Rolex Sydney Hobart - Line honours finish closest in years

INVESTEC LOYAL and WILD OATS XI close to the finish line on the Derwent River - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Anthony Bell’s super maxi Investec Loyal fended off repeated challenges from Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI to win, in the closest finish in the last 29 years, by just three minutes and eight seconds.

The competition for line honours in this race was one of the closest in its 67 year history with the two Australian maxis gunning for each other from the moment the canon was fired on Sydney Harbour on Monday afternoon. Wild Oats XI led until 20:00 local time (09:00 UTC) on Tuesday when they were becalmed.

'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,' described Wild Oats XI’s co-navigator, Ian Burns.

Fortunately the wind filled in soon after for Wild Oats XI and they were able to resume the fight and, from this point on, the event became truly a gloves-off match race between the two 100 footers.

WILD OATS XI passing Tasman Island - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011

Finally this morning at 07:30 local time, Wild Oats XI regained the lead. With rarely more than two miles separating the two boats, it was not until Wild Oats XI was becalmed again just short of Tasman Island and the entrance to Storm Bay, that Investec Loyal managed once more to skirt around the wind hole. This time they took up residence directly ahead of their opponent and from that point, despite the best efforts of the Wild Oats XI crew led by Mark Richards, Investec Loyal was not going to be passed.

INVESTEC LOYAL arrives in Hobart - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011

Much to the delight of spectators thickly lining Hobart’s Constitution Dock, the two ocean racing giants came into sight up the Derwent River, but it was Investec Loyal and her crew, including sports stars, such as Australian rugby union internationals Phil Kearns and Phil Waugh, which was first home. They arrived at 19:14:18 local time, their elapsed time for the course being two days six hours 14 minutes and 18 seconds.

INVESTEC LOYAL approaching the finish line - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011

'It was one of the great experiences in my life,' said Anthony Bell, Investec Loyal’s owner and skipper with a beaming smile. '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.'

Michael Coxon, tactician on Investec Loyal shared his thoughts on their win: 'It has a very competent professional crew and a great owner who does it all for the right reasons. It is like a fairy tale – a boat that supports charity. This boat raised Aus$ 1 million this year for charity. That is the way it should happen. I am very happy for Anthony Bell. We sail with people who have never gone sailing before and they did a really good job.'

In what was principally a tactical victory for the older Investec Loyal, Coxon paid tribute to their American navigator. 'The difference is a gentleman called Stan Honey,' he said. 'He is an absolute legend - just amazing. His knowledge of weather and weather routing and the information he provides to me...at the end of the day he is just so good.'
Investec Loyal – provision winner at this stage

INVESTEC LOYAL off Tasman Island - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011

However at present Investec Loyal’s line honours victory in the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart is provisional. The event’s Race Committee, led by Tim Cox, is protesting Anthony Bell’s boat over a believed infringement of Racing Rule of Sailing 41 entitled ‘Outside Help’. This involved the audio recording of a conversation that took place at 06:30 local time on 27th December between the pilot of an ABC TV station helicopter and an Investec Loyal crewman seeking information on the sail plan in use on Wild Oats XI - in particular whether she was flying a trisail. 'This is assessed to breach Rule 41 by soliciting help from an outside source,' explained Garry Linacre, Commodore of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, organiser of the Rolex Sydney Hobart.

The case is to be heard by the race’s international jury at 10:00 local time tomorrow, 29th December.

On board second placed Wild Oats XI, skipper Mark Richards was categorical about the outcome. 'Those guys won on the water and we came second. That’s all there is to it. They did a great job those guys and they deserve the win.'

Richards added that he thought it had been a fantastic race. 'We had to work our butts off until the end and we came in second. That’s the way it is. They sailed very well. We were very unlucky in a few situations, but those guys did a great job and when it came to the crunch. Their boat was little bit quicker than us downwind in the lighter air and they just managed to keep their nose in front and got to the line first.'

The next two boats expected to arrive in Hobart at around 01:00 tomorrow morning are Peter Millard and John Honan’s maxi Lahana and Stephen Ainsworth’s Reichel Pugh 63, Loki.

The race for the Tattersall’s Cup, for handicap honours under IRC, remains wide open with Michael Hiatt’s Farr 55 Living Doll ahead earlier this evening, but with Australian sailing legend, 84 year-old Syd Fischer and his modified TP52 Ragamuffin having taken the lead under IRC at the time of writing. Line Honours

Standings at race time 02:11:20 - 29 December 2011, 12:20am
 EST. ELAPSED
YACHT NAMELAT LONG DTG SOG COG TIME & SPEED
LINE HONOURS Overall
1Investec Loyal*Finished  02:06:14:18  11.6        
Anthony Bell (2) NSW  28 Dec, 7:14pm   
2Wild Oats XIFinished  02:06:17:26  11.6        
Mark Richards (9) NSW  28 Dec, 7:17pm   
3Lahana42° 58' S 147° 23' E 5.3  13.5  351  02:11:54:45  10.5        
Peter Millard (2) NSW3nm S of John Garrow Shoal  29 Dec, 12:54am   
4Loki43° 14' S 147° 44' E 28.6  10.2  290  02:14:46:10  10.0        
Stephen Ainsworth (12) NSW3nm W of Cape Raoul  29 Dec, 3:46am   
5Hugo Boss43° 17' S 148° 00' E 40.1  9.3  296  02:18:24:40  9.5        
Alex Thomson (2) UK3nm S of Tasman Island  29 Dec, 7:24am   
6Living Doll42° 56' S 148° 20' E 64.6  8.6  201  02:17:53:07  9.5        
Michael Hiatt (6) VIC18nm SE of Maria Island  29 Dec, 6:53am   
7Ichi Ban42° 44' S 148° 18' E 73.4  5.7  200  02:18:31:19  9.4        
Matt Allen (22) NSW8nm SE of Maria Island  29 Dec, 7:31am   
8Calm42° 34' S 148° 30' E 86.5  8.7  212  02:19:01:21  9.4        
Jason Van der Slot (6) VIC15nm SE of Cape Sonnerat  29 Dec, 8:01am   
9Ragamuffin42° 35' S 148° 38' E 88.9  7.5  230  02:19:23:59  9.3        
Syd Fischer (42) NSW20nm SE of Cape Sonnerat  29 Dec, 8:23am   
10Jazz42° 37' S 148° 44' E 89.4  7.5  240  02:19:58:55  9.2        
Chris Bull (4) NSW24nm SE of Cape Sonnerat  29 Dec, 8:58am   
11Scarlet Runner42° 20' S 148° 46' E 104.8  9.9  221  02:20:15:11  9.2        
Robert Date (3) VIC19nm E of Cape Sonnerat  29 Dec, 9:15am   
12Brindabella42° 09' S 148° 26' E 108.7  8.4  222  02:21:50:32  9.0        
Jim Cooney (1) NSW12nm N of Cape Sonnerat  29 Dec, 10:50am   
13Cougar II41° 58' S 149° 03' E 130.3  10.8  217  02:23:48:03  8.7        
Anthony Lyall (10) TAS39nm NE of Cape Sonnerat  29 Dec, 12:48pm   
14Shogun41° 44' S 149° 06' E 143.6  10.6  223  03:00:05:48  8.7        
Rob Hanna (5) VIC42nm SE of St Helens Point  29 Dec, 1:05pm   
15Southern Excellence41° 38' S 149° 14' E 151.0  9.2  207  03:03:13:19  8.4        
Andrew Wenham (5) NSW44nm SE of St Helens Point  29 Dec, 4:13pm   
16Strewth41° 41' S 149° 36' E 157.7  9.2  208  03:03:08:00  8.4        
Geoff Hill (14) Hong Kong61nm SE of St Helens Point  29 Dec, 4:08pm   
17Vamp41° 21' S 149° 28' E 171.5  4.4  162  03:05:37:58  8.1        
Peter Wrigley NSW50nm E of St Helens Point  29 Dec, 6:37pm   
18Optimus Prime41° 23' S 149° 46' E 177.2  9.1  200  03:05:18:13  8.1        
Trevor Taylor (3) WA64nm E of St Helens Point  29 Dec, 6:18pm   
19Knee Deep41° 14' S 149° 41' E 182.2  9.3  194  03:06:03:14  8.0        
Philip Childs (4) WA60nm E of St Helens Point  29 Dec, 7:03pm   
20Victoire41° 07' S 149° 43' E 189.1  9.7  208  03:07:58:36  7.9        
Darryl Hodgkinson (1) NSW62nm E of St Helens Point  29 Dec, 8:58pm   
21Merit41° 00' S 149° 45' E 196.6  11.7  205  03:05:39:07  8.1        
Leo Rodriguez (3) QLD64nm E of Eddystone Pt  29 Dec, 6:39pm   
22AFR Midnight Rambler41° 00' S 149° 48' E 197.1  12.4  187  03:06:20:37  8.0        
Ed Psaltis (30) NSW66nm E of Eddystone Pt  29 Dec, 7:20pm   
23Balance41° 06' S 150° 03' E 198.3  9.5  193  03:10:22:09  7.6        
Paul Clitheroe (4) NSW77nm E of St Helens Point  29 Dec, 11:22pm   
24Chutzpah40° 53' S 149° 40' E 200.1  10.7  192  03:07:31:50  7.9        
Bruce Taylor (30) VIC60nm E of Eddystone Pt  29 Dec, 8:31pm   
25Minerva40° 49' S 149° 42' E 204.9  9.0  200  03:09:53:23  7.7        
Edward Cox (1) NSW63nm E of Eddystone Pt  29 Dec, 10:53pm   
26NSC Mahligai40° 53' S 149° 52' E 205.0  9.6  211  03:10:03:21  7.7        
Murray Owen (5) NSW69nm E of Eddystone Pt  29 Dec, 11:03pm   
27Cadibarra 840° 53' S 150° 13' E 213.2  10.6  205  03:10:56:17  7.6        
Paul Roberts (8) VIC85nm E of Eddystone Pt  29 Dec, 11:56pm   
28Ocean Affinity40° 42' S 149° 50' E 213.9  10.0  200  03:10:40:47  7.6        
Stewart Lewis (6) QLD70nm E of Eddystone Pt  29 Dec, 11:40pm   
29Two True40° 45' S 150° 00' E 214.5  9.2  200  03:11:49:50  7.5        
Andrew Saies (6) SA77nm E of Eddystone Pt  30 Dec, 12:49am   
30Wasabi40° 46' S 150° 04' E 214.9  9.5  207  03:11:03:14  7.6        
Bruce McKay (2) NSW79nm E of Eddystone Pt  30 Dec, 12:03am   
31St Jude40° 38' S 149° 45' E 215.7  10.1  193  03:11:52:09  7.5        
Noel Cornish (4) NSW68nm E of Eddystone Pt  30 Dec, 12:52am   
32Patrice Six40° 45' S 150° 05' E 216.7  8.9  195  03:12:14:59  7.5        
Tony Kirby (27) NSW81nm E of Eddystone Pt  30 Dec, 1:14am   
33Last Tango40° 39' S 149° 52' E 216.7  8.8  201  03:12:06:48  7.5        
Phillip King (14) NSW72nm E of Eddystone Pt  30 Dec, 1:06am   
34Wild Rose40° 37' S 150° 04' E 223.4  7.8  198  03:14:46:54  7.2        
R Hickman (34) NSW82nm E of Eddystone Pt  30 Dec, 3:46am   
35TSA Management40° 37' S 150° 07' E 224.0  8.6  222  03:13:51:30  7.3        
Tony Levett (6) NSW83nm E of Eddystone Pt  30 Dec, 2:51am   
36Lunchtime Legend40° 25' S 150° 10' E 235.8  9.6  193  03:16:41:44  7.1        
Robbo Robertson (10) QLD88nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 5:41am   
37Papillon40° 15' S 149° 50' E 238.2  9.4  203  03:17:13:26  7.0        
Phil Molony (21) NSW70nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 6:13am   
38Deloitte As One40° 24' S 150° 23' E 241.7  9.0  204  03:16:59:46  7.1        
Chris Lewin (4) NSW97nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 5:59am   
39Ella Bache40° 21' S 150° 19' E 242.3  8.9  200  03:16:51:50  7.1        
Jessica Watson NSW93nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 5:51am   
40L'ange De Milon40° 24' S 150° 25' E 242.6  9.1  193  03:17:46:19  7.0        
Jacques Pelletier (1) France98nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 6:46am   
41Whistler40° 19' S 150° 15' E 242.7  8.8  204  03:16:54:41  7.1        
David Rees (14) TAS90nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 5:54am   
42Dodo40° 11' S 149° 55' E 243.0  9.7  203  03:18:27:57  6.9        
Adrian Dunphy (9) NSW73nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 7:27am   
43Icefire40° 13' S 150° 01' E 243.6  9.7  204  03:16:22:50  7.1        
Peter Tucker NSW78nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 5:22am   
44Jazz Player40° 17' S 150° 12' E 244.0    190  03:16:52:48  7.1        
Andrew Lawrence (2) VIC87nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 5:52am   
45The Goat40° 11' S 150° 00' E 244.5  9.4  204  03:18:39:56  6.9        
Bruce Foye (11) NSW77nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 7:39am   
46Dump Truck40° 12' S 150° 04' E 245.5  8.5  201  03:16:34:14  7.1        
Justin Wells (4) TAS80nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 5:34am   
47One For The Road40° 11' S 150° 06' E 246.6  9.0  204  03:18:04:16  7.0        
Kym Butler (3) NSW82nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 7:04am   
48Quetzalcoatl40° 02' S 149° 56' E 251.6  9.2  201  03:21:44:33  6.7        
Antony Sweetapple (8) NSW72nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 10:44am   
49Kiss Goodbye to MS40° 02' S 149° 56' E 251.6  9.0  196  03:21:33:21  6.7        
Tony Warren (3) VIC73nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 10:33am   
50Sweethart40° 08' S 150° 13' E 251.7  9.0  195  03:19:55:33  6.8        
Laurence Pidgeon (4) QLD87nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 8:55am   
51Patrice IV40° 13' S 150° 26' E 252.7  9.2  200  03:18:00:49  7.0        
Shane Wiseman SA97nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 7:00am   
52The Banshee39° 45' S 149° 58' E 267.8  8.5  199  04:03:09:12  6.3        
Corinne Feldmann (1) & Rob Francis (4) NSW75nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 4:09pm   
53Willyama39° 40' S 149° 42' E 268.0  8.0  195  04:00:59:36  6.5        
Richard Barron (10) NSW64nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 1:59pm   
54Mille Sabords39° 44' S 149° 59' E 268.9  8.4  202  04:05:14:29  6.2        
Stephane Howarth (1) VIC76nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 6:14pm   
55Flying Fish Arctos40° 02' S 150° 54' E 273.1  9.6  196  03:23:50:20  6.6        
John Naylor (30) & Duncan Macalister (1) NSW117nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 12:50pm   
56Shepherd Centre39° 44' S 150° 12' E 273.3  7.8  202  04:04:43:39  6.2        
Hugh Torode (3) NSW86nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 5:43pm   
57LMR Solar39° 38' S 149° 57' E 274.1  8.3  184  04:05:56:57  6.2        
Michael Martin (3) NSW76nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 6:56pm   
58Carina39° 43' S 150° 21' E 276.9  8.4  177  04:09:30:12  6.0        
Rives Potts USA93nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 10:30pm   
59Menace39° 38' S 150° 12' E 278.4  7.6  200  04:08:58:39  6.0        
Niven James (1) NSW87nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 9:58pm   
60Outrageous Fortune39° 37' S 150° 13' E 280.1  7.9  197  04:07:54:31  6.0        
Quintin Fowler New Zealand88nm E of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 8:54pm   
61Martela39° 38' S 150° 19' E 280.4  7.6  186  04:12:05:41  5.8        
Anthony Williams (4) TAS93nm E of Flinders Island  31 Dec, 1:05am   
62Chancellor39° 26' S 149° 39' E 280.6  7.4  211  04:07:25:22  6.1        
Ted Tooher (6) NSW67nm NE of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 8:25pm   
63Copernicus39° 27' S 150° 06' E 286.6  7.1  205  04:13:01:37  5.8        
Greg Zyner (4) NSW86nm E of Flinders Island  31 Dec, 2:01am   
64Bacardi39° 19' S 149° 40' E 287.9  7.2  195  04:12:30:28  5.8        
Martin Power (9) VIC72nm NE of Flinders Island  31 Dec, 1:30am   
65Mondo39° 24' S 150° 10' E 290.4      05:10:58:33  4.8        
Ray Sweeney (2) QLD111nm S of Gabo Island  31 Dec, 11:58pm   
66Wave Sweeper39° 17' S 149° 49' E 291.7  7.0  188  04:10:35:34  5.9        
Andrey Arbuzov (1) NSW78nm NE of Flinders Island  30 Dec, 11:35pm   
67Nutcracker39° 13' S 149° 51' E 296.4  6.7  196  04:12:30:02  5.8        
Robert Davis / David Clancy VIC99nm S of Gabo Island  31 Dec, 1:30am   
68Samurai Jack39° 13' S 149° 54' E 296.9  7.7  194  04:10:08:34  5.9        
Michael Lazzarini (1) QLD99nm S of Gabo Island  30 Dec, 11:08pm   
69She39° 21' S 150° 38' E 302.1  6.7  213  04:15:49:16  5.6        
Peter Rodgers (16) NSW112nm S of Gabo Island  31 Dec, 4:49am   
70Fullynpushing38° 58' S 150° 15' E 316.2  6.1  216  05:09:00:12  4.9        
Andrew Griffiths VIC86nm S of Gabo Island  31 Dec, 10:00pm   
71Kioni39° 12' S 151° 02' E 318.8  6.8  203  04:20:07:40  5.4        
Rowan McColl (5) NSW111nm SE of Gabo Island  31 Dec, 9:07am   
72Aurora39° 06' S 150° 50' E 320.0  6.5  209  04:18:55:34  5.5        
Jim Holley (23) NSW102nm SE of Gabo Island  31 Dec, 7:55am   
73Natelle Two38° 47' S 150° 17' E 327.3  5.1  214  05:16:51:15  4.6        
Laura Roper TAS75nm S of Gabo Island  1 Jan, 5:51am   
74Not Negotiable38° 45' S 150° 21' E 330.7  5.0  222  06:16:10:51  3.9        
John Rayner TAS74nm S of Gabo Island  2 Jan, 5:10am   
75Nemesis38° 29' S 150° 55' E 355.4  8.8  165  05:09:13:28  4.9        
Jeffery Taylor (1) USA72nm SE of Gabo Island  31 Dec, 10:13pm   
76Maluka Of Kermandie38° 27' S 151° 04' E 360.1  7.7  176  05:21:08:20  4.5        
Peter Langman NSW76nm SE of Gabo Island  1 Jan, 10:08am   
77Eressea37° 52' S 151° 10' E 393.7  6.1  189  07:01:54:44  3.7        
John Bankart (4) QLD64nm SE of Green Cape  2 Jan, 2:54pm   
 Accenture Yeah BabyRetired - at Port          
Marc Ryckmans (5) NSW     
 AlacrityRetired - at Port          
Chris Percy QLD     
 Alchemy IIIRetired - at Port          
Jarrod Ritchie (1) TAS     
 CelestialRetired - at Port          
Sam Haynes (1) NSW     
 ColorTileRetired - at Port          
Warren Buchan (1) NSW     
 DuendeRetired - at Port          
Damien Parkes (24) NSW     
 ElektraRetired - at Port          
Peter Gregory NSW     
 Ffreefire 52Retired - at Port          
Anthony Day Hong Kong     
 IllusionRetired - at Port          
Christopher Bowling (17) NSW     
 Pretty Fly IIIRetired - at Port          
Colin Woods (5) NSW     
 Wild ThingRetired - at Port          
Grant Wharington (23) QLD             

INVESTEC LOYAL passing Tasmania's iconic Organ Pipes at Cape Raoul - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race website