Shockwave on fire for Sydney-Hobart

Peter Campbell reports from the Bird Islet Race out of Sydney

Saturday November 9th 2002, Author: Peter Campbell, Location: Australasia
The super maxi, Shockwave, sailing in her first overnight ocean race, has underlined her short-odds favouritism to win line honours in the 2002 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Shockwave, Neville Crichton’s Reichel/Pugh 90, finished the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 85 nautical mile Bird Islet race yesterday morning, 5 hours and 41 minutes in front of her rivals, led by one of her Sydney Hobart Race rivals, George Snow’s Jutson 80, Brindabella.

On corrected time, Shockwave also placed first in the Cape Byron Series (IMS) and in the Tasman Performance Series (PHS), winning both handicap divisions by more than two hours.

Shockwave’s time for the race north to Bird Islet, south of Newcastle, and back to Sydney was well outside the race record, due to light winds through most of Friday night, with the last boats not finishing until late Saturday night.

Although Shockwave made her racing debut at Hamilton Island Race Week in August, all the races there were day races. Since coming to Sydney the crew has been concentrating on training and sail testing rather than racing.

The striking 90-footer is now in full racing trim and will contest most races in the lead-up to the Rolex Sydney Hobart on December 26.

In the Bird Islet Race, Shockwave won the IRC and PSH divisions from Quest (Bob Steele), Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer) and Sting (Terry Mullens), considered to be her major rivals for top honours in the IRC handicap division of the Hobart Race.

In the IMS division for the Blue Water Pointscore, for which Shockwave was not eligible, Quest won by just 15 seconds on corrected time from Sting, third place going to Ragamuffin.

One of the smallest yachts in the Bird Islet Race and for the Sydney Hobart, Rod Skellet’s Young 31, Karakatoa, did well to place fourth in IMS and fifth in IRC after taking more than 22 hours to sail the course, almost double the time it took Shockwave.

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