Southern Spars rigged yachts fill the podium of the Rolex Sydney-Hobart for the eighth consecutive year.
Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag stepped out in front of the fleet in the predominantly heavy downwind and reaching conditions, all beating the old record time set by Wild Oats in 2012.
Anthony Bell, owner of Perpetual Loyal, the Juan K designed 100 foot supermaxi, is retiring from the Sydney-Hobart on the highest possible note, taking line honours and smashing the race record by just under five hours.
The new benchmark has been set at 37 hours and 31 mins for the 628 nautical mile course. The complexity of the course, its proximity to the coast and the distance travelled means that, under normal circumstances, yachts must sail through many weather different weather situations. So achieving another run capable of rivalling this time will require a very special weather situation, so it is expected that this record will stand for many years.
“This is just so incredible, so exciting,’’ said Bell, even happy to be thrown overboard into Constitution Dock as is customary for the winning skipper.
“This is one for the true believers. The ones who backed us even when others said we couldn’t do it. We had nothing to lose, no one expected us to do well in this race. We called last shots last year and because we didn’t make it to Hobart we thought we would come back again. This is a great boat. It needs a new owner to jump on with new passion and enthusiasm.’’
The New Zealand based Volvo Open 70, Giacomo, finished well inside the record time, revelling in the hard reaching and running conditions for which she was designed. She was also designed by Juan K, and received a new Southern Spars rig after a mast failure in the 2014 race.