Sydney Hobart – Dangerous game.

by John Curnow, Editor, Sail-World AUS 28 Dec 2021 18:57 PST

Chutzpah – Bruce Taylor has campaigned all his sailing career, and brings the R/P40 out with his son and friends each year, and most are now over 25 Hobarts each and every one of them © Crosbie Lorimer

As soon as Line Honours is declared, the question of overall winner takes over. It is neither easy, nor terribly wise to try and do so, for it can all go horribly wrong. Joyous, huh?! See here for the explanation on that.

So then, let’s see what you might need in order to accomplish this much sought after and prized feat in light of the scenario as it stands in the 2021 Sydney Hobart race.


See here and here for the full deal on that.

In short you have variance in direction and puff, which is tiring stuff, so stay with it. At the time of writing it is all over the shop on the East Coast. Tasman Island offers a Sou’wester with afternoon strength providing real potential to get across Storm Bay, and Hobart is all over the shop as well, and getting a whistle on for the afternoon. Go figure.

Speed = Distance over Time

Too far back, forget it. Check your rations instead.

Those in the shed already, or closer to it than you, simply have fewer times the whole deck will get reshuffled on them. Still, stranger things have happened… Matt Allen will certainly remind me of that when we speak.

Remember too, none of it matters unless you have won your division along the way. So lot’s to play for, keep on sailing!

Big Stick

Sail Plan to Ballast ratio – carry more rag, including multiple headsails.

Power is your friend at this time, so if you preserved the asset well bashing into it, now is the time to let the dogs off the leash.

Hull form

Too wide and you’re sticky, but you do have the max LWL for your LOA. Narrow and you’re more slippery, but you don’t get as much LWL for your buck, but then it is easier to keep the bum out of the water if it is dead light, which there have been periods of already, and these look likely to become more prevalent as time marches on. Tick Tock…..

Rating under the IRC Measurement Rule

If you look at it, you have everything from very old S&S pinched sterns designs, to Reichel/Pugh sleds, and then Botin’s latest iteration from the village of the TeePees or near TP52, along with tried and tested, more traditional IMS type forms like the Schumacher 54 that is Maritimo 11. Did we mention the mighty Quest?

The huge range and the computational maths involved is one for John Nash and co.

Experience counts

By way of example, just look at where Chutzpah is, and usually she needs fresh to frightening from 90 AWA and further aft. So clearly they are well and truly maximising their knowledge of how to get down the East Coast of Tasmania.

Well done Bruce and co. Really well done.


Containers, sunfish, gear failure, COVID test results, fresh block of Swiss cheese (holes) and the River Derwent.

Lucky dip, huh. Where would I rather be, apart from out to lunch? Well certainly not at the betting shop or on the App. However a 46-56 footer, with a carbon rig, decent prodder, good wardrobe, not too much weight in the hull, so carbon or E-glass, maybe with an age allowance under IRC, a sharp as tacks crew and good Internet coverage from the aerial at the top of mast, would certainly give you the right hand of cards to play with.

Stay safe, thanks for tuning into, and all the best for 2022.


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