|HOBART, AUSTRALIA-(28-12-2005) Currently in 7th place in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Hugo Boss is scrapping it out with Open 66 Coogans Stores, Reichel Pugh 60 Loki and Volvo 60 Seriously 10 in a tight battle to determine the top 10 boats over the line.
“We had a real foam up during the night,” said Hugo Boss skipper Alex Thomson earlier today.
“It's been a cracking night's sail - speeds averaging 22 knots, with the boat topping out at 25 knots,`said Thomson, snatching time for a quick phonecall.
`Yesterday's dolphins have swum off and left us to it – they couldn't keep up! These are more like the conditions I was expecting from the race.
`We've had some pretty big squalls and have been busy changing the spinnakers throughout the night.
“We started off with our biggest spinnaker, the A2, but soon spotted a tear in the top so down it came and up went the A3.
“The wind got up some more so we went to our smallest spinnaker, the A4, plus 2 reefs.`
However while lowering and gathering in the mid-sized A3 soon after dawn, the sail got blown overboard and was torn.
`She's going to need a bit of surgery and TLC,` said Thomson.
`But, to be honest, it didn't cost us that much time.
`The idea was to come in closer to shore to take full advantage of the expected wind shift.
“But when the shift came, it wasn't what we expected. We've currently got a 20 knot north-westerly and we just seem to have got on the wrong side of every wind shift there's been.`
`Life onboard is somewhat easier now though - yesterday's 50 degree temperatures have dropped and so everyone can at least get their heads down for a bit.
“The prospect of that first ice cold schooner on arrival is certainly spurring us on! I understand there’s been a bit of interest regarding our dress code, you’ll just have to see on arrival.”
At time of writing, Hugo Boss was 104.8 nautical miles from the finish line at Constitution Dock, Hobart.
For more information about the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2005, visit www.rolexsydneyhobart.com where you can follow progress of yachts (once the race has begun) at ‘Yacht Tracker’ – yacht positions are updated approx every 10min.