and cold south west headwinds.

She was forced out along with the Telstra Sydney-Hobart race line honours favourite Shockwave which registered her first regatta success during the Hahn Premium Race Week at Hamilton Island last August.

These shock withdrawals destroyed what was going to be an exciting battle to resolve this years line honours title and ended the chance for the Brindabella and Shockwave crews to enjoy a post race crew celebration in Hobart.

Brindabella a noted performer in fresh wind and big seas was being prepared to make a charge on the leading line honours position when the ‘Southerly Buster’ blew in before dawn today..

The rough racing conditions were moderate in comparison to those experienced in the wild dual cell storm that claimed 6 lives in 1998.

But unfortunately for Brindabella her reason to retire created some anxious moments for skipper George Snow and navigator Lindsay May before they had to opportunity to access the damage.

Skipper Snow reluctantly advised the race control centre that the damage to Brindabella was too extensive for her to continue racing.

At the time Brindabella was a close fourth behind Shockwave, Wild Thing and Nicorette as they pounded headlong into the building sea state and cold 30 knot winds.

Sean Langman’s Xena which had earlier led the fleet on above record pace for Hobart also retired today.

She was sighted south of Green Cape by Tasmania’s world famed yachting photographer Richard Bennett.

“We were preparing to take a shot when she suddenly turned back, it spoilt a rare photograph of a red hull surrounded in white spray on a deep blue ocean”. a disappointed Bennett said.

“Sure conditions were rough, but they were not extreme”. He said.

As many crews found out today the Tasman Sea has again tossed up a supreme test of skill, seamanship, tactics and endurance when Shockwave, Brindabella, Xena and Icefire suffered various forms of damage

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