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Greenwich Concours d’Elegance celebrates its 22nd year in 2017

Bugattis, Historic Race Cars, Hot Rods and Children’s Cars featured to benefit Americares  

GREENWICH, Conn. (April 27, 2017) – Recognized as one of the premier classic car shows in the country, the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance will celebrate its 22nd year of showcasing significant cars, motorcycles and one-off automotive creations on June 3-4, 2017.

The brainchild of the late Bruce Wennerstrom, the Concours continues its tradition of holding two unique Concours back-to-back at Roger Sherman Baldwin Park overlooking the Greenwich, Conn., harbor on Long Island Sound.

For 21 years, the proceeds from the Greenwich Concours have gone to support Americares, a health-focused relief and development organization that responds to people affected by poverty or disaster with life-changing medicine, medical supplies and health programs.

Organizer of the world-renowned Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance, Bill Warner, has been named the Grand Marshal.

Saturday, June 3, will be the Concours Americana for American cars and motorcycles, while Sunday, June 4, will feature the Concours International for imported marques.

The inaugural hot rod display being organized by Velocity Channel’s Chasing Classic Cars host Wayne Carini will highlight Saturday’s show. A special exhibit of children’s cars and supercars will round out the day’s displays. Saturday’s ticket also allows attendees to preview all of the cars in the Bonhams auction tent.

Tickets are also available on Saturday night to a gala party and elegant buffet at the Greenwich Delamar Hotel, with luxurious yachts as a backdrop on the quay.

Sunday’s featured marque will be Bugatti and will include a collection of rare Bugattis from the American Bugatti Club. Sunday will also feature race cars from the Lime Rock Park Historic Festival. The Bonhams auction begins at noon on Sunday and requires a separate admission.

Also showcased during the weekend will be the iconic outlaw cars from the original cross-country Cannonball Baker Sea to Shining Sea Memorial Trophy Dash, held in the ’70s, along with some of the later non-outlaw entries. These cars will also be displayed at the Cannonball Reunion, a joint evening event  with the Greenwich International Film Festival, at Cole Auditorium on Friday, June 2.

Both days will include displays of the latest in new cars including BMW, Cadillac, Tesla, Lincoln, Jaguar, Land Rover, and Miller Motorcars of Greenwich will highlight its Ferrari, Bugatti, Pagani, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, McLaren, Bentley, Rolls-Royce and Maserati marques. Opportunities to test drive some of these new vehicles will be offered. There will also be a number of luxury yachts displayed at the adjacent Delamar Hotel docks.

“The Greenwich Concours is proud to partner with Americares to help families in need all over the world,” said Mary Wennerstrom, Concours Chairman. “Not only will attendees who appreciate these rare cars be treated to two days to delight their senses, they will also be contributing to one of the world’s most respected charities.”

“Americares is honored to be the Greenwich Concours’ charity of choice for more than two decades,” said Americares President and CEO Michael J. Nyenhuis. “Together we are helping families affected by poverty or disaster get the health care they need — the health care they deserve.”

Baby Bugatti with a 1925 Bugatti Type 35A/51 Grand Prix at the Greenwich Concours site.
Photo by Bearded Mug Media.

VIP tickets are available on a limited basis. A VIP ticket includes early entry to the Concours, breakfast and lunch with the car owners and judges, access to the VIP lounge and patio at the Delamar Hotel, entrance to the Bonhams Cocktail Reception on Friday night, lapel pin, poster and a VIP lanyard.

    • Gates open at 10 a.m. for general admission, 8 a.m. for VIP ticket holders
    • Advance tickets for both days are available at $30 per day or $50 for both days
    • Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult
    • VIP Admission is $250 per day or $450 for both days
    • Saturday Night Gala tickets are available for $175
    • Tickets can be purchased at http://www.greenwichconcours.com/visitors/tickets/
    • Admission to Bonhams auction is available on site at $40 for two people
The weekend activities will include other events, open to the public, some in cooperation with the Greenwich International Film Festival:
About Americares
Americares is a health-focused relief and development organization that responds to people affected by poverty or disaster with life-changing health programs, medicine and medical supplies. Each year, Americares reaches more than 90 countries and all 50 U.S. states with over $600 million in innovative health programs and quality medical aid. Americares is the world’s leading nonprofit provider of donated medicine and medical supplies. For more information, visit americares.org.
Fireworks Over The Fleet (Photo By Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Fireworks Over The Fleet (Photo By Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Owners and crews, friends and family, gathered on the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania lawn in warm sunshine today for the presentation of trophies for the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race. They saw the trophies more widely distributed than usual with the race’s varying wind patterns suiting the smaller boats in all handicap divisions.
The winds alternated between calms and light air to strong 25-35 knot headwinds and tailwinds. And there were opportunities to gain a push south in two major eddies of the East Australian Current, which extended into Bass Strait, between the Australian mainland and Tasmania, further than usual.
At different stages of the 628 nautical mile race, IRC overall handicap leaders varied throughout the fleet, between one of the biggest yachts, the Reichel/Pugh 100 maxi Alfa Romeo (Neville Crichton) and the smallest, Zephyr Hamilton Elevators (James Connell), a Sea Nymph 33.

Zephyr was still poised to win at Tasman Island 40 miles from the finish until early morning calms in Storm Bay ended her chances. She finished seventh overall on IRC.

 

Andrew Saies and Crew from TWO TRUE Final Prizegiving Ceremony at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania  (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Andrew Saies and Crew from TWO TRUE Final Prizegiving Ceremony at the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

 

In the end, smaller production yachts topped the podium. Two of the new Farr-designed Beneteau First 40s, Two True (Andrew Saies) and Wicked (Mike Welsh) placed first and second.

Third and fourth were two of the Murray, Burns & Dovell Sydney 38 one-designs, Next (Ian Mason/Jay Krehbiel), and Swish (Steven Proud).

These first four boats followed a similar strategy; heading well out to sea from the start, staying mainly east of the rhumb line and chasing the current eddies. And they pushed each other hard, racing one-design.

The two Sydney 38s ended their 628nm match race with a gybing duel over the last 11 miles in the River Derwent. Next crossed half a boat length in front to win the Sydney 38 One Design division ahead of Swish, but placed fourth behind Swish on IRC overall because she has a slightly higher IRC overall handicap for carrying a masthead spinnaker.

Next’s skipper Ian Mason said: “It was a very tough race. It was just match-racing for nearly 400 miles with Swish. We were never more than about 800 metres apart and then she beat us by five seconds.”

Two True also won the ORCi division, introduced into the race for the first time this year in response to a growing push among Australian owners for a more measurement-based, transparent rule than IRC.

Ragamuffin’s veteran skipper Syd Fischer, strongly behind the move towards ORCi was surprised and gratified that 33 boats in the 100-boat fleet, raced under ORCi as well as IRC. “I think it will be a great rule because it’s fully measured, transparent and we don’t have anyone’s input into it other than the measurements,” he said.

“It’s fair. I can’t stand anything that isn’t fair because people spend a lot of money on these boats. If you look around the world there’s billions of dollars spent on them and they’ve come into what’s a club rule.”

At the presentation, Matt Allen, Commodore of the race organizer, Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, who sailed his first Hobart race in 1976 and the 21st this year on his own modified Volvo 70 Ichi Ban, said: “The race to Hobart has certainly captured my imagination. Now it has never been in better health and I’m convinced that the best years are ahead.”

Matteo Mazzanti from Rolex SA presented overall winning skipper Andrew Saies from Two True with a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece, and the Tatersall’s Cup for the overall handicap winner in IRC.

Sailes, sailing in his fifth Rolex Sydney Hobart, but on a brand-new boat this year, was clearly touched and said, “You can’t win without a great boat, a great team and an ounce of Hobart luck..This is an iconic race, if you’re a yachtie in Australia, you want to win this race.”

2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Prizegiving Ceremony (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race Prizegiving Ceremony (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

RESULTS

LINE HONOURS
Alfa Romeo, Neville Crichton, (NZ), Reichel Pugh 100

IRC OVERALL
1. Two True, Andrew Saies (AUS), Beneteau First 40
2. Wicked, Mark/Mike Welsh (AUS), Beneteau First 40
3. Next, Ian Mason (AUS), Sydney 38

DIVISION LEADERS
IRC Div 0: Alfa Romeo, Neville Crichton, (NZ), Reichel Pugh 100
IRC Div 1: Ran, Niklas Zennstrom, (UK), Judel-Vrolijk 72
IRC Div 2: Tow Truck, Anthony Paterson (AUS), Ker 11.3
IRC Div 3: Next, Ian Mason (AUS), Sydney 38
IRC Div 4: Two True, Andrew Saies (AUS), Beneteau First 40
PHS Div 1: Wasabi, Bruce McKay, (AUS), Sayer 12
PHS Div 2: She, Peter Rodgers, (AUS), Olsen 40 MOD
Sydney 38: Swish, Steven Proud, (AUS), Sydney 38
ORCi: Two True, Andrew Saies (AUS), Beneteau First 40
Cruising: Holy Cow!, John Clinton (AUS), Oceanis 50

 

 

Dockside Ambience In Hobart (Photo by By Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Dockside Ambience In Hobart (Photo by By Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

 

 

 

 

Andy Saies' Two True Tattersail's Cup Winner (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Andy Saies' Two True Tattersail's Cup Winner (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Andy Saies’ Two True survived a protest this afternoon to be confirmed as overall winner of the Tattersall’s Cup, the major prize in the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race for the overall IRC handicap winner.

After a two-hour hearing, the International Jury dismissed the protest entered by the Inglis 39 She’s the Culprit (Todd Leary), the Hobart yacht damaged in a crush of boats approaching the first rounding mark after the race start on Sydney Harbour.

Two True, one of the first new Farr-designed Beneteau First 40 stock production racer/cruiser to be imported into Australia, won IRC overall by 42 minutes from another new First 40, (Mike Welsh) after a close race-long duel in which they followed a similar strategy – stay well east of the rhumbline.

Dock Side presentation TWO TRUE, Sail Number: YC400, Skipper: Andrew Saies, State: SA, Division: IRC, Design: First 40, LOA (m): 12.24, Draft: 2.48  (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Dock Side presentation TWO TRUE, Sail Number: YC400, Skipper: Andrew Saies, State: SA, Division: IRC, Design: First 40, LOA (m): 12.24, Draft: 2.48 (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Ian Mason’s Sydney 38 Next, in third place, another 1hr 19min behind, was similarly pushed by close competition in the six-boat Sydney 38 fleet racing one-design, as well as on IRC handicap. Another Sydney 38, Swish (Steven Proud) from the strong Sydney fleet, was fourth and Tony Kirby’s Jeppersen X-41 Patrice Six, fifth.

In sixth place was the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race winner Ran (Niklas Zennstrom), from the UK.

Two True, from the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia, is the first yacht from South Australia to win the Tattersall’s Cup since Kevan Pearce’s win with SAP Ausmaid in 2000. The South Australians continue to be strongly committed to the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, sailing 1000 nautical miles just to get to the start.

Wicked Overall IRC Handicap 3rd Place (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Wicked Overall IRC Handicap 3rd Place (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Owner-skipper Saies said he was absolutely elated at the win after being in the surreal situation of not knowing the outcome until after the protest hearing. “Obviously we are very happy with the jury’s decision. We believe we did everything in the circumstances to avoid significant damage to the other boat. We gave our intention to protest, we did a 720 (degree penalty turn), though the damage to the other boat was minor and superficial.”

“I respect the decision of the skipper of She’s the Culprit not to continue racing in those circumstances, but obviously we are very happy and delighted with the outcome.”

Dockside In Hobart As The Fleet Continues To Arrive (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Dockside In Hobart As The Fleet Continues To Arrive (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

He thanked his crew, which raced the two prior Sydney Hobart Races on his previous boat True North, a Beneteau First 40. “The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race cannot be won without a great team, a great boat and an ounce of Sydney Hobart luck. Our team are fabulous guys. We have worked together for the past three years on my previous boat True North.” Saies particularly thanked Brett Young, his team and boat manager. “Energetic, tireless work ethic, great understanding of the rules.”

He said the race was a physical endurance event over 628 miles. “The wind was in, the wind was out, we drifted, we went backwards, we lost internet access, we didn’t know what was going on until the last few minutes. It was a classic Rolex Sydney Hobart event and we were in it up to our back teeth and it came our way in the end.

“Great boat, this new Beneteau it just jumps out of the water, jumped a bit too hard in the last day or so in those big short waves. It’s a fast boat, we had belief that this boat was going to rate well and do okay in this event, if the weather conditions allowed a small boat event.

Tow Truck Winner IRC 2 Division (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Tow Truck Winner IRC 2 Division (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

“We may be privileged enough to have a boat and a team that gets to this position as people have in the past. But in yacht racing to have everything going right in one event at the right time is probably a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

“So it meant so much to get this right this time. So celebrations, back to normal, business as usual, great boat, great team looking forward to the next regatta in Melbourne, the next Sydney Hobart.”

The last boat to finish, Chris Dawe’s Polaris of Belmont (AUS/NSW) was due to cross the finish line at 0830pm tonight.

The 100-boat fleet that started the 65th Rolex Sydney Hobart had crews representing the USA, UK, New Zealand, Spain, the Netherlands, and New Caledonia, as well as every Australian state.

Ran, Winner of IRC 1 Division (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Ran, Winner of IRC 1 Division (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Results:

IRC overall: 1, Two True (Andy Saies, SA), Beneteau First 40, corrected time 04 days 07hr 57min 43sec; 2, Wicked (Mike Welsh, Vic), Beneteau First 40, 04:08:39:08; 3, Next (Ian Mason, NSW), MBD Sydney 38, 04:09:48:54.

IRC 0: 1, Alfa Romeo (Neville Crichton, NZ), Reichel Pugh 100, corrected time 04 days, 12hr, 11min, 51sec; 2, Evolution Racing (Ray Roberts, NSW), Farr Cookson 50, 04:14:32:46; 3, Ichi Ban (Matt Allen, NSW), Jones Volvo 70, 04:16:27:22.

IRC 1: 1, Ran (Niklas Zennstrom, UK), Judel/Vrolijk 72, 04:10:48:21; 2, Shogun (Rob Hanna, Vic), J/V 52, 04:13:09:50; 3, Ragamuffin (Syd Fischer, NSW), Farr TP52, 04:15:18:43.

IRC 2: 1, Tow Truck (Anthony Paterson, NSW), Ker 11.3, 04:11:16:18; 2, AFR Midnight Rambler (Ed Psaltis/Bob Thomas), modified Farr 40, 04:11:26:24; 3, Chutzpah (Bruce Taylor, Vic), Reichel/Pugh IRC 40, 04:14:06:32.

IRC 3: 1, Next Ian Mason, NSW), 04:09:48:54; 2, Swish (Steven Proud, NSW), 04:10:17:42; 3, Patrice Six (Tony Kirby) Jeppersen X-41, 04:10:24:32.

Sydney 38 One Design: 1, Swish, 04:00:16:54; 2, Next, 04:00:16:59; 3, Subzero Goat (Bruce Foye, NSW), 04:06:37:59.

ORCi (ORC International): 1, Two True (Andrew Saies, SA), Beneteau First 40, 04:07:57:43; 2, Wicked (Mike Welsh, Vic), Beneteau First 40, 04:08:39:08; 3, Zephyr Hamilton Elevators (James Connell/Alex Brandon, NSW), Farr 1020, 04:10:52:17.

NEXT, Ian Mason winner IRC 3 division , 2nd Place IRC Overall (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

NEXT, Ian Mason winner IRC 3 division , 2nd Place IRC Overall (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Performance handicap:

PHS 1: 1, Wasabi (Bruce McKay, NSW), Sayer 12m, 04:19:02:33; 2, Sailors with disAbilities (David Pescud, NSW), Lyons 54, 04:21:26:15; 3, Mahligai (Murray Owen/Jenny Kings, New Zealand), Sydney 46, 04:21:26:15.

PHS 2: 1, She (Peter Rodgers, NSW), Olsen 40; 2, Flying Fish Arctos (A.Fairclough, NSW), McIntyre 55, 04:13:41:02; 3, Namadgi (Canberra Ocean Racing Club, ACT), Bavaria 44, 04:16:12:30.

Alfa Romeo (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Alfa Romeo (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Evolution Racing, Skippered by Ray Roberts (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Evolution Racing, Cookson 50, Skippered by Ray Roberts (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

 The smallest boat in the fleet, Zephyr Hamilton Elevators, was as of this evening, still well in the running to win the IRC overall handicap division of the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

Zephyr is a Sea Nymph 33 co-owned by James Connell and Alex Braddon from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. She won division E in the 2007 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

The Sea Nymph 33 design is extremely fast downwind and is well-suited to the strong northerly wind prevailing on the lower Tasmanian east coast, forecast to reach 20-30 knots by evening.

The final 40 nautical miles of the 628nm course, with the northerly forecast to blow at 15-25 knots with gusts to 30 knots, which will put Zephyr on the wind, and will certainly slow and may end her chances of winning the Tattersall’s Cup for IRC overall handicap.

At 1550, Zephyr had 46 miles to go, and was doing 9.7 knots for an estimated finish at 2311, well inside the time she needed to take first place (0131 on Dec 31).

Second and third on corrected time standings were two of Beneteau’s new First 40s, which have already finished: Two True (Andrew Saies) from the Cruising Yacht Club of South Australia and Wicked (Mike Welsh) from Sandringham Yacht Club.

Two True, Skipper Andrew Sales (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Two True, Skipper Andrew Saies (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

The Farr-designed First 40 is a replacement for the successful Beneteau 40.7. A Beneteau 40.7, First National Real Estate skippered by Michael Spies, was the overall handicap winner of the 2003 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

Two True, in second spot, still has to face a protest by the Tasmanian Inglis 39, She’s the Culprit (Todd Leary), which was badly damaged after the race start in a jam of boats converging on the first rounding mark at Sydney Heads and had to retire.

With some of the boats named in the protest documents still racing, the International Jury has deferred the protest until tomorrow morning (Dec 31).

Zephyr has also signaled by radio to the race committee that she will lodge protests against three boats, without specifying who they are, after finishing. That protest could also arise from the crush of boats in the 100-boat fleet converging to leave Sydney Harbour.

Two True and Wicked finished fast under spinnakers before a moderate southeasterly sea breeze early this afternoon, with Two True crossing 22 minutes ahead of Wicked.

Saies said: “It was a very difficult and frustrating race. Having had a couple of light patches on the way down, we thought we were through it and then we got a third one, 25 miles from Tasman Light last night; around 3:00am we were flapping around for three hours.”

Tactician Brett Young said Two True had followed a strategy of always being well east of the rhumbline and had received a favourable push from the current in two major eddies.

“Our routing was always east of the rhumbline,” said Young. “It’s the first time I’ve ever done that. And we had really good competition from Wicked. They sailed hard, but we got through them. We really stuck to our game plan, even with the weather not being anything like what it was originally forecast. We only came into Tasmania when we could lay Tasman Island.”

Young said the First 40 had performed well in the bumpy seaway following the southerly front. “Last night was a tough night, but that’s when this boat comes into its own. In a seaway, it just goes faster.”

Mark Welsh, boat manager and tactician on Wicked for his owner-skipper father Mike Welsh, said: “We chose the design after a lot of searching around the world for one that would be very competitive in IRC racing and it looks like we might have chosen successfully.”

Lion New Zealand (Photo By Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Lion New Zealand (Photo By Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

A third new First 40 was racing, Paca (Philippe Mengual) from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia. “So our race really depended on watching the other two boats, said Mark. “All credit to Two True, they sailed an absolutely sensational race.

“On the second night out, even though we were with them off Gabo Island, we couldn’t hold them. They sailed very, very well that night, got through us and from there we were just playing catch-up and we couldn’t catch them. They did a great job.”

The only IRC division decided, with all boats finished, is Division 0 for canting-keeled boats. The line honours winner Alfa Romeo (Neville Crichton), a Reichel Pugh100, won from the Cookson 50 Evolution Racing (Ray Roberts), with the modified Jones Volvo 70 Ichi Ban (Matt Allen) third.

With 48 yachts finished, and five yachts retired, there are 47 yachts still racing to the finish in Hobart.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race has entries representing the USA, UK, New Zealand, Spain, the Netherlands, and New Caledonia as well as every Australian state.

Shortwave Just Offshore (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Shortwave Just Offshore (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

Loki, Skippered by Stephen Ainsworth Rounding Tasman Island (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Loki, Skippered by Stephen Ainsworth Rounding Tasman Island (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

A strong southerly to southwesterly change sweeping up the Tasmanian coast this afternoon slowed the 87 yachts still at sea in the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race.

At 1600, the Bureau of Meteorology issued a strong wind warning for the lower east coast, from Wineglass Bay to Tasman Island for southwest to southerly winds of 30 knots in open waters at first, easing to 5 to 15 kn by late evening, with two to three metre seas and a southwest swell of 2.5 to 3.5 metres.

The winds would then tend northeast to northerly at 10 – 20kn during tomorrow morning before increasing during the afternoon to 20 – 30kn by evening.

For the yachts covering the remaining miles of the 628 nautical mile race, the forecast meant a bumpy, wet night of tacking upwind before the strong northerly picks up the fleet still at sea and propels them towards Tasman Island at a very fast pace on a wild spinnaker ride.

That scenario removes any certainty about the computer calculations of the likely winner of the Tattersall’s Cup for the overall IRC handicap winner.

RAN , Skippered by Niklas Zennstrom at Constitution dock in Hobart, Tasmania  (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

RAN , Skippered by Niklas Zennstrom at Constitution dock in Hobart, Tasmania (Photo by Rolex/Kurt Arrigo)

But it is comforting for a leading contender for the Tattersall’s Cup, already tied up at the Kings Pier Marina in Hobart. At 1800, Niklas Zennstrom’s Judel/Vrolijk 72 Ran (UK), was showing up in 15th position on corrected time calculations.

Ran’s tactician, Adrian Stead, said: “We’re in good shape; we got Neville (Alfa Romeo) by 50 minutes or so, which is good and we sailed really well. All we can do now is wait and see how we shape up.”

Also at 1800, Tony Kirby’s X41 Patrice 6 was calculated to be leading IRC overall handicap from an eclectic mix of designs and sizes. She was 12nm east of Cape Sonnerat, between the coastal villages of Swansea and Triabunna, making seven knots with 96nm to sail.

shogun-by-daniel-forster

Shogun, Skippered by Rob Hanna (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Second was Andrew Saies’ Beneteau First 40 Two True, followed by Wicked (Mike Welsh), another Beneteau First 40. Then came the Spanish entry Charisma (Alejandro Perez Calzada), a 1970 Sparkman & Stephens IOR rule design that should revel in the strong upwind conditions.

One IRC handicap result that is certain is the win of Neville Crichton’s 100ft super-maxi Alfa Romeo, the line honours winner, in IRC division 0 for canting keel-powered boats and the second place in that division for Matt Allen’s modified Jones-design Volvo 70, unbeatable in second place on current position reports.

Allen said the Volvo 70 was a very good boat for upwind and in high-wind pressure sailing. In the sou’-wester of up to 25 knots on the first night, she worked up to within a half mile behind Wild Oats XI.

“We were not overly surprised to see that, but we knew the next night in the lighter airs and with the bigger sails the maxis carry, giving away rating, they would get through that first light-air gate. Only the three boats got through and the next morning we were there with all our fellow-sized boats stuck for five or six hours.”

Allen said that every night there were challenges. “You’d sail through the day, with quite a few wind shifts, but generally the night-time sailing was tricky. Every night we parked up. Tactically it was a very interesting race, because you had to work out where you were going to get through in the next transition.

“Last night we’d had a 30-knot nor’-westerly and we were doing 25 knots, white water coming over the boat. It lasted for an hour and-a-half and within minutes it went down really quickly: to ten knots, to five and then zero. So we went from having 30 knots to being in no wind with leftover swell and you could only go in one direction, with the waves.

“The big transition zones had the navigators really on their toes, playing the angles and trying to work out how to handle the next transition.”

With eight yachts finished, and five yachts retired, there are 87 yachts still racing to the finish in Hobart.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet has crews representing the USA, UK, New Zealand, Spain, the Netherlands, and New Caledonia as well as every Australian state.

Lahana (Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo)

Lahana (Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo)

Wild Oats XI Before The Finish (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Wild Oats XI Before The Finish (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

 

 

 

 

The 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race line honours podium filled this morning when Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI and Mike Slade’s ICAP Leopard finished in second and third positions.

Wild Oats XI finished at five minutes after midnight, two hours and three minutes behind her Reichel/Pugh 100 near-sister yacht Neville Crichton’s Alfa Romeo. Leopard, a Farr 100, finished at 0545, five hours and 40 minutes behind Wild Oats XI.
Next to finish, at 0734, was another 100ft maxi, the Greg Elliott-designed Investec Loyal (Sean Langman), which previously raced for New Zealand owners as Maximus.
 

 

 

ICAP Leopard (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

ICAP Leopard (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Fifth home, at 0927, was Niklas Zennstrom’s Ran from the UK, a Judel/Volijk-designed 72-footer that was overall handicap winner in the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race.

Ran has a chance of winning the race’s major trophy, the Tattersall’s Cup, for the first yacht on IRC corrected time. She has certainly beaten Alfa Romeo, which led the IRC overall standings for a time yesterday, denying Crichton the rare handicap/line honours double.

Wild Oats’ Mark Richards was gracious in defeat. “It was a tactical race and we never got a look in really,” Richards said. “They had a little edge on us on the first night and the next morning we were in a big parking lot together. They got out first and put 30 miles on us before we knew what had happened.”

Mike Slade had an historical perspective of the close three-way battle of the maxis: “When Napoleon turned up at Waterloo he knew he was in for a bad day, he had a bad day at the office didn’t he? I’ve been a bit like that. It was a fantastic race and well done Alfa, bloody marvellous.”

Slade said that Leopard had gambled by sailing farther offshore than Alfa and Oats down the east coast of Australia rather than sailing in Alfa’s wake. “We went offshore because there was no point in covering Alfa’s tracks; she had about 20 miles on us and we just got locked out. We had about four shut-downs and it was as frustrating as hell. We sat there for hours, watching them go away. That cost us. We got punished.”

Rounding Tasman Island was the worst Slade had experienced. “There was no wind and appalling seas; really nasty because it’s a lee shore, you’ve got no steerage because there’s no wind, but the seas were huge and that took us a couple of hours.

“Alfa and Oats had already gone round. The rich get rich and the poor get poorer, that’s what the game’s all about. So it was a shocker but we loved every minute of it. We will be back to do another one I think – the boat’s a glutton for punishment.”

Ran, after performing well in the fresh upwind work on the first night, parked in calms before zooming back into handicap contention with a blistering run on the new nor’-west breeze off Flinders Island.

Ran’s owner/skipper Niklas Zennstrom said: ” “The race at times was frustrating, we got parked up. Yesterday afternoon we had a fantastic run, we were reaching at up to 24 knots of boat speed, averaging 18 and 19 knots. It was excellent sailing.

“This morning was also very good; last night we had a few stops and goes. But we are happy with how the boat performed on corrected time and we will have to wait and see how the other boats are going on handicap.

“At times it looked really, really bad for us and really good for the small boats, but that’s how it is. All you can do is sail as good as you can and avoid making as many mistakes as possible. I don’t think we made too many mistakes.”
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Ran’s tactician Adrian Stead said that after riding the nor’-wester fast, Ran hit a light spot last evening, 20 miles northeast of Maria Island. “We got through that and sailed the last bit up here pretty well, very conscious that 10:20 was our deadline to beat Alfa,” he said.

With six yachts finished, and five yachts retired, there are 89 yachts still racing.

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet has crews representing the USA, UK, New Zealand, Spain, the Netherlands, and New Caledonia as well as every Australian state.

Investec Loyal and Ran (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

Investec Loyal and Ran (Photo by Rolex/Daniel Forster)

ALFA ROMEO, Sail Number: NZL80, Skipper: Neville Crichton, State: NZ, Division: IRC, Design: Reichel Pugh , LOA (m): 30.48, Draft: 5.1 (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

ALFA ROMEO, Sail Number: NZL80, Skipper: Neville Crichton, State: NZ, Division: IRC, Design: Reichel Pugh , LOA (m): 30.48, Draft: 5.1 (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

 

The line honours win, with a Reichel-Pugh designed canting keel 100-footer, was Sydney-based New Zealander Crichton’s second in the Rolex Sydney Hobart Race. His previous win, in 2002, was with his first Alfa Romeo maxi, a water-ballasted Reichel/Pugh 90.

Alfa, with good speed and crew work, as well as tactics, led from the start, holding off all challenges from her arch-rival Bob Oatley’s R/P 100 Wild Oats XI, a very similar design from the same builder, McConaghy Boats in Sydney, launched only a few months apart in 2005, and Mike Slade’s (UK) Farr 100, ICAP Leopard.

Crichton was presented with a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece and the JH Illingworth trophy for his line honours win. The victory-pumped Crichton showed his mischievous sense of humour at the dockside presentation; MC Steve Barker asked Crichton if he had any message for the skippers of Leopard and Wild Oats, who had challenged a couple of times. He raised a big laugh with the answer and a gesture toward the River Derwent: “Where ARE they?”

At 0015, ICAP Leopard was 35.6nm from the finish making 8.6 kn. There were 93 yachts still to finish from a fleet of 100 starters, with five retired.

 

 

Wild Oats XI Passing Tasman Island (Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo)
Wild Oats XI Passing Tasman Island (Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo)

Wild Oats XI won their first line honours battle with Alfa in the 2005 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race by an hour and 16 minutes. Crichton then took Alfa Romeo to the northern hemisphere for the Mediterranean regattas in 2006 and 2007 where Alfa and Oats swapped line honours wins until Wild Oats XI broke her mast in the 2007 Maxi Yacht Rolex Cup in Porto Cervo and was shipped back to Australia. This year’s Rolex Sydney Hobart was their first encounter since in a major offshore race.

Crichton’s fears of slowing in a southwest headwind in calms in the River Derwent over the last 11 nautical miles to the finish were unfounded. She stalled only once in a light patch and finally steamed home to get the finishing gun at Battery Point just after 2200, with Wild Oats XI 17nm behind (Wild Oats eventually finished just over two hours later.)

A crowd of several hundred people crowded the Constitution Wharf marina to watch the finish and cheer Alfa in to the dock. Asked, as Alfa Romeo berthed, how he was feeling, Crichton said:”It’s fantastic and the welcome here in Tasmania is unbelievable”.

He praised his crew, half of them New Zealanders and half Australian: “The 22 guys I have are the best crew in the world. The two days coming down the coast was hard work and it was good; the boys did a helluva job on the boat and it was very, very close racing.”

Was the lack of wind frustrating? “Oh no, we were very busy the whole race.”


Did he see the win as sweet revenge for the 2005 defeat by Wild Oats XI? “Every win is a good win. It has taken me four years to come back and do it, so it was even nicer. He added, “Winning the Rolex Sydney Hobart is the ultimate in ocean racing.”
Neville Crichton receives JH Illingworth Trophy (Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo)
Neville Crichton receives JH Illingworth Trophy (Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo)

After sailing a near perfect tactical race in extremely difficult conditions, with extremes from a testing 25-knot southerly, with a bumpy seaway through the first night, to a calm in the notoriously rough and windy Bass Strait, Neville Crichton’s Alfa Romeo was first to finish in the 2009 Rolex Sydney Hobart Race, with an elapsed time of two days, 9hrs, 2mins, 10secs for the 628nm course.

The Rolex Sydney-Hobart race fleet leaders stalled and stopped in calms off the far south coast of New South Wales earlier today. The smaller boats came up on a developing coastal sea breeze while the maxi leaders and 50-60-footers were stuck inshore this morning, trying to struggle around Green Cape and Gabo Island at the entrance to Bass Strait

Lion (Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo)

Lion (Photo by Rolex / Kurt Arrigo)

 

 

 

Neville Crichton’s Reichel/Pugh 100 Alfa Romeo, which had led the race from Sydney Heads, was first of the three leading maxis to struggle into new pressure to pass Green Cape and sail to the west of the rhumb line (straight distance) course from Sydney to Tasman Island.

Alfa Romeo took off on a two-sail reach in a freshening east-northeaster and by 1800 was well into Bass Strait, 58 nautical miles south of Gabo Island with 330nm to go to the finish.

The three leading maxis were achieving extraordinary speeds in only 10-12 knots of breeze and on course for Tasman Island, the last major rounding landmark on the 628nm course.

Ichi Ban (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Ichi Ban (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Alfa Romeo, making 16.7 knots, was 16nm ahead of ICAP Leopard, the British Farr 100-footer owned by Mike Slade, with Bob Oatley’s Wild Oats XI, a very similar Reichel/Pugh 100, another 2nm behind Leopard and closing the distance. Wild Oats XI was making 16.7 kn to Leopard’s 16.2kn.

While these are very respectable speeds, the weather forecasting models are in agreement there will be more calms and light patches ahead. Respected yachting forecaster Roger Badham, who provides pre-race weather predictions to many top boats in the fleet, says: “The big guys will have some running in Bass Strait this afternoon, but there are still a lot of potholes between that and the finish,” Badham said. “Anyone of the three could finish first.”

One certainty is that Wild Oats XI’s race record, set at one day, 18hrs, 40mins, and 10secs in 2006, is in no danger. Given the calculations of speeds so far, Alfa would be expected to finish at 2030 Monday night, with Leopard and Wild Oats XI finishing after midnight.

But a westerly change turning moderate southwesterly is predicted for Tasmanian waters tomorrow – and that could still create those potholes of calm and light patches off the east coast under the wind shadow of Tasmanian’s high interior.

From Alfa Romeo, Murray Spence reported, as she picked up the light nor’easter, “We are now enjoying the sunshine; not the usual way to cross Bass Strait.” He said the crew was driving the boat hard today, although they were keen to get some rest after reefing most of the night had meant “intense work from all on board”.

Wild Oats XI skipper Mark Richards said Oats had been within three or four miles of Alfa Romeo in the morning calm before Alfa accelerated out of sight in the first of the new breeze.. He said the attitude on the boat remained very positive. “We have a fantastic bunch of guys on board here; we won’t give up ’til the death.”

Pinta M (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Foster)

Pinta M (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Foster)

Adrian Stead, tactician on the British Jude/Vrolijk 72 Ran, the 2009 Rolex Fastnet Race winner, was upbeat even though the light conditions are not expected to suit this powerful boat. “We are just past Green Cape and the breeze is filling back in. We have done okay with the current but had a light morning. It’s nice to still see the maxis, but we are conscious of boats behind using the sea breeze this afternoon.”

The concertina effect completely scrambled the IRC corrected time calculations. The new IRC overall leader is reckoned to be Noel Cornish’s Sydney 47 Jude, crewed by a group of friends from the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

The Sydney 38, Mondo, retired today with rigging problems and was heading to Eden, bringing the number of retired yachts to five, with 95 yachts still racing. The Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race fleet has crews representing the USA, UK, New Zealand, Spain, the Netherlands, and New Caledonia as well as every Australian state.

Ran (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Ran (Photo by Rolex / Daniel Forster)