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Rolex Sydney Hobart Race – Race record smashed

by john Curnow on 27 Dec 2016
Perpetual Loyal is coming closer to her goal - winning the 2016 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Rolex/Daniel Forster
On Day Three (just) of the 72nd Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race, in the strongest downwind conditions in recent times, certainly as good as the 1999 iteration of the blue water classic, Anthony Bell’s supermaxi, Perpetual Loyal, the former Speedboat and then Rambler 100, smashed the race record for the famous 628-nautical mile event.

With co-skipper Tom Slingsby, the London 2012 Olympic Laser Gold Medallist on the helm, she crossed the line, under overcast skies at 02:31:20, giving her an elapsed time of 1 day, 13 hours, 31 minutes, and 20 seconds. Perpetual Loyal slid up the river doing 12 knots in just 8 knots of breeze with slightly cracked sheets. She would finish a bit slower was the wind backed off slightly to around 6 knots.

She beat Wild Oats XI record from 2012 of one day 18 hours, 23 minutes, and 12 seconds by an incredible 4 hours, 51 minutes, and 52 seconds.

Posted by Rolex Sydney Hobart on Tuesday, 27 December 2016

There was wide divergence in the forecast models for the River Derwent tonight, with two models forecasting winds of between two to four knots, but the most optimistic of the forecasts came from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). It was the conditions of that forecast that allowed Perpetual Loyal to maintain good pace up the river for such an impressive and totally recording making win.

Behind her in Storm Bay is Jim Delegat’s Volvo 70, the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012 winner, Groupama 4. She just 18 nautical miles behind the line honours winner. Third boat on line honours should be Seng Huang Lee’s Scallywag, another five miles back. This Hong Kong entry was second across the line behind Comanche in the 2015 race. She was Ragamuffin 100 then and previously Bell’s own Investec Loyal, with which he won the 2010 race (Line Honours). That particular boat began life as Maximus in 2005.

Ultimately then if you are looking for smiles yourself, then do keep a weather eye here on for all the latest intel on the great, inspiring, captivating and very historic, blue water classic… The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

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