Last boat across line in Sydney-Hobart

Publish Date
Friday, 30 December 2016, 9:17PM
Veteran Tasmanian boat Landfall has crossed the finish line, marking the end of the 2016 Sydney to Hobart. (Facebook)
Veteran Tasmanian boat Landfall has crossed the finish line, marking the end of the 2016 Sydney to Hobart. (Facebook)

Veteran Tasmanian boat Landfall has crossed the finish line, marking the end of the 2016 Sydney to Hobart.

In a race that always generates drama and emotion, the latest and 72nd instalment lived up to expectation with a high-profile withdrawal and record- breaking line honours time.

But late on Friday afternoon all eyes were on Michael Strong's last-to-finish Landfill and her six crew who after two years of failure, made it to Hobart.

The 13-metre, 81-year-old boat was the second-smallest and second-oldest in the starting fleet of 88.

For the past two years she has been forced to retire with hull damage and sail damage respectively.

But in a time of four days, three hours, 49 minutes and 23 seconds, Landfill was a confirmed finisher in 2016.

It took Landfall almost three times as long as line honours winner Perpetual LOYAL took to cover the 628 nautical mile (1,163 km) course.

The Australian supermaxi smashed the previous race record by almost five hours, finishing in darkness in the early hours of Wednesday in a time of one day, 13 hours, 31 minutes and 20 seconds.

Minutes after the win, owner and skipper Anthony Bell said he will sell the 100-footer and doesn't plan to recontest the race.

Next across the line was New Zealand entry Giacomo.

Owner Jim Delegat skippered his Volvo 70-class yacht to victory with the help of his two sons Nikolas, 19, and James, 18, who was the youngest sailor in the fleet.

After an anxious wait of more than a day race officials announced Giacomo as the overall winner on corrected time, before handing Delegat the prestigious Tattersall's Cup.

But it wasn't all good news in the 2016 race.

Leading the pack some four hours ahead of the previous record time she set in 2012, supermaxi Wild Oats XI suffered a hydraulic malfunction and was forced to retire on Tuesday morning.

The problem meant crew weren't able to properly control the maxi's keel and the retirement opened the door for LOYAL.

Wild Oats XI's owner Sandy Oatley has since confirmed the boat will return for the 2017 race.

In total there were five forced withdrawals due to damage or technical problems.

Fickle weather across Hobart's Derwent River was the other curve ball for boat crews.

After driving winds made for a speedy first day-and-a-half, boats came to a standstill in the millpond river where some contenders reported taking more than three hours to cover a mile, while having to drop anchor at some points to stop drifting backwards.

Many of the smaller boats which would have been in contention for overall honours, were denied the chance because of their slow plod toward the line.

1. Giacomo - New Zealand
2. Perpetual LOYAL - NSW
3. UBox - China
4. Balance - NSW (2015 handicap winner)
5. Ichi Ban (JV52) - NSW
6. Scallywag - Hong Kong
7. Maserati - NSW
8. Beau Geste - New Zealand
9. Chinese Whisper - NSW
10. Victoire - WA


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