LINE HONOURS WINNER WILD OATS XI  Crew on the rail (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

LINE HONOURS WINNER WILD OATS XI Crew on the rail (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

ONE MORE TIME
While not the record-setting pace, Wild Oats XI still made her indelible mark in the record books, taking the line honours win at the 2013 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. Close reaching up the Derwent River, the 100-footer crossed the finish line off Battery Point in Hobart, at 7:07pm local time (AEDT). Wild Oats’ elapsed time of 2 days, 6 hours, 7 minutes, 27 seconds gave sWild Oats XIkipper Mark Richards and crew their seventh line honours win, which ties the record held by the yacht Morna/Kurrewa IV.

Thousands of spectators lined the shore and docks of Constitution Dock and neighboring piers on a beautiful summer’s evening to cheer Wild Oats XI as their crew tied up to the dock. Stepping ashore, a tired looking Mark Richards said, “It was all hard…a lot of testing conditions, a lot of light air and mentally very draining. We had a bit of everything that was the great thing about it.

BOB OATLEY, OWNER OF WILD OATS XI AND SKIPPER MARK RICHARDS RECEIVE THE ROLEX YACHTMASTER TIMEPIECE

BOB OATLEY, OWNER OF WILD OATS XI AND SKIPPER MARK RICHARDS RECEIVE THE ROLEX YACHTMASTER TIMEPIECE Photo By: Rolex / Carlo Borlengh

Greatest thrill of my
life…seven!
Bob Oatley – Wild Oats XI owner

“This is one of the best wins you could probably have. There’s a lot of new competition and a lot of anxiety, no one hadany idea how we were going to go against each other. To sail away from these guys throughout the race was pretty amazing.” Wild Oats XI owner, Australian winemaker Bob Oatley, joined Richards ashore and exclaimed, “Greatest thrill of my life…seven!”

Following was a dockside presentation where skipper Mark Richards and owner Bob Oatley were presented with the JJ Illingworth Trophy and a Rolex timepiece as the first yacht to finish.

WILD OATS XI, Sail No: 10001, Bow No: XI, Owner: Robert Oatley, Skipper: Mark Richards, Design: Reichel Pugh 30 Mtr, LOA (m): 30.5, State: NSW off Tasman Island

WILD OATS XI, Sail No: 10001, Bow No: XI, Owner: Robert Oatley, Skipper: Mark Richards, Design: Reichel Pugh 30 Mtr, LOA (m): 30.5, State: NSW off Tasman Island

The Reichel/Pugh-designed boat, built in 2005, showed itself as still competitive in this year’s race, up against the toughest fleet ever assembled – which included 100-footers Perpetual Loyal and Ragamuffin 100, Volvo 70s Giacomo and Black Jack, and the newly launched 80-footer, Beau Geste. Richards said “To see a nearly nine-year old boat like this perform against the greatest and latest ocean racing boats in the world is pretty impressive.”

Ian Burns, Wild Oats’ strategist recalled a key part of the race, “The first night proved to be a huge parking lot for us and a lot of boats cleverly maneuvered through that, and really gave us quite a hard time to catch up. Luckily we had quite light conditions, which I don’t think suits them (Perpetual Loyal) anywhere near as well as us. We were able to chip away slowly, you know a 1/10th of a mile at a time.  Just after we got past them we came into a really light zone of wind and we managed to keep going – and they got parked up in the same zone and lost a huge amount of distance there.

“It started off (first day) if you were in front, you sort of lost to the guys behind you; but the second half of the race, once you got in front you got richer and richer, the wind got stronger, and more shift to you. We were able to leverage that pretty heavily and make some steady gains right through the whole race right down to Tasman.”

Perpetual LOYAL (Photo by Rolex /  Daniel Forster)

Perpetual LOYAL (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal was second across the finish line with a time of 2 days, 9 hours, 19 minutes, 56 seconds. Bell is familiar with the front of the fleet – the skipper took line honours in the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race on his previous boat Investec Loyal. That boat, now in the hands of Syd Fischer as Ragamuffin 100, was on track to be third over the finish line, givingWild Oats and Loyal a run for their money.

Ragamuffin 100  ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Ragamuffin 100 ( Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

When the bulk of the race fleet reached Bass Strait earlier today, the notorious body of water proved somewhat benign, with a 20 – 25 knot northeasterly providing perfect downwind sailing conditions. But the threat of the approaching low pressure that is forecast to bring a 30 – 40 knot southwesterly has the boats pushing to get as far south, as fast as possible.

Overnight tonight, a closely grouped pack of bigger boats are due to finish including Black Jack, Beau Geste, Giacomo, and Wild Thing.

The race for overall handicap winner is still up for play. With the changing weather conditions, competitor’s chances have been reshuffled. At 10pm local time AEDT, Bruce Taylor’s Caprice 40, Chutzpah was leading IRC overall on handicap.

Ninety boats are still racing – today Wilparina retired for unknown reasons, while Canute retired with rudder bearing problems.

 

Leg 4, Race 6, Day 1 During the Sydney Hobart 2013

Leg 4, Race 6, Day 1 During the Sydney Hobart 2013 (Photo courtesy Clipper Round the World Race)

With just four miles separating the top five Clipper Race teams as they pass the halfway mark, tensions are reaching summer boiling point. The race leader and fleet positions change frequently and podium positions are anything but predictable as Race 6 continues its thrilling progress.
In a dramatic morning’s racing, GREAT Britain (44th overall in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race)moved up four fleet positions to take over the Race 6 lead momentarily from Henri Lloyd (42ndoverall) who has just now regained its front spot.
Derry~Londonderry~Doire (45th overall) has made terrific gains this morning and whilst writing this report has now moved into third (50th overall) with Old Pulteney (51st overall) who had led the fleet for the previous 36 hours, now fourth.
Providing his take on the race so far, Deputy Race Director Mark Light said: “The fleet has left the sunshine shores of South East Australia and passed Cape Green, entering the notorious Bass Strait. This stretch of water can be ferocious, like a raging animal baring its teeth. At the moment it is more akin to a small kitten asleep in the sunshine, but the latest weather forecasts are showing things are going to change.
“Coming up to the approximately the halfway mark in this iconic race is where things will start to get very tactical as the yachts race to get across Bass Strait as quickly as possible to avoid the worst of the conditions and begin to negotiate the tricky East Tasmanian Coast while at the same time trying not to wake the weather animal asleep in the corner.
“The fleet is incredibly compact still so the next 36 hours are going to make for some very nail biting watching. Race Tracker viewers following at home will be glued to their screens I am sure.”
Clipper Race founder Sir Robin Knox-Johnston who is racing aboard Clipper 68, CV10 is keeping up with the Clipper 70s which he helped to design, currently sitting in 55th place overall in approximately the middle of the Clipper Race fleet.All positions reported as at the time of writing and are changing frequently. Check the Clipper Race tracker for the latest positions. It is updating every 10 minutes during this race.
To read all the skipper reports, CLICK HERE

To follow the Clipper Race 6 tracker, CLICK HERE

To follow the Clipper Race yachts in the overall Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race standings, CLICK HERE.

FROM SYDNEY, INTO THE FRAY

Rolex Sydney Hobart Start 2013 by Daniel Forster

Rolex Sydney Hobart Start 2013 (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

The low pressure system that brought rain to the Sydney area yesterday moved out to sea, providing picture perfect conditions today – a 15-18 knot southeasterly, sunshine and blue skies – for the 94-boat fleet starting the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

Boxing Day spectators lined the Sydney shoreline, and pleasure boats, ferries and all manner of craft jockeyed for a place outside the harbour’s exclusion zone, to watch the 94-boat fleet, go off at the 1:00pm (AEDT) starter’s cannon. The size and speed of the top end of this year’s fleet required a change to three staggered start lines.

The bigger boats, on the forward-most line, set their giant code zero headsails and were quickly off on a starboard reach: while 100-footers Wild Oats XI and Perpetual Loyal were drag-racing in front, just behind were Beau Geste, Ragamuffin, and Wild Thing along with the Volvo 70s, Black Jack and Giacomo. The 80-foot Beau Geste, with the pedal down, rounded the turning mark second, behind Wild Oats XI.

Maxis at Sydney Hobart Start by Carlo Borlenghi

Maxis at Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2013 Start (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

The south-southeasterly breeze, combined with the spectator fleet wash, outside of the race exclusion zone, caused a washing machine-like chop, but that will pale with what is predicted for the fleet further down the 628-nautical mile race track.

The forecast is for lighter winds tonight and tomorrow, before a north-northeasterly fills in, providing ideal downwind conditions. For tacticians on the bigger, faster boats how they manage this transition will be key. For now they will endeavour to get as far south, as fast as they can.

Behind them, the smaller boats will be facing westerly gale-force winds predicted for late Saturday night (60 hours after the start) in Bass Strait and down to Tasman Island. Adding to these punishing conditions will be a westerly swell upwards of ten meters.

But the race more often than not, serves up tough conditions. Prior to the start, many of the skippers and crews, chalked up the forecast as fairly typical. Roger Hickman, skipper of Wild Rose, is a race veteran, having started in 35 races, and completed 33 of them.  Hickman said, “It is what it is. Tonight should be quiet, tomorrow quiet and then I believe we’re going to get a real pasting in Bass Strait, fresh to frightening, gale-force winds, but that’s the way it is.

The experience, the talent and the sea
miles that are in this race are astounding
Roger Hickman, skipper of Wild Rose

Hickman acknowledged that the boats and crew were up to the task, adding, “There’s a great fleet of boats here, but what’s more important is the crew. Every one of these magnificent boats is full of competitive, competent, solid yachtsmen. The experience, the talent and the sea miles that are in this race are astounding.”

Brendan Garner, on the Beneteau 45, Senna, will be racing for the first time as skipper, having done the race five races before. Garner said, “It’s going to be a complicated race; there’s going to be a lot of gear changes. We’ve done a fair bit of work with our sail systems and set-ups, so we’re quite comfortable with that. Overall we’re not too fussed with the forecast, we’re quite happy with it.”

A successful Etchells-class sailor, Garner commented on the change up from one-design to offshore and said, “You’re out there for a long time, you have to be mentally and physically prepared. It’s a race of endurance.”

Crowds at Sydney Hobaret 2013 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

Crowds at Sydney Hobaret 2013 (Photo by Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi)

By late afternoon, many of the bigger boats had headed offshore looking for more favorable breeze; the front-runners were 15-25 nautical miles east of Kiama, making 15-16 knots of speed upwind.

Tracker

Current status of the race will be available on the online tracker at: http://rolexsydneyhobart.com/tracker/

EVENT PROGRAMME

From Saturday, 28 December

Arrival of the first boats in Hobart

Wednesday, 1 January
11:00 Final prize giving, Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (RYCT)

Sydney Hobart Start by Daniel Forster

Sydney Hobart Start (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

 

 

St Barths Bucket  (Photo by Oskar Kihlborg www.kihlborg.se )

St Barths Bucket (Photo by Oskar Kihlborg www.kihlborg.se )

Virago a performance Nautor Swan sailing yacht wins the 2011 St. Barths Bucket Regatta overall for the 25th Anniversary St. Barths Bucket Regatta.

BY CLASS

Results: GRAND DAMES (Course #7 19.6 nm)  
  Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Total  
  Points Points Points Points Rank
AXIA 2 3 7 12 1
GENEVIEVE 10 2 3 15 2
BLUE TOO 13 1 2 16 3
HELIOS II 11 5 1 17 4
ETHEREAL 8 6 4 18 5
KLOSTERS 3 4 12 19 6
MALTESE FALCON 6 7 6 19 7
PARSIFAL III 4 9 9 22 8
PARAISO 9 8 5 22 9
DRUMBEG 5 10 10 25 10
TWIZZLE 7 11 8 26 11
WILLIAM TAI 1 13 13 27 12
ANTARA 12 12 11 35 13
           
     
Results: ELEGANTES (Course #7 19.6 nm)  
  Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Total  
  Points Points Points Points Rank
REBECCA 4 1 4 9 1
WINDROSE 3 2 7 12 2
MARIE 1 7 5 13 3
CHRISTOPHER 5 9 2 16 4
BEQUIA 2 6 8 16 5
THIS IS US 9 3 6 18 6
GAIA 7 8 3 18 7
ELENA 8 10 1 19 8
WHITE WINGS 6 5 9 20 9
METEOR 10 4 10 24 10
GLORIA 11 12 11 34 11
           
     
Results: GAZELLES (Course #6 22.6 nm)  
  Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Total  
  Points Points Points Points Rank
VIRAGO 4 1 1 6 1
SYMMETRY 2 2 7 11 2
RANGER 5 4 4 13 3
HANUMAN 3 9 2 14 4
P2 6 6 3 15 5
MARAMA 1 5 12 18 6
SOJANA 8 3 8 19 7
LEOPARD 3 7 10 6 23 8
HYPERION 11 11 5 27 9
MOONBIRD 9 8 11 28 10
MIRABELLA V 16 7 10 33 11
VARSOVIE 10 12 15 37 12
KOKOMO 14 15 9 38 13
ZEFIRO 12 14 13 39 14
LADY B 13 13 16 42 15
SONG OF THE SEA 15 16 14 45 16

A beautiful slideshow courtesy of  Cory Silken of the 40 strong fleet of Superyachts with spectacular St. Barths as the backdrop.

 

 

 St. Barth’s Bucket selects – Images by Cory Silken

 

Overall Winners

1st
2nd
3rd

Virago
Hanuman
Symmetry

Les Gazelles – Racing Class

1st
2nd
3rd

Virago
Symmetry
Ranger

Les Grand Dames – Cruising Class

1st
2nd
3rd

Axia
Genevieve
Blue Too

Les Elegantes – Classic Class

1st
2nd
3rd

Rebecca
Windrose
Marie

 

 

Alloy Cup

Blue Too

All Star Crew Award presented by Holland Jachtbuow

(also presented by The Yacht Report and Crew Report magazines)


Rebecca          

Wolter Huisman Memorial Spirit of the Bucket Trophy

Marie

Perini Navi Cup

P2

Vitter’s Shipyard Seamanship Trophy


Maltese Falcon          

Skullduggery Cravat


Axia          

Hard Hat Award


Mike Slade on Leopard          

 
 

Escargot Cup

Gloria

Hard Hat Award

Mike Slade on Leopard
 
 

Descriptions of Awards

Overall

These awards, first through third, are presented for the best performance overall for combined results, all classes, all races.

Les Gazelles & Les Grand Dames

In 2005, when the Bucket Regatta grew beyond all expectations and the fleet doubled in size, it was determined that the yachts should be split into classes that considered their essential attributes.  However, the distinction of “Cruising Division” and “Racing Division” seemed just, oh so pedestrian, for a fleet of this stature.  In the RC’s opinion, the designation of “Les Gazelles des Mers” for the Racing Division and “Les Grandes Dammes des Mers” for the Cruising Division, seemed far more appropriate. In 2011 “Les Elegantes” was added, providing a class for “classic yachts”.

Each Division has trophies presented for best performance overall, first through third.

Alloy Cup

Best Performance by an Alloy Yacht

All Star Crew Award

At each Bucket Event, every yacht is asked to cast a ballot for the yacht crew among the fleet that demonstrates the most professional service in all tasks, while maintaining the best voie de vivre, camaraderie, teamwork and respect among the crew.  This is the crew that displays the pinnacle of the profession and has the most fun at it – the yacht that everyone wants to work aboard.   Because the award is earned by peer recognition, it has earned serious stature within the marine industry.

Spirit of the Bucket Trophy

This award is presented each year by Alice Huisman, to the yacht that best exemplifies the spirit of the Bucket Regattas.  The selection is absolutely subjective, but considers sportsmanship, safe seamanship, best hospitality and overall contribution to the event. 

We have created a lot of humor around the premise that “Bribes can get you anything in the Bucket” and this is where the truth comes clear.  The Bucket Regatta was really started as a Club of yacht owners who loved nothing more than sailing their yachts well, getting the best out of them, and then sharing great yarns and libation at the end of the day.  There are a group of owners who have contributed a lot to the event over the years, from tenders to parties, committee boats, etc.  It is this Spirit that sets this event apart from all others.  It is in recognition of this Spirit that the Wolter Huisman Memorial Trophy is awarded.

(None of the above reduces the RC’s taste for fine champagne!)

Perini Navi Cup

Perini-Navi Yacht with the best result.

Vitters Seamanship Trophy

Awarded to the yacht that demonstrates the best seamanship and sportsmanship in the interest of promoting safety on the race course.  All participants in the Bucket acknowledge that superyachts have serious limitations operating safely in close quarters and therefore, the RC has always valued safety well above performance.  This award will recognize the yacht that best demonstrates that understanding.  It also goes to prove that nice guys don’t always finish last!!

Skullduggery Cravat

The Skullduggery Cravat is a perfectly tied Admiralty Noose, framed, with instructions in elegant calligraphy on how to tie a proper, 13 turn noose.  This was originally awarded to the owner of SARIYAH in 2002, so his captain, Timothy Laughridge (Bucket Committee) could be hung at the pleasure of the Fleet.

The award was renamed and put forward by the Committee to reinforce the Bucket premise that we are NOT here to promulgate adult behavior.  The Cravat will be awarded to the yacht and crew who display the best bucket humor.  As a guideline, we again focus on SARIYAH, where one year they spent the evening prior to the last race, slaughtering a down feathered mattress, then they packed the feathers in with their spinnaker so when they set their ‘Chute with the Hawk logo the following day, they not only dusted the horizon with feathers, but left a rubber chicken hanging from their spinnaker pole!!!