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8 December 2004, 09:37 am
Delta Wings in as entries close for Rolex Sydney Hobart
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Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race
Australia

The first time Delta Wing owner/skipper Bill KOPPE ever slept at sea was the first night of his first Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in 2000 - not that he got much sleep! Bill and his crew will be heading south again this year as Delta Wing was accepted as the final entry for the 2004 Rolex Sydney Hobart last Friday, completing the fleet at 123 yachts.

The heavy steel cruiser needs plenty of breeze to achieve good results and is a regular competitor in the Gosford-Lord Howe Race, where she finished first in PHS division in the 2002 race followed by a PHS Overall win in the Rolex Sydney Hobart in the same year.

Bill missed the Gosford-Lord Howe event this year to undergo a triple bypass - or 'grease and oil change' as he refers to it - but is looking forward to being back at the helm for the trip to Hobart. <i>'We had the right weather conditions for Delta Wing when we won our division in the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2002 with a full spinnaker run,' </i>said Bill.

<i>'I doubt we'll have as much luck with the conditions this year, but taking a quiet little cruise south seems the polite thing to do considering we've taken the silverware home before,'</i> he joked.

The 13.525m, Boden-designed boat is registered with both the Cruising Yacht Club Of Australia and the Gosford Sailing Club and will arrive in Sydney on Christmas Day to prepare for the race.

The 8-man crew will sleep on board on Christmas night at a harbour mooring. Bill believes the extra time on the water helps everyone acclimatise to the movement of the boat to ease potential seasickness early in the race. <i>'It's a good way to settle before the adrenalin kicks in on Boxing Day,' </i>he said.

Peter Campbell (As Amended by ISAF)
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