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Sydney to Hobart - Who should go and who shouldn't?

by AAP AAP Copyright on 29 Dec 2000
Light-weight maxi yachts entering the Telstra Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race simply for
the publicity ruined the race for the serious contenders, a past line honours winner said
Past race winner and catamaran builder Robert Clifford said the light-weight boats were
built for harbour racing and were not strong enough for the trip across Bass Strait.

'The reality is that sometimes these boats are not strong enough to drive them to their
maximum, it's a bit like driving a formula one car over a paddock, you just can't do it,' he
told Channel Nine.

Clifford said the design requirements for the 630 nautical mile ocean classic should be

'Not very many of those super maxis have made it this year, the only boats that looked
like making it are the around-the-world racers, the true ocean racing yachts are going to
make it fine,' he said.

'I'm just a little bit critical of the sailors that typically run around the harbour and think
they can do a Sydney Hobart race and get away with it.'

Clifford also criticised the boats he believed were entering the annual race just for the

'The boats should be well and truly encouraged to finish the race unless they're in
serious danger,' he said.

'One wonders why they bother even to start just to get the publicity of the first 24 hours
or so and then to take one look at a few white clouds in Bass Strait and decide to turn
around and go back again.

'Some of these boats go into the race just for the publicity, they actually spoil it for the
genuine, hard ocean racing boats.'

Swedish maxi Nicorette scored a decisive line honours win in the Telstra Sydney to
Hobart Yacht Race duel for line honours early this morning after taking a battering for
much of the race.

Nicorette completed the race in two days, 14 hours, two minutes and nine seconds --
the second fastest elapsed time in the race's 56-year history.
Brought to you by AAP, Copyright AAP 2000

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