http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/339859

2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Perfect Spinnaker Start

Posted Dec 26, 2012 by Val Williamson
A flying start before the wind as the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race provides Boxing Day entertainment for the sixty eighth consecutive year.
Sydney to Hobart course map
Sydney to Hobart course map
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race ©Rolex / KPMS
Half a million holiday-makers lined viewpoints along Sydney Harbour to watch the spectacle of seventy six race-ready yachts heading full sail for the ocean. But the waves soon proved challenging as the super maxi leaders left Sydney Harbour and turned to hit heavier seas than expected.
Australian Christmas sport would not be the same without this remarkable spectacle, dominated as always by Australian boats, yet the event always welcomes international crew members and international entries. Santa made a point of visiting (somewhat bemused) international crews Sail World reports. This year, no boats from Britain or America, but Japan, France, New Zealand, Samoa and Lithuania are represented.
Lithuanian boat AMBERSAIL rounds the Heads at Sydney
Lithuanian boat AMBERSAIL rounds the Heads at Sydney
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race ©Rolex / Carlo Borlenghi
Twelve hours into the week-long race, last year's nip-and-tuck line honours contestants Wild Oats XI and Ragamuffin Loyal (renamed from former Investec Loyal) are among the leading five boats along with handicap boat and 2011 Tattersall's Cup winner, Loki. Missing from the expected leading maxis is Wild Thing, which veterans had anticipated could give multiple winner Wild Oats XI a run for its money.
Controversy courts the 2012 race as compliance with rules about structural alterations seemingly bemused the owners of Wild Thing, consequently disqualified just hours before the race start time at one o'clock Boxing Day. Sydney Morning Herald describes the controversy as around 'paperwork' but owner/skipper Grant Wharington points the finger at race organisers.
A good spinnaker start for the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
A good spinnaker start for the 2012 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race ©Rolex / Daniel Forster
Competitors expect to spend New Year's Eve in Hobart, celebrating successful completion of yet another exciting event. Race trackers will be hoping for no major weather events to endanger contestants as they progress along the craggy coast of the Tasman Sea.