Mixed Overnight Fortunes

  • Racing
  • NEWS
  • By Jennifer Crooks
  • 27 Dec 2008 11:00:00
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Quantum Racing chasing down Ginger in the Rolex Trophy Passage Race

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It has been a mixed night for some of the favorites over the past 12 hours, with some gaining ground and other leaving themselves with a mountain to climb today to get back into contention.

0800hrs, 27 DECEMBER 2008

It has been a mixed night for some of the favorites over the past 12 hours, with some gaining ground and other leaving themselves with a mountain to climb today to get back into contention.

One of the biggest surprises has been the race for line honours, which by all accounts supposed to have been a Wild Oats XI one horse race.  It seems though that someone forgot to tell Skandia, and the two boats are neck and neck in a match race.
 
Skandia’s navigator Graeme Taylor says they have had a very long and tiring night, but they are delighted with where they are this morning.  He says that they made some very good calls on the wind shifts during the night, and they have also made great use of up to four and a half knots of current.

Significantly, they also think that the changes made to Wild Oats XI this year, with a lighter bulb and water ballast may not be working.  With the wind direction they are getting Skandia is able to sail closer in and more directly, and their feeling is that Wild Oats XI is slower.

Having done everything they can to minimize Skandia’s handicap, though, Taylor concedes that winning the race on handicap will be a big ask.  He thinks that they will have to make up about 30 minutes on the top placed boats, Yendys, Quest and Wedgetail, and while that is not impossible it will be very difficult.  He thinks the weather forecast favors the 40 footers.

The pre-race handicap favourite, Quantum Racing, has had a disappointing night.  “We had a major shut down of the breeze around 2am this morning,” says Bryan Northcote, the navigator of Quantum Racing.  “The boats that chose to gybe north east of Montague island into the rhumbline got the biggest dividend: Quest, Cougar II and Yendys.  They probably put about 25 miles on us.”

“But it is still interesting, we’ve still got this trough line which is going to drop out today in Bass Strait, so we will see what happens with that.  We will try to get back some of the distance we have lost.  The next 60 hours will tell how we go.  After that it will be pretty straight forward.”

By Jim Gale/Rolex Sydney Hobart Media team

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