73rd Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Concludes

 

Yacht Crew Club

 

By Georgia Tindale

Drawing to a close with the awarding of the trophies on 31st December, the 73rd edition of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race saw some of the regatta’s most exciting and dramatic racing to date.

When the 102-boat fleet set out from Sydney on 26th December, cheered on by tens of thousands of well-wishers stationed at vantage points both along the shore and in hundreds of boats along Sydney’s harbour, the consensus was that this would be fast dash south: this proved to be correct.

The weather delivered on its promise

The first 30 boats completed the race in a little over two days, the next 50 finished during the following 24 hours – 30 during a frantic hour of each other on the afternoon of 29th December. Six yachts retired and only one was left to finish the race on New Year’s Day.

Ichi Ban winning yacht Sydney Hobart 2017

Winner of the race

Following an anxious overnight wait, on Friday 29th December, the 52-footer (15.8-metre) Ichi Ban was declared the handicap winner of the Sydney to Hobart Race, giving her skipper Matt Allen his first taste of victory as an owner and skipper.

Ichi Ban was the eighth yacht to cross the line but beat the 52-foot Quest by 20 minutes in the handicap rankings which were calculated according to size. For Allen, the wait to hear the verdict was tense: officials waited to confirm the result while they heard a protest which stripped the Oatley family’s Wild Oats XI of the line honours win, in favour of Jim Cooney’s Comanche.

Comanche winning yacht Sydney Hobart Yacht Show

Wild Oats XI was initially crowned the winner – with a record-breaking time and a lead of over 26 minutes over its nearest challenger at the finish line. Wild Oats XI finished the 628-nautical mile race from Sydney to Tasmania in a record time of one day, eight hours, 48 minutes and 50 seconds, shaving four hours off Perpetual Loyal’s time last year. It would have been the ninth time that Wild Oats XI had won line honours and crossed the finish line first.

The owner of Comanche, the boat in second place, Jim Cooney, lodged a protest immediately after this declaration, based on a manoeuvre on in the race as the crew steered through Sydney Heads. After a hearing lasting nearly three hours, the jury ruled in favour of Comanche, saying that Wild Oats XI failed to keep clear of its rival when the two vessels were on a collision course. If Wild Oats XI had undertaken a two-turn penalty, this would have absolved the vessel. This is only the third time that the result of the annual race, which has been held since 1945, was decided by a protest. and the first since 1990.

Allen receiving award at Sydney Hobart 2017

Ichi Ban’s skipper Matt Allen, who has participated in the gruelling race since 1976 and has 28 races under his belt, praised his crew, calling them “the best sailors in the world.”

He continued, “These guys go to the ‘nth’ degree to push the boat so hard in incredibly challenging conditions.”

The victory was celebrated at the dockside prizegiving, where Allen and his crew received the traditional Rolex timepiece and the Tattersall Cup. In addition, Allen was previously a crewmember in 1983 on the winning Challenge II, however, this year is the first time that he both skippered and owned a winning vessel.

At the final prizegiving in Hobart, Allen summed up the race and how it has progressed over time in its standing in the sailing world at large: “My first race was in 1980. It was a great race them, and it’s a greater race today.”

Superyacht Times
Like This Page? Share it!

Free Membership to Yacht Crew Club

Weekly News, Magazine and Updates in the Yachting World

Get the App!

Download our mobile app where you can use all our services with the click of a button - all for free!

Subscribe to Blog

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Turkey Yacht Charter Guide

Turkey Yacht Charter Guide

By Boat Bookings About Turkey Turkey offers all of the best of the Mediterranean to the charterer - history/ruins, excellent cuisine, peaceful anchorages, numerous glorious islands to explore, sparkling clear ...
Read More
Antarctica

Exploring awesome Antarctica

By Gemma Fottles When it comes to superyacht cruising grounds, sometimes it may be easy to forget that there is a big wide world to discover outside of the hustle ...
Read More
Yacht Detailing Is Popular In Florida

5 Reasons Why Mobile Boat & Yacht Detailing is Popular in Florida

By Freedom Yacht Services Florida is known as “The Sunshine State” for its beautiful weather and perfect beaches. It is also well-known for its nautical scene, and there are many ...
Read More
Ibiza’s Nature Parks

Discover Ibiza’s Nature Parks on a Yacht

By Silver Star Yachting There’s more to Ibiza than trendy clubs, glamour, and the crazy nightlife. The island has less famous side that is just as picturesque and attractive: a ...
Read More
Superyachts Future

5 Concept Superyachts for the Future

By Angela Audretsch After checking out the top launches for 2016, these are the five most interesting concept yachts for the future. After our picks of 2016, let’s take a ...
Read More
Alternative To Boat Ownership

The New Alternative to Boat Ownership

Catany Boat Club was founded by Nicolas Catany and Kerry Flannagan, both lovers of the sea and Mallorca. They founded the club to bring the world of navigation to as ...
Read More
The French Riviera

The French Riviera in Winter: What to Do

By Jo Morgan A Return to Winter Sun and Elegance A scant 100 years ago, the idea of visiting the French Riviera in the summertime was unheard of in polite ...
Read More
Superyacht Show

The Superyacht Show in OneOcean Port Vell

By Gemma Fottles The Large Yacht Brokers Association (LYBRA) has today announced plans to host a brand new superyacht show just ahead of the Mediterranean summer season this year. OneOcean ...
Read More
Loading...