These are Glory days for ocean sailing… We can not boring following every day the neverending duel Armel Le Cleac’h vs Alex Thomson for the Vendee Globe honours. Yesterday we reached the “incroyable” with the solo round the world record fixed by Thomas Coville with his supertri Sodebo Ultime in an amazing 49 days… and… wow… today Perpetual Loyal smashes the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race iconic record (Wild Oats XI, 2012) by 4 hours and 51 minutes, fixing it in 1 day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds to cover the 628 nautical miles of the Blue Water top regatta.
The Juan Kouyoumndjian 100 supermaxi owned by Anthony Bell, with Laser Olympic Gold and americascupper Tom Slingsby as co-skipper, crossed the finish line in Hobart at 02:31:20am 28 December 2016 LT (16:31 CET 27 December) taking the line honours glory.
The fight for the overall victory in handicap is still on, with Volvo 70 Giacomo and J/V 52 Ichi Ban candidates for the hot spot.
RSHYR Press Release:
Perpetual LOYAL powered to the finish line, travelling at 20 knots as she cut a swathe through the spectator fleet. Her official finish time is 02.31.20am 28 December, 2016 in the time of one day 13 hours 31 minutes and 20 seconds – well ahead of the 1 day 18hrs 23mins 12secs set by Wild Oats XI.
Bell initially won line honours in 2011 with his first super maxi, Investec LOYAL, the first time the Sydney accountant had sailed the 628 nautical mile race. Then in 2013 he finished second to Wild Oats XI, but the last two years have been unkind.
Bell had purchased Speedboat/Rambler, purportedly the fastest racing super maxi on the planet, but the boat has failed to deliver. In the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart she retired with hull damage after hitting an unknown object, then in 2015, another retirement, with rudder damage early on.
This time, no such worries. Bell left behind the celebrities of previous years, replacing them with some of Comanche’s finest, along with his regular crew. And like last year, Perpetual LOYAL was first out of Sydney Heads and this time she kept going, sailing steadily in Wild Oats XI’s shadow until the leader retired when the hydraulic ram failed.
From there, Bell and his crew sailed steadily in ideal running and reaching conditions all the way to the finish line and into the history books.
Jim Delegat’s Volvo 70, Giacomo (New Zealand) or Seng Huang Lee’s super maxi Scallywag (HKG) are the next yachts due over the finish line at approximately 4am. Jim Cooney’s Volvo Open 70 Maserati, Karl Kwok’s 80ft Beau Geste (NZL) Peter Harburg’s modified Volvo 70 Black Jack and Ludde Ingvall’s super maxi CQS are following. All these boats are currently inside of Wild Oats’ 2012 record.