Sydney-Hobart 2011

Discussion in 'Sailboats' started by Doug Lord, Jul 4, 2011.

  1. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    Here's an interesting article from The Daily Sail in February. Scuttlebutt Europe just said that Wild Oats has just been relaunched(see below) but didn't mention what the mods to Wild Oats were. More to come:

    Bob Oatley’s record breaking supermaxi yacht, Wild Oats XI, is about to undergo an upgrade following news that the 30m sloop is to face a powerful foreign challenger in the Rolex Sydney Hobart race later this year.

    American George David has put Hobart race line honours, and hopefully an associated record breaking run, high on the agenda for the 30-metre offshore racer he recently chartered and renamed Rambler 100.

    Originally named Speedboat, Rambler 100 is recognised on the international sailing circuit as being unbeatable in the strong conditions that often prevail during the Sydney to Hobart race.

    Since taking the reins David has made modifications to the yacht and already got her sailing better than ever. This was all too evident little more than a week ago when Rambler 100 took line honours and lopped almost four hours off the race record (previously held by the
    UK supermaxi, ICAP Leopard) in the RORC Caribbean 600.

    Bob Oatley, Australian winemaker and owner of Hamilton Island, is all too aware of these facts and the challenge Wild Oats XI will face in the Hobart race. It has been a long held dream for the 83-year-old to see his record breaking yacht at least equal Hobart race history by claiming seven first-to-finish crowns. The sleek silver and red racer already has five of those seven wins to her credit, and she also holds the fastest time for the 628 nautical mile course: 1 day 18 hours, 40 minutes and 10 seconds, which was set in 2005.

    Working closely with the yacht’s skipper, Mark ‘Ricko’ Richards, Oatley has commissioned Wild Oats XI’s designers at the Reichel-Pugh office in America, as well as other yacht design specialists, to research what can be done to turbo-charge his maxi for the showdown with
    Rambler 100.

    Wild Oats XI is already out of the water and being prepared for surgery, however while Mark Richards has confirmed that a new keel will be fitted he has said little else: "We are looking at every avenue when it comes to making the boat faster. One thing we are definitely doing
    is running a computer analysis on a number of foil configurations."

    The latter point could be a clue as to what might be happening with the big boat. Wild Oats XI is a CBTF concept – a canting ballast/twin foil design – which means that she has a canting keel and foils (rudders) at the bow and stern (read more about this here). It is possible that when the yacht emerges from the builder’s shed mid-year the forward rudder/foil will have been replaced by a retractable twin-centreboard configuration like that seen on Volvo 70 round the world racers.

    One thing Richards is very definite about is the magnitude of the challenge that will come from Rambler 100 in the Hobart race: "The result of the Hobart race this year will depend on the conditions we get. You are dealing with two totally different boats here: Rambler is a
    brute of a boat when compared to Wild Oats XI. She’s far more powerful and carries about 20% more sail. In fresh reaching conditions they will be gone – we won’t see them – but in the light to medium stuff we should be okay. I also think that there won’t be a lot in it if we get strong southerly headwinds. The one thing for sure is that it’s going to be an incredibly exciting clash."

    The extent of the modifications to Wild Oats XI will be revealed in July when she is relaunched. She will contest the Audi Sydney-Gold Coast race at the end of that month before heading for Audi Hamilton Island Race Week, which is scheduled for 19 – 27 August.

    More on Wild Oats XI from Scuttlebutt today:

    Whitsunday Sailing Club Flag Officers will be in the final stages of preparation s for the annual Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week when their famed racing pennant is securely tied to the backstay of Merit Stratco Racing in Sydney.

    Merit launched in 1997 to contest the Volvo around the World race and now owned and successfully raced by Whitsunday Sailing Club's Leo Rodriguez will contest the 384 n/ml Audi Sydney to Gold Coast race starting on Saturday July 30.

    Skipper Leo Rodriguez believes the now 14 year old Volvo race challenger is better suited to the longer coastal passage races and promises to become a distinct challenger for the Performance Handicap class trophy following his success in winning the prestigious trophy in the 2008 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

    The tropical water racing crew who have proved their combined skill and seamanship over the longer Sydney-Hobart Race are hopeful of racing in a cold blast provided by the mid-winter South Westerlies.

    They are aware that Merit Stratco Racing has the proven pedigree to produce her best performance in fresh and frightening spinnaker sailing winds and will need these conditions to outpace her handicap rating against their more modern rivals.

    As expected the crew of Whitsunday sailors are hoping for a strong wind forecast and wave surfing conditions to prevail when they set their personal escape from experiencing the Sydney Chill Factor.

    However while life on deck will become particularly cold at night the crew will remain focused of logging the fastest passage towards the warmer climate.

    They will not be alone in what promises to be the most interesting race since the George Snow skippered Brindabella set the present race record of 27 hours 35 minutes 3 seconds in 1999. If there is any hint of strong southerlies blowing then the Bob Oatley owned and Mark Richards's skippered Sydney Hobart race record holder Wild Oats X1 will be chased by the Peter Millard skippered Brisbane to Gladstone race line honours champion Lahana to seriously challenge Brindabella's 13.92 knot benchmark.

    This race presents Wild Oats X1 with the first opportunity to test the recent hull modifications to upgrade her speed potential in preparation for the Sydney Hobart Race starting on Boxing Day.
    While interest will also focus on the pace setting performance of the Marcus Blackmore skippered TP 52 Hooligan which has dominated the results over short courses to currently lead the Audi Australian championship.

    Hooligan the former Team New Zealand Merit Cup champion and overall winner of the Brisbane to Gladstone Race over the Easter weekend has been the star performer winning regattas in Victorian and New South Wales.

    However her crew will need to repeat this form to head off the challenge from the 2010 Audi Australian champion Loki and the 2010 Meridien Marinas Airlie Beach Race Week champion Living Doll to remain as the crew to beat when the finals are decided during the Audi Hamilton Race Week in late August. --
    Ian Grant

    UPDATE: 7/9/11--Barring any catastrophic failure Rambler will win the Transat at 20 knots plus for most of the race. Looks real good-the mods on WOXI better work very well.....

    Pictures: L- Wild Oats, R-Rambler
    click on image

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2011
  2. Doug Lord
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  3. Plodunkgeo

    Plodunkgeo Previous Member

    How will this board shifting remodel affect the performance of the boat, I wonder?

    Perhaps this is a tacit admission that the original, overly-hyped, solution of CBTF has now run it's very brief course and that other solutions were better all along?

    Must be a bitter pill to swallow for some who invested so heavily in the CBTF process as hanger's-on.

    On the other hand, perhaps CBTF will claim that any twin foil solution, when combined with a canting keel, meets the threshold of pain for licensing their technology...? ;-)
  4. Doug Lord
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    From the front page of SA today:

    The daggerboards were designed by Paul Bieker - no stranger to appendages in this America's Cup daggerboard-rich environment and built by Core Builders Composites in New Zealand. With all the calculations done, asymmetric holes were cut in Wild Oats hull and deck then the board-casing structure fitted.

    More- see "Mod Squad" :
  5. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready


    Just noticed in this picture that the daggerboards appear to be placed in a "traditional" configuration-no vertical lift as demonstrated on Open 60's:
    ( possibility is that since WOXI is relatively narrow that lifting foils rather than being RM neutral might have slightly reduced RM and that, therefore, the tradeoff wasn't worth it)

    -- Just a note:
    a. CBTFco was grated a patent in 2006 on retracting foils for CBTF systems:
    b. CBTFco also has patented a main engine drive system for canting keels etc.

    -click on image-

    Attached Files:

  6. Doug Lord
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  7. Doug Lord
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    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  8. Doug Lord
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    Doug Lord Flight Ready

    WOXI tuning up

    From Scuttlebutt Europe today-this is an excerpt:

    Bob Oatley's Wild Oats X1 powered to another impressive line honours win in the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week regatta in the wind tormented Whitsunday Islands today.

    The Rolex Sydney Hobart Race record holder expertly sailed by skipper Mark Richards and crew average a remarkable 13 .6 knots in the physically demanding race which tested their fresh wind skills.

    They logged speeds in excess of 25 knots on the wave riding run between Cole and Denman Islands when the crew were propelled by the boisterous 25-30 trade winds.

    Wild Oats X1 which has sailed through wilder conditions in the Bass Strait was comfortably rigged under reefed sails when the crossed the finish in Dent Passage.

    Her crew who nursed the super maxi through the heavier gusts to again beat the Sydney maxi sloops Investic Loyal and Lahana had a short rest before beginning a post race practice session.
  9. Doug Lord
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    Sydney-Hobart 2011: WOXI vs Rambler

    from Scuttlebutt Europe today:

    Super Fast Wild Oats X1

    Bob Oatley's Wild Oats X1 did little harm to her reputation as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race record holder when the super maxi power sailed to win the Audi Hamilton Island Race Week 'Gun Boat' trophy.

    Both skipper Mark Richards and his talented crew including Australia 11 Americas Cup winning tactician Grant Simmer won line honours in all nine races against Investec Loyal (Anthony Bell) and Lahana (Peter Millard).

    Wild Oats X1 set a high standard when they broke the 23.3 nautical mile Lindeman Island Race record on day 1.

    They continued to show their superior boat speed and crew skills to leave their rival big boat crews following the power sailing wake of Wild Oats X1 on the shorter windward/leeward races. As expected the crew faced a serious test against their heavy wind skills when a strong wind warning was issued for the 63 n/ml Double Cone Island race.

    RUMOR from SA:

    The owner of Rambler has committed to go all out to rebuild the boat and compete against WOXI in the Sydney-Hobart.
  10. Doug Lord
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  11. cookiesa
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    cookiesa Senior Member

    The weather is certainly shaping up to possibly be another very tough year across Bass Straight.

    GO Wild Oates!
  12. Doug Lord
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    From Scuttlebutt Europe today:

    Rolex Sydney Hobart Proves Major Drawcard

    The 67th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has once again proven itself a major drawcard among the worldwide sailing fraternity with a fleet of 96 boats anticipated on the Sydney Harbour start line on Boxing Day, 26 December.

    At today's official race launch to announce the fleet and meet a panel of select skippers and crew, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA) Commodore Garry Linacre said, "Once again there is extraordinary diversity among the fleet, which is what makes this event so unique.

    He also highlighted at today's launch, held at the host yacht club, a noticeable trend - young sailors taking up the helm and making key decisions as skipper.

    Among the fleet, three offspring will be in charge of the family boat and solo yachtswoman, Jessica Watson, will lead her young crew, with an average age of just 19, across 628 nautical miles of open ocean following the 1pm start on Sydney Harbour.

    At 84, Syd Fischer is the Rolex Sydney Hobart race elder as skipper of his lightning quick TP52 Ragamuffin, a moniker synonymous with the event. This year marks Fischer's 43rd race south and he will once again stand should to shoulder with crewman Tony Ellis for the pair's 39th blue water classic together.

    Ellis was due to equal the record for most Rolex Sydney Hobarts for an individual - 45 -however the record holder, Tony Cable, is making his return this year aboard Damien Parkes' JV52 Duende. All going to plan, Cable will set a new record of 46 and stay a race out of Ellis' reach.

    Sean Langman's 1932-built gaff rigged 9.01m yacht Maluka of Kermandie is at almost 80; the most senior as well as the smallest yacht in the fleet.

    At the opposite end of the spectrum are the two 30.48m super maxis being groomed for what promises to be another thrilling line honours duel.

    Both Bob Oatley's 100 foot Wild Oats XI and Anthony Bell's same sized Investec Loyal have been under the surgeon's knife this year, undergoing age defying modifications that have made Wild Oats XI more slippery than ever warns skipper and launch panellist Mark Richards.

    Wild Oats XI is aiming for its sixth line honours win from seven starts and is still the current course record holder with a time of 1 day 18 hours 40 minutes 10 seconds, set in 2005.

    Bell's Investec Loyal finished only nine minutes adrift of Wild Oats XI in this year's 384 nautical mile Sydney Gold Coast race, demonstrating the Elliott 100 can stay in touch with the champion Reichel Pugh design.

    Investec Loyal will once again carry a crew made up of some of the world's best sailors and sports celebrities, including the likes of rugby greats and repeat performers, Phil Waugh and Phil Kearns, who have developed a real taste for the sport. Others will be announced throughout the coming month. -- Lisa Ratcliff
  13. Doug Lord
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    From Scuttlebutt:


    The distance racing game has changed. The improved tools for navigation,
    routing, and tracking allow for better decisions to be made. So while the
    impact of fate has decreased, it hasn't completely gone away.

    The 628 nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart, which begins December 26th, is
    among the highly contested offshore prizes. But when the overall corrected
    time winner hoists the Tattersall's Cup next week, they must sheepishly
    admit that luck had a hand in their victory.

    The old Hobart adage is: 'to win the race you have to win your division',
    and then hope that the particular weather patterns will favour your
    division, because this is a marathon and different sized boats sail at
    markedly different speeds. Each division will likely race in a weather
    pattern that is completely different from the other divisions.

    You win your division by sailing to your rating, to your boat's full
    potential, for more of the race than your rivals, though even that may not
    be enough.

    "A third of winning the race is pre-race preparation, a third is sailing
    the boat well, and a third is weather," AFR Midnight Rambler's co-owner
    Michael Bencsik explains: "The first two you can control. The rest is a

    "AFR Midnight Rambler (Ker 40) is designed to go upwind okay, and really
    take off when the wind shifts around to the beam or astern. She is a bit
    faster upwind than Bruce Taylor's Chutzpah (IRC 40), but cannot match the
    Victorian sled downwind." Bencsik is gambling on a race that will have
    enough upwind time to cancel out Chutzpah's downwind advantage.

    Sean Kirkjian has chosen a Beneteau 45 as the platform for a campaign to
    win the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart that has been in the making for two years.
    The Beneteau Victoire is good upwind, but will not see AFR Midnight Rambler
    and Chutzpah for dust, or spray at least, when the wind blows from the

    "It's a bit like the tortoise and the hare," Kirkjian says. "We're like the
    tortoise. We lumber along and keep going at a certain speed all the time.
    These guys tend to stay with us upwind and when the wind turns they take
    off. But they are handicapped accordingly.

    "Fronts come from the south and we are sailing into them, so you might hit
    one or even two fronts in a typical Hobart. Sailing north is a different

    On top of all this, navigators and tacticians have to make the right
    choices. Sometimes the weather suits a straight line to Hobart, but
    sometimes a longer route further out to sea turns out to be fastest. Make
    the wrong choice and you can blow your race.

    "With all the information about the weather you get these days, and the
    yacht tracker (which shows where your competitors are in real time) it's
    like a constantly moving chess game," says Crafoord. -- Full story
  14. Doug Lord
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    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011

  15. Doug Lord
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    From the Daily Sail:

    Rolex Sydney Hobart preview

    Mid-fleet marginally the favourite for Monday's run south

    Saturday December 24th 2011, Author: James Boyd, Location: Australia
    If the forecasts prove accurate, then the 88 crews in the 67th Rolex Sydney Hobart will be breathing a tentative sigh of relief as conditions for this year’s annual Boxing Day run south to Tasmania, are not currently showing a brutal boat breaking, wind-against-current race as claimed the lives of six sailors in 1998.
    According to Rob Webb, Regional Director of the Australian Government Bureau of Meteorology, Monday’s start from Sydney Harbour, at 1300 local time, will be accompanied by 15-20 knot northerlies, providing an initial blast south for the crews, but this will be shortlived. Later that afternoon, southerly/SSWerly headwinds are expected to fill in on the north side of Bass Strait and up the New South Wales coast, although these won't be generated by a 'southerly buster'. Two days in and the weather on the south side of Bass Strait and down the east coast of Tasman turns into a lottery, with light patchy wind dominating the course until an area of high pressure moves in from the west later in the week.

    Clear favourite for line honours is of course Bob Oatley’s 100ft maxi Wild Oats XI, first to Hobart in five of the last six races and winner of the ‘triple’ (line and handicap honours, plus the course record) in 2005. Anticipating stiff competition this year from American George David’s Rambler 100 (until her keel snapped off in the Rolex Fastnet Race this August), so Wild Oats XI has over the last 18 months been significantly turboed, with twin daggerboards replacing her forward CBTF ‘canard’, a new keel, the canting angle of her keel increased by 4° (providing around 2 tonne metres more righting moment) and her mainsail and largest spinnaker enlarged by 30 and 50sqm respective, her mainsail now 3Di, etc. But given the latest forecast, even with more horsepower available, tactician Iain Murray says Wild Oats XI is still only going to get down to Hobart in two days four to five hours, some way outside of her one day 18 hour and 40 minute record.

    “We will barrel out of Sydney, probably look for some leverage in the east so that we get some runway to land us back on the coast as the breeze starts to turn to the southwest,” says Murray. “Then we’ll go straight across Bass Straight and after that it is pretty sketchy how it is going to be off the east Tasmanian coast. It is always difficult there. You end up with patches of no wind and the breeze goes over the top of Tasmania.”

    Read rest of article here:
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