Perpetual Loyal smashes race record to take line honours in Rolex Sydney to Hobart
Tuesday, December 27, 2016 7:16 PM
Anthony Bell has well and truly removed the monkey of the last two years from his back, smashing Wild Oats XI’s record of 2012 by four hours 51 minutes and 52 seconds and taking line honours for the second time in the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia’s iconic Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.
Perpetual LOYAL powered to the finish line, travelling at 20 knots as she cut a swathe through the spectator fleet. Her official finish time is 02.31.20am 28 December, 2016 in the time of one day 13 hours 31 minutes and 20 seconds – well ahead of the 1 day 18hrs 23mins 12secs set by Wild Oats XI.
Bell initially won line honours in 2011 with his first super maxi, Investec LOYAL, the first time the Sydney accountant had sailed the 628 nautical mile race. Then in 2013 he finished second to Wild Oats XI, but the last two years have been unkind.
Bell had purchased Speedboat/Rambler, purportedly the fastest racing super maxi on the planet, but the boat has failed to deliver. In the 2014 Rolex Sydney Hobart she retired with hull damage after hitting an unknown object, then in 2015, another retirement, with rudder damage early on.
This time, no such worries. Bell left behind the celebrities of previous years, replacing them with some of Comanche’s finest, along with his regular crew. And like last year, Perpetual LOYAL was first out of Sydney Heads and this time she kept going, sailing steadily in Wild Oats XI’s shadow until the leader retired when the hydraulic ram failed.
From there, Bell and his crew sailed steadily in ideal running and reaching conditions all the way to the finish line and into the history books.
Jim Delegat’s Volvo 70, Giacomo (New Zealand) or Seng Huang Lee’s super maxi Scallywag (HKG) are the next yachts due over the finish line at approximately 4am. Jim Cooney’s Volvo Open 70 Maserati, Karl Kwok's 80ft Beau Geste (NZL) Peter Harburg’s modified Volvo 70 Black Jack and Ludde Ingvall’s super maxi CQS are following. All these boats are currently inside of Wild Oats’ 2012 record.
By Di Pearson, RSHYR media