After a decade of, by Rolex Sydney-Hobart standards, comparatively benign weather the race has returned with a vengeance to its classic persona.
The mean southerly that made life hell for sailors off the NSW south coast on Saturday night is at last abating, but it has taken a huge toll on the fleet.
Before the southerly buster kicked in there were five boats out of the race, on Sunday night there were 29, an attrition rate of 27 per cent and the race still has at least another two days to run.
That’s starting to get close to the really tough 2004 race when 58 of a fleet of 117 retired; 50 per cent.
The latest casualties include Peter Harburg’s Queensland Volvo 70 Black Jack, which returned to Jervis Bay to transfer an injured crew member with a suspected fractured leg. The crew member s being transferred by ambulance to the nearby naval base for medical assistance.
The retirees at 9.30pm Sunday were:
- Cougar II
- Lupa of London
- M3 - broken forestay
- Dare Devil - rudder damage - returning to Sydney
- CEX Dolce - broken mast
- Wild Oats XI - mainsail damage
- St Jude - rudder
- Perpetual Loyal - rudder
- KOA - steering
- Pazzaz - mainsail
- Pretty Fly III - broken forestay
- Brindabella - sail
- Takani - rudder
- Patrice - mainsail
- GYR WOT EVA
- Dekadence - electronics Issues
- Samurai Jack - sail damage
- HASPA Hamburg - rig
- Black Jack - returning to Jervis Bay
- KLC Bengal 7 - mainsail
- Frantic - mainsail
- Triton - mainsail
- Hollywood Boulevard - hull
- Great Xpectations
- Landfall - hull
- China Easyway - sail damage
- Jaffa - starter motor
Another three yachts retired overnight Local Hero, Trybooking.com and Avalanche, the Victorian Hick 40 launched just weeks ago which on Monday morning brings the total number of withdrawals to 32.