Nicorette Takes Rough Sydney-Hobart
December 29 - Hobart, Tasmania
Ludde Ingvall and his super-maxi Nicorette took line honors in the 60th Rolex Sydney to Hobart race. Last year Nicorette retired from the Hobart race in Eden when her bow canard was damaged.
Meanwhile, the super-maxi Skandia, which had retired from the race with a damaged canting keel, lost her keel and capsized in the Tasman Sea. Skipper Grant Wharington and his crew took to liferafts. Skandia is floating upside down. A tug is on its way to try to salvage the 98-footer, which is wallowing in huge seas about 80 miles off the northeast coast of the island state of Tasmania. It is not known if her mast has broken.
The Skandia crew abandon ship
At least 44 out of the 116 boats racing withdrew, including one-time leader Konica Minolta, which suffered structural damage to its cabintop from an enormous crashing wave. The New Zealand crew agreed that the structural weakness would only get worse in the heavy seas. Syd Fischer, a veteran of 35 Sydney-Hobarts, reported that his Farr 45 Ragamuffin had been dismasted due east of Flinders Island. All crew are reported to be okay.
Photos Ian Mainsbridge/PPL
Information from Southeast Asia
December 29 - Langkawi, Malaysia
Richard Donaldson-Alves, coordinator of
the Mobile Maritime Net, South East Asian Waters, 14,323 MHz
0025 z Daily, Wx 0055 Z, writes:
"Thailand's and Phuket's western coastline suffered extreme shoreline damage and many lives lost - whilst many yachts hardly noticed the event, eg: in Nai Harn Bay which faces west, there were over 90 yachts anchored out from the surf line - they merely rose up then down as the tsunami passed under them to go on to the beaches and beyond.
"Only a couple of yachts are reported
beached in Phuket waters - although many speed and dive boats
were beached and damaged, mainly because they were moored close
in to the beaches."
December 29 - St. Barth, FWI
You've heard of Doctors Without Borders? Well, we might as well be called Reporter Without Tools. Here we are in St. Barth in the French West Indies, ground zero for big boat activity at New Year's. The biggest private sailing yacht in the world, Jim Clark's new 292-ft clipper ship Athena, is here (as is his 156-ft sloop Hyperion). Also here is the world's largest motoryacht, Larry Ellison of Oracle's new 452-ft Rising Sun. (Whoever thought the world's biggest sailing and motoryachts would be owned by Northern Californians, who only a few years ago didn't have much money at all?) The world's second largest motoryacht is also here, Paul Allen's humorously named 420-ft something Octopus. He, of course, also has Tatoosh, a 300-footer, and Meduse, a 200-footer, but they must be someplace else.
Lots of other large sailing yachts are around - Hasso Plattner's 147-ft needle Visione, several 150-ft Perini Navis, and other assorted mega yachts - presumably for the New Year's Eve race/parade. In all, about 30 large yachts are expected, including one or more J Class 130-footers.
So how come the Wanderer has no decent
story or photos?
Sailors of the Year
December 29 - Mill Valley
The Envelopes, please - Who will win the 2004 Latitude 38 sailor of the year awards? Pick up a copy of the January issue tomorrow to find out. Here are the past winners, listed since the inception of each category:
Sailor of the Year
Junior Sailor of the Year