In the early hours of the 29th December, the Derwent River served a traditional light air finish to the Supermaxi’s vying for line honours in this years Rolex Sydney Hobart. After a 628 mile battle from Sydney, the fleet has faced all weather conditions. Eventually, it was the RP100 Black Jack, sailing under the Monaco Flag (although the majority of the crew are from Queensland) that dropped the curtain on what had been a gripping tussle between the three 100 footers in this race. LawConnect drifted their way across the line at 04:11:44 AM and Scallywag, who never recovered from their forestay issues 45 minutes in the race, finished at 04:30:52 AM.
Australian ocean racing legend Chris Nicholson was onboard LawConnect and continued to push his crew hard until the final moment, commenting just before dark on the final evening of the race, ‘They [Black Jack] are about 8 or so miles in front of us now and that is about an hour or so sailing currently, so you can understand how it happened today, it went from us being in front of them to a couple of hours later they were pushing those kinds of miles in front of us. It can definitely happen, especially in the upper Derwent. So we won’t give up and we will keep trying until we can’t any longer”.
All three 100-footers had started with justified ambitions to finish first and were especially driven by the fact that none of them had won line honours, at least two not under their current names. The closest links to a Sydney Hobart line honours victory were Black Jack and LawConnect. Black Jack won line honours in 2009 as Alfa Romeo when owned by Neville Crichton. LawConnect, when owned by Anthony Bell and named Perpetual Loyal, won in 2016 when it also broke the race record in 1 day 13 hours 31 minutes 20 seconds.
That record fell in 2017 when LDV Comanche, not in this year’s race, won in 1 day 9 hours 15 minutes 24 seconds, a record that continues to stand for another year.
With Black Jack raising the John H Illingworth Challenge Cup, the most coveted line honours trophy in Australian sailing, the battle continues on the water for those looking to win the Tattersall Cup for first place overall.
Follow the race here: rolexsydneyhobart.com
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