Worldsport

Where has all the wind gone?

Updated 1:44 PM ET, Fri December 27, 2013
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Day two of the Rolex Sydney-Hobart race proved a frustrating one for the remaining 92 yachts due to the severe lack of wind in places, with much of the course offering none at all. Joosep Martinson/Getty Image
Missing the wind the most was the Perpetual LOYAL. The super maxi was ahead of the pack at the beginning of the day, only to soon come unstuck as the light conditions started to help race favorite and six-time line honors winner Wild Oats XI. SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Skipper of the Perpetual LOYAL, Anthony Bell, was certainly left unimpressed by the day's racing conditions. "We're just bobbing around here," he said. "We have four knots across the deck. I've seen it windier in my two-year-old daughter's indoor swimming lessons." Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
The Perpetual LOYAL and the Wild Oats XI led a seven-strong group at the front-end of the race that also included Ragamuffin 100, Wild Thing, Giacomo, Beau Geste and Black Jack. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
It was going into Bass Strait, however, where the narrow beam of Wild Oats XI was able to edge in front as the decision to drop weight from the standard rigging of the 100 footer finally began to pay off. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
By 5 p.m. local time, the Perpetual LOYAL was craving some wind as Wild Oats XI managed to open up a five-nautical-mile lead over its closest rival across the Strait in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia's 628-nautical-mile race. Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
The Bureau of Meteorology has offered the Perpetual LOYAL some hope, predicting the leading seven should have favorable winds Saturday morning. Strengthening north-easterlies were set to push them down the Tasmanian north-east coast, setting up a possible race finish by the evening. Joosep Martinson/Getty Images
While that offers some consolation for Bell, the Bureau's forecast of a weather change late Saturday evening in Bass Strait and off the Tasmanian south-east coast does not. "We wish the race had started two days later so that we could actually get into that weather," he said, referring to the smaller boats at the back-end of the race likely having a more traditional slog across Bass Strait. SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images
Rather than focusing on what could have been, though, Bell was more hopeful that the front would come sooner than forecast, before the frontrunners reached Tasman Island. "Our best chance is just to be there, to stay in contact," he said. "Anything more than 12 to 14 knots we will make profit on. We just need more than four." Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images
While world-record crowds have been watching Australia take on England in the Ashes cricket Test in Melbourne, flocks of people also turned out in Sydney for the start of the yacht race. Joosep Martinson/Getty Images