Please select your home edition
Edition
Gul 2019 CODEZERO EVO Leaderboard

RSHYR - Matt Allen not dissuaded by missing out on back-to-back wins

by Rupert Guiness 29 Dec 2018 15:16 PST
Ichi Ban - 2017 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race © Carlo Borlenghi / Rolex

Falling short of back-to-back overall wins in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has certainly not dissuaded Matt Allen from coming back to race his TP52 Ichi Ban in next year’s 75th edition of the great race.

“For sure …,” Allen said after he skippered Ichi Ban across the finish line at 11.30pm on Friday. “We’ll bring this boat again next year.

“We’ll probably do the Transpac race (from California to Hawaii) in the middle of the year and miss out on some of the winter sailing at home, and then do the Blue Water Pointscore. We built this boat for two reasons – the Rolex Sydney Hobart and the Blue Water Pointscore.”

Had Ichi Ban won the Tattersall Cup for the overall win in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s 628 nautical mile Sydney Hobart, she would have been the first to win it two years in a row since Freya between 1963-65.

Nevertheless, the boat has won just about everything she has entered in the last year, prompting the Royal Ocean Racing Club in the UK to name Ichi Ban ‘Yacht of the Year’.

It was not to be; but Allen, the president of Australian Sailing, said despite his ambition and the conditions that prevailed, he always understood how big the challenge was.

They had no boat problems. The only damage was a broken carbon hatch caused by a crewmember stepping on it the wrong way.

“We never underestimated how challenging it is,” Allen said.

“You can be in really good shape but you have to get everything right. The moons have to be aligned. That’s what makes it such a huge challenge to win this race.”

The conditions certainly went against Allen, on more than one occasion; but certainly on Friday night when their lead crumbled. “We were always worried that we were going to chase the shut down and the 60 footers would wriggle through in the afternoon and would be there in the evening,” Allen said.

“Around Tasman Island we had time on the rest of the fleet and a reasonable margin, but we always knew that was going to be a bit of a challenge going into the last bit of the race.

“We had a good margin on all the boats and plenty of room up our sleeve but you lose a lot of time when you get that shut down.

“And then it’s ‘kinda’ game over … After really leading the race from that afternoon and pretty much the whole way.”

The race tracker showed Ichi Ban sailing as if they were in a games of snakes and ladders, as they fell from the top to 32nd place at one point before rising back up to first place on the leader board; only to lose it again.

However, until Ichi Ban’s final demise, Allen said the crew’s own algorithms always showed them in the lead.

“We were pretty confident that we were leading the race,” he said.

“The tracker has its own algorithms, but we do our own.

“We were very comfortable that we were leading. There was no boat ahead of us on the water until we slowed down into Storm Bay.”

On holiday on the Central Coast in NSW, former TP52 owner and 2015 Rolex Sydney Hobart winner Paul Clitheroe (Balance) was nervously watching Allen’s progress on the race tracker, “My hair went even greyer “watching” Matt Allen sitting at 0.00 knots so close to the finish line… for what seemed like eternity.

“Never thought I would get stressed about a Hobart race while relaxing at Avoca. We’ve all parked for hours in the Derwent, but not usually when you could swim for the finish line (and hear other crews in Customs House). I’ll have to buy him a big scotch when he gets home…”

Related Articles

Grinders Coffee SOLAS Big Boat Challenge 2019
One of Australia's premier yacht racing events returns this month One of Australia's premier yacht racing events, the Grinders Coffee SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, returns this month, setting sail next Tuesday (10 December) in Sydney Harbour. Posted today at 9:34 am
Grinders Coffee SOLAS Big Boat Challenge preview
eBay auction listings are now open for the annual maxi yacht race The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia is offering six lucky guests the opportunity of a lifetime - to play an active part in the invitation-only Grinders Coffee SOLAS Big Boat Challenge, held on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 4 Dec
2019 Bird Island Race concludes
Previous Rolex Sydney Hobart victors show their renewed form The Bird Island Race, shortest in the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore (Audi Centre Sydney BWPS) at 85 nautical miles has concluded with most of the race living up to its reputation as the drag race in the series. Posted on 1 Dec
Bow Caddy Media Bird Island images
CYCA Bird Island Race gallery of images from Bow Caddy Media CYCA Bird Island Race gallery of images from Bow Caddy Media after the start, as the fleet headed out in 15-20 knots, and a whole heap of smoke haze. Posted on 1 Dec
Musto International Youth Match Racing overall
Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron victors, winning the 'Joy Ride' Trophy At the final day of the Musto Youth International Match Racing Regatta Jordan Stevenson, Mitch Jackson, George Angus, Jake Erson, Jeb Lardies have been declared the overall winner of the 2019 'Joy Ride' Trophy. Posted on 30 Nov
2019 Bird Island Race finish
Record stands and divisional battles heat up After a fast-paced start and leading out of Sydney Heads by a comfortable margin, Peter Harburg's Black Jack was the first yacht to cross the finish line in the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore (Audi Centre Sydney BWPS) Bird Island Race. Posted on 30 Nov
Flying start for the 2019 Bird Island Race
A spectacular downwind start on Sydney Harbour A blustering 25-knot southerly greeted the competitors for the start of the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore Bird Island Race, making for a spectacular downwind start on Sydney Harbour. Posted on 30 Nov
Penultimate race to shift leaderboard in BWPS
IRC Divisions are tightly fought The front-runners in the Audi Centre Sydney Blue Water Pointscore have had their ups and downs throughout the series, and this Saturday's Bird Island Race - a crucial lead-up to the Rolex Sydney Hobart - will be sure to see further changes Posted on 29 Nov
Musto International Youth Match Racing Day 3
Two semi-final positions secured as Whitfield delivers knockout blow to defending champion Two semi-finalists have been decided on Day 3 of the Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta as Matthew Whitfield delivered a knockout blow to defending champion Frankie Dair in today's Quarter-Finals, scoring 3-0 Posted on 29 Nov
Musto International Youth Match Racing day 2
Some big movers on the leaderboard in Sydney There were some big movers on Day 2 of the Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta as the international teams took charge with all teams fighting for the prized top four spots, which secures these teams a berth in the quarter-finals Posted on 28 Nov
Zhik ATR Aroshell SW FOOTERSOUTHERN-SPARS-AGLAIA-SPARS_728X90 BottomMarine Resources 2019 - Footer