Offshore Yachting : February March 2013
68TH ROLEX SYDNEY HOBART 028 HOME STRAIGHT Left: Loki Above: The first ever Lithuanian entry KLC Bengal 7. CARLO BORLENGHI / ROLEX Despite being told the race belonged to the big boats, Calm's co-owner remained confident, saying, "I've put together the best crew possible. Tactician Barney Walker and navigator Richard Grimes -- a couple of Tassie guys for local knowledge. Our crew and the boat have prepared perfectly." Loki, Black Jack and Lahana were also in contention, but as it happened the breeze was shutting down behind the top two, and further back in the fleet a second strong southerly hit, with some yachts reporting 52 knots. Loki's crew did exactly what they did in 2011. Closing in on Tasmania, they sailed the rhumbline course and finished second on corrected time. "You can't be too unhappy with that," said a laconic Ainsworth, who collaborated with navigator Michael Bellingham and sailing master Gordon Maguire. "It was a similar final third to last year and it meant we also won the Blue Water Pointscore." Black Jack and Lahana went wide in the race, for third and eighth overall respectively, while Jazz and Calm were fourth and fifth. Van Der Slot was devastated by light wind conditions. "The Tasman hasn't been good to us. We parked for two hours off Tasman Island and for an hour in the Derwent," he said. "We watched Jazz come up to us under kite -- they took 20 miles out of us finding their own private breeze. We only just beat them over the line -- that was hard." "We were aiming to finish in time to win -- around 1:00am -- that's the cruelty of it all. Up to Tasman Island we were on track. It had all gone according to plan until then... We did everything possible to win this race." Ragamuffin-Loyal was sixth and Quest, with tireless sailing master Mike Green aboard, sailing his 34th Hobart (one less than his dad Peter Green) doing a great job to finish the race seventh overall and the second TP52. Quest was sailed with a mixture of the initiated and some young guys with little or no Hobart experience. They "Last year we were beaten by Investec Loyal (now Ragamuffin- Loyal) by three minutes, which was very disappointing. This year we beat them by much more." Mark Richards Wild Oats XI were among an encouragingly growing number of new blood this year. Despite limited opportunities for the smaller yachts, the race proved riveting right to the finish line. There were some thrilling finishes and divisional fights to the end. The first ever Lithuanian entry, Ambersail and Japan's KLC Bengal 7, match raced to the finish line, Ambersail the victor by six minutes on line when the Japanese ran out of air, but Japan emerged the victor once the handicap was applied. Chutzpah, David Pescud's Sailors With Disabilities, Rikki -- the Kiwi entry of Ray Haslar, and Peugeot Surfrider with Nicolas Lunven and his mostly French crew experiencing their first Hobart, also lunged for the line together. They finished with only 15 minutes separating the four, after nearly four days at sea.
December January 2013
Offshore Yachting April-May 2013