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Cabbage Tree Island Race: Lead Up To Sydney Hobart


  • Cabbage Tree Island Race: Lead Up To Sydney Hobart

    A fleet of 69 boats is heading north in the 172 nautical mile Cabbage Tree Island Race after an exciting twilight start on Sydney Harbour.

    It was an eventful pre-start sequence off Point Piper as the packed fleet jostled for position, with an 11 knot sou’easter setting them on their way.

    Hamilton Island Wild Oats, one of four 100-foot maxis in the fleet, was over the line early and subsequently recalled as Black Jack and Andoo Comanche broke away, with LawConnect in pursuit.

    It was the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Line Honours winner, Black Jack, that was first out of the Heads around 24 minutes after the start.

    All images

    URM Group, Hamilton Island Wild Oats, Alive and Moneypenny featured in the chasing pack, followed by the remaining mini maxis and TP52s, led by KOA and Zen.

    Enterprise Next Generation, Anthony Kirke and Andrew Nuttman’s Botin Carkeek GP42 from Western Australia, got off to a good start, keeping pace with the 52s.

    The lead two-handed boat was Mistral, Rupert Henry’s Lombard 34, co-skippered by Greg O’Shea, with the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Two-Handed Division winner Disko Trooper_Contender Sailcloth (Jules Hall/Jan Scholten) not far behind.

    The two smallest boats in the fleet – Gun Runner and Currawong – were out of the Heads inside an hour as rain drizzled down, with lightening breeze set to provide a challenging night for the smaller boats.

    2022/23 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore
    Cabbage Tree Island Race Update - Saturday 3 December 0200hrs
    Seven hours in & the four maxis have already rounded Cabbage Tree Island, NE of Port Stephens, & are heading home, weaving their way through the fleet who are still heading north along the rhumb line.

    Averaging almost 16kts, Andoo Comanche is now over 4NM ahead of LawConnect with smaller gaps back to Hamilton Island Wild Oats & Black Jack. They have stretched their lead over the mini maxis with Jim Cooney & Samantha Grant's Volvo 70 Willow looking strong, 12NM astern, just passing inside most of the outbound 52s near Fingal Bay. The other 60-80 footers are currently rounding the half way mark.
    Mistral is leading the two-handed entrants in 31st place. The fleet of 69 is strung back down to Terrigal where Gun Runner & Currawong (TH) bring up the rear.

    Current Standings:
    IRC - Patrice | Zen | Gweilo
    ORCi - Patrice | Quest | Gweilo
    PHS - Enterprise Next Generation | Antipodes | Patrice
    IRC (TH) - Mistral | Transcendence Crento | Rum Rebellion

    Conditions near Port Stephens are currently 9-11kts SE with a 1.6m ENE swell at 10 seconds. They look likely to remain similar for most of the day, with breeze clocking to the SSE before returning E/NE later & the swell becoming easterly as the fleet moves south.
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