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Big boat could pull of Syd-Hob double

AAP logoAAP 26/12/2016 Adrian Warren

One of the most consistent small boat performers in the Sydney-Hobart believes there's a chance one of the four supermaxis could pull of a rare line honours-handicap double.

Wild Oats XI did it in both 2005 and 2012, improving the line honours race record on both occasions.

Most years the supermaxis don't come in to handicap calculations.

But if they sail under northerly breezes for most of this year's race, as forecast, they can get a jump on their smaller rivals.

"The forecast looks almost too good to be true," said Bruce Taylor, skipper of the 40 foot boat Chutzpah, who has twice finished second on handicap and notched more than ten divisional wins.

"We live overlooking Bass Strait in Victoria and the last three days you could water ski to Tasmania and it's very unusual to have that without a big southerly coming.

"One of the critical parts will be tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

"It looks like it's going to be very light down at the bottom of the NSW coast.

"If the big boats get down and through that before it really lightens off, I reckon there's every chance Oats or one of the big boats could go the double.

"I think we and the 52s will slow down a bit early tomorrow morning.

"If you're on the coast it looks a southerly, if you're a bit further out to sea maybe you'll miss the southerly component, but it's pretty light airs.

'If the big boats can get into Bass Strait before that soft and furry bit comes they will be hard to catch."

Taylor and his son Drew will become the first father-son combination in the race's history to sail together 25 times.

Taylor Sr is about to embark on his 36th Hobart campaign, but hasn't contested any of his 33 as an owner in a boat bigger than 40 foot..

"I couldn't afford a maxi so I said 'give us a 40-footer that goes like a maxi,'" Taylor quipped

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