Picture courtesy of Rolex/Steffano Gattini - Rolex Sydney Hobart - regattanews.com
The 628-nautical mile race from Sydney to Hobart is one of the most famous ocean sailing races in the world. There has been plenty of drama over the 70 year history of the race, and the 71st edition was no different. Here are the four main talking points from the race.
Comanchecame a respectable second in the 2014 Sydney Hobart after travelling straight from Hodgdon to take part in the race. The radical 30.45 metre supermaxi sailing yacht was hoping to go one better in the 2015 edition of the race and she got off to a flying start. As Comanche turned out of Sydney Harbour she pulled into a sizeable lead, charging south at over 20 knots.
However it was not all plain sailing. On the first night disaster struck when Comanche hit something and destroyed one of her daggerboards. In an effort to stop the flailing foil from punching a hole in the hull, the crew cut it free, but it struck the rudder on the way through and damaged the steering system.
It seemed that all of the hard work and expectation from owners Jim and Kristy Clark and their crew was to come to nothing. Skipper Ken Read assumed the worst and actually retired the yacht, before some of his experienced crew brought out the tools and managed to patch up the damage.
From thinking they were out of the race, they suddenly realised they actually had a chance of winning. They managed to build up a lead and then made it up the river Derwent before the wind died, as it often does overnight in Hobart. They crossed the line to take the win with a time of 2 days, 8 hours, 58 minutes and 30 seconds.
The words of Comanche’s skipper Ken Read really summed up the race when he said “this is a hard race. I have sailed around the world two and a half times and I thought I had seen it all but this is one hard body of water.”