FIVE BOATS TO FOLLOW FOR LINE HONOURS IN THE 93-BOAT FLEET IN THE 2021 SYDNEY TO HOBART:-
LawConnect – The line hours winner in 2017 as Perpetual LOYAL looms as the boat to beat this year with a favourable weather forecast for the first 24 hours and a bigger bowsprit and new sails.
SHK Scallywag 100 – After finishing second, third and fourth in past Hobart campaigns, this Hong Kong-affiliated boat has a fighting chance of becoming Asia’s first line honours winner of Australia’s greatest ocean race.
Black Jack – Won line honours as Alfa Romeo back in 2009 and finished second and fifth more recently, but didn’t race against the other two supermaxis in the recent Australian maxi championship. She is expected to fare worse than them in the forecast southerlies over the first 24 hours, but is likely to make up ground when the lighter winds arrive.
Stefan Racing – A line honours winner with Skandia in 2003, Grant Wharington is back in the race as a co-owner of this 80-foot boat, which he believes could knock one of the supermaxis from the line honours podium given heavy conditions.
Willow – Jim Cooney and Samantha Grant, former co-owners of formidable supermaxi Comanche which delivered them two line honours wins and a race record, are campaigning this Volvo 70 boat which finished fourth across the line as Maserati in 2015. She is expected to perform well in heavy weather.
FIVE TO FOLLOW FOR OVERALL HONOURS:-
Ichi Ban – Matt Allen’s proven TP52 has won a host of major titles including overall honours in 2017 and 2019, and with last year’s race cancelled has a chance to become the first boat in 57 years to go back-to-back.
Gweilo – Another of the TP 52 boats, Gweilo finished second overall in 2019 and has been a consistently strong performer across numerous events.
Quest – Overall winner in 2008 and again in 2015 when she was known as Balance, this TP52 invariably places well in major events and should again give younger boats plenty to worry about.
White Bay 6. Azzurro – This 34-foot boat has delivered consistently good results for owner Shane Kearns and he will be hoping 2021 is the year he finally collects the big prize.
Alive – The overall winner in 2018 and fourth in 2019, this Tasmanian 66-foot yacht could well be in contention if conditions favour boats larger than the TP52 contingent.