Both the oddsmakers and the discussion seem very focused on Loyal and WOXI for Line Honors, with good reason. But let me ask this:
- Are there any weather scenarios where a different boat would be the favorite?
- Are there any weather scenarios where a different boat would be favored for second, such that it would only take one breakdown to make them the favorite?
- In the event that both Loyal and WOXI break down, who would be the favorite in which conditions?
There's actually a pretty good number of entries who can push for line honors. Rags, Zefiro, and Wild Thing at 100, multiple Volvo 70s, the 70-foot clippers, Nikata, Ichi Ban, Beau Geste, Brindabella, etc. I'm just not sure if any of them can beat a well-sailed and unbroken Loyal or WOXI, nor which of them would be most likely to win if Loyal and WOXI screw up or break down. Or are a bunch of these guys going to come rolling in together, such that there's no favorite after Loyal and WOXI?
Another way to put it: Once you see the weather forecast, if you wanted to bet on a longer shot than Loyal or WOXI, who'd you bet on?