The 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was notable for an unexpected winner of the coveted line honours trophy, a worthy overall winner and a slow passage home for the smaller boats.
The Boxing Day start of the 628 mile race south to Hobart was spectacular, with the 88-strong international fleet setting off from the heart of Sydney Harbour, with its iconic bridge and Opera House as a backdrop. The Heads and shoreline were teeming with spectators as news helicopters flew overhead. Leading the charge on the beat out of the Harbour was Bob Oatley’s maxi Wild Oats XI, the line honours winner in five out of the last six Rolex Sydney Hobarts.
Weather-wise the start of the race was fairly conventional with some fast running conditions for the afternoon, but with a dramatic 180 degree wind shift into the south forecast for the first evening. A swell from the north generated by the ex-tropical cyclone Fina, combined with this wind shift, created a horrific confused sea on the opening night, as the 30 knots southerly wind kicked in with a punch, gusting up to 40 knots. But it is these brutal, testing conditions competitors expect when they set out on the Rolex Sydney Hobart and give the event its reputation as one of the world’s toughest offshore yacht races.
For the crews it was a case of battening down hatches and muscling through and by the first morning there was an impressively low attrition rate with just two retirements. They were joined later by a third, the 2003 line honours winner Grant Wharington’s Wild Thing, suffering sail damage.
24 hours in and race favourite for line honours, the Mark Richards-skippered Wild Oats XI ,was 11 miles ahead of Anthony Bell’s maxi Investec Loyal, these two having broken away from Peter Millard’s Lahana with singlehanded round the world sailor Alex Thomson on Hugo Boss holding fourth on the water. On IRC handicap Roger Hickman, an old hand in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, competing in his 35th race, had pulled into the lead aboard his 1993 race winner, Wild Rose.
For this Rolex Sydney Hobart Wild Oats XI had been ‘turboed’ with the addition of new twin daggerboards and a larger square-topped mainsail, but her dominance as the fastest boat in the race was called into question when at 20:00 on the second evening of the race she was overtaken by the similarly-sized, but older, Investec Loyal.
With the wind lightening and backing from the southwest into the southeast, so Wild Oats XI was caught in a wind hole. Her co-navigator, Ian Burns explained what happened: “They [Investec Loyal’s crew] were keeping track of how we were doing and the moment we stopped under a cloud with no wind under it, they basically sailed right around the outside of this large hole we were stuck in and came back above us. It was good work on their part.”
The theoretically faster Wild Oats XI managed to catch up and overtook Investec Loyal at 07:30 on the second morning of the race as the two boats were sailing down the east coast of Tasmania. For the rest of the morning followers of the race were on the edge of their seats as the two boats match raced around the remainder of the course.
As they rounded the south side of Tasman Island, so Wild Oats XI was becalmed again and, taking their chance, Investec Loyal once again pounced, sailed around the outside of them to regain the lead. Crossing Storm Bay and sailing up the Derwent River to the finish, the Wild Oats XI crew, sailing with many of Australian yachting’s elder statesmen and women on board, threw all they could at Investec Loyal, but it was not enough. Investec Loyal crossed the finish line at 19:14:18 local time, after 2 days 6 hours 14 minutes and 8 seconds at sea, just 3 minutes and 8 seconds ahead of Wild Oats XI. This was the fourth closest finish in the 67 year history of the Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Unfortunately celebrations were dampened when the line honours winner was protested by the race committee. This was over a conversation between Investec Loyal tactician Michael Coxon and a helicopter pilot on the first morning of the race in which Coxon enquired about whether the mainsail or the trysail was being used on board Wild Oats XI. Investec Loyal’s line honour victory was finally confirmed when, after a three hour long protest hearing, the International Jury concluded that Coxon, in his capacity as Managing Director of North Sails Australia, had made the enquiry about Wild Oats XI’s new 3Di mainsail for professional reasons and this in no way had benefitted Investec Loyal’s performance during the race.
“It was one of the great experiences in my life,” said Anthony Bell, Investec Loyal’s owner and skipper of his win. “The whole thing from the very start, right through to the finish line, was exhilarating. It was a really tough fought out race, but the crew believed in the boat and the cause right from the start and we are so happy to have got past the finish line first.”
Bell’s campaign doubled as a vehicle to raise money for charity (it raised Aus$ 1 million in 2011) on this occasion for the Humpty Dumpty Foundation, which purchases vital medical equipment for 178 children’s hospitals around Australia and East Timor. For this reason among their crew were a number of celebrities including sports stars, such as Australian rugby union internationals Phil Kearns and Phil Waugh.
As the slower boats were becalmed in Storm Bay and up the Derwent River, so it became evident that this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart would be one for the smaller large boats, including the competitive 50ft fleet. However the stand-out boat in this size range was Stephen Ainsworth’s Reichel Pugh 63, Loki. Over the last 18 months this has proved to be one of the most successful campaigns in on the Australian circuit. Under IRC, Loki’s corrected time was 50 minutes faster than that of Michael Hyatt’s Farr 55 Living Doll, with 84 year old Syd Fischer’s modified TP52 Ragamuffin third and the Cookson 50 Jazz of Britain’s Chris Bull, fourth.
“We are elated. It is a fantastic feeling, a huge thrill to win this race,” said a jubilant Ainsworth, after being presented with a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece by Patrick Boutellier of Rolex Australia and the coveted Tattersall’s Cup, for winning IRC handicap honours. “Having done 14 races, I know how hard it is to win this race. So many things have to go right for you and the wind gods were with us. Our race went extremely well. The aim for the navigators was to avoid stopping and we successfully did that, although we came close a couple of times. Look at what happened to Wild Oats XI – that could easily have happened to us.”
Ainsworth’s crew, led by Irish round the world sailor Gordon Maguire, was 18 strong, but of these only one third were professionals. “The handicap win came when the big boats parked up,” said Maguire. At one point the maxis had extended to almost 120 miles in front of them, but as they had slowed, so Loki had managed to reel back 60 miles.
Earlier in the race the competitive 40 and 45ft Beneteaus had been among the most promising on handicap along with Roger Hickman’s Wild Rose. However the progress of the smaller boats was hampered as the wind shut down for them as they manoeuvred around the east coast of Tasmania into Storm Bay and up the Derwent River leading up to Hobart.
Darryl Hodgkinson, skipper of the First 45 Victoire summed it up best: “I thought it was going to be a carbon copy of last year’s race where we sat in the Derwent. This year we actually camped in Derwent! The last miles from the Tasman Light to the finish typically take six to seven hours. On this occasion it took 15.”
A pre-race favourite among the smaller boats was the new Ker 40 AFR Midnight Rambler, but co-owner Ed Psaltis, winner of the race in 1998, said they had made some wrong tactical choices and, entering Bass Strait, ended up in a giant wind hole, entrapping them for six hours.
While there had been a strong turn-out in Hobart’s Constitution Dock to witness the end of the match race marathon between Investec Loyal and Wild Oats XI, this was rivalled when Australian youth solo round the world sailing phenomenon Jessica Watson arrived aboard Ella Baché another Challenge. Watson’s crew have now entered the history books as the youngest to take part in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, but having spent two and a half months training as a team prior to the start Watson was delighted with taking second place in the Sydney 38 class.
“It was really, really good, everything you would expect,” said Watson on her arrival. “We had three quite bouncy nights on the nose. We didn’t see any severe conditions, but there was some pretty uncomfortable stuff for quite a while there.”
Having previously sailed solo, Watson was full of praise for her crew. “The crew were awesome. It was the best sailing we’ve ever seen them do. It’s what we have been training for and they did exactly that. Everyone did an amazing job. All credit to them – I just held on for the ride.”
The last boat to arrive, crossing the line late in the afternoon on New Year’s Eve, was that of Sydney boatyard owner Sean Langman. Langman is best known for his attempts to win line honours in previous races, but on this occasion was sailing the wooden 1932 coastal cruiser/fishing boat, Maluka of Kermandie as crew for his 18 year old son Peter.
This year’s race once again proved that to earn victory in the Rolex Sydney Hobart is something that takes persistence. As Gordon Maguire concluded: “I won this race in 1991 on an IOR 2 tonner Atara with Harold Cudmore. It was my second Hobart race and I thought ‘easy’. It has been 20 years since I won it again. I have won an awful lot of regattas in between and I do this race almost every year, so it is not an easy race to win. You can’t just come down here with the best boat in the world and win it. You have to come down here with the best boat in the world and have all the luck in the world – all that has to happen in the same race. It is a very unusual beast.”
George David’s maxi yacht, Rambler 100, crossed the finish line in Antigua in the early hours of Wednesday morning in an elapsed time of 1 day 16 hours 20 minutes and 2 seconds.
Subject to official confirmation, Rambler 100 has broken the monohull race record set by race rival, Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard by nearly four hours.
Two of the world’s most impressive racing yachts have been locking horns over 600 miles of high-speed action in a fight to the finish. Competing against each other for the first time and battling it out to snatch the record for the third edition of the RORC Caribbean 600.
The Rambler crew contained the entire compliment of the Puma Ocean Racing team which will be competing in the 2011-12 Volvo Ocean Race, tired but elated, Puma skipper, Kenny Read commented dockside in Antigua:
“That was a lot of fun but hard work for a while, you do something like sail around the world and that is almost easy compared to this, because there is no time to take any sleep, you’re taking so many corners and turns but it is also a gorgeous course, it’s a dream come true type of event. I am glad we came and that George invited me. Probably the most memorable part of the course was at night with a full moon at the top of St. Maarten, big breeze and massive breaking waves, it was huge fun and really cool, we came out of their doing 26 knots, it has been a real adventure and a this course and Rambler 100 is a whole new dimension for sailing.”
Rambler 100′s George David, an avid sailor and member of the New York Yacht Club, has been sailing with Kenny Read for 17 years.
“Rambler 100 is quite a handful, it’s like a Volvo 70 on steroids and this is a big fast race, which favours us,” commented David. “It is part of the Atlantic Ocean Racing Series, the RORC Caribbean 600 has been a great race as part of that series. We never took this win for granted, we have carried out some optimisation towards the IRC rating and we really didn’t know how we would perform, as this is the first time that the boat has been raced to be IRC competitive. Leopard is a powerful boat and they are a good team that has been sailing together for a number of years.
Thank you to the RORC and the Antigua Yacht Club, a lot of people have put a great deal of effort into making this a great race, I think this race is going to attract a lot of competitors, we have a record fleet this year and I can only seeing it growing, I think we will be back next year.”
IRC Overall Provisional Results
1. USA25555 Rambler 100 JK 100 George David
2. CAN84248 Vela Veloce Southern Cross 52 Richard Oland
3. GBR115L Sojana Farr 115 Peter Harrison
4. AUS5299 Jazz Cookson 50 Chris Bull
5. GBR1R ICAP Leopard Farr 100 Mike Slade Mike Slade/Clarke Murphy
6. IRL5005 Lee Overlay Partners Cookson 50 Adrian Lee
7. GBR22N Aegir Carbon Ocean 82 Brian Benjamin
8. GBR4321R Oystercatcher XXVIII Humphreys 54 Richard Matthews
9. NED46 Tonnerre de Breskens 3 Ker 46 Piet Vroon
10. LTU1000 Ambersail VO 60 Simonas Steponavicius
11. US60006 Venomous Carroll Marine 60 Derek Saunders
12. USA60271 Ocean’s Seven² Fauroux 104′ OSML Ltd JP Chomette
13. NED001 Windrose Of Amsterdam Dijkstra 40m Schooner Andrew McIrvine
Follow the rest of the fleet as they complete the race on the Carribbean 600 race tracker brought to you by Yellowbrick
It was a bright and windy morning today when boat owners, crews, friends and family gathered on the lawn of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in warm sunshine for the official prize-giving for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2010. The races’ rich 66-year history provides for an impressive collection of race booty: intricately crafted silver trophies, hand-carved half models, and unique awards. His Excellency, the Honourable Peter Underwood, Governor of Tasmania, was on hand again this year to present the awards, along with Hobart’s Lord Mayor Rob Valentine; David O’Bryne, representing the Premier of Tasmania; the CYCA Commodore Garry Linacre; RYCT Commodore Graham Taplin; Patrick Boutellier of Rolex Australia; and Barbara McGregor, from Tasports.
This was one of the more “classic” Rolex Sydney Hobarts in recent years because of the heavy weather and rough seas that boats and their crews encountered—a hallmark of this well-known ocean race. The race started with a ‘Southerly buster’ during the first night, with the fleet of 87 starters encountering winds that reached 40 to 50 knots. Those gale-force winds and the resulting monstrous seas took their toll and saw a steady stream of boats retire due to steering damage, torn sails and engine problems, and for one unlucky yacht, a dismasting. After two days, 18 boats were forced out of the race, retiring because of the adverse weather conditions and resulting damage to boat and equipment. Following that, boats and crew had to contend with getting across the notorious 100 nautical mile wide Bass Strait. By the race end, winds lightened somewhat and boats at the back of the fleet had trouble getting enough wind to get up the ten-mile stretch of Derwent River to the finish line in Hobart. Race favourite, Robert Oatley’s 100-foot maxi Wild Oats XI picked up the line honours as expected for a fifth time. In the end, it was the medium-sized boats that had the advantage, such as the 51-footer, Geoff Boettcher’s Secret Men’s Business 3.5, which was the overall handicap winner of this year’s race. The yacht won IRC Overall and IRC Division 1 titles. About the race, Boettcher said, “It was a boyhood dream to win this race. I just can’t believe I’m here.” He also thanked his talented and dedicated crew for their help. “These boys are fantastic,” he said.
The Reichel Pugh 51 was extensively modified last year, and Boettcher attributes these modifications to helping with the win. “With the modifications we were able to point much better, and we increased the hull length while we were at it,” he said. A highlight of this morning’s presentation was when Investec Loyal maxi yacht skipper Sean Langman received the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia Trophy for second overall on elapsed time. Showing true sportsmanship at its best Langman said, “I’d like to acknowledge every single competitor in this year’s race, which was more a test of the human condition than just a boat race.” Langman went on to say that, as he often does, he greeted the last boat, Wave Sweeper, when it arrived into King’s Pier Marina, “To me that boat really epitomises what this race is about. Wave Sweeper stopped off in Eden and dropped off an injured crew. They had a whole lot of damaged sails, but still pushed on.” When Langman saw them arrive, he said they looked dejected for coming in last. In a touching tribute Langman said, “But to me, they really came in first. I’d like to give the crew of the Wave Sweeper a hearty congratulations for their effort.” While their can only be one winner, Langman’s attitude—that just finishing the race makes you a winner resonated with the father and son team aboard the US entry, Dawn Star. Keen sailors and competitors Bill and Will Hubbard shared a life long dream of sailing in a Rolex Sydney Hobart, what has become known as the world’s toughest ocean going race. The 76-year old Hubbard said of the race, “I can honestly say it was the worst race and the best race I’ve ever done—and that’s the honest to God’s truth. The second day was hell on earth. I’ve never been so unhappy and thought that I made a major error in judgment.” Bill Hubbard, 26, said the race was, “Wet! It was a test of endurancem but we got here.” At one point during the race south, Dawn Star was hit by a freak wave and knocked down, sending two crew members overboard. “Their safety gear keep them from being lost,” admitted the younger Hubbard. And with a twinkle in his eye, the sunburned and unshaven elder Hubbard looked back on the adventure that was the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart and said, “The fourth day was the most fantastic day on the water we’ve ever spent. The wind was perfect. The weather was perfect and in that night every star in the sky was out. It was beautiful.” The Polish Trophy is presented to the yacht travelling from the furthest point to compete. This year’s winner was Alberto Biffignandi’s One Life, which was sailed on an extended cruise by family and friends from Santa Margherita Ligure to Sydney. Biffignandi said the name of his boat is meant to inspire others. The affable Italian said, “You only have one life; you should go now or you never will.” The entries for this the 66th edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race included six international yachts from the USA, UK, Italy, France, as well as two partly crewed Russian boats, and entries from seven of the eight Australian states and territories.
RESULTS LINE HONOURS Wild Oats XI, Robert Oatley (NSW/AUS), Reichel/Pugh 100 IRC OVERALL Secret Mens Business 3.5, Geoff Boettcher (SA/AUS), Reichel/Pugh 51 DIVISION LEADERS IRC Div 0: Jazz, Chris Bull, (VIC/AUS), Cookson 50 IRC Div 1: Secret Mens Business 3.5, Geoff Boettcher IRC Div 2: Victoire, Darryl Hodgkinson (NSW/AUS), Beneteau First 45 IRC Div 3: Paca, Philippe Mengual (NSW/AUS), Beneteau First 40 IRC Div 4: Ray White Spirit of Koomooloo, Mike Freebairn (QLD/AUS), S&S 48 PHS Div 1: NSC Mahligai, Murray Owens & Jenny Kings (NSW/AUS), Sydney 46 PHS Div 2: Flying Fish Arctos, Martin Silk (NSW/AUS), McIntyre 55 Sydney 38: Eleni, Tony Levett (NSW/AUS), Sydney 38 ORCi 1: Jazz, Chris Bull ORCi 2: Victoire, Darryl Hodgkinson ORCi 3: Copernicus, Greg Zyner, (NSW/AUS), Radford 12 Cruising: OneLife, Alberto Biffignandi, Italy, Amel
1 Wild Oats XI Finished 02:07:37:20 11.3
Bob Oatley NSW 28 Dec, 8:37pm
2 Investec LOYAL Finished 02:11:11:34 10.6
Sean Langman (19) NSW 29 Dec, 12:11am
3 Lahana Finished 02:14:09:44 10.1
Peter Millard (1) NSW 29 Dec, 3:09am
4 Ichi Ban Finished 02:16:52:55 9.7
Matt Allen (21) NSW 29 Dec, 5:52am
5 Wild Thing Finished 02:17:15:29 9.6
Grant Wharington (23) VIC 29 Dec, 6:15am
6 Ran Finished 02:17:22:55 9.6
Niklas Zennstrom (1) England 29 Dec, 6:22am
7 Limit Finished 02:21:30:31 9.0
Alan Brierty (7) WA 29 Dec, 10:30am
8 Loki Finished 02:21:33:16 9.0
Stephen Ainsworth (13) NSW 29 Dec, 10:33am
9 Rodd & Gunn Wedgetail Finished 02:23:44:50 8.8
Bill Wild (6) QLD 29 Dec, 12:44pm
10 Living Doll Finished 03:00:18:35 8.7
Michael Hiatt (5) VIC 29 Dec, 1:18pm
11 Shogun Finished 03:00:18:54 8.7
Rob Hanna (4) VIC 29 Dec, 1:18pm
12 Jazz Finished 03:00:20:19 8.7
Chris Bull (3) NSW 29 Dec, 1:20pm
13 Pretty Fly III Finished 03:00:33:18 8.7
Colin Woods (4) NSW 29 Dec, 1:33pm
14 Secret Men’s Business 3.5 Finished 03:00:42:10 8.6
Geoff Boettcher (21) SA 29 Dec, 1:42pm
15 Terra Firma Finished 03:07:27:42 7.9
Nicholas Bartels (7) VIC 29 Dec, 8:27pm
16 Ragamuffin Finished 03:07:43:15 7.9
Syd Fischer (41) NSW 29 Dec, 8:43pm
17 Vamp Finished 03:08:36:59 7.8
Mikhail Muratov/Roger Hickman (33) Russia 29 Dec, 9:36pm
18 Merit Finished 03:09:18:53 7.7
Leo Rodriguez (2) QLD 29 Dec, 10:18pm
19 Titania of Cowes Finished 03:12:11:29 7.5
Richard Dobbs United Kingdom 30 Dec, 1:11am
20 Chutzpah Finished 03:13:03:30 7.4
Bruce Taylor (29) VIC 30 Dec, 2:03am
21 Victoire Finished 03:15:41:40 7.2
Darryl Hodgkinson NSW 30 Dec, 4:41am
22 Ocean Affinity Finished 03:15:42:52 7.2
Stewart Lewis (3) QLD 30 Dec, 4:42am
23 Extasea Finished 03:15:44:39 7.2
Paul Buchholz VIC 30 Dec, 4:44am
24 AFR Midnight Rambler Finished 03:17:04:53 7.1
Ed Psaltis (29) NSW 30 Dec, 6:04am
25 Cadibarra 8 Finished 03:20:46:20 6.8
Paul Roberts (7) VIC 30 Dec, 9:46am
26 Helsal III Finished 03:23:17:17 6.6
Rob Fisher (17) TAS 30 Dec, 12:17pm
27 St Jude Finished 03:23:31:37 6.6
Noel Cornish (3) NSW 30 Dec, 12:31pm
28 Valheru Finished 03:23:42:32 6.6
Anthony Lyall (9) TAS 30 Dec, 12:42pm
29 Patriot Finished 03:23:56:51 6.5
Tony Love (5) QLD 30 Dec, 12:56pm
30 NSC Mahligai Finished 04:00:09:23 6.5
Murray Owen (4) NSW 30 Dec, 1:09pm
31 Patrice Six Finished 04:00:17:51 6.5
Tony Kirby (25) NSW 30 Dec, 1:17pm
32 Dodo Finished 04:00:26:32 6.5
Rick Christian NSW 30 Dec, 1:26pm
33 Wasabi Finished 04:01:50:30 6.4
Bruce McKay (1) NSW 30 Dec, 2:50pm
34 Krakatoa II Finished 04:01:57:34 6.4
Rod Skellet (11) NSW 30 Dec, 2:57pm
35 Tevake II Finished 04:02:02:10 6.4
Angus Fletcher (1) VIC 30 Dec, 3:02pm
36 Paca Finished 04:02:08:45 6.4
Philippe Mengual (1) NSW 30 Dec, 3:08pm
37 Eleni Finished 04:02:59:17 6.3
Tony Levett (6) NSW 30 Dec, 3:59pm
38 Another Challenge Finished 04:02:59:46 6.3
Chris Lewin(3) VIC 30 Dec, 3:59pm
39 Zen Finished 04:03:27:06 6.3
Gordon Ketelbey (7) NSW 30 Dec, 4:27pm
40 L’Ange De Milon Finished 04:03:30:58 6.3
Jacques Pelletier France 30 Dec, 4:30pm
41 L’Altra Donna Finished 04:03:59:53 6.3
Andy Kearnan NSW 30 Dec, 4:59pm
42 Copernicus Finished 04:04:14:22 6.3
Greg Zyner (3) NSW 30 Dec, 5:14pm
43 She’s The Culprit Finished 04:04:21:29 6.3
Todd Leary (2) TAS 30 Dec, 5:21pm
44 LMR Solar Finished 04:04:38:13 6.2
Michael Martin (2) NSW 30 Dec, 5:38pm
45 Local Hero* Finished 04:04:46:09 6.2
Peter Mosely NSW 30 Dec, 5:46pm
46 Secret Men’s Business #1 Finished 04:05:03:05 6.2
Ross Trembath (13), Rob Curtis (4) NSW 30 Dec, 6:03pm
47 Flying Fish Arctos Finished 04:05:15:17 6.2
Martin Silk (1) NSW 30 Dec, 6:15pm
48 Ray White Spirit of Koomooloo Finished 04:06:48:11 6.1
Mike Freebairn (7) QLD 30 Dec, 7:48pm
49 Shepherd Centre Finished 04:07:44:11 6.1
Hugh Torode (1) NSW 30 Dec, 8:44pm
50 Scarlet Ribbon* Finished 04:09:03:06 6.0
Richard Buxton VIC 30 Dec, 10:03pm
51 Obsession Finished 04:09:06:57 6.0
Nikita Brilliantov NSW 30 Dec, 10:06pm
52 Chancellor Finished 04:09:13:20 6.0
Ted Tooher (5) NSW 30 Dec, 10:13pm
53 Geomatic Joker Finished 04:09:16:49 6.0
Grant Chipperfield (1) VIC 30 Dec, 10:16pm
54 Onelife* Finished 04:10:26:35 5.9
Alberto Biffignandi Italy 30 Dec, 11:26pm
55 Allegro Finished 05:00:54:11 5.2
John Taylor (15) NSW 31 Dec, 1:54pm
56 Mille Sabords Finished 05:00:56:38 5.2
Stephane Howarth VIC 31 Dec, 1:56pm
57 Wahoo Finished 05:00:56:54 5.2
Graham Mulligan NSW 31 Dec, 1:56pm
58 Aurora Finished 05:00:58:56 5.2
Jim Holley (22) NSW 31 Dec, 1:58pm
59 Crossbow Finished 05:01:07:53 5.2
David Stenhouse (1) & David Cutcliffe (5) NSW 31 Dec, 2:07pm
60 Abracadabra Finished 05:01:18:49 5.2
James Murchison (6) NSW 31 Dec, 2:18pm
61 Blunderbuss Finished 05:01:21:40 5.2
Tony Kinsman QLD 31 Dec, 2:21pm
62 She Finished 05:01:22:34 5.2
Peter Rodgers (15) NSW 31 Dec, 2:22pm
63 Dawn Star* Finished 05:01:47:36 5.2
William Hubbard III USA 31 Dec, 2:47pm
64 CIC Secure Inca Finished 05:02:26:31 5.1
Noel Sneddon (5) ACT 31 Dec, 3:26pm
65 Young Ones Finished 05:02:56:59 5.1
Ian Miller (2) VIC 31 Dec, 3:56pm
66 Illusion Finished 05:03:00:36 5.1
Jonathan Stone NSW 31 Dec, 4:00pm
67 Charlie’s Dream Finished 05:03:39:49 5.1
Peter Lewis (2) QLD 31 Dec, 4:39pm
68 Polaris of Belmont Finished 05:03:42:56 5.1
Chris Dawe (6) NSW 31 Dec, 4:42pm
69 Wave Sweeper Finished 05:06:08:30 5.0
Morgan Rogers (2) NSW 31 Dec, 7:08pm
Alchemy III* Retired – at Port
Jarrod Ritchie TAS
Bacardi* Retired – at Port
Martin Power (8) VIC
Brindabella* Retired – at Port
Jim Cooney NSW
Calm Retired – at Port
Jason Van der Slot (5) VIC
Exile* Retired – at Port
Rob Reynolds (1) NSW
Jazz Player* Retired – at Port
Andrew Lawrence (1) VIC
Nautical Circle* Retired – at Port
Matthew Prentice (1) NSW
Nemesis Retired – at Port
Jeffery Taylor USA
Pirelli Celestial* Retired – at Port
Sam Haynes NSW
Salona II* Retired – at Port
Phillip King (13) NSW
Scarlet Runner* Retired – at Port
Robert Date (2) VIC
Shamrock* Retired – at Port
Tony Donnellan (1) VIC
Shining Sea* Retired – at Port
Andrew Corletto (1) SA
Southern Excellence* Retired – at Port
Andrew Wenham (4) NSW
Swish* Retired – at Port
Steven Proud (3) NSW
Two True* Retired – at Port
Andrew Saies (5) SA
Wot Eva* Retired – at Port
David Pescud (19) NSW
Yuuzoo* Retired – at Port
Ludde Ingvall (7) NSW
Local Hero – awarded 30 minutes redress under RRS 62.1(c) for coming to the assistance of Bacardi
Scarlet Ribbon – cruising division boat
Onelife – cruising division boat
Dawn Star – 40 minutes redress granted under RRS 62.1(c) for locating and sinking a liferaft lost from Titania of Cowes
Alchemy III – boom damage
Bacardi – broken mast
Brindabella – damaged mainsail
Exile – steering damage
Jazz Player – damaged mainsail
Nautical Circle – Engine problems
Pirelli Celestial – Sail damage
Salona II – Steering Problems
Scarlet Runner – Sail damage
Shamrock – damage to rudder bearing
Shining Sea – Broken Rudder
Southern Excellence – At Sydney
Swish – radio damage – heading to Sydney
Two True – Engine problems
Wot Eva – engine problem
Yuuzoo – torn headsail
What has been touted as one of the toughest Rolex Sydney Hobart Races in recent years, saw the first finisher arrive in Hobart early this evening. The 100-foot super maxi Wild Oats XI blazed up the Derwent River and crossed the finish line off Constitution Wharf at 2037 AEDT with an elapsed time of two days, seven hours, 37 minutes, 20 seconds — since leaving Sydney Harbour at 1300 on 26 December, Boxing Day.
This year’s 66th edition was one of Wild Oats Xl physically most difficult but also one of her more hard fought finishes, with sustained periods of headwinds along the way and crushing gale-force conditions through the notorious Bass Strait. In an interview as he stepped off the winning vessel, skipper Mark Richards said,” “It was a tough race, no doubt about that. The boat Wild Oats, the boys, and the team did a fantastic job.”
The Reichel-Pugh design was the provisional line honours winner pending the decision of the International Jury over a protest by the Race Committee regarding the use of her HF radio. The jury will convene Tuesday afternoon at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania to arrive at a decision.
After sailing a near perfect tactical race in extremely difficult conditions, with extremes ranging from a hair-removing 25-40 knot southerly and a mountainous seaway during the first night, race favourite Wild Oats XI didn’t disappoint followers. This was Wild Oats XI fifth win after participating in six Rolex Sydney Hobart Races.
Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards was happy with the race and said, “We couldn’t have asked for a better result. To arrive here, first, in Hobart, is the most amazing feeling.” Referring to Oats’ second place finish of last year, Richards said, “First is hell of a lot better than second. We’re back and we’re just very happy to be here.”
Dockside after the race finish, Adrienne Cahalan co-navigator aboard Wild Oats XI and a veteran of now her 19th Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, commented on the extreme sea and wind, “I do think it’s one of the toughest races I’ve ever done. We did our best to make sure we didn’t break anything.”
A seasoned offshore sailor, Cahalan told of encountering 20 – 30 knot headwinds across the Bass Strait. As to how the boat managed, she said, “The boat held together really well…it was a technically sound race for us.” She continued, “To get there in one piece and in first place — it’s one of the greatest victories we’ve had.”
The remaining 70 boats in the Rolex Sydney Hobart fleet are spread across from the southeast corner of the NSW coast, across the Bass Strait down towards the finish in Hobart — pushed along by a 20-knot north-northeasterly. The fleet includes six international entries from the USA, UK, Italy, France, as well as two partly crewed Russian boats, and entries from seven of the eight Australian states and territories.
Next boat expected across the finish line is Sean Langman’s 100-foot Investec Loyal at approximately 2230 tonight. However, breeze looks to be shutting down in the Derwent River, so their exact arrival is now anyone’s guess.
In a phone interview earlier today, Investec Loyal’s Sean Langman explained about his boats’ troubles during the last two days, “The damage we sustained was to the reef lines earlier and some tack lines on the headsail which, running without a headsail, put us an hour back. Also, a fuel tank broke lose. These tanks carry so much fuel that you’ve got a quarter of a ton to manhandle which is difficult.”
On the final race day, Langman and crew discovered flooding in a forward hold, “We didn’t realize that we had a substantial leak in the bow and carried on with a ton and a half of water, which we only detected this morning. We have a watertight bulkhead up there and when we opened it, water came pouring out.” Langman believed that the leak was not a puncture in the hull but due to loose deck fittings.
The 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart race may well go down as one of the roughest in recent years and has certainly lived up to its reputation as one of the world’s toughest ocean going races.
To date, 16 yachts have been forced to retire due to issues including a broken mast, damaged booms, rigging and engine problems. Almost all racers have their share of minor injuries due to the high seas and associated gale force winds.