Monday, December 26, 2016


After last year edition pointing to an internationalization of this race with several American and European boats racing, among them  Rambler and Comanche (that won the race), this year and very disappointingly, Sydney Hobart become a regional race again.

Sure, a great one but one that if does not search internationalization will became, on a global world, a side line event. I don't know what Australians can do for making it an international major sail event, or even if they are interested, but besides that several things are wrong on this race: Wild Oates using engines to power sail systems (not allowed in sail races, except on this one) and the exclusion of multihulls.

The big new on this race was CQS, a completed revamped Nicorette that proved to be a failure and almost capsized under sails on the departure, inside Sydney harbor. I had already posted about that yacht and I was very suspicious about its potencial performance and it seems with reason:

Without Comanche or Rambler, as usual, Wild Oates is leading and also as usual Perpetual Loyal is 2nd after a great start on the Sydney port, leading for some time the race. Regarding smaller boats no news also, the old local carbon racers and a complete absence of new production cruiser- racers.

The start, inside Sydney harbor, as always, was spectacular and you can see it on the video below:

Traditionally the Sydney Hobart is preceded by a race only for big yachts on the Sydney harbor, the Solas big boat challenge, that was won without surprise by Wild Oates with Perpetual Loyal in 2nd but that provided some spectacular images and near collisions:

Great images but incredible security conditions on that race!!!!
You can follow the Sydney Hobart race on a tracker, unfortunately one of the worse I have ever saw:


  1. The Sydney Hobart Race has a number of problems, not least of which is appalling media coverage (shocking, considering the perennial involvement of Rolex), including possibly the worst race tracker in the sport. Compare it, for example, with the much better coverage and tracking of the Rolex Middle Sea Race. Another problem is that Australia is a long way from everywhere else - e.g., North America and Europe - making the cost of competing quite high. Yes, in the past, many boats have showed up from NA and Europe, but I think this is primarily because Sydney Hobart is a bucket list item for many wealthy owners. Once they've done it, they're not inclined to come back. The global economy has also given no signs of improving, while big boat racing in North America, in general, has given up the ghost. A pity, I suppose, but not while there's so much other excitement going on in sailing - e.g., Vendée Globe, Thomas Coville, IDEC2, TP52's at Key West (in a few weeks), and then in Miami.

  2. Yes, I agree with you. But think for a moment, the guys from the Vendee (the sailors), Coville, Joyon(IDEC) and even most of the guys from the TP52 are not rich men, they don't own the boats, they are professional racers.

    Sail has taking more time than other forms of mechanized sport to become a professional sport, having being for a century the playground of rich men, but things are changing. On Australia you have a public interest on sail and that means the possibility of good sponsoring, but winning yachts are yet owned by billionaires.

    Maybe that is what needs change, that and sail racing being made on boats that need crews of 20. Who can pay to all those guys to be professionals on the same boat? Only a billionaire ;-)

    Regarding Australia being far away that is true but I do believe that the future of sailing at high level (professional) will be a global one. The only thing needed is public interest and for that you need a good coverage that interests the public, that is what the French have learned to do and it seems that on the Sydney Hobart nobody is working on that. For that you need a professional management and it seems that in what regards SH, it is a kind of a gentlemen's thing.

  3. It seems this year it will be Perpetual Loyal to win due to Wild Oates retiring with keel problems.