Skandia skipper confident - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Skandia skipper confident

By Adrian Warren 15/12/2003 10:12:16 PM Comments (0)

Skandia skipper Grant Wharington was bullish about his new maxi yacht's Sydney to Hobart race prospects after it completed a line honours sweep in the lead-up Rolex Trophy Series.

The 98ft Victorian boat Skandia finished first across the line in all eight races in the three-day regatta, recording victory margins of 14m2s and 8m43s in the final two races held in Sydney.

Wharington was especially pleased with Skandia's performance because the boat was configured for the Sydney to Hobart rather than the very different conditions it encountered over the past three days.

He was also encouraged by its strong showing on corrected time in the International Rule Club (IRC) division where it finished third, 15 points behind Sydney boat Ichi Ban.

While Skandia can't take overall handicap honours in the Sydney to Hobart because it doesn't qualify for the International Measurement System (IMS), Wharington felt his boat was a real chance in the IRC category in the big race following its performances over the last three days.

"We're happy with how the boat performed, we are a real contender for IRC honours," Wharington said.

"This has been ideal for our preparation, because we just wanted to get all our crew work and sail handling sorted and that's all happened now."

Skandia is considered one of the major contenders for line honours, along with the other new 98ft boat in the race, the untested New Zealand maxi Zana which is expected to arrive in Sydney in the next two days.

"We've had a look at their (Zana's) trial handicap, they haven't got a ratings certificate yet, they've obviously got a few things to sort out," Wharington said.

"We'll just have to wait and see on the day, I'm sure they'll be very competitive and they will be quite similar in performance to us."

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