While the two 98-footers Zana and Skandia have been fighting it out offshore this afternoon, the 66-footer Grundig AAPT sailed her own race inshore and has slipped into the lead of the Rolex Sydney Hobart
While the two 98-footers Zana and Skandia have been fighting it out offshore this afternoon, the 66-footer Grundig AAPT sailed her own race inshore and has slipped into the lead as the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet settles in for the first night off the New South Wales coast.
The recent $250,000 overhaul undertaken by her skipper Sean Langman is already paying dividends for this Sydney boat that has traditionally been labelled a ‘downwind flyer’. She simply wasn’t expected to keep up with the bigger boats in a headwind.
“It’s not that bumpy but we are really pushing the boat, half of us (four of the crew of only eight), are trying to get a bit of sleep so we can keep up the momentum,” said helmsman Chris Nicholson tonight.
A technical problem on board has prevented Grundig-AAPT’s position appearing on the official web site’s tracking chart, however they were able to confirm their position in the first radio schedule this evening.
In the IMS division Yendys (Geoff Ross) is the new leader, edging out the oldest boat in the fleet, Peter Kurts’ Love & War with Syd Fischer’s champion Ragamuffin in third.
In the IRC division, Grundig-AAPT is leading Bob Steel’s Quest and Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki.
As the fleet heads into the first night of the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, a curious series of match races has developed inside the overall shape of the race.
As expected the super maxis, Zana and Skandia have been all over each other in their rush for line honours, sailing tack for tack down the coast. First Zana followed Skandia out to sea in what turned out to be a fruitless search for extra breeze at the beginning of the race, and then when the big New Zealander tacked to rejoin the fleet Skandia quickly followed suit.
While Zana, skippered by New Zealand property developer Stewart Thwaites and Skandia, skippered by Victorian property developer Grant Wharington plug away at each other, the two 80 foot maxis, Nicorette and Brindabella also seem to have settled down to their own private duel.
Perhaps realising that the only way they can beat the two bigger boats is by lucking on extra breeze, the two maxis have hung further offshore, still a good stretch to the east of the leaders and the main fleet.