Perpetual LOYAL has broken the Sydney to Hobart yacht race record by almost five hours.
The supermaxi crossed the finish line off Hobart at 2.31 am, beating the time set by Wild Oats XI by 4 hours, 51 minutes and 52 seconds.
Giacomo came in second and Scallywag third.
“Calmness and coolness on our boat was the thing that got us through,” says owner/skipper and Sydney accountant Anthony Bell.
“I don’t think anyone expected us to do well in this race. The bookies certainly didn’t. We always thought we were.”
Perpetual LOYAL sailed steadily in Wild Oats XI’s shadow until the leader pulled out of the race.
Bell was just behind Wild Oats XI on Tuesday morning when she was halted by a problem with the hydraulic ram that controls the keel.
“It was sad to see them break,” Bell says.
“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.”
Here’s video of the finish of the 2016 Rolex Sydney to Hobart:
Bell won line honours in 2011 with his first super maxi, Investec LOYAL, the first time he had sailed the 628 nautical mile race.
Then in 2013 he finished second to Wild Oats XI.
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