Clipper Ventures 10 ready to race in 70th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

24 December 2014

Final preparations are underway on Clipper Ventures 10 in Sydney, Australia ahead of the start of offshore classic the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race on December 26.

Victualling and final routing have been done ahead of the famous Australian race start at 1300 AEST/0200 GMT, a year on from when the international Clipper Round the World fleet competed as part of the circumnavigation.

After seven days of offshore training last week out of our Australian training base, skipper Piers Dudin says the future and past Clipper Race crew members racing on the Sydney-based Clipper Events yacht are now established as a team.

The Clipper 09-10 and 11-12 Race skipper said the 117-boat 70th anniversary course is looking like it will be a fairly fast race currently with a beat out of Sydney at the start, a light kite section getting down to Gabo Island then a reach across the Bass Strait before finishing in Hobart, Tasmania.

Piers, who skippered Clipper Ventures 5 in last year’s RSHYR alongside the entire round the world Clipper 70 fleet, said the 628-mile RSHYR is so special because of the variety of weather conditions and the challenges that brings.

“Despite Tasmania being an island off Australia it feels a million miles away. It is looking like quite a fast run which will help the smaller slower boats as the high pressure system looks like getting in the way of the bigger, faster boats. By the time the smaller boats get down to Gabo Island the weather of the high pressure will have moved off.

“Training has gone really well with a mixed range of conditions like the race throws up. I have deliberately mixed around the watches so everyone gets to know everyone. We have a fair spread of experience with Clipper Race crew members from the 09-10, 11-12 and 13-14 editions and some future 2015-16 members. We also have a mixed range of nationalities which adds a nice flavour.”

Wayne Reed, first mate and a circumnavigator on winning yacht Gold Coast Australia in the Clipper 11-12 Race, added as the Clipper 68’s are a heavier boat, the team needs to make more use of the famous East Australian current to avoid light areas.

“When it went light last year Clipper Ventures 10 - with Sir Robin as navigator - went 10 miles offshore and they put 10 to 15 miles on us on board Clipper Ventures 5 as they were in the current.

“If we do have to go through a light patch I want to sit further offshore in the current. If the forecast is for good breeze then we will stay closer to the coast for a shorter course.”

Wayne estimates the team will arrive on 30 December around midday, sailing the course in four days, +- 6 hours.

Eric Holden, winning skipper of Henri Lloyd in the Clipper 13-14 Race, is taking part in his fifth RSHYR in the role of navigator on board Primitive Cool.

He said: “The Sydney Hobart is such an exciting race with so much anticipation in the weeks leading up to the start on Boxing Day. With this being my fourth consecutive race it is easy to become complacent and forget how fortunate I am to have to opportunity to participate.

“It did feel a little strange not seeing the Clipper 70s along the pontoon, but I have seen many Clipper Race crew preparing to race on the Clipper 68. Earlier in the month I sailed across from New Zealand and sailing through Sydney heads again almost a year since we arrived with our first leg win was an interesting feeling.

“I am looking forward to working as navigator again, focusing my energy on where my contribution can have maximum impact. We have a strong team with lots of experience. I know they'll sail the boat hard so it is up to me to put us in the right place.”

To watch a review of last year's Clipper 70 fleet in the Sydney Hobart, click here.

We will be posting blogs and pictures from Clipper Ventures 10 on our site daily here and on our Twitter and Facebook feeds.

To track the boat, you can use the official RSHYR race viewer.

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