For the first time in the long history of the Whitbread, now the Volvo Ocean Race, competitors will participate in an offshore race as part of the third leg of the Volvo Ocean Race
For the first time in the long history of the Whitbread, now the Volvo Ocean Race, competitors will participate in an offshore race – the classic Sydney-Hobart – as part of a transoceanic leg. When inaugural Sydney-Hobart competitor Peter Luke fires the start gun at 1300 on 26 December 2001, the eight VO60s will cross their own startline, 200 metres ahead of the main Sydney-Hobart startline, beat through Sydney Heads, then head south for Hobart, 630 miles away.
On arrival in Hobart, each boat will have its exact finish time logged, then racing will suspend for 3h 30m. The boats will then be escorted to their own paddock on the northern side of Elizabeth Street Pier. The skippers will be informed of their exact finish time and the time when they can leave he dock – not less than 1h 30m after finishing – to continue on their way to Auckland and the end of the third leg.
During this pit stop, outside assistance and crew changes are forbidden. If any of the media equipment supplied by the organisers is damaged, repairs will be allowed, as will medical assistance if required, but apart from food and hot drinks – again supplied by the organisers – the boats will effectively be quarantined for the media in Hobart.
After the pit stop is over, each boat will restart with ten and five-minute signals at the mouth of the Derwent, at a startline north of Pierson’s Point. Unless they are adjudged OCS, the boats will continue on the 2,050-mile third leg to the finish in Auckland. Performance in the Sydney-Hobart will not affect the results of the completed third leg.