In the Rolex Sydney Hobart, Anthony Bell has tasted victory on Investec Loyal in 2011 – but in 2013 he failed to beat his nemesis, Wild Oats XI, with his latest super maxi, Perpetual Loyal.
The new boat came to the race as arguably the fastest maxi in the world (it is the former Speedboat, former Virgin Money, former Rambler 100 that was leading the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race when it lost its keel).
Yesterday it was humbled in this Rolex Sydney Hobart, beaten across the line by three hours 10 minutes, and having had salt rubbed into the wound on Friday when Oats passed within 200 metres of Perpetual Loyal, which was then leading.
'It was sobering when the guys went past us, that’s for sure,' Bell said.
Designed by Argentinean Juan Kouyoumdjian, Perpetual Loyal has a notional top speed of 45 knots, but in this Hobart race, she never reached those speeds. The best they got out of her was 35 knots, but Bell knows her day will come. He will be back next year.
Perpetual Loyal has a life. Its time will come.
'For two-thirds of the race we were looking at the dial and it was showing single digits,' Bell said. 'There were times when we had only one knot.'
He said he thought it would be hard to keep the crew motivated.
'They self-charged and they kept going and going and going,' he said.
'Yes, mate, we’ll come back next year. Don’t you worry about that.
'In a traditional Hobart race, this boat really moves. For a brief time today we had 35 knots. It loved it. That is what it is built for. Hopefully, one day we’ll have a traditional Hobart race.
'Perpetual Loyal is a long term proposition. It’s done a lot of work for us, raised a lot of money for charity. That’s our prime goal in racing.' Rolex Sydney Hobart website