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Sydney Hobart – New Dawn.

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 27 Dec 2021 23:08 GMT
Black Jack at the start of the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart. © Rolex / Andrea Francolini

The Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race is often described as a 628NM windward/leeward affair. Well, you had your 10-20 minutes of leeward coming out the Heads, depending on how fast you are, and for the remainder of two days, it has been all about the windward.

Overnight, the poles apart directions of the breeze started to appear, and the word CALM also got a mention, and that was certainly the harbinger of the fabled transition all had been planning for.

So if ever there was a time to be long and skinny, now might be it. Black Jack certainly pursued a West is Best theory, and although they could of stopped to build sandcastles on the beach at Flinders Island, they elected not to, for the notion was to make Tasmania as quickly as possible. Good idea, 99.

The tracker also shows that they very much elected to stay away from any semblance of being near the Banks Strait that separates Flinders from Tasmania proper, for you would have had thought everyone would have had enough of the slop off the NSW coast the night before. Even better idea, 99.

Over coffee, Black Jack was smoking along at 15 knots, indicating cracked sheets, but by the time business hours commenced, they were back at just six, whilst Law Connect only around three miles away was still in the mid-teens. Ah, alas we begin to see the tale being told since the start with patchy eye-of-needle stuff coming to the fore. One might expect more leapfrog as the day unfolds.

The observations from Bicheno, roughly abeam where they are at the time of writing shows 10 knots from the Sou’West, so the clock to the right begins. 140NM to go may not seem like a lot, but eased sheets may be back on for now, and of course, light and sloppy is no way to get across Storm Bay, let alone up the River Derwent.

That's all to play for later. Right now, there might just be a chance the supermaxis can improve their position under rating over the others by skedaddling down the coast to the corner in the last of a decent bit of squirt before the roadblocks go up all the way along the East Coast and slow anyone else left behind. Hhhhmmmm. We'll see...

In short, lots to play for, so alert crew, even sharper minds back in the Fantasy Land/Afterguard department, and maybe even a bit of Lotus position and Oooommmmm to stay centred, and not let the snakes and ladders take hold of the mind. Great day’s racing ahead…

Stay safe, thanks for tuning into Sail-World.com, and all the best for 2022.

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