72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2016

Goto Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

AsianYachting - RSHYR Updates

The ‘noiseless tenor’ of those who finish the Rolex Sydney Hobart
By Bruce Montgomery, RSHYR media
31 December, 2016

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife
Their sober wishes never learned to stray;
Along the cool sequestered vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

…Thomas Gray: Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard

To describe them as ‘stragglers’ would be both inelegant and demeaning: the last finishers in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race are all in. The last to finish is the most classically designed of them all, Michael Strong’s Landfall.

If Anthony Bell believes Perpetual LOYAL’s record-breaking run to win line honours in the race is “one for the true believers”, that description must surely apply to those who believe in the Corinthian spirit of Landfall, a 13.4 metre Sparkman and Stephens Design No. 54, built 82 years ago of Huon pine by Percy Coverdale at Hobart’s Battery Point – the first S&S built outside the USA.

She first contested the race in 1952 and last contested in 2014 and 2015 when she failed to finish. This time she made it. This writer admired Landfall on her Hobart mooring for decades. It was the boat to own. One look at her and you, too, will be smitten.

Of the start fleet of 88, 83 have made it to the finish line, despite the last two days dogged by the doldrums down the Tasmanian east coast, across Storm Bay and up the River Derwent.

The five retirements – Dare Devil (broken rudder), Freyja (blown headsail), Koa (broken starter motor), Patrice (broken rudder) and Wild Oats XI (damage to the hydraulic ram operating the canting keel) – occurred in the first half of the race. The rest made it through.

To recap, the overall race winner is Jim Delegat’s New Zealand V70 Giacomo, which was second across the line behind Perpetual Loyal, which broke Wild Oats XI’s race record by four hours, 51 minutes and 52 seconds to establish a new time of 1 day, 13 hours, 31 minutes, 20 seconds.

After third-placed Scallywag crossed the line (all three broke the 2012 race record), they shut the door behind them, the wind died and the rest of the fleet wallowed.

Eventually that would mean Giacomo and Perpetual LOYAL topped the standings for the overall IRC and IRC Division 0 with the well-performed Chinese entry (some well-known French sailors joining them), UBOX third.

Last year’s race winner, Paul Clitheroe’s Balance finished fourth overall and again topped IRC Division 1, ahead of fellow TP52s Ichi Ban and Celestial.

Honours in Division 2 went to Rob Drury’s Cookson 12 Springday Pazazz ahead of the perennial Chutzpah and the South Australian Ker design Aikin – Hames Sharley, jointly skippered by Hames Sharley MD Callin Howard and Musto CEO David Oliver.

The veteran Queenslander Robbo Robertson won IRC Division 3 with the 40ft Farr-design Bravo, the former Concubine.

Perhaps the crowd favourite, Sean Langman’s Maluka of Kermandie narrowly defeated Shane Kearns’ Komatsu Azzurro and Simon Kurts’ endearing and enduring Love & War for IRC Division 4.

UBOX, Balance and Ichi Ban took the chocolates in ORCi; Imalizard, Quetzalcoatl and Moody Buoys in PHS and the Tasmanian boat Cromarty Magellan won the Corinthian division for the York Family Trophy ahead of Love & War and Komatsu Azzurro.

But it was Landfall that brought this race to a close, early yesterday evening, and it will be a fitting end for those who are true believers in the art of sailing, those who go about ‘the noiseless tenor of their way’.

Photo Credit to ROLEX, Kurt Arrigo, Daniel Forster, Andrea Francolini Photography

Goto AY - RSHYR UpdatesRSHYR Overall Victory goes to Giacomo
28th Dec, 1800 AEST: The River Derwent behaved so well early on, driving Perpetual LOYAL to its record-breaking victory at 2:30 in the morning, Giacomo to club house leadership an hour later and then Scallywag, all well inside Wild Oats XI 2012 race record.

Down the river, fast closing in at the mouth of the river, another three boats, Black Jack, Maserati, and Beau Geste were moving along nicely, still with a chance to break the old record themselves. But the rain arrived in Hobart when Scallywag finished and the breeze bid everyone good night.

With the lights of Hobart in sight, the three spent the rest of the night drifting aimlessly. It would not be until 9 o’clock that the fourth finishing boat, Black Jack, would finally limp across the line, out of record time and their IRC handicap chances evaporated in the drying air.

This left the door open, for the yachts still at sea, to come home, while the big boats wallowed in the river. As early finisher, Jim Delegat’s Kiwi VOR 70 Giacomo, nervously watched the clock on the pier and as time ran out, they regained the overall lead in the handicap stakes and will be awarded the race’s most treasured prize; the Tattersall’s Cup and Rolex timepiece, for becoming the overall race winner.

How fast yachts negotiated the last stretch of the race, with the weather conditions they are dealt and the notoriously tricky passage up the Derwent River, proved decisive.

After taking line honours and breaking the race record, Anthony Bell’s 100ft supermaxi Perpetual Loyal has steadily climbed back into contention. The change in the weather has reduced the speedsters down to below 4 knots or crawling speed through many flat spots, out at sea and in the river, opened the door for Perpetual Loyal to slot into second overall

The Chinese team on Wang Bin's Cookson 50 UBox, jointly skippered by Charles Caudrelier & Lei Wang with crew from the VOR Dongfeng Race Team onboard, have been on the pace from the start of the race. This has paid off in the end and arriving at the tricky patches during daylight hours and catching up with the bigger boats in the river, has earned them third overall in IRC and victory under the ORCi system, on their first attempt.

As of 2000 AEST on 28th Dec, 12 yachts have finished and there is 54 IRC yachts still racing and looking for an improvement in the weather. As the low pressure system to the West of Tasmania, that bought them the thrilling downwind, reaching conditions, is moving off to the SE below Tassie, into the Southern Ocean and left the remaining yachts struggling in the light, wet, unstable NE quadrant.

It's a race of two halves and uncharacteristically enables us to predict the podium places at this early stage (Two days into the race) before the official announcement is made.

For an Asian prospective the best performers are Malaysian born Seng Huang Lee's 100ft Scallywag taking 3rd place over the line and Wang Bin's Cookson 50 UBox taking 3rd IRC Overall (RYCT Trophy & Storm Bay Cup), 1st ORCi Division 1 (Charleston Trophy), 1st ORCi Overall and bagged the Top Navigator ORCi trophy, on their first attempt.

Photo Credit to ROLEX, Kurt Arrigo, Daniel Forster, Andrea Francolini Photography

Line honours record for Perpetual Loyal - Clock starts ticking...
28th Dec, 0250 AEST: Crossing the Hobart finish line at 02:31:20 AM with an Elapsed time of 1 day 13 hours 31 minutes and 20 seconds, Anthony Bell’s 100ft supermaxi Perpetual Loyal claims line honours, the J.H. Illingworth Trophy and smashes Wild Oats XI previous race record by 4 hours 51 minutes and 52 seconds, in this year's 628 nautical mile dash from Sydney to Hobart. Only 17nm behind Jim Delegat’s Kiwi VOR 70 Giacomo was being challenged by Hong Kong's Seng Huang Lee's 100ft Scallywag trying to make up for lost ground in the River Derwent for second place over the line.

In terms of overall IRC provisional standings, the clock has started ticking. Matt Allen's JV52 Ichi Ban has just taken the lead from Jim Delegat’s Kiwi VOR 70 Giacomo, in the quest for the race’s most coveted prize, overall victory in the handicap stakes. The defending champion Paul Clitheroe's TP52 Balance is provisionally in third place, as the yachts still at sea are doing better than Maserati, Beau Geste and Black Jack making their way across Storm Bay and into the River Derwent.

Further twists and turns are expected in the coming hours. The Chinese team on Wang Bin's Cookson 50 UBox, jointly skippered by Charles Caudrelier & Lei Wang with crew from the VOR Dongfeng Race Team onboard have preformed exceptionally well, to move in and out of the podium places, on their first attempt. At one time during the day, the Germans on Jens Kellinghusen's Ker 56 Varuna VI held top spot, which fluctuated between the Volvo 70's and TP52's. Everything is still to play for, as they power down the coast at 15-17 knots boat speed but as they say in the classics, it's not over till the 'fat lady' sings.

RSH Race Record in sight, if finish before 0723...
27th Dec, 2000 AEST: Uncharacteristically two low pressure systems are hovering in the Australian Bight, to the West of Tasmania and two high pressure systems in the Tasman Sea, to the East of Tassie, are generating strong NE and Easterly winds and powering the fleet in downwind reaching conditions. It's the first time in many years that this is possible. Barring equipment failure, Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal has 100nm to go and on record pace to finish before 0723hrs (AEDT) tomorrow (Dec 28th), to break Wild Oats XI line honours record. The NE flow is predicted to carry them round Tasman Island, across Storm Bay to the Iron Pot, at the mouth of the River Derwent. Then it could get tricky, in the lee of the land, on the 11 nautical miles, upstream to the finish line in Hobart. Notoriously the wind shuts down at night and over the years, many teams have watched their winning chances, washed away in the current.

Wild Oats XI out, 6 yachts still on record pace...
27th Dec, 1200 AEST: Wild Oats XI, the supermaxi that has dominated the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race for the last 11 years, is out of this year’s race after succumbing to the record pace she was setting at the head of the fleet. This morning, approaching the north-east coast of Flinders Island in eastern Bass Strait, she suffered damage to the hydraulic ram that adjusts the angle of the canting keel. The crew were able to manually centre and stabilise the keel, but retired from the race and are heading for Eden.

Overnight an unprecedented 24 boats were sailing on Sydney-Hobart record pace, as they flew down the east coast of Australia in favourable Northerly winds, with eight-time winner and favourite Wild Oats XI in the lead. The leaders had to negotiate a Southerly front and transition period, as they came out the other side. The wind then turned South Easterly, then clocked back to a 15 knot Easterly, to set them on the way again.

Wild Oats XI had been chased throughout the night by Anthony Bell’s supermaxi Perpetual LOYAL, which now leads the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart and is also on race record pace. If she maintains this morning’s speed in good easterly winds, she may finish hours inside the record early tomorrow morning in Hobart.

However the race is far from over, as Perpetual LOYAL has an 18nm lead over Volvo 70 Giacomo and closer to the Tassie coast, Asian favourites Beau Geste and Scallywag, plus Maserati and Black Jack, are racing in close company and still in front of the record time. New Zealand's Giacomo is running second but leading the race on corrected time. Wang Bin's Cookson 50 UBox, jointly skippered by Charles Caudrelier & Lei Wang with crew from the VOR Dongfeng Race Team onboard, are pushing above their weight and high up in the handicap stakes.

Photo Credit to ROLEX, Kurt Arrigo, Daniel Forster, Andrea Francolini Photography

Follow the fleet on Live Tracking

Southerly front slows record Hobart pace...
26th Dec, 2400 AEST: Once around the outer harbour mark, the Wild Oats XI crew decided it was time to put their foot down and by late afternoon had hauled in Anthony Bell’s 100ft Perpetual LOYAL, that led the fleet out of Sydney Harbour and streaked off down the NSW coast. Throughout the afternoon and evening the super-maxis have enjoyed 20 to 30 knots NNE breeze and making great progress, in sight of each other. The bewitching hour came when approaching Eden, as the Southerly front blocked their record breaking passage. Initially down to 3 knots boatspeed and increasing to 6 and 8, as they negotiated their way to windward, through a disturbed system. This is a quick changing system and by morning, the leaders should be reaching along in a building 15 knot Easterly, across Bass Strait and the rest of the race down the Tassie coast and into Hobart.

Freyja, Richard Lees’ 71 year old timber cruiser became the first yacht to retire, her headsail blew out just beyond the Heads, and she is back at the CYCA. Lees says everyone on board is disappointed but no-one was hurt and he is still determined to take Freyja to Hobart for the wooden boat festival in February. Sibby Ilzhofer reported shortly after 5pm that her Farr/Cookson 47, Dare Devil brand new rudder gone at rudder stock and taking on water, making her the second casualty of the race. One of the pre race favourites Tony Kirby's Ker 46 Patrice, has also broke their rudder, reducing the fleet to 85.

They're off on a Sleigh Ride to Hobart...
26th Dec, 1300 AEST: Another spectacular start to the 72nd Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, streamed on all channels, internet and even on YouTube... Anthony Bell’s 100ft Perpetual LOYAL had the distinction of leading the 2016 fleet out of Sydney Harbour on a perfect summer day. Closely followed by Asian favourites Karl Kwok’s 80 foot Beau Geste and Malaysian born Seng Huang Lee’s Scallywag. Follow them on the Live Tracking as they surf downwind, possibly all the way to Hobart, for a change.

Check the official CYCA - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2016 and the Rolex websites for News, Photo Gallery & Videos. Also on Twitter, Facebook and on The Fun Rolex Sydney to Hobart Race

Goto 2015 Rolex Syd-Hobart RaceRolex Sydney Hobart Race with an Asian Prospective...
21st Dec 2016: Amongst the 88 teams taking part this year, there are 3 from China, one each from Japan and Korea, plus three that have strong ties to racing in Asian waters. Hong Kong's Seng Huang Lee's first attempt on the 100ft Scallywag skippered by David Witt and Syd Fischer's ex Ragamuffin 100 crew, will be fighting it out for line honours, with race favourite Wild Oats XI, Perpetual Loyal and Ludde Ingvall's re-modeled and re-named CQS.

The Chinese team on Wang Bin's Cookson 50 UBox, jointly skippered by Charles Caudrelier & Lei Wang with crew from the VOR Dongfeng Race Team onboard, to send them on the way. China’s Noah's Yacht Club TP52 Ark 323 skippered by Dong Qing have been training hard in Sydney, to overcome the disappointing start line crash last year. The mid-size or 50ft fleet are covered by Japan's Yoshihiko Murase Humphreys 54 KLC Bengal 7 and Korean Kwangmin ‘Andrew’ Rho's TP52 Sonic going for Overall IRC and Class handicap hounors, to win the Tattersall’s Cup and take home the engraved Rolex timepiece awarded to the race’s overall winner.

Also three to watch, with strong links to racing in Asian waters and have a good record on the Hobart Race, are Karl Kwok's Kiwi registered Botin 80 Beau Geste skippered by Aaron Rowe this year, have won before in 1997. Regularly competing on the Asian Circuit since 1995, Ray Roberts finished 2nd in 2008, this time is racing Farr 55, Hollywood Boulevard (Ex Living Doll) and won't give up until he wins one race. Some of the crew on Bruce Taylor's Caprice 40, Chutzpah, son Drew Taylor and Peter Fletcher have strong ties to Hong Kong and regularly race on the Asian Circuit, would like to go one better than 2nd overall last year.

Recent weather predictions, indicate a solid north-easterly at start time, so the yachts should enjoy a fast downwind sleigh ride, south from Sydney. 'Tis the season after all.’ Similar to last year, a Southerly front is expected on the first night and the survivors will resume downwind conditions the next day down to Tasmania. Although practice, planning and execution are key to winning, one of the epic blue water races in the world, from past experience, go easy on the rice dishes and Christmas celebrations, as you might have an 'Up and Under' after leaving Sydney Harbour. A true test of skill, stamina and seamanship, comes with the weather conditions and will put all crews to the ultimate test.

Catch the Rolex Sydney Hobart 2016 start at 1300 AEST (10:00am East Asia) on Boxing Day, 26th Dec. Check out the start line action from 1230 - 1400 AEST (09:30am East Asia) on the Seven Network Yahoo!7 in Australia and webcast live to a global audience on the RSHR website and promised not be geo-blocked.

If that doesn’t work, East Asian viewers can watch live on Australia+ (Astro Channel 521 Malaysia) and FoxSports 2 (Astro 813) from 9:30 to 1100am East Asia Time.

Goto Live Tracking throughout the race and check the official CYCA - Rolex Sydney Hobart 2016 website, for the Rolex News, Photo Gallery & Videos

Also on Twitter: http://twitter.com/rshyr and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RolexSydneyHobart

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