LawConnect continues to stalk Andoo Comanche in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, but squalls of 30 knots-plus are hampering the crew’s ability to keep their rivals in sight.
At 9am, the margin was still tight between the two race leaders of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia event with nine nautical miles separating them.
But LawConnect boat captain Ty Oxley said after a close battle with Andoo Comanche overnight, the tough conditions this morning had limited their ability to see the race leaders.
“We are pretty close after we were neck and neck overnight,” said Oxley at 8.20am on Wednesday. “They would take a couple of miles on us, and then we would take them back.”
Asked if the LawConnect crew could see Andoo Comanche ahead of them, Oxley replied: ”No … because it’s raining and there are squalls everywhere, clouds on the horizon …
“It’s hard to see the bow of the boat at times. We can’t actually see them.”
Asked about the sea state as they headed into Bass Strait, Oxley said: “The sea state is not too bad. On Bass Strait it’s only a couple of metres.
“The squalls are pretty full on. The last one that came through would have been 40-plus knots. But they have generally been 30-plus”
“But we’re doing ok. We have put a couple of reefs in … chugging along.”
At 9am, the John Winning Jr skippered Andoo Comanche and Christian Beck’s LawConnect were respectively 125 and 129 nautical miles south-east of Gabo Island.
Still in third place was Alive (Tas), the RP66 owned by Phillip Turner and skippered by Duncan Hine and URM Group, the RP72 owned by Anthony Johnston and skippered by Marcus Ashley-Jones.
The two yachts were 69nm and 72nm respectively behind LawConnect.
Meanwhile, the race fleet now numbers 96, including 15 two-handed entries, following the withdrawal of two more boats this morning. They were the two-handed entries, the Currawong 30, Currawong (NSW) due to various issues, and the Young 11 Pacman (Qld) with runner chainplate problems. The crews on both boats are okay.
Written by Rupert Guinness | RSHYR Media
Internationally, the race will be available through YouTube on CYCATV or on Facebook Rolex Sydney Hobart page.
For the full list of entries and more information about the race, visit rolexsydneyhobart.com.