by Di Pearson
In the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Loki’s 13th go round has come to fruition after some 12 years spent trying to win. This morning at 8:40am, Stephen Ainsworth’s Loki was declared the overall winner of the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart.
Loki sailed a flawless race to win the Tattersall’’s Cup
Ainsworth, who will hold the historic Tattersall’s Cup for the first time today, has had an amazing run with his Reichel/Pugh 63, Loki, culminating in the businessman being announced Ocean Racer of the Year (co-won with Geoff Boettcher, the 2010 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner). Loki’s navigator, Michael Bellingham, was crowned the Ocean Racing Navigator of the Year.
Loki’s stunning performances have included record-breaking trebles in the 2009 Sydney Offshore Newcastle Yacht Race and the 2010 Flinders Islet Race. Ainsworth and the yacht also sailed to a record-breaking line honours victory in the 2009 Cabbage Tree Island Race, although it was broken again by Wild Oats XI in 2010.
In 2010, Ainsworth’s super boat won the 2010 Audi Sydney Gold Coast Yacht Race and was crowned 2010 Audi IRC Australian champion to finish that year on a high note, with a final win at Hamilton Island.
The CYCA member was also crowned the 2010-2011 Blue Water Point Score champion after winning four of the seven-race series.
In September this year, Ainsworth added the Bird Island Race trifecta to his string of successes, breaking the 15 year-old record held by Brindabella.
LOKI, Stephen Ainsworth, - Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race 2011
Earlier this year, the Sydney yachtsman admitted that while he has enjoyed and felt fortunate in all of his wins and records, the one that had eluded him for 12 years was the 628-nautical mile Rolex Sydney Hobart. While the number 13 may be unlucky for some, for the affable Ainsworth, it proved to be a lucky number.
Michael Hiatt’s Farr 55, Living Doll, and Syd Fischer’s TP52, Ragamuffin, have been confirmed as second and third place-getters overall.
Roger Hickman and his crew of six men and six women watched their chances slide by early this morning after the wind shut down overnight, leaving Wild Rose stranded north-east of Tasman Island and 44 nautical miles from the finish line this morning – too far away to make the 8.12 am deadline to win the race. She is now due to finish this afternoon.
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race website