Though some of the fleet have yet to finish, the Iate Clube Rio do Janeiro confirmed that American George David's 90-foot 'Rambler' managed a hat trick in the 22nd Rolex Buenos Aires - Rio de Janeiro Race, taking line honours, the overall handicap win and setting a new race record for the course, taking 9 hours off the previous record.
The American boat was the first boat to finish the 1,123-nautical mile race last Thursday, covering the course between the Argentinean capital of Buenos Aires and Rio de Janeiro, with a new race record in elapsed time of 4 days, 9 hours, 55 minutes and 45 seconds. 'Rambler' saw her goal and expectations achieved when today she was officially named the corrected time winner of the race as well.
The Reichel Pugh-designed 'Rambler's' corrected finish time of 105 hours, 55 minutes and 45 seconds, could not be beat by any of the four rivals that have since finished: 'Fortuna III', 'Esperanza', 'Clipper' and 'Cangrejo'.
Skipper Ken Read, said, 'Well, we are obviously thrilled and a bit surprised with the 'hat trick'. The amazing thing - this is the third hat trick in less than a year for 'Rambler' and the team. Many boats go through a life-time waiting for one. A testament to the owner, the boat, and the entire team.'
Read, who is heading back to the US to skipper his PUMA Ocean Racing team which is preparing for the upcoming 2008/9 Volvo Ocean Race, which starts in October, continued, 'Now it is on to a Volvo 70 for some of the 'Rambler' crew, and the hope that we can create our own records while participating in the Volvo Ocean Race. Hopefully a little of the 'Rambler' luck wears off on PUMA Ocean Racing!
At press time, five boats were still racing, all less than 150 miles from the finish in the Baía de Guanabara at Rio, but in very slow conditions. Calculating their handicaps, none of these could beat the time of 'Rambler', giving the triple crown to the powerful super-maxi from the New York Yacht Club.
The first half of the race featured fast reaching conditions that Rambler revealed in, but after encountering a transition zone, the conditions became more tactical with the breeze going light and the on the nose. Despite this, the boat averaged 11.85 knots over the 1,123-nautical mile course.
Rolex Buenos Aires Rio de Janeiro Race is the second regatta in less then four months where 'Rambler' has taken a triple victory: elapsed time, corrected time and race record. The previous time was at the Rolex Middle Sea Race, which took place in Malta, in October 2007. On that occasion, the 90-foot super-maxi established a new and impressive record of 47 hours, 55 minutes and 3 seconds in completing the 607-nautical mile course of this classic Mediterranean regatta.
The crew of 'Rambler' will leave Rio this week to sail the boat to the Caribbean to compete in Antigua Sailing Week in April. Following that, there are plans for Cork Week, Rolex Maxi Yacht Cup, and then to Malta to defend their title at the Rolex Middle Sea Race.
The Reichel Pugh design, skippered by American Ken Read, covered the 1123-nautical mile course in 4 days, 9 hrs, 55 minutes, 45 seconds, beating the record set by the Brazilian Navy yacht Cisne Branco in 1987 - 4 days, 18 hours, 52 minutes, 57 seconds.
The Offshore Race Rolex Buenos Aires - Rio de Janeiro began in 1947 and has endured as a classic every three years since then. The 1,123 nautical mile race is organized by both the Yacht Club Argentino and the Yacht Club do Rio de Janeiro, and has attracted many well-known international ocean racers and their yachts over the years. This 22nd edition marks the second year that Rolex has added their support to this the race on the World's ocean racing circuit.
To track the fleet, go to the Virtual Race Monitor at: www.hmh.com.ar/vrm/vrs/
For general information please visit: www.yca.org.ar