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Sydney- Hobart Race Record Falls
In a time of 1 day 18 hours 27 minutes and 10 seconds the super yacht Mari Cha III was the first of the 80 boat fleet to break the records. Mari Cha sailed as an exhibition entry and so is not eligible for race prizes. Whether she is eligible to hold the record for the race is an open question.
The official first finisher was Nokia in a time of 1 D 19 H 48 M 2 S. Next came Brindabellea whose time was 1D 20H 46M 33 S. After the race Brindabella filed a technical protest against Nokia. Due to the fact that Nokia utilized her water ballast system, the protest could pertain to this issue. Officially 3rd to finish was Wild Thing in a time of 1D 21H 13M 37.
Although the bulk of the fleet remains at sea, provisional handicap leaders can be calculated. Leading the IMS division is Sword of Orion. If this name sounds familiar it is. In last years race Sword of Orion was abandoned by her crew. In an earlier incident crew member Glyn Charles was lost at sea. Owner Rob Kothe regrouped and replaced his lost vessel with a Sydney 40. If Sword of Orion is to win she will have to battle 30 to 40 knots winds to the finish. At last report Sword of Orion was 77 miles from the finish.
Leading the Performance Handicap Division is Alstar skippered by 84 year old legend Alby Burgan. Alstar has 108 miles to race before finishing. Calculated in 3rd place is American Eagle. As Flyer this boat won the 1978 Whitbread race.
Race official Phil Thompson described the race this way: "Last year was a 100 year storm and this year was a 100 year wind." Sometimes sailing races are at nature's whim and the last two Sydney Hobart races remind us that where the wind comes from is the essence of sailing.
ISAF Sailor of the Millennium
As we near the year 2000 which will be the last of the Millennium the International Sailing Federation has come up with a contest combining sailing and the passing of the Millennium.
The contest is fairly simple. Any sailor from 1001 to 2000 is eligible, sorry Ulysses. Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can only vote once as they will track e-mail addresses. After a 30 day period a short list will be created. Voting will the be done. The winner will be announced at the November 2000 ISAF meeting in Scotland.
With this in mind here is a list of some people I would nominate:
Submit your nominations to the address above. If you care to, CC your e-mail to email@example.com and I will devote a future column to the Sailor of the Millennium.