Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Fleet Closing in on Hobart

On the fifth day of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, the lionís share of the fleet has rounded Tasman Island, passing the spectacular Organ Pipes rock formation and approaching the mouth of the Derwent River. The finish line, just off Constitution Dock in Hobart, is abuzz with activity and the anticipation continues to build as the marina fills with race yachts.

The 2015 edition has been the most challenging of this historic race in the last decade, with conditions that ranged from flat calm to gale force winds, the latter helping bring the frontrunners into Hobart in just over two days. However, more than 50 yachts have yet to finish, while 31 officially retired and almost all returned to Sydney.

Yesterday afternoon, Rupert Henryís Chinese Whisper finished a mere 11 minutes ahead of Matt Allenís Cookson 60 Ichi Ban, having virtually match-raced most of the way down the New South Wales coast.

"Our biggest rival is Ichi Ban. It was a 628 NM match race more or less.Sometimes we led. Sometimes they led. It was very shifty. On the second night it moderated. We were playing the shift game. Got a small lead and hung on," - said Rupert Henry.

Paul Clitheroe's BALANCE (AUS) passing Organ Pipes
Paul Clitheroe's BALANCE (AUS) passing Organ Pipes, 71,
BALANCE (NSW), Sail No: 7771, Design: Tp52, Owner: Paul Clitheroe, Skipper: Paul Clitheroe

"This is my third Sydney Hobart. Itís been a big dream to come back with a fast machine. We put in a large effort. I try to keep the programme really organised, really focused. Itís paid rewards."

A pleasant contest among friends, Henryís Judel-Vrolijk 62 surpassed his mate Matt Allen, President of Yachting Australia, on the home stretch to win division IRC 0.

CHINESE WHISPER (AUS) smashing the waves
CHINESE WHISPER (AUS) smashing the waves,
Sail No: AUS13, Design: Judel Vroljik 62, Owner: Rupert Henry, Skipper: Rupert Henry

An avid racer and well-known financial guru, Paul Clitheroe owner of the TP52 Balance, was pleasantly surprised upon tying up to the dock to hear they were in contention for the overall win of the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

"Thatís fantastic. We got six hours of beautiful running then absolutely smashed. The bottom of my mainsail is torn to pieces. It was a terrible, terrible seaway, lumps and bumps. Most of the crew have got the usual bruises and bashes. What surprised us was that it persisted and it persisted for nearly 18 hours. I am not surprised at the retirements. We were bashing and crashing these carbon boats. They were really awful conditions."

Paul Clitheroe's BALANCE (AUS) passing Organ Pipes
Paul Clitheroe's BALANCE (AUS) passing Organ Pipes, 71,
BALANCE (NSW), Sail No: 7771, Design: Tp52, Owner: Paul Clitheroe, Skipper: Paul Clitheroe

The current leader on handicap is however, Quikpoint Azzurro, with just over 60 nautical miles to go. Sailing at their present speed of eight knots, with the current forecasted weather conditions, the Australian team should arrive just after midnight. It remains to be seen if this S&S 34, the smallest boat in the fleet, can beat Balance to win the Tattersallís Cup.


About Rolex in Yachting

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has been partnered with Rolex since 2002. The event is a proud part of the brandís association with yachting and offshore racing in particular. The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race was preceded by two other important 600 nautical mile races in 2015: the Rolex Fastnet Race in August and the Rolex Middle Sea Race in October.

Full details of Rolexís longstanding relationship with yachting are provided in a Press Kit which can be viewed in English, French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Italian.



Video of Dragonsbane, a globe-trotting 43-foot Sceptre, at the 35th Heineken Regatta in St. Maarten, March 2015.
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