Saturday, December 24, 2011

Blue Water Classic

For the past 66 years, every December 26th, Boxing Day for the English colonies, the yachting world experiences one of the best and most challenging yacht races on the planet...The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. Its a Holiday Classic and in the land of Oz, its as big a sporting event as any.

While not the longest race in the world, its 628 miles of some of the most treacherous waters on the globe, including the always exciting Bass Straight The infamous 1998 edition of the race saw 6 people lose their lives and left billionaire Larry Ellison shaking in his bunk on his all conquering maxi Sayonara. One of my favorite books, Fatal Storm by Rob Mundle documents the tragedy and heroism of that event.

There's alot on the line with this race. While the biggest and fastest boats compete for "line honours" the smaller boats duke it out for the equally prestigious handicap and overall trophies. Ever since the organizers extended the length limit to allow the new breed of 100 foot super maxis, duelling Reichel/Pugh designs Wild Oats XI and Alfa Romeo have swapped the line honours title. With Alpha having moved on to other pastures, this year will see four 100 footers battle it out. Keep an eye on Lahana, Investec Loyale, Wild Thing and of course Wild Oats.

The racing will be close and the stories will for sure add the the epic history of the "Blue Water Classic". Check out some late Friday action below. Merry Christmas everyone!

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