Please select your home edition
Edition
Highfield Boats - Sailing - LEADERBOARD

RSHYR - Loyal skipper and his crew maintained their faith

by Bruce Montgomery on 28 Dec 2016
2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, Anthony Bell’s Perpetual Loyal. Rolex/ Kurt Arrigo http://www.regattanews.com
The bookies didn’t back Loyal to win line honours in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, but the crew backed themselves in terms of maintaining their faith in a boat that was built to be the fastest super maxi in the world but that had never delivered, not as Speedboat nor Rambler nor Perpetual Loyal.

Finally, the Juan Kouyoumdjian-design 100-footer made good. She won, and she won in record time, blitzing Wild Oats XI’s previous time for the 628 nautical mile race by just under five hours. That has done a lot to erase the memories of the previous two Hobart races when she had to retire.

“It defies a lot of the worries we had. It is one for the true believers,” Bell said on arriving in Hobart.

“We worked on this. So many people believed in this; we came back and had another go at it and it paid off.”

He didn’t intend competing in this race. Last year was to have been Loyal’s last under Bell’s command but the crew decided collectively to try to make amends.

“We called last shots last year. We didn’t make it to Hobart so we thought we should come back and put it together again.”

They had a couple of things up their sleeves. They knew they could sail faster than expected in running conditions; they already knew they were a better heavy weather boat than Wild Oats, and they had prepared properly this time. Then they saw Wild Oats XI in strife on Tuesday morning when she was halted by a problem with the hydraulic ram that controls the canting keel.

“It was sad to see them break,” Bell said. “We saw it happen, we were less than a mile away. We saw the boat tilt right over and we saw them come to a sudden stop. Our first worry was that they may have lost a crew member overboard. We radioed them and told them we were prepared to stop the race and go over and help the guys.

“The fortunate thing was no one got hurt and we didn't have to stop sailing in the race.

“We thought we were a fair shot against them … but that’s racing,” Bell said.



There were some big issues on Perpetual Loyal. Straight after the start its biggest headsail would not unfurl properly and was stuck, swinging in the breeze. A crewman was aloft for one and half hours fixing the problem. There were further problems with the sail, and then at midday on Tuesday, the mast started to move.

“We got the engineers up there and we got through that,” he said. “We had our fair share of problems: we just got over the top of them.

“Calmness and coolness on our boat was the thing that got us through. The most important part was that we had nothing to lose. We turned up. I don't think anyone expected us to do well in this race. The bookies certainly didn’t. We always thought we were.’

Bell will not return to the race with Perpetual Loyal.

“With all my heart, no. This boat’s a great boat and it needs the next owner, someone to jump into it with passion and enthusiasm. It’s a boat that’s just broken a record.”

As far as his future was concerned, he said people would have to wait and see.

“Everything’s about evolution. Everything’s about the next thing. I’ve got some detailed plans on something new and hot that I am going to do in sailing.”

Boat Books Australia FOOTER38 South - Sun Fast 3300 - FOOTERWebasto AUS 2020 FOOTER 2

Related Articles

2020 Australian Sailing Awards
Slingsby and Darmanin reprise top honours Tom Slingsby and Lisa Darmanin have taken out top honours at the 2020 Australian Sailing Awards, with the Olympic-medal winning athletes being crowned Male Sailor of the Year for the 4th time and Female Sailor of the Year for the 3rd time respectively.
Posted today at 5:18 am
Mirabaud Sailing Video of the Century
Vote for the best videos produced since 2000 The 2020 edition of the Mirabaud Sailing Video Award is officially launched and the votes are open! The public is invited to vote online for their favourite video of this special edition, rewarding the best videos produced since 2000.
Posted today at 5:07 am
iQFoil International Games at Lake Garda day 3
Getting close to the Finals Series Another picture perfect morning at Univela Sailing in Campione, Lake Garda, where almost 200 riders are gathered for the iQFOiL International Games, the first real global event for the next-to-be Olympic sail board at the Paris 2024 Games.
Posted today at 4:44 am
D-26 Vendée Globe: Kojiro Shiraishi
Dream of being first Asian skipper to complete the Vendée Globe I asked Kojiro Shiraishi what his biggest fear is, as a solo sailor setting out to take on the world alone in the Vendée Globe, and he gave me an answer that I was not expecting - one that indicates the mental strength required of a true single-hander.
Posted on 22 Oct
Elusive 2 wins the 41st Rolex Middle Sea Race
Victory for Maltese First 45 skippered by Aaron, Christoph and Maya Podesta At 15:00 CEST on Thursday, 22 October, 2020, the winner of the 41st edition of the Rolex Middle Sea Race was announced as the Maltese First 45 Elusive 2, skippered by Aaron, Christoph and Maya Podesta.
Posted on 22 Oct
Dinghy Racing Channel: How to rig an RS Aero
Peter Barton from the RS Aero Class Association shows us some basic tips Peter Barton from the RS Aero Class Association shows us some basic tips for setting up your RS Aero before getting out on the water.
Posted on 22 Oct
Intro to Short-handed Racing - J/99 JEDI
The J/99 is perfect for us as she can be easily sailed by two We've been practicing two-handed racing in our 32.6' J/99 (JEDI) whilst joining in with fully crewed fleet from RPAYC SOPS series. Whilst Ray and I have sailed together for many years, we haven't seriously raced two-handed since 2008
Posted on 22 Oct
Trailblazing Gold
20 years on from Australia's first Paralympic sailing gold medal After Australia's Olympic sailors turned Sydney Harbour into a golden pond at the 2000 Games, the Australian Paralympic sailing team of Noel Robins OAM, Jamie Dunross OAM and Graeme Martin OAM were under pressure to perform.
Posted on 22 Oct
Optimist Europeans at Portorož, Slovenia day 2
Two races for all when the sea breeze fills in The sun greeted the participants of the Optimist Europeans Championship in Portorož early in the morning already, but the sailors had to wait almost until noon before the shore warmed up enough for the sea breeze to kick in.
Posted on 22 Oct
America's Cup: Council claims deal made in Feb
Auckland Council claims Cup course arrangements were signed off by all parties in February Two of the principal parties in the 36th America's Cup have issued conflicting media statements tonight over correspondence and agreements relating to the course area allocations for the Prada Cup, or Challenger Selection Series.
Posted on 22 Oct