Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wet Wednesday

Over the year, I've had the chance to check off a few items on my bucket list...race a sailboat to Hawaii, climb Mt. Whitney, participate in the America's Cup and finish LOTOJA.  There's still a few more left however, one of which is race in the famed bluewater classic, the Rolex Sydney-Hobart yacht race.  This is the race that in 1998, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison vowed to never compete in again.  6 people lost their lives that year in a wicked storm.  The events were told in Rob Mundle's book, Fatal Storm.

But those tragic events haven't slowed down the most adventurous sailors in the world.  A perennial favorite for first to finish honors in Bob Oatley's  Wild Oats XI, a 100 foot super maxi that just went under the knife for some speed enhancing surgery.  For those who like the nuances of technology and speed, the following video shows just how serious these guys are about winning.  A tech marvel in its own right when launched 7 years ago, WOXI has added a forward cannard and winglets tat he back of the 20 ton lead keel bulb.  The cannard is for lower wetted surface in light air and the winglets minimize turbulence at the end of the keel just like the winglets at the end of jetliner's wings do.  Eeking out just a few 10ths of a knot can mean the difference between champ and chump so it will be fun to follow WOXI and see how they do.  The video also highlights the fact that even the best skippers in the world have trouble making it into the slip sometimes!

The race happens on Oz's Boxing Day, December 26th.

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