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2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart

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  • 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart

    Early retirements in Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

    Moneypenny, Blink and Mako are early casualties of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht race this evening, a strong southerly of up to 30 knots on a heavy seaway has taken its toll this evening.

    All on board the three yachts are fine and the teams are returning to Sydney, leaving 85 boats racing.

    Sean Langman’s Moneypenny, a Reichel/Pugh 69, suffered a broken forestay. She was an overall contender for the Tattersall Cup and was nicely placed in 10th on the water, so Langman and the crew will be hugely disappointed.

    Blink, owned by Mark Gorbatov and Mark Siebert, retired with a torn main. She was one of seven competitive Beneteau 40s in the fleet. Mako, a Sydney 40 owned by a syndicate from Newcastle and skippered by Tim Dodds, is yet to advise their reason for retiring.

    CYCA Rear Commodore Bradshaw Kellett, the navigator on Christian Beck’s line honours leader, LawConnect, described the conditions that led to the retirements. “It’s pretty miserable out here. It’s horrible. I’m hiding in the hatch putting on my wet weather jacket. You can’t see,” he said from south-east of Kiama at around 1820hrs.

    “We’re about 3 nautical miles ahead of Black Jack (owned by Peter Harburg and skippered by Mark Bradford). They’re heading inshore for the first time. Scallywag (owned by Seng Huang Lee and skippered by David Witt) is catching us up a bit.

    “Offshore is our route of choice, so we’re heading out there now. It’s lumpy – a 3-metre seaway, swell running one way - sea another. We’re currently in the process of slowing down a bit. We’re in 28 to 30 knots. We were doing 13.5 knots but slowed to 8 knots. Big waves. It's seasick weather for those who are prone.

    “Tony Mutter is at the helm. All the professionals are on deck,” Kellett said.

    The Sydney yachtsman told how they were buried at the start of the 628 nautical mile race. “We couldn’t accelerate, but it wasn’t too bad. Once we got out of the Heads, we were OK and in clear air.

    “While we are uncomfortable at the moment, we are happy with our progress. We just have to get through these next few hours,” he ended.

    To follow the race and for all information, stay locked right here on

    Di Pearson/RSHYR media


    12 HOUR RACE UPDATE - 0100hrs 27 December

    After an initial speedy exit from the Harbour, the past twelve hours have been a hard slog for the fleet into a strong & gusty southerly as the crews made their way down the NSW coast. 55 boats remain in the

    Fully-Crewed divisions after 16 retirements; 15 in the inaugural Two-Handed division after 2 retirements.

    The leading Fully-Crewed boats are currently SE of Batemans Bay off Moruya with Black Jack averaging 11.3kts & comfortably leading LawConnect, Stefan Racing & SHK Scallywag, ahead of Alive, Whisper, Celestial, Quest, Khaleesi & Maritimo making up the top 10. With around 500NM to go, they’re a good 100NM off the record pace set by LDV Comanche back in 2017 which at this point, had already passed Eden & was about to enter the Paddock sailing at almost 20kts.

    Black Jack & Stefan Hair are inside the rhumb line, whilst LawConnect & SHK Scallywag are trying their luck outside in pursuit of current & breeze.

    On IRC Overall standings, Khaleesi (Div 2) leads Patriot (Div 3) & the perennial Love & War (Div 4). ORCi has the order reversed for second & third. PHS standings sees Wax Lyrical leading Solera & Luna Blue.

    The Corinthian Division, Patriot over Pretty Woman & Midnight Rambler.

    For the Two-Handed Division, Salt Shaker, currently 13NM South of Kiama, leads Maverick & Sidewinder. IRC standings has Salt Shaker ahead of Maverick & Speedwell.



    Rough conditions force early spate of Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race withdrawals

    Strong winds and high seas have handed the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet a battering on the first night, with 18 entries being forced to withdraw.


    A further six boats retired due to damage on Sunday evening:

    Ariel (mainsail damage)
    Denali (hull damage)
    Enchantress (broken forestay)
    Eora (broken backstay)
    Gweilo (damaged forestay)
    Oskana (broken forestay)

    Tonight, the forecasted strong southerly that reached up to 30 knots, along with big seas, had reduced the fleet from 88 at the start of the race to 76 boats.

    Amongst the first retirements was the Reichel/Pugh 69 Moneypenny, owned and skippered by Sean Langman. It was forced to turn around and return to Sydney due to a broken forestay.

    On approach to Sydney Heads, Langman said: "It wasn’t ideal breaking the forestay. We were doing quite a bit of short tacking and there was a bit of current and the seas were up.

    "Let’s say it was pretty fruity. We were using new technology with foils. We had faith in the new system, I suppose you learn from this."

    Blink and Mako were the other early casualties. All on board the three yachts are fine.

    After reports of their withdrawals from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race were confirmed, a series of further withdrawals followed.

    Withdrawn boats by 9.30pm were: Moneypenny (broken forestay), Blink (torn main), Mako (damaged main), URM (damaged main), Hip-Nautic (damaged main), TSA Management (damaged main), No Limit (crew with dislocated shoulder), Minerva (damaged main), Mille Sabords (damaged main), Nautical Circle (rigging issues), White Noise (window damage), and Zen (minor injury).

    In the chase for line honours, Black Jack (QLD) has overtaken Christian Beck’s LawConnect (NSW), with less than two miles separating the pair. SHK Scallywag 100 (Hong Kong) was a further three miles behind, while the Botin 80 Stefan Racing was clinging on, three miles astern of the Hong Kong boat.

    Rupert Guinness/RSHYR Media

    SHK Scallywag 100 skipper David Witt was reminded of how tenuous fortune can be in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, when a furling disaster after exiting the heads cost him the race lead on line honours following a spectacular start to this year’s 76th edition.

    SHK Scallywag 100 produced the first upset of this year’s race by leading the fleet of 88 at the first and second marks, with the two other 100-footers, Christian Beck’s LawConnect and Peter Harburg’s Black Jack, skippered by Mark Bradford, in their wake.

    Behind the three 100-footers were the Botin 80 Stefan Racing, skippered and co-owned by Grant Wharington, then Philip Turner's Reichel/Pugh 66 Alive, skippered by Duncan Hine, David Griffith’s JV62 Whisper and then the Reichel/Pugh 69 Moneypenny, owned and skippered by Sean Langman.

    Of the TP52s, the early leaders were Matt Allen’s Ichi Ban and Gordon Ketelbey’s Zen.

    Impressing early among the 17 two-handed boats that are racing the event for the first time was Eora, owned by Rupert Henry and co-skippered by Greg O’Shea.

    Meanwhile, at the back of the fleet and second last out of the Heads was the Halvorsen 36, Solveig, owned by Annie Lawrence and skippered by John Whitfeld. In their wake and in last position was the Jarkan 925 Gun Runner, owned and skippered by Murray Stewart.

    For Witt, in his 25th Sydney Hobart and still without a line honours win to his credit, it was the perfect start, considering the 15-25 knot southerly winds were better suited to LawConnect. While the other two 100-footers sailed with a full main, Witt put a reef in, so maybe had better control in the already big breeze.

    All three 100-footers started the race on the western side of Sydney Harbour and as expected, shot away from the fleet. Matching their pace early though, was Stefan Racing.

    However, by the first mark, the three 100-footers had edged away, and Scallywag put distance on the other two, beating them around the turn. She then led to and around the second mark where the open water was extremely lumpy and awash with spectator fleet.

    It was soon after the second mark that disaster struck Scallywag, allowing LawConnect to take the lead with Black Jack in tow, followed by SHK Scallywag 100.

    As the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race continued south down the NSW coast, Scallywag’s Instagram account briefly explained what happened in a post.

    The post read: "Shortly after passing the Heads, the yacht suffered a technical issue with the J2 foresail tack fitting. The crew managed to get the sail down safely and get the orange storm jib up in the air while they worked to repair the problem."

    The 1pm race start was spectacular. Morning sunshine prevailed, even though clouds in the distance forewarned of the prospect of some showers and thunderstorms later in the day.

    The Bureau of Meteorology’s forecast this morning before the race began was for a southerly of 15 to 20 knots with the likelihood it would increase to 25 knots outside the Heads, with the possibility of 30 knot winds later, as well as showers and thunderstorms.

    Conditions for the first two days are likely to remain similar, although winds could shift to the south east as the feet heads south. Meanwhile 1.5 to 2.5 metre waves are expected.

    The fleet dropped from 89 to 88 shortly before the start when the Corby 49 Vamp, owned by Donald Graham and Leander Klohs, withdrew from the race.

    The David Stephenson-skippered boat withdrew due to one of its crew being confirmed as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case. All crews in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart underwent COVID-19 tests before the race.

    Rupert Guinness/RSHYR media
    Last edited by Photoboy; 12-26-2021, 11:03 AM.
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery

  • #2
    Cooking up a storm in Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

    Peter Dowdney is one of Australia’s most experienced yachtsmen, who should easily get by without a good hot meal while sailing in an event like the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

    But even if the thought had passed his mind during a rough and tumble and wet first night at sea in this year’s 76th edition, the chances of him being able to prepare it were minimal.

    Dowdney and Grant Chipperfield are co-skippers of Chipperfield's Elliott 1250 Tourer, Joker on Tourer, from Victoria.

    They are sailing the boat in the Two-Handed Division of the 628 nautical mile race, organised by the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

    But as well-equipped as they are for experience, skills and camaraderie to sail two-up, Dowdney says they have not been equipped to whip up hot meals.

    Well, at least to this point in the race.

    "We are not really set up well for cooking," Dowdney said on Monday afternoon as he and Chipperfield continued down the NSW coast.

    Dowdney, whose career includes sailing as bow on Steak ‘N Kidney in the 1986-1987 America’s Cup as a 20-year-old, was talking not so much about the facilities on board.

    He was referring more to the challenging conditions that he and Chipperfield were having to sail in on the first night and how that limited their ability to actually use their facilities.

    Dowdney cited the simple fact that their cooking area is on the port side. "On port tack is where we have been for 90 per cent of the time," he said. "Everything would go everywhere."

    However, for Dowdney, who conceded that he has been yearning for a "bacon and egg roll", there was a glimmer of hope this afternoon that tonight might be the night for a cooked meal.

    As they sailed into calmer conditions, he was optimistic that he and Chipperfield might just get some balance in their boat and be able to cook up a feast before they cross Bass Strait.

    "We'd like to have a hot meal tonight, and we’ll try; as well as clean up the boat a bit," he said.

    "The conditions are much better now. The seas have abated … it is more wind chop now."

    Dowdney was happy with the progress he and Chipperfield were making in the race.

    "There was a strong current and breeze … it was an unpleasant night, but we got through it," he said of their first night at sea. "All we have to do now is to get through to the other side."

    He said the pair hope to pass Green Cape at about 2am on Tuesday, and were readying for the passage by slipping into a watch system of three hours on and three hours off.

    But as has been the case in this year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart, one crew’s story of fortune has been matched by another’s misfortune. The two-handed fleet has suffered its share of setbacks.

    The latest two-handed boat to retire from the race was the Jeanneau Sun Fast 3600, Maverick, whose co-skippers are Rod Smallman and Leeton Hulley.

    Maverick was the 34th boat to retire from the race, and the sixth two-handed entry to do so. The boat sustained starboard rudder damage after hitting something in the ocean.

    "We hit something heavy," said Smallman. "Part of the deck was also shattered.

    "We were taking a bit of water, but there was not a safety issue.

    "We are gutted. We were the furthest east, in the current and thought we were in good shape."

    Rupert Guinness/RSHYR Media
    " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


    • #3
      Massive Attrition In Sydney Hobart Race

      RACE UPDATE - 0400hrs 28 December (8&#128276

      After a day of challenging conditions, the fleet has been significantly reduced through retirements. The Fully-Crewed divisions have 42 boats still racing from a starting lineup of 71; the Two-Handed Division, 11 from 18.

      Line Honours & Overall standings have been constantly changing & with lighter breeze & a mix of transitions ahead, it is looking to become a tactical race of snakes & ladders where navigators will play a big part in the outcome.

      With around 200NM to go, the two leaders are very close to each other NE of Eddystone Point. Currently Black Jack is ahead of Law Connect with SHK Scallwag only 15 NM behind. The Botin 80 Stefan Racing skippered by Grant Wharington is still chasing the 100s.

      The fight for the Tattersall Cup is very open across many divisions. The three time winner, Simon Kurt’s beautiful 1973 Sparkman & Stephens Love & War, has a comfortable buffer at the moment (estimated corrected time) ahead of Smuggler, Chutzpah & Mayfair but the standings are changing every update. White Bay 6 Azzuro is also in the mix with the 52s Ich Ban, Celestial & Quest starting to feature.

      In PHS, placings currently sit: Solera | She’s the Culprit | Reve.

      For the Two-Handed division, Line Honours standings sees the Tasmanian (RYCT) entry of Rob Gough & John Saul, Sidewinder, leading Disko Trooper_Contender Sailcloth & Euphoria II. In IRC, Disko Trooper leads Crux & Euphoria II.

      " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella" Photo Gallery


      • #4
        Line Honors For Black Jack

        Black Jack sails to line honours victory in Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race


        Black Jack sailed across the Castray Esplanade finish line in Hobart at 01.37.17 this morning, claiming line honours in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, in the time of two days 12 hours 37 minutes 17 seconds.

        Right up until late last evening, it was unclear which of the three 100-foot boats would be the victor. SHK Scallywag led out of Sydney Heads on Boxing Day, but had her share of troubles after, paving the way for Black Jack and LawConnect to fight it out.

        Black Jack rounded Tasman Island at 9.50pm last evening, her navigator Alex Nolan giving an ETA at the finish line of 02.15am. The hooter from the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania’s finish boat sounded inside that time, but well outside the race record of 01:09:15:24 set by LDV Comanche (Jim Cooney/Samantha Grant) in 2017.

        It was never going to be a quick race, or an easy one. The Bureau of Meteorology predicted harsh southerlies and confused seas from the first afternoon and the prediction was correct.

        On the dock to greet the crew was the yacht’s owner, Peter Harburg, who for the first time, did not sail on the yacht. The Queensland yachtsman elected to stay ashore this year, “and let the crew do what they do best.” So he left the boat in the capable hands of his long-time skipper and friend, Mark Bradford.

        Harburg has contested eight Sydney Hobarts, all but one on his own yachts, named Black Jack, in honour of car racing legend and friend Sir Jack Brabham. In 2008 it was with his Reichel/Pugh 66 when they finished sixth over the line. That boat was ultimately sold. It was renamed Alive and went on to win the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart.

        Deciding to upsize, the yachtsman purchased the VOR 70, Telefonica in 2013, and in 2017, bought the 2009 line honours winner, Alfa Romeo. This morning’s victory makes it the boat’s second - this time as Black Jack.

        Harburg said last evening “It’s a nervous wait. I’ve never felt this feeling before. It’s strange because I’ve always been on the boat when its racing and you keep busy. You don’t think about it the way you do when you’re ashore waiting.”

        The wait was worth it, to see Black Jack cross the finish line in first place – Harburg’s first line honours victory.

        Di Pearson/RSHYR Media


        Black Jack breaks hoodoo of near misses to win Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race line honours

        After Mark Bradford steered Black Jack to line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race this morning, he said he knew “pretty much after the start” that the boat would win.

        The confident remark from Bradford to a brilliant win in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race then prompted elated boat owner, Peter Harburg, to chime in: “Mark said he was confident from the start. I was confident when that [finish] cannon went off.”

        Black Jack’s victory dropped the curtain on what had been a gripping tussle between the three 100 footers in the race. The others two were Christian Beck’s LawConnect and Seng Huang Lee’s SHK Scallywag 100 which were left to fight it out for second and third places.

        Black Jack crossed the finish line on the Derwent River in Hobart this morning at 1.37am in the time of 2 days 12 hours 37 minutes 17 seconds.

        This was the first time Harburg didn't sail on Black Jack for the first time since he purchased the boat in mid-2017. Instead, he nervously watched the race unfold on land via the live tracker.

        Black Jack’s previous finishes in his ownership were a second in 2018, third in 2017 and fifth in 2019 when it led around Tasman Island but was then passed by four other boats.

        An emotional Harburg said he and Bradford “will both be in tears anytime … It’s the grand prize of yachting in Australia. It's the first time I've been involved in the winning team.

        “We started with a 66-foot Black Jack. We've worked up to this and we've now won every race on the east coast of Australia.

        “We've beaten every other yacht on the coast of Australia at different times in different races.

        “This is the prize that has eluded us all along and to get it is the complete set.”

        Asked what was behind Black Jack winning line honours, Bradford replied: “This team.”

        That response prompted a proud Harburg to elaborate: “They sail better,” he said. “The effort they put in. On paper, LawConnect should have been faster upwind [on day one]. To hold them and then pass them and to be down here …

        “These guys have just sailed so well. We've got a good boat too.”

        What the victory meant to the crew was clear to see well before they set foot back on land to celebrate after first undergoing mandatory COVID-19 rapid antigen tests on board.

        After crossing the line off Hobart’s Constitution Dock, the finish cannon blasted and the crew erupted into a celebratory chorus line of cheers, hugs and pats on the back on deck.

        Later, Bradford praised Harburg for his commitment to the Black Jack project, saying: “It's great to get the win. Pete and I've been working on this for 14 years, so it means a lot.”

        Bradford said the win makes up for the number of near-misses Black Jack has experienced.

        “We've had five, six years in a row now and we've finished first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh,” he said.

        Asked how he and the Black Jack crew will celebrate, Bradford said, smiling: “If you come to the Customs House [hotel] later you'll see how that's done. Unorthodox I would say.”

        All three 100-footers had started with justified ambitions to finish first and were especially driven by the fact that none of them had won line honours, at least two not under their current names.

        The closest links to a Sydney Hobart line honours victory were Black Jack and LawConnect.

        Black Jack won line honours in 2009 as Alfa Romeo when owned by Neville Crichton.

        LawConnect, when owned by Anthony Bell and named Perpetual Loyal, won in 2016 when it also broke the race record in 1 day 13 hours 31 minutes 20 seconds.

        That record fell in 2017 when LDV Comanche, not in this year’s race, won in 1 day 9 hours 15 minutes 24 seconds.

        It was a similar case for the three skippers. When the race began none of them had won line honours before as skippers.

        Bradford was the only one of them to have celebrated a line honours win as a member of Bell’s 2011 winning Investec Loyal crew.

        Black Jack had been in the box seat to win all day yesterday. It was the most fancied of the three 100-footers to take line honours in the lighter conditions that prevailed nearing the finish.

        However, there was no certainty that would happen. Sydney Hobart history has shown many a time how the unexpected can happen and turn against a fancied boat so close to the finish line.

        As Black Jack began the 11 nautical mile run up the Derwent River, the conditions weakened. But in a 2 knot wind, the boat was able to sail at 6 knots to the finish for victory.

        To follow the race and for all information, stay locked right here on

        Rupert Guinness/RSHYR media

        Peter Harburg purchased the former Alfa Romeo/Esimet Europa in mid-2017 and finished 3mins 31secs behind Wild Oats XI in the 2017 Sydney Gold Coast race – the closest finish in 16 years. In the same race in 2018, took line honours from WOXI, Comanche and InfoTrack. Looked strong in the 2019 Sydney Hobart as she approached Tasman Island, but Black Jack crossed fifth over the line of the five supers, in a close finish. In a thriller in 2018, she finished second on line after a race-long battle with the other supers – the top four were just four miles apart – this after placing third on line in 2017, inside Perpetual Loyal’s 2016 record. Also took line honours in the 2018 and 2019 Brisbane Gladstone races but was dismasted in 2021 while leading the race.

        As Neville Crichton’s Alfa Romeo, she took line honours from Wild Oats XI in the 2009 Hobart. Under her former two names, the RP100 claimed 150 plus line honours wins around the world and broke the 2009 Transpac Race record. Before buying the 100 footer, Harburg enjoyed success with other Black Jacks, including the RP66 renamed ‘Alive’; which won the 2018 Sydney Hobart under current owner, Phillip Turner, and a modified VOR70 previously known as Telefonica.

        Competitor Details
        Yacht Name Black Jack
        Sail Number 525100
        Owner Peter Harburg
        Skipper Mark Bradford (13)
        Sailing Master Bruce Clark (28)
        Navigator Alex Nolan (9)
        Crew Andrew Henderson (21), Darren Hutchison (13), Anthony Nossiter (19), Silas Nolan (18), Will McCarthy (15), Liam Woulfe (6), Chris Anderson (9), Ryan Godfrey, Graeme Taylor (24), Kevin Costin (16), Vaughan Prentice (12), Sam Newton (5), Adam Beashel (1), Reece Woulfe
        State Monaco
        Club Yacht Club de Monaco
        Type RP100
        Designer Reichel/Pugh
        Builder McConaghys
        LOA 30.46
        Beam 5.2
        Draft 5.2
        Last edited by Photoboy; 12-28-2021, 01:03 PM.
        " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

 Photo Gallery


        • #5
          The TP 52's Take Center Stage

          With line honours settled focus turns to main event in Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

          No sooner had the fight for line honours in the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race been won and lost by the three 100-footers in the race early this morning, attention turned towards the main event – that being, the race for overall victory and the prestigious Tattersall Cup.

          While the owners, crews and staff of the front-running big boats were well into celebrating or commiserating their fate in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile event, in their wake was a fleet scrapping for their place on Division and ultimately their overall place.

          The Tattersall Cup, awarded to the boat that finishes first on corrected time, is the most prestigious award for the race, notwithstanding the broad appeal of the line honours race.

          First to finish and take line honours for the J. H. Illingworth Cup was Peter Harburg’s Black Jack that crossed the line at 1.37am in a time of 2 days 12 hours 37 minutes 17 seconds.

          Second was Christian Beck’s LawConnect in 2 days 15 hours 11 minutes 44 seconds. Third was Seng Huang Lee’s SHK Scallywag 100 in 2 days 15 hours 30 minutes 52 seconds.

          aerial images © andrea francolini / ROLEX

          on the water images © salty dingo / ROLEX

          The next boat to finish at 3.22pm and take fourth place on line honours after challenging the 100-footers early was the Botin 80 Stefan Racing, skippered by co-owner Grant Wharington.

          The JV62 Whisper was the next boat due to finish on line honours in fifth place. As the boat neared the finish line, a strong south-westerly was blowing at 20 knots on the Derwent River.

          The race fleet dropped by one at 1pm with confirmation that the Beneteau 473 Wonderland, owned and skippered by Rebecca Connor, had withdrawn due to equipment issues.

          Wonderland, registered with the Newcastle Cruising Yacht Club in NSW and in her second Rolex Sydney Hobart, was this afternoon heading to Bermagui on NSW south coast.

          Wonderland’s retirement meant that the race now had 37 retirements, three finishers and 48 boats still sailing, of which 10 are racing in the Two-Handed division.

          The overall standings were shifting a lot this afternoon, and will probably continue to do so.

          But at 3pm, leading overall was Shane Kearns’ White Bay 6 Azzurro that was 27 nautical miles east of Flinders Island. It has been in the fray since the race began on Boxing day.

          In second place was Simon Kurts’ Love & War, followed by Mark Dribitko’s Fruit Salid 3.

          Other overall contenders in the fray included Ichi Ban and Celestial, two TP52 entrants that were separated by only 400m as they charged up the Derwent River in a mighty tussle.

          Trailing at the back of the reduced fleet was the Army Sailing Club entrant, Gun Runner that had just passed Eden on the NSW south coast and 10 nautical miles north-east of Green Cape.

          To follow the race and for all information, please go to:

          Rupert Guinness/RSHYR media


          Stefan Racing has the goods to challenge for overall victory in Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, says Wharington

          Stefan Racing skipper Grant Wharington believes the future of his boat that placed fourth on line honours in the 2021 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race today is as an overall contender.

          Wharington was speaking after the bright pink and rainbowed Botin 80 finished the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile race in 3 days 2 hours 20 minutes 47 seconds.

          A co-owner of the boat, Wharington was immensely proud of his crew that included three father-son pairings – including himself and son, Oli – and impressed by how the boat sailed.

          Stefan Racing left an early mark by matching the three 100-footers out from the start on Boxing Day. It became distanced near the end, its crew sailed it hard to stay in contact.

          “The boat can be very good for many, many years. It's very fast in certain conditions,” Wharington said.

          “It’s a very beamy boat. It's similar to a boat like Comanche in terms of its length, beam and displacement ratio.

          “So, it's a very powerful boat, it needs a lot of wind and that's why it's good for this race.

          “It struggles a bit in the light air and that showed through this morning and yesterday, when we just didn't have enough breeze to get it unstuck.

          “It's a big, flat, wide dish that sticks to the water if you haven't got enough wind.”

          Asked if he believes an 80-footer could still challenge a 100-footer for line honours, Wharington said” It’d be very difficult for line honours. The boat could certainly win overall without any problems.

          “In certain conditions, it'll be competitive… we can stay close to the 100-footers.

          By the time Stefan Racing finished at 3.22pm, the owners, crews and staff of the three big boats that finished ahead were well into celebrating or commiserating their respective races.

          First to finish and take line honours for the John H. Illingworth Cup was Peter Harburg’s Black Jack that crossed the line at 1.37am in a time of 2 days 12 hours 37 minutes 17 seconds.

          Second was Christian Beck’s LawConnect in 2 days 15 hours 11 minutes 44 seconds. Third was Seng Huang Lee’s SHK Scallywag 100 in 2 days 15 hours 30 minutes 52 seconds.

          Wharington admitted he was exhausted by the rigours of what was a slow race south, highlighted by a challenging southerly and rough sea for the first day and a half.

          “I am feeling very relieved to be here actually,” he said today. “It was a very long race.

          “It's quite unusual to be here on the fourth day. We haven't done that for many years.

          It was pretty tough the first night… a lot of retired retirements and a lot of damage done.

          “We didn't do any damage or break anything which was great. We were trying to nurse the boat through and make sure we didn't do any damage.”

          Stefan Racing appeared to make up some distance to the 100-footers yesterday. But Wharington said the aim was to try to stay as close as possible until they fell into a hole.

          “We weren't within sight, but we knew the sort of game plan on the race track,” he said.

          “We knew we were going to be able to make some gains at some stage.

          “They are obviously substantially faster than us, but we just wanted to be able to stay in touch with them and unfortunately we couldn't.”

          To follow the race and for all information, please go to:

          Rupert Guinness/RSHYR media


          Wednesday 29 December 2021 - 2200 hours

          The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia (CYCA), the organising authority for the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, has advised that two protests have been lodged against the yacht Celestial and will be heard before an International Jury in the Boardroom at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania and via Zoom at 4:00pm Thursday 30 December 2021.

          The protests are:

          Ichi Ban AUS 001 v Celestial 9535 (including Request for Redress)
          Race Committee v Celestial 9535
          Both protests refer to Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Sailing Instructions 31.4 which states: ‘All boats shall maintain a continuous listening watch on VHF Channel 16 for the duration of their race.’

          The protest form posted at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania states:


          1153 27 Dec 21 – 0130 28 Dec 21

          (90-minute period when CELESTIAL was not able to be contacted via VHF CH16)

          Protest by the RSHYR Committee that SI 31.4 “all boats shall maintain a continuous listening watch on CH16 for the duration of the race” was not complied with.

          Despite numerous attempts to contact Celestial over a 90-minute period, via numerous means, when attention was ultimately alerted via flares, which fortunately confirmed that the AMSA alerted PLB activation was false, after 90 minutes AMSA was to deploy a Melbourne based SAR asset to the position of Celestial.

          Of particular concern was the lack of response on CH16 (VHF) by Celestial throughout the incident.

          It is expected that this incident will be fully highlighted and explained by Celestial in her Race Declaration, noting any notables and /or extraordinary reasons as to why SI 31.4 was not complied with.

          The RSHYR Committee, through Hobart race control, will provide a full timeline and all appropriate evidence and transcripts.

          " I just found out my nest egg has salmonella"

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