Hobart race win still in the balance
It’s been a long wait for South Australian yachtsman Saies, who waited for the overnight finish of the smallest in the original 100 strong fleet, Zephyr Hamilton Elevators, which was leading the IRC scoresheet. With the Farr 1020 now out of the picture in seventh, Saies’ victory hangs in the balance due to a protest lodged by a Tasmanian crew following a start line collision that forced their boat She’s the Culprit out of the race.
Should the protest be upheld, the coveted Tattersall’s Cup win for the 2009 race will go to a sistership Beneteau called Wicked, owned and skippered by Victorian Mike Welsh. The 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart was won overall by Michael Spies’ First National Real Estate, a Beneteau 40.7.
There are 10 boats still to finish the 628 nautical mile ocean classic, nine of them due in before lunchtime and one of them Kioni, a witness to the She’s the Culprit collision. Chris Dawe’s Polaris of Belmont will close the book on this year’s race, due later this afternoon - in time for Hobart’s New Year’s Eve celebrations - after spending six days at sea.
For what has been a pretty slow march to Hobart, amazingly there are still only five retirements.
The last time the corrected time win was affected by a protest was in 1985 when Garry Applebey’s Sagacious protested Peter Kurts’ Drakes Prayer following a start line incident. Sagacious won the protest and Drakes Prayer was penalised, costing Kurts victory. A winner for that race was never announced.
It was because of this incident that the organising club, the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, moved to a two start line format for larger fleets.
Peter Rogers’ She is due in shortly. The crew has requested assistance at the dock for a crewman with a head injury and a cut over the eye.
In the early hours of this morning, Matt Allen’s Jones 70 Ichi Ban, was dismasted during the delivery back to Sydney when the D2 shroud broke approximately 170 nautical miles south of Eden. Everyone on board is okay and the boat is currently motoring to Eden.
The dockside announcement of the overall winner was due to take place on the Hobart waterfront at 11am this morning, but will have to be rescheduled pending the outcome of this morning’s protest, which could take quite some time.