Could this 18-year Sydney Hobart streak be broken in 2023?

For the past 18 years, the line honours victors of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race have been powered by Future Fibres’ flagship rigging product—ECsix. The most popular composite rigging product in the world, ECsix has had a hand in winning just about every grand prix contest—from the Vendee Globe, to SailGP, to the Rolex Fastnet.

Yet, as we look towards the horizon of this year’s Great Race, whispers of change could be signalled by the arrival of our breakthrough hybrid rigging product—AEROsix. AEROsix is constructed from a solid carbon plate bonded within bundles of multistrand carbon rods, fusing the reliability of multistrand rigging with the performance of solid carbon. This delivers minimum vibration under tension, which, in turn, means extreme aerodynamic efficiency. Crafted in an ellipse shape, AEROsix provides the highest performing aspect ratio of any carbon rigging on the market—creating the highest amount of lift for the least amount of frontal area drag. 

ROLEX/ Andrea Francolini 

SHK Scallywag has embraced our hybrid technology by opting for AEROsix during a recent refit, which also included a plethora of rig upgrades from our partners at Southern Spars. A Sydney Hobart line honours win has thus far eluded Scallywag, but these put them at the leading edge of rig and rigging technology, laying down a clear statement of intent. Learn more about Scallywag’s upgrades, and the other contenders for line honours victory, on the Southern Spars website.  

The spirit of the Sydney Hobart Yacht Race lies not just in the rush for line honours but in the gruelling battle for overall victory. The feel-good hero of last year’s race, Celestial has made some upgrades of her own, as she looks to defend the Tattersall Cup. With a new mainsail from our partners at North Sails, Helix structured luff and 3Di technology, a high-performance carbon rig from Southern Spars, ECsix multistrand rigging, and recent modifications to the backstay from the experts at RigPro, Sam Haynes and co. have given themselves the best chance of going back-to-back.  

Then there’s Caro, arguably the favourites, whose impressive campaign at the 50th Rolex Fastnet again showcased the potential of a Southern Spars rig in concert with Future Fibres rigging. As she vies for the coveted Tattersall Cup, Caro carries with her the expectations of a year marked by triumphs and the promise of a glorious grand finale in Hobart. Another yacht which has upgraded to AEROsix rigging, if Caro and SHK Scallywag both take silverware, it could be a crowning moment for hybrid rigging technology.  

Credit: Rolex

The challenges of Southern Spars/Future Fibres-rigged mini maxis like Alive, URM, and Moneypenny are not to be underestimated. Local favourite, Alive lifted the TasPorts Trophy last time around for the first Tasmanian yacht on IRC corrected time, and has tasted overall victory before – lifting the Tattersall Cup in 2018. URM has shown impressive form, coming off a strong performance in the Australian Maxi Championships, which could also signal a robust challenge for top honours. Defending its divisional win in IRC 0 from last year, the 2022-23 Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore champion, Moneypenny, returns to the fray. An awesome sight slicing through the water, Sean Langman’s tribute to 007 could certainly shake (or stir) things up in the overall standings.   

As the crews make their final preparations, the excitement is palpable. The 2023 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is not only a test of endurance and seamanship but also a showcase of innovation. For a deeper dive into the quest for line honours and the pivotal role of Southern Spars and Future Fibres for front runners like Scallywag, Andoo Comanche and LawConnect, visit the Southern Spars website

Get in touch with our yachting expert Marco to find out more about Future Fibres rigging and which product is most suited for you.

Future Fibres Head of Sales Marco Sevila

Marco Sevilla
Head of Sales
[email protected]
+34 619 558 300