Race to Hobart comes down to classic match



NOTHING separates the two giants of the water in this year's Sydney to Hobart. Neville Crichton's Alfa Romeo and Bob Oatley's Wild Oats are the latest and greatest things on the water ? big, fast and flash.

And if it wasn't for their decorative signage they would be impossible to tell apart.

The two 30-metre beasts represent the new generation in super maxis. They feature state-of-theart canting keel technology and will start the 61st Sydney to Hobart as clear favourites of the 86 competitors for line honours.

If conditions suit, the two will also go close to claiming the Tattersalls Cup, the race's major handicap trophy.

And with almost identical boats going head to head, Crichton who will skipper Alfa Romeo, believes it will really come down to the performance of each crew.

"Whoever makes the least amount of mistakes will win the race,'' said Crichton.

Oatley, however, says Alfa Romeo and Wild Oats have their differences ? although he admits the advantages on each will cancel each other out. Crichton also believes both Alfa Romeo and Wild Oats are very good chances at taking handicap honours saying that if there is a constant wind it will definitely be a "big boat race''. They will also give the record set by Nokia in 1999 a fair tilt.



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