CSIRO Division of Marine Research scientist, Dr
David Griffin, and Robert Poole, from Flinders
University surveyed competitors in the 1995 race to
establish how some skippers sailed their race
relevant to the prevailing currents and eddies.
Perhaps the most intriguing oceanographic
feature encountered by competitors in the 1995
Sydney to Hobart was a cyclonic eddy off the
southern NSW continental shelf. The eddy was
centred at about 36 45' S, 151 E (about 50 nm off
Bermagui) and had a radius of about 30 nm.
The satellite sea-surface temperature image
taken on Christmas Day clearly shows a streamer of
warmer water wrapped clockwise around the cold
core. Super-imposed on the image are current
vectors computed by CSIRO from navigational data
logged by Avenger, Lady Penrhyn of
Nirimbah, Interlude, Brindabella,
Berrimilla, Fudge, and Sancho
The wind was such that most of the fleet chose
to fight the unfavourable currents of up to 2 kt on
the western side of the eddy.
Take Time, however, took the course shown
as a solid line.Her race placing is indicated at
each schedule, showing how she passed about seven
yachts as she transitted the eastern half of the
eddy. Her skipper, Graham Smith, reckoned she
picked up about a knot, and thanks the eddy, at
least in part, for his winning the TPHS division.
CSIRO thanks all the yachts which contributed
data to this study.
For more information contact Kim Badcock
Phone: 03 6232 5398
Fax: 03 6232 5123