Racing: Maximum Effort in Tasmania

Author:
Publish date:
Updated on
The maxi Wild Oats XI stretches out her lead in the final stages of the race

The maxi Wild Oats XI stretches out her lead in the final stages of the race

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race is best known for the wild weather that often marks the Bass Strait between Tasmania and mainland Australia. However, Tasmania’s Derwent River, which serves as the homestretch into the finish in Hobart, can be no less daunting with its heart-breaking calms. In recent years, the Derwent has also become the site of some nail-biting finishes between those in search of line-honors, as the Maxi Class has become both more numerous and increasingly competitve.

This time around, no less than four of the 100ft thoroughbreds found themselves duking it out following the roughly 600-mile run down from Sydney, including longtime race veteran Wild Oats XI, Black Jack, Comanche and InfoTrack.

At one point a mere four miles separated all four boats as they made round Tasman Light. After that, though, Wild Oats XI found her stride, eventually pulling away to a lead of nearly five miles leaving Black Jack and Comanche to battle it out for second and third. In the end it was Wild Oats XI taking first with an elapsed time of one day, 19 hours and 7 minutes, Black Jack beating Comanche by just over a minute, and InfoTrack finishing about 20 minutes later.

The win marks the ninth time Wild Oats XI has taken line honors in the race. It also brought to an end a three-year bad-luck streak, during which the boat had to retire from the race two years in a row due to mechanical problems and was protested out of first place in the third.

The Reichel Pugh 66 Alive closes in on the overall win in the 2018 Rolex Sydney Horbart

The Reichel Pugh 66 Alive closes in on the overall win in the 2018 Rolex Sydney Horbart

Meanwhile, winning the Tattersall Cup for best finish on corrected time was the Reichel Pugh 66 Alive, owned by Tasmanian sailor Philip Turner, making only the third time in 74 races that a Tasmanian boat has come out on top. In all, 85 boats took part in the 2018 running of the 628-nautical-mile Boxing Day classic. For complete results, visit rolexsydneyhobart.com.

Photos courtesy of Rolex/Studio Borlenghi

March 2019

Related

sailingabove-2

Swan Flyer: A Hot New One-design

In a racing scene that’s bristling with innovation, legacy builder Nautor’s Swan refuses to be left behind in its quest to dominate the champagne end of one-design sailing. Arriving hard on the heels of the radical Juan Kouyoumdjian-designed ClubSwan 50, the ClubSwan 36 offers a ...read more

Maiden sets out for Uruguay during the 1989-90 Whitbread race

Making Maiden and the 1989-90 Whitbread Race

As recently as the late 1980s, the idea of an all-female sailing team in the Whitbread Round the World Race (the predecessor to the Volvo Ocean Race) seemed laughable to many. How could women handle the competition? They weren’t strong enough. They wouldn’t be able to take the ...read more

01-LEAD-J99

Four Very Different New Boat Designs

Following up on the J/121, which won a SAIL Best Boats award in 2018, the new J/99 represents a similar concept in a smaller package. Specifically, the new 32-footer’s deck layout and rig have been optimized for smaller and even doublehanded crews, with an eye toward meeting the ...read more

Dinghy Suggested CROP

Ask Sail: Dinghy Dilemma

DINGHY DILEMMA Q: We are in the throes of choosing a dinghy, and I would like to ask if you would recommend buying a RIB with a double-skinned hull rather than a single-skinned hull. Which provides better handling or stays drier? Also, aside from the heavier weight of a ...read more

Groupe Beneteau charging its boats in NEOLINE vessel

Transporting Sailboats Under Sail

Transporting sailboats under sail? That sounds like a cool concept, and it’s one that looks set to become reality in 2021 when shipping company Neoline brings its sailing cargo ships into service. Groupe Beneteau has committed to transporting boats between Europe and the United ...read more

01_vor120612_ross_0644

Sailing Master Ken Read

Images trigger memory. Preparing to interview the golden boy of American sailing, I thought I would find a picture that would show Ken Read at the peak of his sailing career, his heyday, to share and have a warm and fuzzy start to our conversation. It was a commanding image from ...read more

New-engine-being-lifted-over-stern

Know how: Replacing the Auxiliary Power System

One of the most complex tasks undertaken during Passion’s refit was the complete replacement of her auxiliary power system—engine, V-drive and fuel tanks. I needed more horsepower, which drove the need for more fuel capacity and a larger V-drive to handle the higher engine ...read more